BREAKING NEWS: There’s Nothing To Report Today

I know it is immature to make the following confession in a respectable newspaper column, which is why I’m going to do it in mine: I’m sick of the elections. I can’t go five minutes without being reminded by the radio, TV and the internet that soon, Modi will cure AIDS while doing dandiya around the sun, and that Rahul will go back to his real birthplace of Mordor to focus on Gollum Empowerment.

It can be difficult to keep up with all the idiocy being generated on an hourly basis, which is why I suggest you throw out your TV, because the following news report should fill you in on everything you need to know. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you… <drumrollll> 

EVERY ELECTION NEWS SHOW EVER

Anchor: Good evening and welcome to The Noise Hour, starring I, me, myself as Arnab Sardesai Stormborn Dutt, Bringer of Justice and Mother of Decibels. Tonight, we will spend 72853 minutes dissecting the latest instance of monkeys flinging faeces at each other and calling it a political debate.

The issue we’re discussing tonight is a shocking, stunning, repulsive, disgusting and life-changing issue, mostly because my scriptwriter has a Ph.D in Amazingly Good Adjectives. What we want to know is, how did Digvijay get attacked for his leaked pictures that show Modi referring to Priyanka as a daughter who should stay chaste because Abu Azmi still lives in 643 BC?

Joining us on the show is Congress spokesperson Sanjay Jha Tewari, along with his BJP counterpart Meenakshi Lekhiraman –

Sanjay Jha Tewari: (interrupting) Arnab, this is clearly a flawed attempt by the BJP at destabilising the democratic fabric of the nation. This is fascism. Nazism. Exorcism. I LOVE RAJIV GANDHI AUTOMATIC RETORT YOJANA! Sorry, what was the question again?

Lekhiraman: As an immensely accomplished lawyer, let me just say that your face is a suxxx.

Arnab: It’s been six seconds since the audience heard my voice, so now I’m going to cite some facts and numbers while waving about a few sheets of paper that, for all you know, I use to play FLAMES. With myself. I complete me.

Sanjay Jha Tewari: I’m going to counter your facts with a digression. What is 2006 minus 4?

Lekhiraman: According to my party’s calculations, 2006 – 4 = 1979 + 5.

Arnab: Very classy. Now let’s go to an on-ground reporter who’s stuck in some Gaonpur village that we can all pretend to care about for three minutes.

CUT TO: A reporter standing near something that emphasizes the idea of rural life, like a bunch of naked toddlers running around next to a hut, or a man trying to marry his buffalo.

Reporter: I’m going to walk towards the camera while talking about this village, which is the kind of place that gets electricity about three times a year, and that too when it’s struck by lightning. Oh look, now I’m close enough to the camera, which means it’s time to ask the one question that villagers here have been asking for generations, i.e. when will Gaonpur get its own trending hashtag on Twitter?

CUT TO: More shots of rural life; a fly homing in on a snot bubble under a kid’s nose as he stares balefully at the camera, a woman walking while balancing six pots, two chickens and three helicopters on her head, Prakash Jha in a corner, taking notes for his next movie.

Reporter: Now I’m sitting next to an old man who is also wise, because he has a zen-like toothless smile that surely has nothing to do with the herb in his hookah.

Old man: (subtitles) It’s cute how you city folk are huffing and puffing about free speech and pub timings. I’d like to care, but the last meal I had was in 1963, so I’m going to vote for the guy who can change that. But only if he’s from my caste.

Reporter: I’m now going to end this capsule with some vague statement about the future of Gaonpur. Will 2014 bring it much-needed change? Only time will tell. Que sera sera. Bailamos.

BACK TO THE STUDIO:

Arnab: We have with us now expert psephologist, Stats McStatterson, who has some clear predictions about Gaonpur.

Statterson: In my expert opinion, the Congress will win, unless the BJP wins, in which case the Congress will lose. Or the AAP might just pull off an upset, in which case both the BJP and the Congress lose. I get paid to say this all day.

Arnab: There you have it, India. A definitive answer. On tomorrow’s show, we shall solve yet another mystery: Are there anti-national messages encoded in the frequency of Kejriwal’s cough?

Audience: *throws TV out of the window*

(Note: This is my HT column dated 4th May 2014.)    

Now He’s Crazy, Now He’s Not, Now He’s Crazy…

I’m not saying Arvind Kejriwal is honest, but every time he fights corruption, Akhilesh Yadav’s nose grows an inch.  But wait – six seconds have passed since that previous statement, which means that Kejriwal is now a clueless dharna fetishist who’s just one Che T-shirt away from hawking anarchy. This kind of flip-flop pretty much sums every discussion about the Aam Aadmi Party this week, as they stood accused of everything from racism and sexism to water-boarding old ladies for fun.

People aren’t being able to make up their minds about the AAP, as opposed to their rivals who are instantly described as <insert nasty spitting sound here> (Fun fact: When somebody spits in Modi’s Gujarat, the saliva gets recycled and diverted to the Rann of Kutch for rain dances.)

Here’s a quick rundown of the circus that sullied the AAP’s honeymoon period this week. For best results, imagine it being narrated in Yogendra Yadav’s dulcet tones:

The Delhi law minister, Somnath Batman, swooped down on a drug and prostitution racket in South Delhi, and recovered five kilos of incriminating video evidence against himself. Somnath Bharti was accused of leading a mob that allegedly harassed and assaulted four African women, one of whom later identified him in a court of law. In return, Bharti also identified the woman as being Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama, Will Smith and Vinod Kambli. (Bharti was last seen at a multiplex showing Mandela: The Long Walk to Freedom, wherein he tried to handcuff the screen whenever Idris Elba came on.)

Kejriwal then launched a dharna to bring the Delhi police under the ambit of the CM’s office, as opposed to its current boss which is a piece of paper with Gandhiji’s photo on it. The Congress and the BJP took the moral high ground by harping on about proper constitutional process. This was followed by a discourse on feminism by Professor Emeritus Yo Yo Honey Singh.

Kejriwal withdrew the protest after an overnight stay outside Rail Bhavan, which was disappointing, because I quite enjoyed that visual of him wrapped up in a blue-yellow blanket, looking like the world’s most colourful bhuna roll.

Senior AAP member and poet Kumar Vishwas also received major hate for some racist and sexist jokes about Malayali nurses that he’d made at a stand-up show in 2009. The jokes said something to the effect of, “Mallu nurses are so dark and cosmetically challenged that I’m happy to call them ‘sister’.” This is funny because it comes from Kumar Vishwas – a guy who looks like Raju Srivastava took a bath. More than offensive, it’s trite and unoriginal, which is really the worst crime a joke can commit. Vishwas did apologise later, and apparently said that he has nothing against dark women and that he’d totally sleep with them as a goodwill gesture.

Then Chetan Bhagat jumped into the fray, describing the AAP as the item girl of Indian politics, a title previously held by Rahul Baba. Ever since he made that comparison, I can’t help but imagine a bunch of swarthy guys showering Kejriwal with notes, and then he stops them and asks for cheques instead, complete with a PAN number and a proof of income attested by Raghuram Rajan.

Sensing that the level of political discourse was slipping, Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde stepped in to describe Kejriwal as a “yeda mukhyamantri”. Yes, we’re calling each other ‘yeda’ now. What is this – a David Dhawan film? What next – referring to the telecom minister as Pappu Pager? Of course, David Dhawan films are way more logical than the Indian political scenario. For example, Haseena Maan Jaayegi makes more sense than a Manish Tiwari speech. (Haseena Maan Jaayegi is also the motto of the ruling party.)

But despite this fiasco of a week, there’s still hope for the AAP. All they have to do is uplift the poor, boost investments, support industry, revive the economy, foster communal harmony, root out corruption, usher in police reforms and most importantly,  get Whatsapp to drop the ‘Last Seen At’ feature. It doesn’t sound difficult at all, so let’s hound them about everything until it’s done. And then we can have a party. Just don’t invite Somnath Bharti.