The Investigator

Shovon Chowdhury | Updated on June 21, 2019

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“Patients may come and go,” says the young doctor, who is holding a placard which says ‘STOP THE INJUSTICE!’ “But our struggle will continue.” Strictly speaking, this is not true. The patients here are not coming or going. Most of them are just waiting. I am standing here in front of one of Delhi’s premier hospitals, where doctors have been moved by events in faraway Kolkata. Injustice to their colleagues is making their blood boil, leading to protests both here and across the nation.


“Everything else has been sorted out,” says the young doctor. “But Mamata’s behaviour is unpardonable. The doctors in Kolkata now have only one very justifiable and reasonable request — which is that she should come to the hospital for the meeting, instead of doctors going to her office. Because she is refusing, they have been forced to continue ignoring the public for the last seven days. We are also supporting them. She needs to make the effort. It’s a matter of showing she cares.”

What about the MP in Karnataka who beat up doctors, I ask. Did this not bother them?

“Initially, I was confused,” admits the young man. “As I thought about it, my blood was beginning to boil. But then the local representative of the medical association explained everything. Society has to operate according to certain rules. Not everybody can be allowed to beat up doctors. The result would be complete anarchy. Only elected representatives should enjoy this facility, along with a few carefully selected VIPs, such as the chairman of ONGC, and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. It makes complete sense. If we want to become the best country in the world, we have to give our MPs and MLAs the best facilities. After free electricity, free housing, free airfare and free cars, there is not much left for us to give them. Free beating is the logical next step. It’s a good fit. Around 30 per cent of them have been accused of serious crimes, so they have relevant work experience. In fact, we are also proposing a Tatkal scheme whereby this can be speeded up. Doctors to be beaten up will be chosen by lottery and kept on standby, for faster implementation. The Delhi government is going one step further and proposing doorstep delivery for this service, wherein the guilty doctors will be delivered for beating to the home of the concerned MP or MLA. However, the bureaucracy is creating some problems about this and an issue needs to be resolved.”

What is the issue, I ask.

“It’s a question of budget allocation,” says the young doctor, “Who’s going to pay the taxi fare?”


In news described as “a big step forward for diversity” by several people from the Khan Market area, Comedy Central has announced a move that will lead to a quantum leap in the number of Asian comedians featured on their platform. “We are sending talent scouts out to every cricket ground in the UK where Pakistan is playing in search of fans,” said Philip Funny, managing director of Comedy Central.


“They will keep their eyes and ears open. They will distribute kebabs. They will pretend to love Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. They will dress in salwar kameezes, even if it doesn’t suit them. The outpouring of talent we have seen recently on Twitter has given us new hope for the future. We have no choice. We need to expand our global footprint. The comedy situation in the US is deteriorating. Donald Trump alone cannot do everything. At the end of the day, he’s just a man with a phone. Eventually, his hair will cease to be funny.”

While many Pakistani fans welcomed the move, some have expressed misgivings. “We need to make sure the team maintains its standard,” said Abbas, who has made several humorous videos about Pakistani fielding. “This is not so easy. We must not allow ourselves to become complacent. We need to keep an eye on their diet. I am creating a special diet plan, including kulfi, three varieties of paratha, and French fries in their favourite flavours. Hopefully, this will ensure that their fitness level plummets further.”


Thousands of priests are flocking to Varanasi. All arterial roads approaching the holy city are clogged by truckloads of ghee. Flower markets are booming like never before. Younger priests have been getting facials. Older priests have been purchasing wigs. Sandalwood is being imported from distant Mysuru. The price of high-quality fruits has skyrocketed. Upmarket cafés throughout the region are unable to provide smoothies, leading to mild discontent in select localities. Only apples are being boycotted, since it was revealed recently on Swadeshi Twitter that Steve Jobs originally came from West Asia. “We do not want to use anything which resembles a Muslim logo,” says a senior functionary of the RSS.


“Kiwi fruits are also under observation, while we review New Zealand policy towards Hindus.” A priest who has just disembarked at Varanasi station is more positive. “This will be the biggest celebration in the history of India!” he says. “And I’ve seen Priyanka Chopra’s wedding on YouTube. The BJP has got huge sums of money, and they will spare no expense on prayers to ensure that Rahul Gandhi enjoys long life and the best of health. In between, we were worried, thinking he was actually going to resign, and leave us. The future seemed dark without him. Thankfully, he changed his mind. We will pray for him with the deepest devotion. After this, we will do a small puja to try and help Amit Shah. He can’t stop laughing.”

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

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

Published on June 21, 2019

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