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Flip side: Santa and Banter | The Indian Express

If the army feels it requires continuation of the AFSPA to discharge its responsibilities, no other agency is qualified to credibly challenge that view. It doesnt look like broom will be a clean sweep for AAP in Delhi,but the humble broom has become fashionable again. Its nearing Christmas,the time when Santa Claus arrives bearing gifts for the deserving. In India,it is Santa and Banta who are more popular,and here is a sneak peek at the list of presents they have wrapped for deserving individuals. A new broom: For Arvind Kejriwal,based on the premise and his promise that a new broom sweeps clean. It doesnt look like it will be a clean sweep for the AAP in Delhi,but the humble broom has become fashionable again after those responsible for keeping the capital clean,and not just NDMC sweepers,discarded their duty. All those brooms can be donated to whichever party wins today,as advice to the new government on how to avoid being discarded in the dustbin of history. A medical kit: For Farooq Abdullah,who has suddenly acquired a morbid fear of women. This from a man who famously rode a motorbike around Srinagar with Shabana Azmi riding pillion and who is known to gravitate towards the opposite sex whenever the opportunity arises or his security allows it. Clearly,his new phobia requires urgent medical treatment; in medical terms it is called Gynophobia,but in his case,doctors suspect it to be foot in mouth disease. An encyclopedia of Indian history: For Narendra Modi,who is fixated on family history,one family in particular. But in other respects,his historical blunders have been,well,historic. He moved Chandragupta into the Gupta dynasty when it was actually Maurya,he moved Taxila to Bihar when it is firmly rooted in Pakistan. He clearly thinks he can take freedom from fact,which led him to confuse freedom fighter Shyamji Krishna Verma with Jana Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee,or assert that that Nehru did not attend Sardar Patels funeral. His most alarming diversion from history was when he claimed that Alexanders army conquered the entire world,but was defeated by the Biharis. He was speaking in Patna so the context was clear,as is his ultimate aim to rewrite the history books. A fan: For Tehelka founder Tarun Tejpal,who is facing the heat for allegedly violating trust and certain other things. From hordes of fans and hobnobbing with ministers and international movie stars,to a jail cell in Goa,he must be hoping that he does not become known by the company he now keeps. The judicial magistrate clearly believes that he should be cooling his heels in jail,and has decreed that there is no need for fans,of any persuasion,although it is obvious that things that happen in the heat of the moment are viewed quite differently in the cold light of day. A reality cheque: For the Indian cricket team,who are in mourning in South Africa,as are all their fans back home. Used to getting fat cheques for performing at home on bespoke pitches,South Africa has been a reality cheque,proving that,contrary to public perception,they are no longer de kock of de walk,but in fact,closer to something resembling a duck. Also,opportunity for a new bat contract for Rohit Sharma,and a fat cheque,with the tagline as good as new after a match! A pacifier: To a prominent TV anchor to a) stop him from frothing at the mouth whenever Tarun Tejpal is mentioned,(b) stop him from stopping his guests from speaking,and c) to pacify him when TRPs show the nation is not watching,or waiting,or needing to know. Model train set: For Rahul Gandhi,who,if the opinion polls are right,will need to devise a new model,and get set for some more training.
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