Believe it or not, but even the high and mighty chief officer of the Punjab, batch mate and appointee of You Know Who, had no idea that he was sitting in the departure lounge. He had been appointed to “sort out” government in the largest province but couldn’t last beyond five months in this mad, mad, mad world. It came as a shock to him when he got his marching orders, and then his batch mate tried to get him a berth in The Great Khan’s tent, again to no avail. Finally, he had to go back to whence he’d come.
So, as predicted, the Sugar and Wheat Report has disappeared into thin air, with the government’s sleuths forever delaying its publication. If it was a witch hunt from Day One, why the tall claims? And if there’s something to it, why the cover up? And why was it selective? Why were many favourites missing from the first denunciation? Our mole says while The Great Khan was threatening fire and brimstone, his minions were calling up the victim and assuring him that nothing would come of it. Meanwhile, the victim wisely sent a message to The Great Khan: don’t mess with me, or else! We all know that he knows too much!
Not the first time
It’s not the first time that an intolerant, authoritarian government has asked a news organization to sack its most vocal journalist. We hear MSR has been told to terminate the contract of his star television anchor or remain a guest of the state on one pretext or the other.
We hear a monument to the patron saint of the powerful is being planned in the Cis-Sutlej area of the Punjab. Hush hush surveys have been done and possible spots chosen for a befitting memorial. What is not clear, however, is who is going to pay for it. Are the funds of the defunct local government, once intended for grassroots development, to be grabbed or will it be an indirect tax on the peasantry via rapacious revenue officials?