This year, the country went to the dogs! Or did it?

News Karnataka

This year, the country went to the dogs! Or did it?

This year, the country went to the dogs! Or did it?

Ashwin S.   ¦    Dec 31, 2019 12:00:42 PM (IST)

This year, the country went to the dogs! Or did it?-1

Another year has gone by, pretty much in a flash. While Ashwin S scurried to file a story for the end of what has been a glorious or some pessimists may say, an inglorious year, his furry pal Woofie managed to chew up the pointers he noted down and gave a humorous albeit brutal take on what went by, and what one can hope to see in the coming year – basically a round-up of the year 2019, through the soulful eyes of a canine! Give it a read, and don’t forget to send Woofie some treats and maybe a few belly-rubs, if the article manages to tickle your funny bones.

 The year has come to an end yet again, and here I am chewing on my bone. My Hooman is off for a vacation to the Northeast, and I’m not mighty pleased. Just to give him a parting gift, I tore his notes into a fine shred to resemble the snow. I thought he’d be pleased to see it snow at his place in Bengaluru, but I’m not too sure he will. Either way, I’ve been practising putting on my best puppy face hoping he’ll forgive me, and get me some yummy food from the hills.

January: 
2018 was a rough year, but 2019 holds a lot of promise, said my master. Every year is a ‘ruff’ year for us doggos, I don’t quite know what my Hooman meant by a better year than the previous. Maybe he wanted me to throw a little less tantrums. Either way, I’m not gonna stop barking if that pesky little pigeon keeps pooping on my favourite ledge!

January had a bit of good news in terms of how the world perceived our country. India improved its ranking on the 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) by three points and moved to 78th position with a score of 41. India ranked at 81st place on the Corruption Perceptions Index 2017. Ah well, the lesser the scams, the better it is, I guess. This Hooman called Modi is supposedly doing wonders in curtailing corruption at the Government level. Or maybe he’s just as shrewd as me, hiding bones in closets that are hard to find. Either which way, I’ve heard that my furry friends from other countries are finding it much easier to come to India on vacations, as it is being touted as tourist-friendly now. I can’t wait to meet my friends from Siberia! We’re gonna be gorging on some yummy meat, if it isn’t banned completely by year-end, that is! *woof woof*

Meanwhile, the UP Government approved the construction of a four-lane Ganga Expressway connecting Prayagraj to Western UP. Ganga Expressway will provide better connectivity to Prayagraj. Once completed, it would be the longest expressway in the world. It would be great for my buddies to have a long run if my Hooman decides to take me there! Hopefully, he won’t change my name, like they did to Allahabad early in the year. I wonder what my new name would be if he did though. Adityanath would be a weird name for a golden retriever, but I guess Yogi has a good ring to it!

This year, the country went to the dogs! Or did it?-2February
Mid-February was sad, with at least 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) paramilitary troopers killed in the deadliest terror attack witnessed in three decades of Kashmir's insurgency. Jaish bomber Adil Ahmed Dar, just 20 years old, rammed an SUV loaded with 350 kilograms of explosives into one of the buses carrying 35-40 troopers out of a 78-vehicle CRPF convoy, instantly causing a massacre. And people call us dogs savage! However, not willing to take an attack on the integrity of our country lightly, the PM reacted with an airstrike codenamed Operation Bandar at Balakot. Despite the cheeky name, there was no monkeying around on this mission, with 5 of the 6 planned targets decapacitated.

This year, the country went to the dogs! Or did it?-3

March
The start of March itself bore some good news, with the release of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman from the clutches of the Pakistanis, owing to growing international pressure. He made us Indians proud by not bowing to pressure. I’ve heard he loves dogs, I’d sure love to visit him someday if master lets me! And while I’m at it, like a fan dog, I’m gonna ask for a belly-rub!

The President of the INC, Rahul Gandhi announced a minimum income guarantee scheme for the poorest 20 per cent of Indian families if voted to power. This scheme called ‘Nyay’ (not to be confused with the Kannada word for a dog, which sounds mighty similar) was subject to intense ridicule and mockery. Poor Rahul didn’t get elected, even with such promises though. Its high time people in power realize that the citizens are looking for something more than just sops or freebies.

 April
Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur became the centre of attraction (or rather ridicule) after she stated in a media interview that rubbing a cow from the back towards the neck helps in curing blood pressure issues, and drinking cow urine cures cancer. I hope she wasn’t playing the April Fools. Anywhichwoof, stroking doggos like me definitely helps you calm down, and we love it too. So maybe the same does hold true for cows! I hope I don’t get grounded for such comments.

Speaking of grounding, Jet Airways, India’s oldest private airline, decided to suspend all flights as cash ran out and banks refused to give more money. It became the second major airline to shut down operations this decade, after the Kingfisher fiasco in 2012. If no corrective action is taken in the aviation sector, soon there may be no planes left in the air for me to chase down!

TikTok, the global phenomenon that has gotten people in India hooked, with many of them acting like us animals, doing weird stuff and uploading it for the world to see, was banned amidst massive outrage. Before one could say good riddance however, the ban was lifted and people were back to their monkey business once again. Damn dawg!

 This year, the country went to the dogs! Or did it?-4

May
This man Modi is making waves across the world. He got re-elected for the second time with a landslide margin, and everyone seems to be celebrating. He’s going to take us to the promised land I heard! Acche Din, can’t wait for whatever that is! I’m presuming I’ll be having lots of bones to chew on. For now, I’ll have to make do with my toy bone and the biryani that’s making the rounds everywhere. Master says it is bad to rely on others biryanis, but hey, I’m a dog! Food is food, wherever (or whoever) it comes from.

Talking about food, Ashwin says the prices have gone up yet again. Thank heavens for this saviour called Zomato and their incessant discounts (more on this later) which are helping me maintain a (un)healthy weight! Speaking of weight, master’s put on a few kilos as well. Chalo, acha hai! Maybe I can coax him into a few early morning walks.

Global investors piled a net $216.3 million into Indian bonds on Friday, the day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s sweeping election victory. Things look pawsitive as of now, I must say!

June
An outbreak of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) occurred in Muzaffarpur and the adjoining districts in the Bihar state of India, amidst the second-longest heatwave in the region, resulting in deaths of more than 115 children, mainly due to hypoglycemia. The heatwave, on the other hand, killed another 40 people. Sad indeed!

Meanwhile, the US President Donald Trump has terminated India’s designation as a beneficiary developing nation under the key GSP trade programme after determining that it has not assured the US that it will provide “equitable and reasonable access to its markets.” Well, at least citizens in his country are allowed to openly call him a clown!

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) summoned former Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel for questioning of alleged irregularities in the procurement of 111 aircraft worth about ₹70,000 crores, leasing of planes and surrendering of profit-making routes and flight schedules by Air India during the UPA tenure. But the guy seems to be busy with an Ambani lady, together with whom they wish to rewrite the Indian Footballing scene, by killing the prestigious iLeague and replacing it with a farce called the Indian Super League (ISL) pretty much on the lines of IPL. They jointly say – ‘Come on India, let’s football!’. Leave the games to us doggos, and concentrate on running the country, I say!

July
The 26/11 terror attack mastermind and Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed was arrested in Pakistan. What good news, and that too on my Hooman’s birthday! The Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) of Pakistani Punjab Police arrested him from Lahore when he was on his way to Gujranwala. Will he be convicted though, only time will tell…

After a lot of political drama regarding Government formation in Karnataka, Yeddiyurappa finally managed to prove his majority, prompting the feisty speaker of the assembly Ramesh Kumar to resign. Not before leaving a few verbal bombs though, which included “The root of corruption in this country is in our elections. If we speak of rooting out corruption without electoral reforms, it will only be hypocrisy. I request the House to discuss the issue of electoral reforms and send a resolution to Parliament. We must also think of political parties.” and “I stand by what I once said of Yediyurappa. As power comes, people come and hang around you. Don’t be under the illusion that they are your real well-wishers.”

 August
The government ended days of speculation by making public its decision to effectively revoke the controversial Article 370, which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir, allowing the state to have its own constitution, flag, and rights. In a follow-up, but equally bold move, Amit Shah also said the government was moving a bill to bifurcate the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories - Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh. While the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir would have a legislature, a la Delhi, Ladakh would not. A lot of protests ensued but was dealt with, with an iron fist. Amit Shah must be feeling that Sardar Vallabhabhai Patel feels. This Government is gutsy indeed, rewriting history in such a brash and brazen manner. People can now buy land in Jammu and Kashmir. Maybe I should put on my best puppy face and ask the master to buy us some. It would be great to run around apple orchards without pesky squirrels! Woof woof!

In some sad news, two very prominent political figures or rather veterans passed away in a span of two weeks. Sushma Didi who was known for her vociferous and vehement support for Indians no matter which part of the world they were in finally succumbed to a cardiac arrest. Soon after, Arun Jaitley too, who was suffering from poor health passed away as he complained of breathlessness and restlessness.

More than Rs 300 crore in "undisclosed income" was found in ED raids on Karnataka minister DK Shivakumar and his family and associates. That is a huge sum indeed, something that I can’t count for sure, as a doggo. But I can only imagine how many bones and treats I could get myself with that sort of money, maybe have my own city or state! DK-Shi however, was soon arrested and sent to jail, causing almost half of Kanakpura to burn. Woof woof!

 September

In an emotional moment in the wee hours of the morning, when only doggos like me and a few interested Hoomans were awake, the Vikram Lander had a crash landing, putting to dust the hard work of hundreds of scientists, and crushing the hopes of a billion Indians. Had it been successful, it would have been India’s first lander on the moon. Anyway, all is not in vain. We are going to chin up and go for it again. In the meanwhile, you can count on me to stare blankly at the moon on a full moon night, and offer my howls as a sign of respect. Hauuuuu…

With the economy of the country in a shaky state, harsh decisions had to be taken, and in this regard 10 public sector banks have been asked to merge into 4 entities. While they promised that the transition would be seamless and there would be no disruption to banking transactions for customers, in the months to come, one would see how much of a mess up it all was. But hey, the Sarkar is all for the greater good!

Meanwhile, the Government has been further mulling the complete ban on Cryptocurrency. I really don’t know what’s it with the incessant banning. I hope they don’t ban dogs from the country. ‘Go to Pakistan’ is definitely not an option for us dogs. Maybe I can embrace Buddhism in Tibet, it would be ‘Dalai’ to lead. Woof woof!

This year, the country went to the dogs! Or did it?-5October
A Rs 2,199 watch is available for Rs 247. An air purifier worth Rs 32,995 for Rs 23,999. Branded shoes at 60-80 per cent off, and an inverter worth Rs 9,995 at Rs 4,499. These “startups” really know how to burn their money. Well, I’m not complaining, as Master got me a whole bag of Pedigree. He says it cost him a fourth of what it would at the neighbourhood Kirana.

Not to be left stranded, the brick and mortar stores continued their agitation against such deep discounting and predatory pricing. Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal openly stated that stern action would be taken against these companies if they continued to do so. And then, within weeks, ‘The Great Indian Sale, with up to 60% discounts’ happened on Amazon! More Pedigree to me!

Reeling under huge losses, the government proposed a merger for BSNL and MTNL, and a four-way revival plan was tabled. Will this help? Only time can tell. But it seems bleak for BSNL if you ask me!

This year, the country went to the dogs! Or did it?-6November
In just over a year of its unveiling, the Statue of Unity is said to have surpassed the footfall at the 133-year-old Statue of Liberty in the US, with an average of over 15,000 tourists visiting the monument in Gujarat daily. In contrast, the Statue of Liberty attracts only around 10,000 tourists a day! Figures released by the tourism department state that a total of 30,90,723 tourists have visited till November 30 this year, generating income to the tune of Rs 85.57 crore. Well, now this is one statue I’ll not be able to pee and mark my territory on. That’s alright though, plenty of smaller statues being unveiled here in Bengaluru. Woof woof!

As a teaser to the mobile phone rates increasing the following month, among other companies, Vodafone-Idea posted a record loss of Rs 50,921 crores for the September quarter! Meanwhile, the Sensex and Nifty hit all-time highs, making the rich ones richer, and the poor ones, well…

Ending a longstanding claim of corruption, the Supreme Court finally dismissed all review petitions against the Rafale deal and also censured Rahul Gandhi for wrongly attributing the remark ‘Chowkidar Chor Hai’ to the Supreme Court.

Another longstanding case was finally cleared by the Supreme Court, letting millions of Indians heave a sigh of relief. The Ram-Janmabhoomi vs Babri Masjid Case finally secured closure, with a unanimous decision from the 5-bench justice, which thankfully did not result in any sort of violent protests.

In news that sent shockwaves across the country, a veterinary doctor was raped by 4 barbaric youth and her body was burnt and dumped on the outskirts of Hyderabad. In what can be termed marginal justice, the Cyberabad police acted swiftly on leads including CCTV footage and quickly nabbed the culprits. Adding more joy to the quick action, was the fact that they managed to serve quick justice to the victim by killing the perpetrators in an encounter. Now, this is the sort of proactiveness we need! May the poor victim’s soul rest in peace.

December
Violence against us dogs and other animals is quite common. Street dogs or Indies as they are called by the millennials, bear the biggest brunt of it as they often get stoned by the passing bad Hoomans even without incitement. Speaking of bad Hoomans, I don’t really know how and why they exist. They don’t even spare their own kind, kids included! Confused? Check these facts I found.

In a grim reminder that children continue to face the brunt of sexual depravity, more than 96% of the 1,66,882 pending rape trials are ones registered under the Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. [Data sourced from the High Courts by TOI] This means that 1,60,989 of these rape cases pertain to minor victims. How barbaric!

In what can, however, be termed as light at the end of the kennel, the law ministry has set a target of one year, spread over the 2019-20 and 2020-21 financial years, to complete the trial of these pending cases by setting up 1,023 Fast Track Courts across the country on a priority basis.

Moving on from fast-track to fast food, the price of onions shot up to a whopping ₹200 per kg in Bengaluru due to severe short supply in the market. Elsewhere in the country, it is hovering in the 150-180 range. Thank heavens dogs don’t eat onions! I don’t quite understand why Hoomans do. It is smelly and makes you cry if you chop em. Umm, with the current rates master is crying even without having to chop em!

In order to boost the economy, the GST council plans to revise the slabs to 3, which will mean the cost of certain items could increase further. If implemented the cost of branded cereals, mobile phones, pizzas, air travel, air-conditioned rail travel, cruises, high-end hospital rooms, paintings, branded garments, and fine fabrics such as linen and silk are likely to get higher.

Prices of most items shot up in December, and this included mobile tariffs as well, with operators choosing to add on 20-40% to the existing rates. The so-called forever free and unlimited calls with Jio came to an end, with the network deciding to pass on the IUC charges to the customers. Most other operators followed suit. Imagine being charged just because I wish to talk to a dog of a different breed! Either way, it’s now good, because my Hooman spends more time with me than on calls. Woof woof!

Meanwhile the passing of the Constitution (Amendment) Bill caused widespread rioting in parts of Northeast India including Guwahati and the surroundings. I don’t understand all the fuss with these things. Learn from us dogs, I’d say. We stick to our territory for life and live in harmony unless someone from another territory comes to displace us.

On the international front, the world’s youngest PM was sworn in, and guess what? She’s a 34-year old woman called Sanna Marin who will now head Finland. Yay! Also, Greta Thunberg got named the Time Magazine Person of the Year, again the youngest! December is turning to be a great month for the young indeed. I’m quite young too, hopefully, I get lucky by year-end too! Woof woof!

What Lies Ahead?

Like every other year, 2019 has been a roller-coaster ride for India, with several highs and an equal number of lows. It is this blend that makes the country truly diverse and dynamic. This is something that is unlikely to change in the near future, so you can expect 2020 to be another year packed with thrills and surprises, some for the good, some for the worse! So buckle up and enjoy this journey called life.

As for me, I shall patiently wait for my master to return. I’m missing those belly-rubs! Happy New Year, y’all! I’ll see you next year maybe, till then stay happy and dog bless!

 Disclaimer:
The article in its entirety is to be taken as a light-hearted satire, presenting the woes of the common man. The views expressed here are that of the author alone. Newskarnata.com does not necessarily agree with/promote the views mentioned herein.