Masterstroke after masterstroke

The government masterstroke of opening liquor shops is expected to neutralise the opposition offensive of offering free tickets to travel home.

 |  BREAKING NEWS INTO PIECES  |  4-minute read |   04-05-2020
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It is in the village school that the masterstroke of nation-building is delivered. ~ Pandit Aaj Samaaj Shastri

The above looks like a random made-up quote but first, we must take up the task of nation-building and the role of the government in it. Pandit Nehru got absolute freehand for nation-building but he was more into dam-building and institution-building, following in the footprints of the British masters. The dams stopped the drain but IITs gave a fillip to brain drain. Sundar Pichai would have been an accountant here making India great again instead of drawing Google Doodles. We will take up the Pichai problem some other time because this is not a negative piece about Pandit Nehru. This is a positive piece about the government on this historic day when liquor shops are gulzar again.

Now the above-quoted Pandit Shastri was a positively good teacher. A school master, as they are lovingly called. Like a master, he carried a cane and ably delivered masterstrokes to pupils. Pupils that surrendered to the mid-day-meal-induced heaviness of eyelids. The phrase corporal punishment is unheard in villages untouched by these Western concepts. Aur dijiye, parents encourage teachers to strike the shins Jesus died for. It does a lot of good and children turn out well. Bruised egos don't heal with the battered bones, but overall okay, you know. They learn the value of pain because, well, no pain, no gain.

Life is full of pain, said Siddhartha the Sub-Editor. But he later struck out "full of" and shortened it to "Life is pain". In one masterstroke of brevity, he had risen from Siddhartha the Sub to Gautama the Buddha. He had gained enlightenment.

Generation after generation, parents deny children their rights because you are supposed to feel pain early to face it later. "Papa, scooter." "Do you think money grows on a tree? In Amreeka, kids work in McDonalds to pay tuition fees, okay?" Pain is good for you, say parents whose parents inflicted pain on them whose parents and so on in the value chain of pain.

In a democracy, the government is the parent. We are little children who need to stay in on the nation-building project. Hence the government delivers masterstrokes at regular intervals to harden our will to succeed and rebuild our trillion-dollar economy in the next three quarters, hic!


The opposition is the overprotective tau (uncle) who spoils us, with no care for our future, and frustrates our daddy's plans to use us in nation-building. Tau does what daddy does when in power but once in opposition, empathy, and affection just oozum from his bosom. Do not fall for it. The soft, mushy stuff makes you soft and mushy. Suffering makes you Dara Singh.

To suffer is Hindustani for the English word journey. Millions want to suffer by train but when they had the money for a ticket there were no trains. Now that there are trains, they have run out of money. Everything was going according to the plan but then the Opposition happened. Remember, when daddy dear was delivering masterstrokes with the sonti (dried reed), uncle would not only shield but offer lemon chews to console? The Opposition uncle offered free tickets.

In a masterstroke, the fares were made so steep that even if these workers thought of going, they could not afford it. Express train fare plus extra charges. They were virtually prevented from taking the coronavirus to their villages. Since the Antakshari round has already happened across the country, the workforce would have had to head to factories to jumpstart the economy and hit the 5-trillion-dollar goal in the next quarter, hic!

But the wily Opposition said they will bear the cost. Now, who doesn't like the idea of free travel after being blocked from travelling for so long. They will be back in the comforts of quarantine in their home states for the next 40 days. Then they will go home to wives and children. Experts say they are unlikely to return for six or seven quarters. After those many, one can't be sure, actually!

The government masterstroke of opening liquor shops is expected to neutralise the opposition offensive. Workers from Bihar may cancel their plans as Bihar offers no liquid consolation. The queues outside alcohol vends show that we have the capacity to kickstart the economy on our own and tipple the adversity in our favour.

Of course, this masterstroke involves standing in the sun for long enough to get a sunstroke as a bonus. What doesn't kill you gives you a hard time and hard times maketh a man. Standing in long queues to take out our own money made us harder during demonetisation. The ever-changing slabs in GST made us sharper. We are not clear what -er will come out of this but in the golden words of Pandit Aaj Samaaj Shastri, "To err is divine and to forgive is human. And we must forgive the government for it knoweth not what it doth." Ek quarter aur dena, Masterji!

Also read: The story behind Irrfan’s tears


Kamlesh Singh Kamlesh Singh @kamleshksingh

Journalism student. Ed honcho at the India Today Group Mediaplex. God's Loyal Opposition. Useful Warning: Tweets may hurt religious sentiments.

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