The Investigator

Shovon Chowdhury | Updated on April 28, 2018 Published on April 27, 2018

We dig for the truth. So you don't have to


When I enter his office, the deputy secretary is practising with his revolver. He takes careful aim at a bearer, who is standing nervously in a corner with a cup and saucer balanced on his head. The deputy secretary lowers his gun and smiles at me. The bearer quickly removes the crockery from his head and slips away. The deputy secretary invites me to sit. I hesitate before I comply. I am used to the threat of violence. I have been to the Pantaloons Diwali Sale. He points his revolver at me, playfully. “You should also get one,” he says, “I have a feeling that we may be needing them soon.” He tickles the trigger with his finger. I begin to regret my decision.

“You have found a new solution to the law and order problem,” I say, wondering how quickly I can dive under the table. 

He looks pleased. “It was an innovation waiting to happen,” he says. “Initially we had dropped cases against those who are accused of rape and murder connected to a particular party. But other rapists and murderers were getting upset, saying what type of partiality is this? If we wear orange chaddis, will you drop the cases against us also? By and large this is true, but we do not like to apply unnecessary pressure on people in matters of clothing. Government should not interfere in everything. Then the pickpockets also began to complain, saying, are we not human? If you prick us, do we not bleed? Why should they go free, while we rot in jail? Where is the justice? We realised then that our whole law and order policy required revision. After all this is a democracy. All of us have the right to be free. We are dropping cases against everybody, even cases of bank fraud, where both the junior officers in our custody have been released. They were very civilised inmates. We will miss them. It was all very cordial. As a mark of gratitude, they have offered loans at very reasonable rates. Even suspected Naxalites are being released. We have requested them to stay in the jungle.” 

What about the police, I ask, will they not get bored, with nothing to do? 

“That’s the beauty of it,” says the deputy secretary, “As you know, VIPs are the lifeblood of any community. Now we can assign more officers to protect them. What’s more our empty prisons will not remain empty for long. We will be turning them into gaushalas. As a result, cows will be safe, VIPs will be protected, and all of us will be free.”


In news described as ‘one more step in the right direction‘ by Civil Service Monthly, the Central government has reduced expenses by a rupee per month, after sacking Atishi Marlena, education advisor to the Delhi government.

“Blatant misuse of funds like this has been ruining the nation,” said a spokesperson for the Centre. “Especially since we have a lot of banks which need refunds. Plus the supply of cash was running low. In any case, her qualifications were inadequate. Instead of studying at the IAS academy, or buying SSC papers like a normal person, she went to Oxford, where she was unable to manage with just one master’s degree, she had to get two. She will shortly be replaced by a senior officer from the motor vehicles department, or a surplus baba from Madhya Pradesh, depending on availability. Rules are being tightened to prevent such miscarriages of justice. We have to think of our children. We believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way. We are shortly framing rules, which will ensure that no one can help children without proper authorisation from the government. No stone will be left unturned until every loophole is plugged. In this way we will uphold our sacred principle, which is that government by the government, for the government, of the government, shall not perish on Earth.”


In news that has been hailed by unemployed youth across India, the Government of India has announced that the ministry of human resource development will soon be replaced by the ministry of pakoda development. “We decided to shift the focus from humans to pakodas,” revealed a source. “This is yet another path-breaking initiative by this visionary administration,” said a senior member of Niti Aayog, “and I’m not just saying this because they pay me.”

“It’s like a dream come true,” said Rajkumar Mishra, an unemployed youth from Pant Nagar, “Ever since I was a little boy, this is what I wanted. I want to thank the government for fulfilling my aspiration.” The industry has greeted the news with cautious optimism. Some pakoda sellers have expressed reservations, fearing a glut in the market, but on the whole, they are happy to receive recognition.

Meanwhile, the ministry is not sitting idle. All Aadhaar cardholders will soon be eligible for a Pakoda Starter Kit, containing two onions, 100g of besan and a matchbox. “We wanted to include an LPG cylinder, but logistically, it was proving difficult,” said a ministry official. “We request the youth to go easy on the matchsticks. In case there are riots before the elections, they may have to return the matchboxes.”

The Investigator is a monthly round-up of all things droll and newsy. All views are personal. Really personal. @shovonc

Shovon Chowdhury is chief Truthdigger and author of Murder with Bengali Characteristics

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Published on April 27, 2018
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