The State of the Nation Feb 05

Unregistered Newsletter
Vol 1, issue 2
  • President’s Rule imposed in Bihar
    In what has been termed as a surprise development, the Rashtrapathi Bhavan today issued a statement saying that the President’s rule would be imposed on Bihar from midnight onwards. This follows a day after the same President imposed his same rule in Goa following the slender and controversial victory of Pratapsingh Rane’s government in Madgaon. Political analysts have termed the successive impositions as unpresidented and expressed concern that it might be the start of a trend putting twenty other fragile coalitions all over the country in grave danger of being dismissed.
    Although it is not clear exactly what precipitated the Rashtrapathi Bhavan into going in for such an extreme step, insiders suggest it had something to do with Lalu Prasad Yadav’s proposal to build a nuclear substation in Patna’s St.George Street. Apparently, no one was willing to point out to the Railway minister that a nuclear substation was not a place where the Delhi-Patna Express could stop for its passengers.
    Another rumour that had done the rounds earlier had been about the BJP extending a hand to Lok Janshakthi Party’s president Ram Vilas Paswan to stake claim in Bihar ahead of the incumbent, Mrs.Rabri Devi. Though this has remained unsubstantiated so far, a few Congress supporters have accused the BJP of fishing in troubled waters. To which the BJP Chief Ministerial candidate Sri Nitish Kumar had replied that with the Government always in a state of suspended animation, there was no other option but to fish in perpertually troubled waters.
    The Raj Bhavan was discrete in its communication. Gov. Buta Singh was closeted with leaders of RJD, LJP and Congress for most of the morning, but found a few moments to talk to the press. “Yes, since the caretaker CM expires today, we have decided to recommend the imposition of President’s rule in Bihar for a period not less than six months. By which time the parties should have entered into a plausible agreement with each other. I am sorry I cannot give more details, but I will talk to you tomorrow after my meeting with the president.”
    When it was pointed out that Dr Kalam had already made up his mind – or at least for all intents and purposes – the Governor explained that he was not seeking Constitutional guidance from the President of India, whom he respected greatly, but from his President, Smt Sonia Gandhi.
    When contacted, the Railways Minister Sri Lalu Prasad Yadav was unusally subdued. “This is a conspiracy hatched by the BJP,” he said when asked about the imposition. “It is planned to subjugate the people of Bihar to the communal designs of the BJP.” He then distributed autographed copies of UC Banerjee report. When asked how this related to Bihar, he spat out some of his betel leaf on the New Indian Express reporter before replying, “Arre! Do I have to explain everything to you? We, the people of Bihar, are more intelligent than you believe.”
    The Chief Minister, Mrs Rabri Devi, joined her husband at that moment with a packet of hot snacks wrapped in what looked strangely similar to stamp paper. When asked how she felt, she said that she was tired. “Cooking pakoras is a hard job,” she said, sitting down beside her husband. “Even more difficult is finding enough firewood. Thankfully, there was that file on Satyendra Dubey’s murder beside the fireplace…”
    As part of this paper’s representative endeavours, we conducted a crash-poll on the imposition of President’s rule. Over 99% said they were glad there were still some developments in Bihar, while more than 75% favoured integration with Bangladesh.
  • Governor Syed Razi joins Class III in Ranchi Government School
    In what is being seen as an advertisement to imcrease the number of students in Jharkand, Governor Syed Razi, as a noble gesture, enrolled himself into Class III at the Ranchi Government School. The Governor then spent two hours with the other children inside the classroom and even took notes of the lessons being taught. Then, possibly in an effort to show everyone how enjoyable school can be, the Governor had himself sent to the Principal’s office when he pulled the hair of the student in front of him.
    “It is the right of every citizen to utilise the educational facilities provided by the Government. If the vision of our beloved President Dr APJ Abdul Kalamji is to be realised, India should be 100% literate,” he said, driving home the point by adding that those who do not study will be forced to take up dishonourable jobs like politics, politics or politics.
    In response to a question, the Governor hesitated before answering, “Yes, mathematics has always been a bit difficult for me. Not like the Qawwalis, you know, which I regularly share with General Musharaff through the ISI network based at Ranchi. I rarely remember what comes after five, and I usually say eight. Thankfully, my ADC (aide-de-camp) is always around to remind me that it is seven.”
    When asked about the botched arithmetic that led to JMM President Shibu Soren being sworn in as the CM in spite of the NDA being the larger alliance, the Governor blamed it on a sudden bout of food poisioning. Besides, he said, “the BJP was merely targeting him because he was a Muslim and an extremely close confidant of the Nehru family.”
    “Dr Kalamji may be our President, but he is also a scientist first and foremost. Similarly, why can’t I be loyal to Congress even if I am the governor?” he asked.
    When contacted, Congress spokesperson Ambika Soni hailed Syed Razi as a visionary and a true supporter of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty.
  • SC flays Jamir
    Asserting that the Governor far exceeded his authority and moral integrity in dismissing the Manohar Parrikar government and replacing it with P Rane’s government, the Supreme Court today said in response to a PIL filed by BJP President LK Advani that SC Jamir should not consider the equity of initials as equity of power.
    Hearing the petition, Justice BS Singh ruled that the Governor’s actions come dangerously close to being a trend-setter. He pointed out that it was the prerogative of the Central Government – and not the Governors – to dismiss the lawfully elected governments that are inimical to its ideals. He picked out the cases of Govt of India Vs Govt of Kerala (1955), Govt of India Vs Govt of Tamil Nadu, Govt of India Vs Govt of Andhra Pradesh,…
    The Court also called upon the judges to listen to Mrs Sonia Gandhi and adhere to the Constitution, as difficult as it may be. “The Governors have a moral responsibility to the electorate,” Justice Singh said. “Why, otherwise, they might as well stand for election and become elected representatives.”
    Responding to the judgement, Congress spokesperson Ambika Soni called a press conference at 11, Janpath, at which she outlined the party’s feelings towards SC and SC Jamir. “The Supreme Court is entitled to its opinion,” she conceded, “and so is SC Jamir. In fact, he has shown remarkable capacities for counselling himself during crises. This is not to say that Madam was not consulted. In fact, SC Jamir cleared each one of his decisions through the High Command before announcing them.”
    Hearing this, Mr Shekhar Gupta, editor-in-chief of the New Indian Express, broke down. He was later sedated and removed from the conference.
    Sources inside the party, however, said that the plan was to replace SC Jamir with Ms.Soni by the end of the next week. Jamir, it is widely believed, will soon present a no-confidence motion against the sitting Vice-President Sri Bhairon Singh Shekhawat.
  • Chidambaram Hospitalised
    P Chidambaram, Union Minister for Finance, was hospitalised yesterday at half past one after he complained of a splitting headache. He was immediately taken into the ICU, where doctors laboured for over two hours to find a spot of skin that would be soft enough to bore through. Eventually, in what is being described as a breakthrough, they managed to insert an Optical Fiber through the one aperture of the Minister that is never closed and discovered a large clot on the left side of his brain.
    Experts have attributed it to the constant pressure from the left on everything from vaastushastra to VAT ka Shastra. However, his steward, who did not wish to be named, said it was from receiving the note from the bank warning that the minister had to pay ten rupees for every ten thousand he had withdrawn, and he had withdrawn twenty-five lakh rupees.
    In any case, as the OF cable has to remain in place for the time being, the Minister will not be delivering any more sound bites in the near future.
    As a mark of respect, this chronicle reprints some of PC’s more famous quotes:
    Responding to Chinese FM on comparision : ”Democracy is a powerful tool for inducing transparency and accountability in economic policy.’
    Budget 2004 : ‘Main Hoon Na.’
    Budget 2005 : ‘Abhi bhi Main hoon na?’
    Pre-budget : ‘I’ll take some tough measures, and the opinions of all sides will be considered.’
    Post-budget : ‘Taxes are a burden on the people.’
  • UN Imposes Sanctions on Jharkand, Bihar and Goa
    Close on the heels of the President imposing his rule in Bihar and Goa, the United Nations took a strong stand today on the developments and announced an immediate suspension of all relationships with the states.
  • US Vetoes Sanctions on Weapons Front
    Barely a few minutes after the UN imposed sanctions on three Indian states (or is it two-and-a-half?) the United States Senate moved for scrapping the sanctions as far as the exchange of weapons was concerned. According to DS Redneck from Texas, Jharkand and Bihar are ‘two very important clients in the global weapons market, without whom the industry of armaments would collapse.’ He was supported by half the Republicans and three-quarters of the Democrats in the motion, and it was passed to resounding applause from the galleries, where members of the Klu Klux Klan jumped up and down in joy.
  • Lalu Yadav gets US Honor
    Senior United States Senator DS Redneck, fresh from his victory in rewriting the sanctions on Bihar, also introduced and talked the Senate into passing a bill that recognises Bihar’s Lalu Prasad Yadav as an MVC (Most Valuable Customer) of the Guns and Mortars Industries of North America (GAMINA) Hu Jintao of China and Pervez Musharaff of Pakistan have been recommended for Special Citations from GAMINA.
  • Musharraf wants Unified Subcontinent
    Perhaps boldened by the long strides taken by democracy in India, Pakistan General Pervez Musharraf has suggested that perhaps the time has come for India and Pakistan – and, should they so wish, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Afghanistan, Nepal, Myanmar & Bangladesh – to unify into a single continent with an illustrious leader such as himself at the helm. However, the conference was disrupted soon afterwards when all his aides and security officers were attacked with some crude form of nerve gas, causing everyone to laugh uncontrollably.
    Minister for External Affairs Natwar Singh was unavailable for comment since he was at some undisclosed location discussing classified matters with unnamed individuals. However, his secretary assured us that Natwar Singh is expected to arrive in India some time within the next two months.
  • News in Brief
  • K Karunakaran to be next Kerala Governor
  • K Muraleedharan to stop asking for Chandy’s chair, wants his hair instead
  • J Jayalalithaa arrests Judge who was to try her in disproportionate assets case
  • M Karunanidhi wants Governorship of Tamil Nadu
  • SM Krishna’s house demolished accidentally in Mumbai
  • LK Advani to launch Bharat Yatra tomorrow
  • Amnesty Int’l wants Zaheera Sheikh to be transferred to New York
  • Amnesty Int’l says no pundits forced out of Kashmir
  • J&K CM MM Sayeed shifts Govt HQ to Kumarakom in Kerala, will monitor relief operations from houseboat
  • Sonia Gandhi new Italian Ambassador to India
  • Pakistan beats India, two players seriously injured