Yawn. What a boring press conference our PM had earlier this week. Read the transcript if you want. Note : It’s partly in Hindi.
Everybody knew what the questions would be. The usual stuff – Pakistan, terrorism, inflation, Naxals, corruption, Rahul, Sonia, and so on.
And everybody knew that there would be no real answers. If it’s a problem, we will look into it. If it’s corruption, the law will take its course. If it’s violence, we are open to talks. And if it’s the Family, we will wax eloquent about them. I wish the man at least tried it to make it a bit interesting. We know he is just a puppet, but even puppets are supposed to entertain, aren’t they?
Anyway, like we do in the case of so many other things, let us try self-help. If the government staunchly refuses to answer our questions, we shall have to do it ourselves. So here are the real answers that Manmohan never gave…
On inflation & economy : Please remember that this is a UPA govt. Which is why the economy has gone UPA, not neechey. And unfortunately prices went UPA-2. However we are working very hard to bring prices down. This is a government you can count on. As well as discount on.
On Pakistan : Pakistan is our biggest neighbour. Of course, China is a far bigger country and we share a border with it, but we don’t consider them our neighbour because they are not very neighbourly. The problems with Pakistan basically stem from a trust deficit. So we need to maintain a dialogue with them. This is getting increasingly difficult though. Because of their recent policies, we are unable to poke them and we can’t send them pomegranate trees for their farms. We can’t even organize a simple tweetup of our foreign ministers. And once they ban gmail, I just don’t understand how we can even contact them. And no, we can’t use the hotline either, because it just goes to a call-centre in Pakistan where middle-aged women talk dirty to us. They really should understand that if social media disappears, everything that is left will be anti-social. Then Aman Ki Asha doesn’t have a chance. Only Yaman Ki Asha.
On Naxals : I’ve been saying for three years that Naxalism is the biggest internal security threat that our country faces. Before that it used to be the guys throwing sandals at our ministers, but now Naxalism has taken a comfortable lead. The root cause of this problem is that their side is filled with Kishens while we seem to have only Kanhaiyyas. So we are a bit reluctant to just go in and wipe them out. You could call it a thrust deficit. Or you could call it a Kishen Jam. Also, we suffer from a limited mandate. i.e. we have limited men and limited dates. Which makes it a logistical nightmare.
On Terrorism : Terrorism knows no religion. Incidentally, it’s also pretty weak at calculus. This government’s stance has been very clear. Whenever we see terror, we promptly condemn it. We assure the terrorists that they will not be able to get away with stuff like this, and we make it very clear that we will not tolerate it. Such hard-hitting statements are bound to sap the morale and resolve of the terrorists. As they say, a bad posture can damage one’s spine. So our government has developed considerable expertise in posturing. In addition to this, when we do capture a terrorist or two, we demonstrate that we have no intention of executing them. So that by the time they do get to paradise they will be far too old to do anything constructive with all those virgins. Their spirit might be willing, but their flesh will be a bit too weak. Heh, heh.
On caste census : In the last election, the people gave us a fractured verdict. Which is why we are dependent on cast. So it’s not possible to just wish away caste equations. But frankly, I really don’t see what the fuss is about. To understand the reason for caste being recorded, you need to first understand the reason for the census. With great effort we collect a lot of data about our people. At a broad level, it throws up a number which we enter into wikipedia as our official population. We then use the various measures gathered to decide stuff like per-capita income & literacy levels. This is a great morale booster because all the people who get to hear about the census are above-average in income and literacy. Also, the finance minister and planning commission use these figures to fix the second decimal place in the thousands of crores they regularly allocate to various welfare schemes. In a nutshell, the census exists to throw up inaccurate figures that nevertheless add an illusion of great detail to various unnecessary schemes that are never implemented anyway. Therefore, any parameter, that can give us another pie-chart or two adds to the richness of the census. Caste is just one of them. In fact, in the next census we are even considering finding out stuff like your favourite colour, lucky number and so on. Please understand – A census without detail is a complete non-census.
On Raja & corruption : For the last 6 years, the UPA has been harping on inclusive growth. Which essentially means that our allies are included in the growth. We have also guaranteed a minimum amount that all the regional parties can make out of public funds. What we call the Common Minimum Programme. So all Raja has done is access his legitimate share. After all without the rising sun, you won’t even have a spectrum, no?
On Rahul Gandhi : Rahul Gandhi is well qualified for a cabinet post. He has piled on to so many people’s houses, that he can be Home Minister. His Spanish girlfriend qualifies him for External Affairs. He got into St. Stephens for his pistol-shooting abilities. So Defence is a possibility. Plus, they say, he has been managing $2 billion dollars in his Swiss Bank which means he could well be our Finance Minister. Seriously, with such all-round abilities, he can be not just a Prime Minister but a Composite Minister.
On illegal mining in Orissa : There is no such thing as illegal mining. Possession, they say, is nine-tenths of the law. If I possess some land it is mine. If it don’t, it is not mine. So please stay away from this issue. You all know what will happen if you step on a mine. Or step on mine. And do remember, at least the state lives up to its name – “Ore”issa. Instead of being like Kashmir which is draining all our cash or Manipur, on which we just spend money.
On the support of the left : Ah! If wishes were horses, a genie would give you three Sarah Jessica Parkers. But leaving that aside, the Left is welcome to join us. The doors of UPA are open to anyone. All any party has to do is win a few seats in parliament, send us proof of the results, and complete the slogan – Sonia Gandhi is great because ….. in not more than 10 words. Incidentally, this contest is also open to employees and relatives of the organisers.
On his legacy : How can I leave a legacy? I have no political will. Hehe. That was a joke. I am not bothered about legacy issues. It is for historians to decide. Or perhaps physicists. That’s because I am a puppet. An honest, decent puppet, but a puppet all the same. And so to understand my legacy, you will need some knowledge of the String Theory.
Offer : The Prime Minister is free to use these answers in the next press conference which, the track record suggests, will be held around 2015. You see, the questions are likely to remain the same.
Picture : Whacked from the BBC. Much thanks to them.