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Friday, December 02 2022
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NK Satire: The week that was Dec 17 to 23

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“Laughter is an instant vacation.” said Milton Berle. Here at NK, we would like to contribute to lightening your mood in preparation for a meaningful and relaxed weekend. So here’s a tongue- in-cheek look at the events of the week gone by that you’ve been waiting for 🙂

Victimised! Modified! These two Phrases headlined the last phase of campaigning in the Gujarat Elections. It’s a no brainer that the biggest news headline of the week was the result of the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Elections and I have to address it right at the outset, else I’ll be trolled! But I’ll take that liberty – I’m not sure I have it any more though, given the ‘reasonable and unreasonable restrictions’ gathering steam – to return to it later in the column.

As I said, there were far more interesting headlines, for most of us at least– A New Year event organiser moved the Karnataka High Court to get the authorities to grant permission for their Sunny Leone New Year Event in Bengaluru in progressive Karnataka, after they had been denied permission citing security reasons. It’s not clear whose security they were concerned with – hers or the crowd’s, given the events on MG Road last year. Reports have it that all she was to do was cut a cake at the stroke of midnight, signalling the dawn of the New Year – and insecurity took the cake! One thing’s for sure, the people would have loved to bask in the sun at night on New Year’s Eve but the presence of Sunny at night sent the culture vultures into a tizzy apparently. Viewing the Sun at night – never! Unless it’s a solar eclipse! Latest media reports say, that the sun has done a self-eclipse, leaving the other stars to provide the light (and the heat), and it’s quite likely that the dawn of the New Year will be dark and cold, for Bengalureans at least.

While Bengalureans may yearn for the sun to light up their lives on New Year’s Eve, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has other plans. It plans to replace 4.85 lakh (working and more non-working) sodium vapour street lamps with LED’s without spending a paisa. The strategy is brilliant, but the investment will have to be made by the private company that bags the contract and the tender is still very tender! It is learnt that every month, the BBMP pays Rs 12 crores to power the street lights. The power bill with LED lights will be around Rs 6 crores. The balance Rs 6 crores in savings will be split 75:25 in favour of the investor over 10 years to enable them to recoup their investment. They will also maintain it for free saving the BBMP Rs 30 crorse annually.Who needs the sun with such brilliance?

Sorry for the detour. Back to the main headline – While the Himachal result was a foregone conclusion – they have alternated their government every five years since 1977 – Wise people they are, much like the southern state of Kerala – the election result in Gujarat was a humdinger in its early stages as evidenced by the ebb of the stock market, till the BJP pulled ahead and won the match on the basis of a slender first innings lead for a record sixth time. The Combo of Virat and Ravi are a formidable winning partnership with their attacking and emotionally appealing style of cricket irrespective of the runs on the board!

Post the hard and bitterly fought victory it seemed like a win-win situation for all – for the BJP who claimed a vindication of their economic reforms, and for the Congress who claimed victory in defeat- albeit moral – for their new president. That’s the final lesson of this election and those to come – Winning is all in the mind like many other biological functions! Nevertheless, the confusion as to whether to treat the dhokla, a Gujarati delicacy, as cake and halwa be counted as jelly and be taxed differently now stands resolved for the sweeter!

You WannaCry? If your company is dependent on software for its service delivery and management, you may HAVE actually cried earlier this year. All because of one man according to Trump. You guessed wrong. It’s not Putin, but Kim Jong Un. Earlier this year the WannaCry computer worm affected more than 230,000 computers in over 150 countries and nobody knew whom to blame, but Russia, the favourite whipping boy for all things that go wrong in the USA – We have a parallel too you know! Now however, Russia is good friend of the USA, and they don’t want to waste their trump card so the US has now declared that North Korea carried out the massive WannaCry cyber attack – based on credible evidence of course – and there is one more WMD to destroy. They say it’s probably a precursor to a missile attack – when they will shut down all American systems, before launching their missiles. Makes you wanna cry no?

There are other things happening in India that make you wanna cry! Once touted as a means to deliver governmental benefits directly to you, it has been turned on its head and is now a means for you to deliver benefits to the government! Your money and your life! And media reports say it doesn’t even stay with them! If you do, you are dammed and if you don’t, you are doomed. You are bombarded with threatening SMS’s and irritating ring tones, making you want to throw your costly iPhone against the wall – the problem is you have purchased it after producing your Aadhaar – so the government will be aware of who and why you threw it against the wall.

From Pan Cards to IT Returns, from mutual funds to bank accounts, from telephone numbers to the Urban Property Ownership Records scheme (UPOR) the Aadhaar number is a prerequisite without it being officially one and still subjudice. You are caught between a rock and a hard place – your employer refuses to grant you paid leave to stand in the queue to obtain the Aadhaar or link it, and the services that demand it just don’t want to make it easy for you to do it! The latest to jump on the bandwagon are insurance companies and your local cable TV supplier – What’s an Aadhaar no. got to do with them? Do they want to keep tabs on which news channel you watch – not that it makes much of a difference! Keep it ready for the milk booth and public sochalay next. You will need it and you will be unable to find it if you are in a hurry. What’s intriguing though, is why there is no demand for linking it to the voter ID and property transactions – Indirect benefit transfers I guess.

The Trump Administration, given its name, is very adept at card games. They play their trumps carefully and with calculation. In the ongoing card game, they have praised India as a global power in the National Security Strategy document even as they have put out indications, that they will not allow dependent spouses of H1-B visa holders to be employed on the same visa in the USA! If Melania need not then why should you, is the logic!

I wonder what the fascination is with the word ‘New’! Every time we hear our leaders speak – PM Modi in Delhi and CM Siddaramaiah in Bengaluru and in Newspaper Ads, they speak of building a new India (2022) and a New Karnataka (already being built – work is ongoing) respectively. Both claim that theirs is a government that works – There is some ambiguity as regards whom their governments work for though; And both rely, though one more than the other, on our ancient heritage for inspiration for the new version. If the heritage is so good that it provides inspiration for the deeds of tomorrow, what is the need to replace it with something new I wonder?! Seems like a conundrum to me.

Have a good weekend and a Merry Christmas!

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Brian Fernandes

Brian is an alumnus of Roshni Nilaya’s Post Graduate School of Social Work, HR Department and has 30 years of local and international HR and General Management experience. Journalism, poetry, and feature writing is a passion which he is now able to pursue at will. Additionally, he loves compering and hosting talk shows. He loves learning and imparting it; so, when time permits, he provides leadership facilitation and soft skills training to Postgraduate students and Corporates in Mangaluru and Bengaluru. Besides, he is an accomplished Toastmaster under the aegis of Toastamasters.org and a designated Distinguished Toast Master.

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