The Investigator

Shovon Chowdhury | Updated on January 15, 2018 Published on March 31, 2017


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

Will protect cows from Romeos, says UP police!

My investigations begin in front of a meat shop. The crowd is throwing stones. I am caught in the crossfire. I duck to avoid one. A policeman shakes his head. “These people make it very difficult.”

“To arrest them?” I ask, clutching my notepad as another stone whizzes by.

“No, to arrest the shopkeeper,” says the policeman. “All the problems are because of him. Luckily, there are only a few of them, so it won’t take much time. Then we will shift to our top priority.”

“Our top priority is cows,” explains another officer, standing nearby. His belly is gigantic. He must be very senior. He picks up a stone, which has been dropped by a rioter. He dusts it off on his khakis and hands it back.

And then he turns to me. I step back hastily, but his expression is benign.

“Cow is like our mother. For non-Hindus, cow is like their auntie. Whoever you may be, she is your close relative. She deserves our respect and protection. So far we have been distracted by other crimes. But now every thana has special squads devoted to cows. We had to leave out some constables who were lactose intolerant, but the rest are eager to serve. Please inform concerned members of the public that we are fully committed to keeping unaccompanied cows safe from the attention of Romeos.”

This sets me thinking. As I walk around Lucknow, I interview some cows. I talk to Chameli, who is chewing cud under a lamp post on MG Road. She supports the administration. “It’s a good initiative. We are always on the street, exposed and vulnerable,” she says, “Meanwhile, the number of Romeos is increasing.”

Other cows are more liberal, especially the younger lot. “I have no objection to going out with a Romeo,” says Premlata, a pleasantly plump three- year-old, “so long as they take prior permission from the angrakshak of the gaushala.”

There has been a visible upsurge of confidence in the bovine community. “I can roam in the park without fear now,” says Meena Devi, a senior cow whom I meet near a statue of Mayawati. “Plus my owner is now much more polite. Earlier, when he wanted to move me, he poked me with a stick. Now he requests politely. Sometimes he folds his hands.”

She nuzzles me fondly. I pet her head. In the distance, I see a nervous buffalo, hiding behind a tree. “Don’t worry,” I whisper, “Your time will also come.”

BJP to hold prayer session for Raga!

In developments referred to as “richly deserved and long overdue” by Monarchy Digest, the Bharatiya Janata Party has announced a massive religious event in Rae Bareli district, where thousands of party workers will conduct a 16-hour prayer session for the long life, good health, and continued well-being of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi. “People accuse us of not tolerating opposition, but this is not true,” says a BJP leader, “We believe that the opposition space is very important in any democracy, and we will go to any lengths to ensure that it is filled by Rahul Gandhi. Thanksgiving prayers are not common in Hindu culture, but in his case, we will be offering them.”

Beyond the prayer session, the BJP has announced a wide variety of measures designed to support the veteran youth leader. “Volunteer squads from the BJP will attend his speeches and clap a lot. Our IT Cell will retweet him regularly. In case Congress party funds are running low, the BJP will provide him with a special plane for election rallies, so that the public is never deprived of the chance to see him in person. Our only request is that no non-veg food should be served on the plane. The puja itself will be a lavish affair, funded anonymously by leading industrial houses. The ceremony will be followed by a buffet, in which high-quality vegetarian food will be served. The menu will include paneer pizza and pasta with brinjal, in honour of Rahul- ji’s heritage, as well as elaichi-flavoured cow urine, which everyone is expected to enjoy.”

Rajasthan prepares for zombie invasion!

In news which was described as “a minor hiccup” by almost every government officer we met, an Aadhaar card-linked pension crisis in Rajasthan has been revealed to be the handiwork of zombies. The incident came to light when over three lakh pensioners in Rajasthan stopped receiving their pensions, after being declared dead. Many of them claim to be alive, but the government is taking a firm stand. “Black-tongued people have blamed us for flaws in the address verification process.” said a local administrator. “They claim that verifiers were not provided conveyance money, and were reluctant to travel to villages.

Hence it was easier for them to tick the ‘deceased’ option in the verification form. As a result, they claim, as many as one lakh pensioners were recorded as dead, and have stopped receiving pension. We strongly deny this. This is a fabrication by anti-national elements in the media, such as Barkha Dutt, and The Business Line.” A deputy secretary at the department of social justice and empowerment helped us understand the true picture, while receiving a massage on his desk. “Firstly, there is no question of injustice. The word ‘justice’ is in the name of our department,” he said, “The matter is quite simple, and our next course of action is clear. If the government has declared someone dead, then they cannot be alive. In case they are still moving and speaking, as has been alleged, this means that they must be zombies. This leaves the government with no option but to launch an extensive card recovery programme, since it is against the law to issue Aadhaar cards to the undead.”

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

Published on March 31, 2017
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