“I am a man of few words. And the only word today is Ta-Ta,” said Mr. Singh, the now ex-Prime Minister of India. His statement was met with a standing ovation from all present. Many politicians were seen dabbing their moist eyes, including Rabri Devi and Sheila Dixit, two popular ex-Chief Ministers. “These are tears of joy,” Mrs. Dixit quickly clarified.
Added L.K.Advani, leader of the erstwhile opposition, ”Think of today as India’s new Independence Day. Long years ago, on August 15, 1947 to be precise, we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall break our pledge. At the stroke of the midday hour, as the employees of our government offices sleep, India will re-awake to life and freedom. 65 years of fruitlessly attempting to run this country, we have finally concluded that India is ungovernable and we, the leaders, are unfit to lead it. The Proud People of India, the time has come for you to go your way, and we to go ours.”
Fireworks went off at Tihar Jail soon after the ex-Prime Minister’s announcement, with ex-ministers Suresh Kalmadi and A. Raja leading the celebrations inside the jail premises. All resident politicians participated in the festivities.
According to the latest NDTV-Nielsen-TNS-Outlook-Hindustan Times-ABP opinion poll (based on 50,000 respondents), 89.77 percent of the population supported the transition of the nation from a democratic federal republic to basically a nation without a political system. The remaining 10% interviewed wanted the current political organization to continue. Interestingly, this number comprised entirely of respondents from Gujarat, where Narendra Modi was Chief Minister until yesterday. Mr. Modi is expected to announce the opening of his own high-end men’s fashion label later this week (‘From Le Modi to La Moda’– see story on Page 14). The uber-stylish sex symbol ex-politician is expected to cash in on his half-sleeved suits and much copied bearded look which have been all the rage recently.
The immediate impact of yesterday’s decision was felt at the petrol pumps across the country. With subsidies gone, the prices of all fuels zoomed to Rs.100 per litre, to match international oil prices. LPG cylinders are expected to cost Rs.1000. However, this did not appear to concern the average person on the street who seemed jubilant at the exit of the political class. “Who cares about cooking anyway? We can always order pizza from Dominos,” said Asha Kiran, a reveler at Chowpatty beach who had come to watch the ex-Prime Minister’s address on the giant screens installed there.
“I am just happy that I won’t need a driving license anymore!” said Tanvi Mohan, a 17-year old student in Bangalore. She had a driving test scheduled for next week, which now stands cancelled as the Bangalore RTO shut shop.
Major changes are expected to take place with government owned immovable property. The Parliament House will be converted into a convention centre, something that the city of Delhi sorely lacked until now. The Times Group announced today that Sansad Bhawan had already been booked for the 2013 Femina Miss India and Filmfare Awards ceremonies to be held early next year. The organizers of Zee Cine Awards are also expected to announce similar plans shortly.
Meanwhile, Wal Mart has expressed its intention to take over Rashtrapati Bhawan. “It is exactly what we need – very large real estate in the heart of the city,” said Sam Mehta, CEO of Wal Mart India. “We will sell everything from underwear and baby diapers to utensils, and laundry detergent and drain cleaners to frozen potato smileys – all at very low prices right from this building. There is ample parking space in front. We believe that FDI in retail was the best among the last decisions taken by the government,” he added.Similar plans are afoot in several state capitals as well, including the Mantralaya in Bombay. (Mumbai renamed Bombay, Thackerays say ‘whatevs!’ – see story on Page 4)
Daily commuting across the country is expected to get much easier for people who rely on cabs. The erstwhile government’s fleet of 650,000 Ambassador cars will be installed with fare meters and launched as taxis. Since these cars are bulletproof, there is bound to be a very positive effect on the law and order situation as well.
Interestingly, the dissolution of the political system in India has created a prodigious bounty for the Government of Switzerland. Since most politicians have succeeded in obtaining Swiss immigration in the past few weeks, all Swiss Air flights from Delhi to Zurich are solidly overbooked for the next several months. Last evening, in Lucknow, the father-son duo of Mulayam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav were seen practicing the famous Alphorn outside their residence. “We want to seamlessly blend-in in among our new people,” trumpeted the senior Yadav between his practice sessions. Sharad Pawar and Jayalalitha are already considered to be the leading male and female yodelers in India, a skill that is expected to come in very handy in their new country.
Not everyone is happy with the travel plans of our erstwhile political masters. “I wanted to add a new song to my film Jab Tak Hai Jaan among the Swiss tulips, but there are just no flights,” rued Yash Chopra, film director and the first Indian ever to have set foot in Switzerland.
Among the first politicians to be leaving the country is West Bengal ex-Chief Minister Mamata Banerji. She is taking over as Global Public Relations Officer at a prestigious social network company based at Menlo Park, California. Speaking to tens of fans who had come to see her off at Kolkata airport last evening, she urged the nation to “keep in touch” with her on Facebook. She vowed to bring about people-friendly changes using her new powers. “We are with the people. Even we don’t like Timeline. We will fight against it,” she said.
It has been reported that in village Ralegan Siddhi, India Against Corruption activist Arvind Kejriwal viciously attacked the ex-Prime Minister alleging that the latest law was personally designed to prevent him from participating in the 2014 elections. “These morally bankrupt scum of the earth were scared of me,” he told a part time reporter from a local Marathi newspaper who was in the village visiting his ailing aunt.
The dissolution of the government is having a major impact on the nation’s media scene. All news channels ceased broadcast for good immediately after Mr. Singh’s speech since there was nothing more left to argue or discuss. The nation’s leading daily, The Times of India, will relaunch itself tomorrow as an entertainment daily. “We expect the change to be seamless. Our readers won’t notice anything different from what they have been used to,” clarified Jaideep Bose, Editor-in-Chief at the newspaper.
Bollywood, except filmmaker Prakash Jha, who specializes in making political dramas, has also welcomed the government’s announcement. With the Censor Board now defunct, directors like Mahesh Bhatt can be expected to bring to Indian audiences even more cutting-edge foreign storylines and bountiful talent. Readers may recall that his last imports, Jism 2 and Sunny Leone were lasciviously lapped up by moviegoers.
Meanwhile, Rajghat wore a desolate look today due to the new political changes. No politician appeared on site to pay the otherwise customary annual homage to the Father of the Nation. Only a single family of four was spotted entering the complex until 5 pm today. When asked if they were there to pay their tributes to the Mahatma, Santosh Sharma, the head of the family laughed and said, “No, no, we are here because we found parking. It’s a nightmare out there. All the malls and parks were so crowded today.”
Photo credit: www.outlookindia.com