Incredible India 2013

Last Updated: Tue, Dec 31, 2013 06:35 hrs

Incredible India indeed. It’s been another nutty 365 days where our politicians have given us more entertainment than Bigg Boss can ever hope to. Yes, we lacked a good, high-quality ‘signature’ scam which might just mean that the Congress is running out of steam. But, never mind. There was still plenty of entertainment.

Welcome to our look back at the best moments in politics over the last year.

Best technological irony: After banning things on the internet like the Hulk destroying buildings, good ol’ Kapil Sibal softened up and created a Twitter account for himself. Not just that, he interacts with people and even composes poetry on request. Perhaps he discovered the Twitter app on the Aakash?

Part 2: Incredible India 2013

Part 3: Incredible India 2013

The public face: The Congress started the year promising it would become more of a public face. They stuck to that, alright – by ensuring there were more billboards and posters than ever before. If only there were stocks related to election expenses…

Stupid statement of the year: While there were many contenders (oh, don’t we know!), the prize should go to RSS supremo Mohan Bhagwat for his statement that rapes happen only in India, not in Bharat.

It’s almost as if the horny, evil, drunk male turns into a god-fearing, family-loving ascetic when he crosses over from the Noida border to rural UP.

Well done, Mohan. With people like you in charge, we will soon have a skirt-free Bharat where women stay at home and cook. But not chowmein, of course.

How to become famous in 30 seconds: Mutter a stupid statement about how women should behave. Case in point: Asaram Bapu. Before you knew it, he became national news. We’re not sure if this had an effect on the scams he was running (by which we mean all that healing nonsense), but like they say – any publicity is good publicity.

So marketers – there’s no point talking discounts and buying Facebook promoted posts to get publicity… Just make a statement about how women should be staying at home and cooking or something.

But follow-up is also important! Example - Apart from Asaram Bapu, you’ll also remember Pranab Mukherjee’s son saying something foot-in-mouthish. But nobody remembers him now, do they?

Priorities, priorities: It’s awesome that a nation that desperately needs to action ideas on women’s safety, industrial advancement, trade and education chooses to spend its time ignoring thousands of actionable reports and ideas and go after people who make jokes about Sonia Gandhi on Facebook. Yay UPA!

Best marketing idea: Banning Vishwaroopam from theaters. This drove up demand like crazy, making it one of the most fanatically spoken about and anticipated movies of the year. Last heard, Tusshar Kapoor wanted his movies taken off shelves in rental stores, but he was left with a pile of cobwebs instead.

Scientific term of the year: Escape Velocity, thanks to Rahul Gandhi. If he can take up the cause of one such concept every year, then he would have done more for science than NCERT text books. We recommend the Zeigler-Natta Catalyst for 2014.

Taking things too literally: Sushil Kumar Shinde did absolutely nothing this year. His logic? If the sports ministry takes care of sports, the home ministry takes care of, well…

Best strategy by the Congress: Yes, that statement was a bit of an oxymoron. But in any case, P. Chidambaram had a foolproof method to make sure people appreciated his budget – by allowing Pranab Mukherjee to make the last one.

This is the classic engineering college method of making sure the external examiner likes your viva, by going in after the class duffer.

Pot, kettle moment: Lalu Yadav calling NaMo a termite. We repeat… Lalu Yadav, the man behind the fodder scam…

Best misinterpretation of Gandhiji’s logic: When he said be Indian buy Indian, he didn’t see it this way. Banks dealing in black money – so now you don’t need to go to Switzerland. Wah wah!

Best use of Dravid’s technique: Dravid’s ‘well left’ was tried by many many people – but nobody does it better than Chidu – who keeps evading issues left, right and center. Must be the South Indian genes?

Take that: The UPA government, with policy paralysis, environment clearance issues, delays in approvals, bureaucracy and much much more – blames the private sector for a slowdown in economic growth. That’s kinda like a sumo wrestler on a one-dog dogsled whipping the poor mutt for not going fast enough.

We’ll be back shortly with a look at the rest of India’s greatest hits over the week.

Part 2: Incredible India 2013

Part 3: Incredible India 2013

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