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Year of Expert Goofing-II

(The first part of this piece can be found here: Year of Expert Goofing-I)

July

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launches the much talked of Digital India campaign, which will make IT accessible to the common public in rural India so that the government can get across to them the important message that it has launched the Digital India campaign.

On a related note, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, in a warm chat with villagers in Karnataka, explains to them about internet, computers and emails. In the context, he is asked whether he has ever fallen prey to ‘scams of former Nigerian princes’, and Rahul replies, ‘in my defence, that mail wasn’t in the spam box.’

In international news, Cuba and the USA resume diplomatic relationship, which is, in the wise words of US Secretary of State, ‘expected to end decades of poorly-written espionage paperbacks involving the two nations’.

Greece economy takes a battering, and in a brave last-minute effort, its Finance Minister flies to Germany and seeks asylum there.

Taking suo motu cognizance of developments in the IPL, the Supreme Court orders notice asking complimentary passes to all the matches for its judges.

Touted to be the country’s costliest movie ever, Baahubali releases and thanks to the state-of-the-art CG work, its director is able to realistically recreate an ancient kingdom devoid of any gravity.

There is a dramatic rise in the price of tur dal in every part of the country, except in the zone occupied by NDTV Bihar poll election panel, where it sells at Rs 17 per tonne.

August

Narendra Modi becomes the first ever Indian Prime Minister to visit the African country of Ghana, where he holds high-level summit meeting with the officials travelling in his own entourage.

Rahul Gandhi goes to London and is invited for a special banquet at the Buckingham Palace. At the ceremonial meeting, Rahul, in a casual, convivial chat, tells the Queen that he likes her laidback dress sense. An aide, in sotto voce, tells Rahul that he has all along been talking to Prince Charles attired in traditional kilt.

Back home, the Supreme Court shoots off a notice to the Union government to consider the possibility of declaring the acts of courting controversy by heroes and heroines just ahead of their film release a fundamental right.

Staying with film –related news, down South, star actor Ajith, who is known to steadfastly avoid public functions, takes this principled stand to its logical extension and says that he will not be seen in his next film. ‘He will play the hero of the film. But you will not see him anywhere in the movie,’ a report in the Tamil weekly Kumudham said.

In Gujarat, Hardik Patel launches a massive nationwide protest against his silly-sounding first name.

The debris of the Malaysian Airbus 370, which went missing in March 2014, are found, and NDTV election specialists, however, confess: ‘It is too close to call. You can’t rule out the situation where this turns out to be the remains of the Titanic’.

Bomb blasts rip through a neighbourhood in Bangkok and before anyone could claim responsibility for them, international human rights activists take the principled stand of forgiving them on the commonsense ground there is no guarantee that the perpetrators would repeat the act.

September

Indian government signs a multi-million dollar agreement with Maldives after Prime Mnister Narendra Modi’s aircraft, on a scheduled trip to Kerala, overshoots Thiruvananthapuram airport runway and lands in Male. ‘I don’t know how it happened. The aircraft seemed to be under a force of habit,’ the pilot later said.

Rahul Gandhi, in a major onslaught against the government, intensifies his grin.

At the annual convocation function in JNU, New Delhi, the Vice President exhorts the nation to use Gelusil to combat flatulence and acidity. Apparently there had been a glitch and his speech papers were replaced by the prescription from his gastroenterologist. Luckily, only a few noticed. Those who noticed, however, said: ‘this is the most sensible thing ever said by any Vice President in this country’.

From the world of journalism: Many publications, in a bid to stay afloat, decide to cut down on their print editions — which people still have to pay for and buy, and concentrate on their digital editions, which people can get free. Media experts say there is no way that this revenue model can fail.

In a major honour, UNESCO, with no other got, declares the Indian National Anthem to be the best because it happens to be the most circulated on social media as having been declared as the best by UNESCO.

In some sensational news from the world of business a small startup, a brainchild of 4 IIM students, gets a funding of 10 million dollars from a leading VC. The excited four are later quoted by Business Wire as saying: ‘we made a strong pitch saying that we will not do any business at all. We will launch no app. The VC firm was extremely impressed because this is the sole business model in town that doesn’t involve willfully losing money’.

Google announces Sundar Pichai to be its new CEO. Sundar Pichai is the brain behind the Google’s highly successful algorithm that magically lists him as an alumnus in all schools in Chennai.

A team of NASA scientists, after they mainline heroin in a dim-lit room in Connecticut, finds water in Mars.

In Tamil Nadu, Jayalalithaa is acquitted in the disproportionate assets case after her legal team successfully establishes that all the financial transactions relied upon by the prosecution have been toted up by the NDTV expert poll team.

October

In a high-profile visit, which becomes front-page news even in the BBC despite the fact that it is only a news channel, Prime Minister Narendra Modi travels to nuclear-armed but totally fictionalised nation of Berzerkistan.

Rahul Gandhi, who is increasingly seen by political observers to be ‘coming into his own’, asserts that the Congress party will boycott the Tamilnadu Nadigar Sangam polls. When pointed out that the Nadigar Sangam is a private body of actors, not a political one, Rahul said, ‘exactly my point. We should not politicise it. That is why we have taken the principled stand of not contesting the elections’.

The climate of intolerance worsens in the country and becomes a pronounced weather pattern identifiable in satellite images.

The Supreme Court rejects the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act and reverts to the collegium system. The Central government, however, criticises it saying: ‘it has created an imperium in imperio, the meaning of which we don’t understand’.

Auto major Volkswagen is accused of fitting faulty emission kits in its cars which ensure all their smoke somehow emanates out of share autos in Chennai.

In the crucial Bihar polls, it is a sensational victory for Donald Trump. Breaking News courtesy: NDTV pollster panel.

Many people from Islamic countries like Syria, Turkey, Egypt, unable to cope up with the IS-helmed state of affairs flee to Europe. Unfortunately, some of them, even more sadly kids included, die in the journey. The world is aghast at the inhumanness of Europe.

November

British Prime Minister David Cameron comes to India and has to wait at the tarmac till Prime Minister Narendra Modi returns from his trip to Britain.

Rahul Gandhi, in a talk to college students in Kolkata, shares his fascination for the globe. ‘I have always wondered how the countries in the lower half have managed to stay fixed and not fall off from it’.

Striking a major blow for gender parity, IAF inducts women as combat pilots. Welcoming the development, an IAF spokesperson says: ‘we hope they don’t, as is their wont when at the wheel, stop to ask for directions’.

Islamic terrorists strike in Paris, killing in cold blood over 100 innocent people. And there is worldwide debate as to who is responsible for the tragedy.

In cricket, South Africa is defeated at Nagpur on a pitch that comes in for criticism for being overly spin-friendly. The match referee in his report says: ‘It turned right from the word go. I mean right from the toss. The coin after falling on the pitch turned right across its breadth, as if it were bowled by Warne to Gatting’.

Bihar Chief Minister, keeping up his poll promise, announces prohibition for men on odd-numbered dates, for women on even-numbered dates and for Laloo Prasad Yadav on days that are part of Pythagorean triplet.

Two IIT Madras students launch a revolutionary app (which needless to say gets humungous funding) that will guess, on a daily basis, the story of Rajnikanth film Kabali that is in the making. ‘All news publications and channels will doubtless buy the app,’ say the two IIT grads.

NDTV poll panel celebrates the arrival of the New Year.

December

In a major disaster, Chennai is battered by a pitiless floods. But what emerges through the crisis is the indefatigable spirit of Chennaiites to send totally bizarre Whatsapp messages.

In the National Herald case, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi are summoned after Subramanian Swamy tells the court that the letters in ‘National Herald’ can be rearranged to form ‘Hand Retail Loan’.

In the aftermath of floods, AIADMK dismisses its member R Nataraj for criticising the party for its shortcoming in disaster management. Later it emerges that it is a different Nataraj who has made the comment and the wrong Nataraj has been dismissed. Quickly undoing the mistake, the AIADMK instates the Nataraj who makes the offending remark and dismisses him forthwith for his chutzpah.

Global warming talks get underway in Paris. The world leaders, in a rare show of unanimity to save planet earth from an impending crisis, agree to a legally-binding international agreement in which every country commits itself to the strong resolution confirming that they all participated in it.

Meanwhile, the IS, to build up its arsenal and create fear across countries, acquires the global rights for the Beep Song.

In a highly polarsising announcement, Donald Trump says the US should totally ban the entry of all NDTV poll panelists.

The year ends with Narendra Modi telling the nation in his typical fashion: ‘Mitron, New Year means New Era of Wishes for You and Everyone to Appreciate and Rejoice’.

Cheesy, yes. But sums up the year.


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