Independence Day is usually time for big dreams for the people of this country. Because most of us become extremely sleepy by the Prime Minister’s speech made from the ramparts of the Red Fort. But there is a historic tradition to this speech in that it’s the only time anyone can put to use the otherwise unusable word, ‘ramparts’.
Anyway, the point I want to make is that we all have certain vision for this country, on how certain aspects should be and how certain people must be treated and how certain things need to be in place if India is to enjoy a privileged place among the comity of nations. (‘Comity of nations’ is another specimen that cannot used anywhere else)
So here’s my dream list in no particular disorder. If you feel some of the ideas to be extreme and ridiculous, to you I say: Independence is free for all.
1. Forget the Android or Apple phone, the nation should invest heavily in R & D to develop a phone that will allow users, at the press of an easy button, to detonate the service provider/any damn company/bank that puts them on hold to the background drone of ‘your call is important to us…’ or some cheesy music for more than 30 seconds. Personally speaking, I wouldn’t mind selling my kidney, if need be, to buy such a phone.
2. Sachin Tendulkar should be taken aside and be gently told that he is indeed a genius, his heart indeed beats for India and he is indeed committed to the game. But next time he monotones the lines, ‘our boys played well…it was more important that the team won…’ he must be handed the harshest sentence possible in the sporting world: To be interviewed by Charu Sharma at every post-match ceremony.
3. No good has ever come out of any Parliamentary committee. Still, a committee deserves to be formed with the assigned duty of deciphering to the rest of the bewildered nation whatever Mamata Bannerjee and Pranab Mukherjee speak in Parliament. If the duo is found to be a pair of human vuvuzelas, they must be put to proper use during the Commonwealth Games.
4. Those corporate types who compulsively use terms like ‘paradigm shift’, ‘deliverables’ even in casual, non-official conversations should be taken aside and sedated. If possible the part of their brain that stores such words should be lobotomized. Also, confiscate the wealth of those people who tend to curve their fingers, as if scratching an itch in the air, in notional representation of the double-quote when talking.
5. As a bold sociological experiment get Arnab Goswami to interview Barkha Dutt and vice-versa in a confined area. Who knows some good may emerge in the process, like one of them killing the other.
6. The nation should pardon the dress sense of Akshay Kumar. But shoot the fellow who conceived the commercial in which Akshay cackles like a deranged rooster.
7. Invoke the RTI to find out what does the Vice-President do when he has no real official work. On second thoughts, don’t waste the RTI.
8. Call up all the editors of English publications and pose this simple question: How does a set of people drinking or generally having fun amongst themselves qualify to be important part of daily news, deserving of designated correspondents and news units and several acres of news space? But don’t wait for the Editors to answer. We usually lie.
9. I have made a case for this before. But again I will. Award Bharat Ratna to T Rajendher. The man has provided, and continues to provide, all of us so much mirth and fun that it has been possible to divert our attention from the fact that will otherwise not allow us to peacefully sleep even for a minute: We are a country that was once headed by H D Gowda.
10. Any hero claiming that he has got six-pack abs should be debarred from filmdom and compulsorily enrolled in the Army as Lance Naik. And all roles of comic villain, once the domain of Shakthi Kapoor, must be now routed to Suresh Kalmadi.
11. Kapil Sibal, the forward thinking Human Resource Minister, must be asked to put out a circular to all the schools asking the teachers to point out at least one instance in real life when the Logarithmic Tables can actually be put to use.
12. It’s only fair that the mugs of Afzal Guru and Ajmal Kasab should replace the (laughing) smiley.
13. The ongoing National Census should also enumerate separately all those who watch the Prime Minister’s speech on the Independence Day. They all should be then taken for special psychological counseling so that they do not resort to anything similarly extreme again.
14. Get the Court to pass a decree or make a Constitutional amendment banning Sukhvinder Singh and Udit Narayan from even attempting to hum a Tamil song. Even if the court says that in return the classical language of Tamil will be withdrawn, we should whole-heartedly agree. For, it’s a small price to pay if our intention is to save Tamil.
15. A national alert should be sounded against any mail or news report that ends with the three words, which I will come to later. Treat those mails and reports as you would plague. If you receive or happen to read such a mail or report, it’s advisable to take extreme precaution. If possible set fire to the newspaper or the computer you read it on. If need be, pour phenyl on your eyes.
Only the extremely dubious round off their mails or reports with the three words: Mera Bharath Mahan.