Reality Bites: Didi & the Governor

Once upon a time, digging for dirt on rivals was BJP’s special game. Now Didi has learnt how to fight dirt with dirt. She has started revealing Dhankhar’s shady past, starting with Jain Hawala scam

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar

Rupa Gulab

It is a truth almost universally acknowledged that Demonetisation (2016) dealt a devastating blow to our economy. The reckless man with the bludgeon, however, insists that it was just a light tap and his equally irresponsible subordinates/sycophants agree with him, which is why the economy wasn’t sent to an ICU.

Heck, they didn’t even bother to send the economy to an ayurvedic hospital to recuperate, drink lauki juice, and stroke a cow or two. Nor did they get their friend Lala RumDaze to create herbal concoctions for it. CashNil would have been an apt name for the concoction that wasn’t administered.

Demonetisation was also the moment when the shocked nation discovered that the PM of India had transformed himself into a walking talking sandwich-board for businesses like Paytm, and something or the other for Billionaire Bhai.

Now, to our horror, the President of India has started modelling too. He made his debut with an on-the-spot public service advertisement urging people to pay taxes. The nation was bitterly informed that while he earns Rs. 5 lakhs a month, more than half is snatched back as tax. He also said that teachers take home more money than he does, which made teachers scoff.

Anyway, as a result, no one wants to be the President of India anymore, so I guess he can live in Rashtrapati Bhavan forever. His ad break was followed by a heated debate on whether the President of India pays taxes or not, and the jury is still out. Fact checking website states that it did not find publicly available data on the quantum of tax paid by India’s President and, more interestingly, it reached out to Rashtrapati Bhavan's media incharge but was unable to get anyone to comment. Odd, innit?

I’m banging on about Demonetisation because the nation is still reeling from its after effects, and also because Uttar Pradesh assembly elections are round the corner. Demonetisation was one of the main reasons why the BJP won UP in 2017, and I shudder to think what fresh hell they will put the nation through to win it in 2022. They are wily enough to realise that little drone attacks in J&K and accusations against Pakistan alone won’t win it for them.

Such a pity Gornab Asswami has been restrained on WhatsApp since he was caught out in the TRP manipulation case, or else we may have got a whiff of the trauma we will experience. Somehow, he always seems to get the news first, sometimes even before the event itself. Maybe he’s clairvoyant, or maybe, erm, who knows?

Talking about the state of the nation is bad for my blood pressure, so I’m switching to the states of the nation. Well, just a few that are putting up a spirited fight against the Union Government. Let me begin with Tamil Nadu, because it was CM Stalin who astutely pointed out that the Central government should actually be called the Union government since India is a union of states.

This makes the BJP’s BP rise, which serves them right because look at how they have ruined our health even before Covid came along. TN Finance Minister Dr P Thiaga Rajan is as sharp as a knife and makes the most delicious cutting remarks ever, so I look forward to his battles with the Union government on its unfair GST practices.

West Bengal, of course, is the state to watch. The battle between Didi and Governor Dhankhar is as violent and amusing as Tom & Jerry cartoons with metaphorical frying pans smashing heads and tails being set on fire. Once upon a time, digging for dirt on rivals was the BJP’s special game, but she’s learnt how to fight dirt with dirt. Didi has started revealing Dhankhar’s shady past, starting with his role in the Jain Hawala scam. Proof of Dhankhar’s involvement can also be found in journalist Sanjay Kapoor’s book ‘Bad Money, Bad Politics’.

Maharashtra’s Maha Vikas Aghadi government is so inspired by Didi’s tactics that the alliance has sworn to fight off the Union government with the same vigour. They had better gird their loins (and those Shiv Sena tigers too) because the Union government has set the ED, CBI etc on them in yet another brutish attempt to topple the government.

Here’s to federalism, may many more states join this party!

(Any resemblance with real events or people is a coincidence)

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