What a fabulous year 2016 has been.
Here are some highlights:
The biggest breaking news was our prime minister announcing ‘Demonetisation’ as a move to destroy black money, debilitate counterfeiting for terrorists and digitalise India, in one fell swoop. His announcement gave everyone ample notice to prepare themselves. The planning and execution for such a Herculean task was carried out effortlessly.
The banks were ready — so you traded in your old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in exchange for crisp new ones.
There was not a single queue for money. The ATMs were recalibrated accordingly to accept new notes, and were flush with money. Every single black money racketeer was behind bars within a month.
The Reserve Bank of India was rock solid in its policies – once a policy was announced, there were no flip flops, no U-turns.
There is every indication that India will be a 100% cashless economy by February 2017.
Even the smallest cobbler will possess a swipe card machine.
Cross-border terrorist counterfeiting came to a complete standstill. The counterfeit divisions of the ISIS, Taliban, Al Qaeda and all Kashmir outfits were forced to shut shop (in fact, Jameel Jabbar, head of the Lashkar-e-Jabbar, in the face of demonetisation, was forced to begin Kashmir’s first houseboat racing competition just to make ends meet).
Pakistan was the perfect neighbour, refraining completely from any sneaky pre-dawn attacks.
On a Maharashtra level, citizens came together to beg the state government to build a statue of Shivaji in the sea. When the government argued that the cost would be an astronomical R3,600 crores, money that could be spent instead on hospitals, addressing farmer suicides, and new schools, citizens were adamant — “We want our hard earned, tax payers’ money to be spent on such maritime memorials,” said Mr Aurangzeb Satarawalla, head of SCUBA — ‘Statues Created Under Bombay’s Aqua’ Committee.
Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor’s newborn son was welcomed warmly — especially his name Taimur. The Twitterati said in unison, “Aah! How delightful that he has been named after a Mongol tyrant who killed thousands of
people. What’s in a name?”
Aamir Khan’s comments about “feeling unsafe in an intolerant India” were met with much admiration by his fans and foes alike.
A rule was passed insisting that Pakistani actors were to act in Bollywood films, failure to comply with this, meant R5 crore to be deposited with the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).
Pahlaj Nihalani created much freedom within the censor board. Only films that had under 500 kissing scenes were certified ‘A’.
On the international front, President Elect Donald Trump addressed groups of Hispanics and said, smiling, “I welcome all Mexicans and immigrants into the USA.”
Britain voted sensibly to stay with the European Union.
The Clooneys adopted more children than Brangelina.
And David Bowie, Prince, George Michael, Glenn Frey, Keith Emerson, Rick Parfitt, Merle Haggard, Muhammad Ali, Alan Rickman and Carrie Fisher were all given a clean bill of health.
Can 2017 match the perfection of 2016?
“It is unlikely”, predicted Mr Rahul Gandhi.
Rahul da Cunha is an adman, theatre director/playwright, photographer and traveller. Reach him at email@example.com
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