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Arup Chakraborty

Ghost story!

The yarn of the country’s economic growth spun by the government is as interesting as that of the Mahabharat’s Ashwatthama Hatha iti Narova Kunjarova (Ashwathama is dead. Know not whether man or elephant). On hearing these words from Yudhisthir who never speaks lies, Dronacharya lays down his arms and the Pandavas kill him. The other day, the newspaper headlines, as well as the ones of the TV channels, yelled that despite Omicron, India’s GDP is 8.7% which is 22 year-high.  The headline, containing the data of 8.7% is in bold letters, but just below it, there was a sub-headline: The rise is only 4.1% in the last quarter. The fact is that India’s GDP in the January-March quarter of 2021-22 is as low as 4.1%. The common man is barely acquainted with such data. They also do not know how it is prepared. As soon as the figure of 8.7% was handed, the TV anchors and the ruling party’s spokespersons began to shout at the top of their voice: It is Modi Magic and nothing else. They never reeled off the second line that says 4.1%, the real growth. A professor of economics at a degree college in Bhopal said that the media never spoke about the rising unemployment, inflation and poverty. The government distributes freebies which are like a gift horse and, once you look into its mouth, you will understand its age, as well as how long it will run, the professor said. Read also: FLAP-JAW

Dracula Raj!

Falp- Jaw
Illustration By Hasan Zaidi

Destroying mosquitoes is a daunting task. There is no such repellent as can kill this nippy insect forever. The health department is also concerned about it, as mosquitoes develop resistance to any kind of insecticide. As the rainy season is approaching, Bhopal Municipal Corporation is getting ready to deal a severe blow to the mosquitoes, the real Dracula, in the human civilisation. Officials of the department are changing the insecticide, so that the mosquitoes cannot develop resistance. Nevertheless, once the monsoon arrives, the number of mosquitoes grows and they bite with more ferocity than they were doing previously. So increase the cases of dengue and malaria. The civic body has launched a special drive to bring vector-borne diseases under control. Madhya Pradesh is prone to vector-borne diseases which claim many lives in the state every year. Last year, the state capital, Bhopal, saw a 70% spike in dengue cases. The story of the fight between man and mosquito is as old as the history of civilisation, but man has yet to develop an insecticide that can destroy this small insect forever.  An English essayist AG Gardener in A Fellow Traveller aptly described how a mosquito punctured his pride. Gardener wrote: He was one of those wingy, nippy, intrepid insects that made a tour of the compartment, investigated its three dimensions, visited each window, fluttered round the light, decided that there was nothing so interesting as that large animal in the corner, came and had a look at my neck.” The man-mosquito fight will go on. Yet, Dadi’s Nuskha is the best remedy to keep away from this wingy insect – use mosquito net to sleep well.

Coal politics

The spar between the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress has reached its acme. A former Union minister of the Congress government Arun Yadav is ready to take out Koyla Yatra (march against import of coal).  Yadav says that there is no dearth of coal in Madhya Pradesh, but the Central Government is ready to import it to benefit some industrialists. Ergo, he has demanded a fair share of coal for the state. Else, he will take out a Koyla Yatra and extract it for the people of the state.  He, however, got inspiration from Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan for taking out such a march. According to Yadav, during the rule of the UPA government at the Centre, Chauhan took out a Koyla Yatra. Now, Yadav has advised Chauhan to take out another Koyla Yatra and he (Yadav) will happily participate in it. At a time when both the parties are doing politics over coal, the coal is saying, “Hum hain shakti, hum hain aag; hum hain bijli ki dhar… (I’m the power; I’m the fire; I’m the electricity.”  Yes, if there is no coal, civilisation will return to the dark age. Coal is pitch dark, but it produces light.

Read also: FLAP-JAW


A woman in Lucknow tells her 17-year-old son, “I’m turning your room into a study.”

The boy replies: “Mom, I doubt you would be able to do that unless you do a PhD on Chandi Chowk in Delhi.”

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