Humour

An IgNobel Conspiracy

True deshbhakts are raising the real questions.

There are men and women in New India who are not easily swept off their feet. They see, understand, evaluate and judge things only from one perspective – prosperity and glory of mother India. They are the true deshbhakts, and they, at different sites and in different roles, take a close look at this Nobel Prize for an Indian-origin economist.

Niti Aayog  canteen:

Our bosses are in a foul mood. Understandably so. Suddenly everybody is reminded of their mediocrity. All that running down of Harvard and foreign educated economists has gone down the drain. Now there is one more ‘guru’ to be run down. This blasted Nobel gives a second wind to all these Khan Market economists.

Nagpur:

We wish to caution the nation against going overboard in celebrating a Nobel for Abhijit Banerjee. What is there to rejoice in the West’s recognition? Why should we allow some group in the West to set standards of any kind of excellence? We ourselves aspire to be ‘vishaw guru’  and we are firmly set on that national journey.

Nor should we overlook that this Banerjee shares the award with his Spanish wife. We can’t be too blasé about any kind of foreign influence in our national ecosystem.

Party spokesman:

While we are happy to congratulate Banerjee, we feel we do need to ask him a few questions:

Why did you not attend the Houston rally? How could you keep away from this seminal event that made every Indian back home so proud?  Are you embarrassed about your Indian heritage?

Were you an adviser to the Congress leader, Rahul Gandhi during the last general elections?

If so, are you aware that you might have infringed Indian election laws that prohibit foreigners from poking their noses in our internal affairs?  You are most likely guilty of helping the opposition parties?

Why are you always running down Indian achievements and our government’s management of our economy in these last five years?

Also read: Excerpt: Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo on Which Kind of UBI Could Work in India

Are you prepared to apologise to the people of India for criticising the demonetisation, which is now recognised by all the leading economists in the Niti Aayog as the bravest, the boldest decision ever taken by any leader in the last 70 years?

An apology is overdue because the overwhelming majority of Indian voters have endorsed the demonetisation decision in the last Lok Sabha election. We expect an apology before you get to visit India.

Confederation of retired diplomats:

We do hope the foreign officer takes a realistic view of this Nobel for this poverty-hawking economist. We can easily conclude that Abhijit Banerjee could not have been awarded the Nobel prize without a direct nod from the Swedish government, and without  an indirect wink from the Washington establishment. This must be recognised for what it is:  a conspiracy to belittle our national leadership, which has brought unprecedented prosperity and glory to mother India, and which has proved ‘hard work’ has greater efficacy than a ‘Harvard’ education.

In this context, the Nobel recognition for an economist who wants to underline our poverty cannot be an innocent decision. The Ministry of External Affairs should consider mobilising all our diplomatic and economic resources to isolate Sweden.  We need to wield our economic leverage with the Scandinavian countries to make them pay for the  Nobel gang’s implied slight of our national leadership’s highly original thinking in all fields.

Party spokesman/Maharastra:

We, too, have questions for Banerjee, for which we will need answers before we can congratulate him.

What is your stand on Article 370? Have you congratulated the people of Jammu and Kashmir on their liberation from three families and their corrupt rule?

What is your understanding of the economic ruin that these three families in Kashmir had inflicted on the state in these last sixty years?

Do you agree with our leaders’ assertion that Kashmir will experience unprecedented prosperity after Article 370? As an economist it is your duty and obligation to help ‘normalise’ the situation in Kashmir.

Do you agree that Sharad Pawar is responsible for the suicides of the very large number of farmers in Maharastra?

National security secretariat:

We need to see to it that this Nobel business does not lodge itself outside our narrative. It has taken us extremely hard work to capture the commanding heights of Indian rhetoric.  We need to aggressively defend the new status quo.

We can think of yet one more exposure on the friendly channels. It will be easy to sell and easier to spin the story. This Banerjee boy was in Tihar jail in 1983 for ten days. Ten days, guys. He could almost certainly get in touch with the Muslim criminal underworld, become contaminated with all the soft sentimentality about the “oppressed minorities.”

Could this Banerjee fellow not have been brainwashed by Iqbal Mirchi’s second cousin who was also in Tihar at the same time? A legitimate line of questioning on the nightly shows?

It can be suggested to our television editors to focus on this Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab. Who is this Abdul Latif? Is he the same Abdul Latif who was the leading bootlegger in Gujarat in the 1980s and was the D-Company’s frontman in Ahmedabad. The whole research project reeks of suspicion and conspiracy to defame India and Indian democracy. We must find a terror angle to this not so noble an affair.

Also read: Explainer: What Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo, Michael Kremer Won the Economics Nobel For

Bharat Mata First and Foremost Foundation:

This new Nobel man cannot be allowed to become any kind of intellectual hero or a policy saint. We have done grindingly hard work to dislodge the “argumentative Indian” from our public life. And, now this fellow wants to applaud the power of scepticism and “willingness to question.”

This is not the time for the country to slide back into the old habits of debate and dissent. No one gets to question the Leader.

We cannot allow ourselves to be saddled with another hectoring Amartya Sen, irritatingly urging us to consult our moral compass.

Harish Khare is a journalist who lives and works in Delhi. He was, until recently, editor-in-chief of The Tribune.