The Investigator

Shovon Chowdhury | Updated on September 11, 2020

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




My pockets are searched thoroughly before I enter the finance ministry. The policeman on duty takes out my wallet and removes all the cash. “This is tax deduction at source,” he says, gloomily. “Normally I would have taken a part of this, but all this will go to the income tax department. If applicable, you will receive a refund by 2025, unless there is an ‘Act of God’.” I am about to leave, but he stops me with a hand to my chest. He gestures to two other policemen. They hold me upside down and shake me, hoping to collect loose change from my pockets. All they get is a polo mint and a rubber band. One of them eats the polo mint, while the other pockets the rubber band. “This is a punishment posting for us,” says their leader, sadly, gesturing for me to proceed. “None of us makes any money. The finance ministry keeps everything.” I walk through the dark corridors of the ministry. They have switched off most of the lights to save electricity. From behind closed doors, I hear the regretful sighs of officers who are reviewing the revenue position, and the cries and whimpers of those who are being punished for failing to meet targets. Eventually I enter the room of the senior officer I have come to interview. He is wearing no shirt, just a grimy banian with holes in it. As I enter, he is applying electric shocks to the feet of a junior revenue official. He stops when he sees me. The official hobbles away. “Please sit,” he says. A smile crosses his face in the flickering candlelight. “With the arrest of this girl, the economy should soon improve again.” “How has she been causing the fall in GDP?” I ask. The officer smiles. “It’s very simple. As you know, the buying and selling of marijuana is part of the unorganised sector. GST does not apply, and no revenue accrues to the government. A large part of Sushant Singh Rajput’s hard-earned income was being diverted for this purpose, leading to huge loss of revenue. Plus the connection between marijuana consumption and lack of productivity is well known. Rhea Chakraborty was sapping the energy of the youth and minimising their economic potential. Now that the threat has been removed, matters should start improving.” By when can we expect to see improvements? “It’s all in the hands of God,” he says, “but I see a bright future ahead.” He eyes my wrist hungrily. “Is that an Apple Watch?” he asks. “Do you have a receipt for it?” I take it off and hand it over. His peon comes in. He escorts me out. As I leave the premises, I promise myself that next time I come, I will make sure my wallet is empty.




In news described as “something we had been predicting all along” by patriotic channel Republic TV, it has been revealed that noted evildoer Rhea Chakraborty, encouraged and supported by her family members, including distant cousins living in Asansol, was at the forefront of the Chinese efforts to take advantage of India’s good nature in Ladakh. “One thing you have to give her credit for, the girl has been amazingly active,” said a correspondent for the channel.“While she was busy undermining the economy, spreading Covid-19 and corrupting the late Sushant Singh Rajput, she also managed to put in several trips to Ladakh. This is commendable given the state of the infrastructure in the region, although her purposes were nefarious. In a way, it’s very sad. Imagine if she had not been an evildoing anti-national sl*t? There is so much that she could have achieved.” The correspondent went on to confirm that her anti-national activities made use of her core competences. “First, she performed item numbers in the foothills, distracting our brave jawans and preventing them from seeing enemy troop movements. Then she used her mountaineering skills, acquired while climbing to Manali looking for marijuana, and guided the enemy to the peaks. She may have also used her powers to hypnotise the enemy troops into following her, but the Chinese are not being co-operative, so we cannot confirm this.”




In what has been described by several terrorist organisations as “a crushing blow to our business interests”, the arrest of international criminal mastermind Rhea Chakraborty has led to a complete collapse of the marijuana trade in India. This has been confirmed by sources within the NCB, who were happy to share the full details of the investigation with the media in writing, via telephonic conversation, and through WhatsApp. “Now that we have arrested Rhea, there is no one to corrupt the youth of India.


BJP-supporting youth have of course never consumed the stuff. Now the rest of the youth are free of her influence, and consequently they are smoking up much less. We were never diverted by amateurs who suggested that we should trace the drugs back to the source or try to nab the kingpins. We knew that once Rhea was behind bars, the problem would be solved. Already we have received so many ‘Thank You’ letters from parents saying that, thanks to our actions, their sons and daughters are smoking up much less. Several sadhus have also informed us that now that Rhea is no longer free, they are managing to go without smoking for long periods of time.” Are any other arrests likely? For example, several Bollywood icons are quite well known in this regard. “We don’t think so,” said the source. “None of them can be connected to the Bihar election.”

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 September 10, 2020

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