SAME OLD NEW DELHI: With the healthy debate in both Houses regarding the seditious Nehru-Ambedkar cartoon threatening to settle into worrisome introspection, this intrepid reporter interviewed several important politicians.
Caught curling her eyelashes on the steps of Parliament House, newly elected Rajya Sabha MP Rekha had to be persuaded that yet another rendition of ‘Yeh kya jagah hai doston’, would not qualify as an answer. Rahul Gandhi bravely stepped up to announce that he was on way to board his umpteenth helicopter to Vidarbha, where he intends to interrogate local farmers about their take on this crucial issue.
Former Free Press Journal cartoonist and protector of free speech Balasaheb Thackeray stated, “Everybody is agreeing with each other so I am disagreeing with them.” His beloved nephew Raj politely informed us that all cartoonists would be dealt with, ‘Sena-style’. He did not specify which Sena. Political wags commented that it doesn’t matter.
CM of the expensively renamed debt-stricken state of Paschimbanga Mamata Banerjee felt the Centre was simply copying her stance in dealing with cartoons. CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat enviously said, “What the Left could not enforce in over thirty years of uninterrupted rule, Mamata has enforced in less than a year – totalitarianism.”
Regarding her caricature, former Tamilian actress Jayalalitha complained, “The camera used to add ten pounds to how I look, why do cartoonists do the same?” BSP supremo Mayawati offered, “I think my figure-hugging dresses make me appear slim.” BJP President Nitin Gadkari heartily agreed, adding that the press had neglected to portray him in his post-bariatric surgery thinner avatar.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said this in a media statement: ‘The recent developments in the local and national socio-political affairs of India will have an overall impact on the democratic commitment of the entire South-East Asian Region blah blah… and the United States will continue to bomb Pakistan to defend the same’. Or something to that effect, we can’t be sure.
Anna Hazare announced that he would fast until someone mentioned him in print again, in comic strips or otherwise.
Baba Ramdev advised everyone to take a deep breath and chill.
When we questioned a child, who studies from the booklet the Maharashtra Board likes to call its history textbook, about contemporary Indian history, he said – “India became independent. Then whole world was black-and-white, like in those old song videos my parents watch on TV. Then I was born! Then – excuse me I have to go watch IPL.”
Rumours circulating in South Block point towards ninety-year-old cartoonist R K Laxman being declared Public Enemy Number One.
Meanwhile, when questioned about the shortage of storage facilities for a bumper harvest, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Public Distribution Mr. Sharad Pawar, opined that someone should do something about it.
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