By Dilip Bobb
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has introduced citizens of the capital to the joys of schizophrenia thanks to his odd-even scheme. Citizens are now learning a new formula—If it’s Tuesday, it must be odd—all this while masking their true feelings. However, Kejriwal is known as a trendsetter, among other less desirable attributes, and his odd-even scheme involving the last digit in the number plate of vehicles, could spark of a copycat revolution in other areas of public life. Some examples:
Maharashtra: One way out of the extremely odd situation which has prevented the formation of a government three weeks after the results were announced, is contained in this suggestion from an innocent bystander: The Fadnavis-led BJP will occupy the chief minister’s chair on even days, the Shiv Sena will have a CM on odd days, and NCP boss Sharad Pawar will rule over the state on weekends. QED!
Sharing Prime Ministerial duties: It may be a reality already, but it is not official. Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi is so busy travelling the world (in the last six weeks, he has visited New York, Houston, Chicago, Riyadh and Bangkok, and will be in Brazil next week for the BRICS summit), the suggestion is that he share his chair with Home Minister Amit Shah, who will feel quite at home, since he is running the country by proxy anyway. The other variation, akin to the Maharashtra formula, is that RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat takes over the job on weekends.
Congress President: With Sonia Gandhi acting as interim President of the Grand Old Party, it is clear that she needs a co-President, someone who can take over the onerous responsibility, when her health concerns resemble the current state of the party. Daughter Priyanka would be a good bet, but has expressed her reluctance (she does not want to overshadow her brother), which leaves the field clear for a mother-son reunion. The suggestion is that they convince RG to take back his resignation and mother and son share the President’s responsibilities on alternate weeks. This is since RG needs to disappear every alternate week into parts unknown, for a week of meditation.
P Chidambaram: Since he is in court every alternate day asking for bail, which the CBI has allowed but the Enforcement Directorate stubbornly resists, the ideal way to solve the judicial dilemma is to give him bail on even days, and send him back to custody on odd days. The jail-bail jugalbandi is perfectly appropriate for the manner in which the case has been handled by two separate investigating agencies.
Delhi’s Law and Disorder: The question of which side is to blame for the clashes between lawyers and Delhi’s police force is not a black and white issue, rather it is Black versus Khaki, and since one enforces the law and the other dispenses it in court, the stand-off is proving embarrassing, not to mention confusing as to who is to blame and what the answer is. One suggestion is to let cops do their duty on even days, while lawyers from the lower courts, who seem to match the cops in their expertise in wielding the lathi, will dispense law and order on odd days. That will, indeed, be an odd day.
Infosys: The heavens may not fall but when Infosys numbers are called into question, the markets go into freefall, as was the case when an insider blew the whistle on the bellwether company, alleging that Infosys CEO and its CFO were using creative accounting and hiding information from the auditors in order to boost revenue and margins. The odd numbers were eventually evened out by company chairman Nandan Nilekani when he said even God could not change the numbers. Try telling that to Arvind Kejriwal.
Domestic Divisions: There are many households in India which have seen severe marital discord between husband and wife over their political and ideological leanings. This is a post-2014 phenomenon and the issue is that one is solidly behind the present dispensation while the other is bitterly opposed. This existential rift peaks while watching TV during the 9 o’clock Noise when the threat of having one’s PIO status revoked hangs in the air. One suggestion from marriage counsellors is to have one pro-government day and on even days, allow an anti-government atmosphere to prevail. Many marriages will be saved if this compromise is implemented.