It must be the heat. I can think of no other reason for this outbreak of mass lunacy in the country.
Item: In Gujarat, six persons are hospitalised after attempting suicide. Their demand: that the cow be officially declared “mother of the nation”. (At which point, I presume, Bharat Mata will become the nation’s official grandmother?)
Item: Finding, perhaps, that time weighs heavily on its hands, the Supreme Court agrees to hear a plea by the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee seeking direction to prohibit jokes about the Sikh community. Really? And how precisely do we enforce such a prohibition, if it comes to that?
Item: The Samajwadi Party decides to spread the sweet scent of socialism through, um, sweet scents. Apparently an exclusive perfume line is being launched, so true socialists — in other words, those who are fool enough to spend their hard-earned money on such stuff — will be easily identifiable. Apparently there was a press conference to announce this momentous news. At the event, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav tortured metaphors to make some point that escapes me:
So, is it the scent of socialism? At a press conference on Tuesday, chief minister Akhilesh Yadav said the answer lay in four fragrances identified with iconic places in UP, each of which stood for equality, progress and efficiency. “I have repeatedly said even our rivers are socialist in nature; they serve everyone equally. The Samajwadi Sugandh is a similar initiative and will unite everyone in the party and outside, and spread the message of socialism far and wide,” the CM said.
Not so long ago, in newsrooms, we’d go looking for “odd news” — fun, offbeat items with which to lighten the mood. Not any more; not since the lunatics apparently took control of the asylum.