The prime minister first proposed a national debate on the constitution. Next, a debate on religious conversions. Now, people want a national debate on the defence services. Will a national debate achieve anything? I think this is how a national debate would proceed...
Welcome to the Star-struck News Channel. In our nation -wide programme tonight we bring you live coverage on the Great National Debate. Our panel of experts will assess devel -opments in each centre. First to Chennai. "Jennifer, how is the national debate progressing in Chennai?"
"It is rapidly warming up, Prannoy. This afternoon Jayalalit -ha's team thrashed the DMK team. Three DMK debaters are hos -pitalised. Only one AIADMK member received minor injuries. Observers feel a direct debate between Jayalalitha and Karuna -nidhi is unavoidable. Over to you, Prannoy." "Thank you, Jennifer. Now for our expert assessment. Shekhar, what are the prospects in Chennai?" "Jayalalitha is the clear favourite, Prannoy. Age and failing eyesight go against Karunanidhi. Also, if she puts her full weight behind it, Jayalalitha could punch harder than Holyfield."
"Thank you, Shekhar. Now to Calcutta. Monideepa, what's the latest?" "The BJP is under heavy attack, Prannoy. Jyoti Basu has called it barbaric and lunatic. In Patna Rabri Devi says she will break the legs of her BJP opponents. From the BJP, J.P. Mathur describes Basu as mentally unbalanced!"
"Thank you, Monideepa. Chandan, how do you assess the debate in the east?" "It's very complex. A barbaric BJP can be vicious but a crazy CPM is unpredictable. If Rabri breaks legs, it will cripple BJP mobility. We'll have to wait and watch."
"Thank you, Chandan. Now to Mumbai. Maya, what's the latest there?" "The debate is heating up, Prannoy! Sharad Pa -war has called Bal Thackeray an Alsatian dog. Bal Thackeray has called Pawar a pariah dog! Back to you, Prannoy!"
"Thank you, Maya. Dilip, what's your expert view of Mum -bai?" "I think Pawar has the edge, Prannoy. Demographic studies in the dog world indicate that pariahs are backward and Alsatians forward. Clearly the majority will back Pawar!"
"Thank you, Dilip. Rajdeep, anything new in Delhi?" "No, Prannoy. Again everyone staged a walkout from the debating hall!" "Thank you, Rajdeep. Well, folks, that's all for tonight. Tomorrow Vikram will present an investigative report which will try to uncover the subject of the national debate..."
I have a hunch
That my punch
Is better heard
Than my word!