These days I long for a daily which just gives good news. I propose to start a daily and will be shortly writing to Mr Adani and the two Ambanis for financial support. Am thinking of calling the paper “The Good Messenger.” I have already dismissed the suggestion that we call it “Yes News”.
Firstly, it will have no news on Syria and ISIS and none on North Korea. Who wants to know whether the young man in crew cut wants to fire another missile over Japan? That also means blocking all threats from Mr Donald Trump. We will also omit the various dismissals in the White House — it means hard work to keep up with them. They need a counting machine at the exit gate. The fact that we are behind North Korea in the hunger index (not to talk of Bangladesh and Burkina Faso), such news items will never be published. After all, India is shining under Mr Jaitley.
There will be many no’s. No murders, no offences against women, molestation of boys, road rage killings, dowry deaths. Nothing of this kind will be published. Everything should be hunky-dory. No one putting his foot in a pothole and fracturing a leg, no one dying in the rains, no houses burnt in Californian wildfires. And we may be spared the pictures of the Rohingya and their children in tattered clothes moving to camps after crossing the waters. “The Good Messenger” will be forbidden from even carrying speeches by politicians about threats that the Rohingya pose to our national security. Nor will we splash the news that the IB is busy looking for bombs hidden inside their tattered vests.
Readers won’t have to read about people being beaten up in Faridabad by cow vigilantes (we Indians have coined another term and added to the English language, I notice. What have we not done for the ersatz Empire, right from the time when we fought for the English and lost 60,000 soldiers who were paid the sumptuous salary of Rs 11 per month during World War-I?) Back to the vigilantes, I don’t even want to read about the guys who bashed the poor victims and being caught who must have been released on bail the moment they were produced before the court. We will refrain from publishing the fact that magistrates are judged by the alacrity with which bail is granted in cow or bhains meat-carting cases.
Why must the bourgeois mornings over a hot cup of tea be spoilt by learning about some footbridge turning rickety and causing a stampede, resulting in 23 persons being killed and 39 injured? Very unfair. Be it noted that the FOB (Foot Over-Bridge) was named Elphinstone, or perhaps the station was. Tobah-tobah. First thing the Railway Ministry needs to do is to change the name of the station. With a long list of Jana Sangh leaders and RSS Sarsangchalaks queuing up, surely a good name will come out of the hat.
My readers will not want to read that 76 lakh people travel on Mumbai locals every single day. The Railway Ministry is waiting, very correctly, for figures to touch a crore before they bestir themselves. I remember a Railway mantri who made Calcutta her headquarters, and worked from there. The Calcutta Rajdhani brought her dak (post), or were the files flown in by Air India? Was that the reason why Air India was in the red those days ? No way, because it is still in the red. But to be back on the rail tracks. If only she had shifted her headquarters to Mumbai, and perhaps travelled by a local once in a while, things may have improved.The railway board must be telling the minister today, “Sir, things are under control. Only 10 persons die each day on the Bombay locals as they stream out of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Railway Terminus.They happen to be thrown out of the train Sir, which they should not have got into in the first place. And Sir on Sundays, you will be glad to know, we hardly have any casualties.”
“The Good Messenger” will not be interested in inquiry commissions. Rightly enough they have been tasked to find scapegoat, some petty official probably having a cup of roadside sugary chai in small cups, which Mumbai and Gujarat specialise in.
And in our last board meeting it was decided that “The Good Messenger” will support to the hilt Constitutional authorities like the Election Commission. They have done a valiant job in not announcing the election dates for Gujarat, keeping in mind M. Modi’s visit there and the fiery speeches he will deliver. And he can announce freebies, the way he granted crores to Bihar universities, though had Nitish Kumar stuck to the fodder-scammed Lalu Prasad, it is doubtful whether he would have made these pronouncements. We will also propose that the Chief Election Commissioner, when he demits office, should immediately be made Governor.
Selecting directors caused some worries, but we decided that we’ll have two from Nagpur, two from the BJP, and since we will operate from Delhi, three from the Aam Aadmi Party. We’ll also hire four toughies as marshals who will come in handy when brawling between AAP and BJP is in full swing.
This article was originally published in The Tribune.