Year of: #covfefe-2

By Chitra Rangaraj Published on Dec 30, 2017 04:37 PM IST

* A look back on the events and people who shaped 2017

(This is the second part of the series)


Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi have summit-level talks at the VIP lounge of De Gaulle airport in Paris. Trudeau is in Paris as -- he is so unassuming you see -- a tourist guide to a group of Canadians on a budget trip to France. Modi, for his part, is returning from a 6-city bilateral visit to Liechtenstein. The Canadian Prime Minister, who is described by Modi as “my  friend Justin” and his Indian counterpart discuss wide-ranging subjects, and India and Canada sign a far-ranging deal in which the two Prime Ministers agree to share each other’s selfies on their official  Instagram accounts.

Back in India, the impending GST rollout is the focus as the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley promises to

remove the confusing multi-State, multi-tax structure with one-country one-tax, multi-multi-confusing regime. And boy, he doesn’t disappoint, especially with the last part.

Aadhaar is made compulsory for all those who rush to reach for their overhead luggage before the plane

comes to a halt at airports. This is as good as making make Aadhaar mandatory for all Indians, civil rights activists rightly argue.

In Tamil Nadu politics, actor Rajinikanth makes the first of his many firm moves towards making firmer

moves towards we don’t know what. For more on Rajini’s future plans, watch this space, or even outer

space. You will not find anything concrete.  In a typical speech, though, Rajini tells his fans to be ready for the war. His fans, smartly taking the cue, join the Indian Army en masse. Some opportunistic Tamil movie distributors re-release his yesteryear-starrer Ranuva Veeran.

Donald Trump, the American President, warns, in a series of sub-tweets, that America will “*&ck the hell out of North Korea” if it continues with its exuberance on the nuclear front. Pyongyang, for its part, clarified that it was only test-firing a nuclear scientist.

Rahul Gandhi, in a sign of his growing confidence as a politician on social media platform, starts using


In a major breakthrough, scientists say that the distance between the Earth and the Jupiter is 7.85675

billion km and not as originally believed, which was 6.85765 billion km. With more grants, they promise, they will be able to zero in on a different number the next time.

In sports news, some team wins the ICC Champions Trophy. For some strange reason, no one in India can recall anything about the finals.

But the world doesn’t forget that it is already time for...


Prime Minister Narendra Modi travels to South America “to meet with South American leaders”.  Unfortunately, none of them is at home.

In India, history is made with a midnight sitting of Parliament to roll out GST. But confusion breaks out

immediately whether the samosa-tea supplier should be billed under the previous day tax regime or the new one. The Constitution, unfortunately, turns out to be totally silent on this matter.

On the judicial front, Justice Karnan makes his own history of sorts by filing a case against the Supreme Court Justices. Justice Karnan also decides, as a Judge, to hear the case filed by Justice Karnan, as an advocate. And in a sensational verdict, which will be quoted for years to come, Justice Karnan adjourns the case.

Meanwhile, Aadhaar is made compulsory to all who are part of “one or more WhatsApp groups”.

Elsewhere, in Mosul, forces of Al-Sharaki and Jain-ul-Abedeen along with Shamsi-Adad troops involve

themselves in one of the most fierce fights, leaving us, Indians, to wonder, that in these increasing stark times, we have no idea who these folks are.

In Tamil Nadu, Chief Minister Edappadi Palanisami and his arch rival O Panneerselvam work out a patch up formula, which in the words of Sellur Raju is: H2SO4 + NAOH. “Because this will give a strong base for us,” he said.

In sports, sprinting legend Usain Bolt runs his last race. Alas, he is beaten by an American runner who

is suspected to be on what Tour de France riders also regularly use -- a cycle.

Dramatic events happen in China as President Xi Jinping strengthens his hold over the party, the government and the entire country and gets what no Communist head in the country has got before: Lifetime privilege delivery on Aliexpress.

Staying with China, even Xi Jinping could not stop the emergence of...


GST rollout runs into some unexpected glitch. The site allows for log-in only by those using: Windows

NT, Internet Explorer and Hotmail account. “We will soon upgrade it to the absolutely latest Windows XP,” said a Finance Ministry spokesperson.

Meanwhile, at the market, clarity remains elusive, as traders levy 3 slabs of State and Central GST on

customers: 1) for the goods they had purchased, 2) for the cost of paper on which the bill is printed 3) for the printing cost.

In a major security breach, two robbers manage to break the cordon and enter office of the Vice President, a feat that the Vice President is yet to manage.

In a major political development, Sonia Gandhi appoints Rahul Gandhi as an intern the Congress President’s office. “This, more or less, suggests that she, in all probability, maybe preparing him for

a bigger role, most likely in the same party, some time in the future,” wrote S Varadarajan, using his decades long experience as a political analyst in the country.

There is major confusion over NEET. Eventually, the courts step in and orders NEET is mandatory to

get Aaadhaar.

Economic crisis gets worse in Venezuela, and last heard, in a bid to avoid harassment from its creditors,

it has changed its name to a much low-key Cyprus.

Not to be outdone, July too changes to...


In India, the focus continues to be on economy. Banks have lost huge money through NPAs, unviable investments and basically poor management. So, in a bid to improve the economic sentiment,

the Finance Minister announces funding of several thousands of crores of rupees to those very same banks with very same executives at the top. Ivy league economists think this strategy will work.

As the summer is unrelenting, drought and other scarcity hits various parts of the country. The Prime

Minister Narendra Modi, taking charge as only as he can, tours the length and breadth of the country

personally, and tells the people that this year’s drought is because of 60 years of Congress rule in the past.

North Korea continues its nuclear intransigence leaving the US President Donald Trump with no other go but to unleash a series of surface-to-surface high combat tweets at Kim Jong Un.

Yet another social media platform, Sarahah, makes its entry. It instantly becomes popular on Twitter. Sarahah’s USP is simple: One can ask questions anonymously about anonymous people and get anonymous answers that can be read anonymously.

Needless to say, Aadhaar is mandatory to log into Sarahah.

The SC sends notice to the BCCI asking it to explain as to why there has been no India-Sri Lanka cricket

series for the last two weeks. Plenty of people have developed cold turkey, the SC said in a worried tone.

Writer, social activist T M Krishna, in an extraordinarily brave bid, announces plan to sing in a concert

in an auditorium meant for such purposes. This, even by his high standards of experimentation, is an

out-of-the-box gambit.

Doubts emerge over the stay of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in hospital. State Minister Sellur Raju alleges that he suspects that the kin of Sasikala might have committed suicide on Jayalalithaa.

Cult leader Gurmeet Ram Rahim is found guilty of murder and sexual offence including rape and his followers understand that their guru had made a major error, and in a show of contrition and penance, they go on a rampage in Haryana destroying lives and properties of totally unrelated people. The government and the police, however, quickly intervene to control the media personnel so that nothing untoward, like news, happens.

But no amount of government intervention could stop the onslaught of...


In a first for an Indian premier, Narendra Modi flies to Gabasa, the famed African nation that is not in any world map. “So what, if there is no country by that name. It is the sentiment to improve the bilateral ties that  is more important,” a foreign ministry spokesperson said. T M Krishna notes down the name Gabasa and decides to hold a concert there.

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi says that he is ready to take bigger responsibilities in the

Congress. “Henceforth, I will personally go and buy the groceries for the party,” he says.

Early monsoon rains bring in their wake the threat of dengue. But taking charge as only he

can, Minister Sellur Raju firmly tells police to shoot-at-sight any mosquito moving suspiciously

about, carrying dengue-vector. “Nothing works like strong action,” he says.

Massive I-T raids are conducted on properties and places of Sasikala’s kith and kin, and searches are also

conducted at former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s Poes Garden residence Veda Nilayam where I-T department unearths plenty of voodoo dolls of trial court and High Court judges.

Government tells the Supreme Court in all seriousness that Aadhaar is not mandatory if a person has

already acquired it.

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner dies, and the publication, in a heartfelt obituary, refrains from writing anything but puts out more pics of nudes.

In Hollywood, in a sensational revelation, disgraced movie moghul Harvey Weinstein is accused of

indecent advances by yet another movie star. This time the one making the charge is the popular Disney star Daisy Duck.

Apple launches a new phone that also comes with the renowned Apple guarantee for costing more than the previous one.

Meanwhile, it is also the time to launch...


Prime Minister Narendra Modi leads a delegation to tie-up a bilateral agreement with Google Maps.

In one final move to combat drought, State Minister Sellur Raju and his team place an order, on Amazon

Prime, for 15-million-foot hose to ply water from Mettur dam to Ramanathapuram district. DMK leaders, who had seen Veeranam canal project in the bygone era, look on admiringly.

Twitter unveils its enhanced 280-character limit platform, which comes handy for Donald Trump to warn North Korea that if it continues with its malcontent ways in future too, the USA will have no other option but to issue stricter, longer warnings.

In international news, there is unrest in Spain with the Catalan region wanting to secede as it was getting

tiresome to be clubbed with people whose written sentences sometimes begin with question marks and,

worse, end with inverted question marks. A Catalan leader described this practice as: “Aaargh”. Inverted

question marks are acceptable only if you are on cocaine, he added.

New crypto currency Ethereum gets hugely popular. The market is ‘bullish’ on Ethereum which is valued

at several billions of dollars based on the impeccable market belief that a company helmed by a 23-year-old is bound to be full of traditional values and trust.

Indian Medical student Manushi Chhillar is crowned the Miss World and the MCI quickly slaps a notice on her to explain how she managed to cut classes and participate in the event.

In cricket, India defeats Sri Lanka by an innings and 16 sleeping spectators in a Test played somewhere.

In a bid to appeal to the young readers, and taking cue from Twitter, newspapers decide to publish Editorials within 140 characters.

In a much-needed GST tweaking, Finance Ministry announces that all individual car companies will be classified as two two-wheeler companies and taxed thereof.

Aadhaar is made compulsory to ring in...


In Zimbabwe, major winds of change blow, as the long-lasting president Robert Mugabe is unseated in a

peaceful coup and in his place Narendra Modi, who is on a State visit, is appointed as the country’s

new President. Rahul Gandhi, in yet another show of his growing assertion, launches Congress party’s Zimbabwe unit.

America, finally acting on its words of serious action against North Korea, freezes Kim Jong Un’s American Express card. “There is an old dictum in America. When the going gets tough, the tough use a lot of swear words. Here it goes: &*%K you!”, tweeted Trump.

Actor Kamal Haasan launches his political party. Or did he? But surely Kamal wins this round against Rajinikanth. When it comes to confusing people with political manoeuvres, ‘the Ulaganayagan’ shows that he is right up there over his arch rival.

Massive protests erupt in many parts of Rajasthan over the film Padmavati as it unmistakably contains

Ranveer Singh. Okay, that would have been reasonable. Since the film is about rich royal families, the

CBFC recommends that it be classified under the 28% GST slab. Rani Padmavati did not have Aadhaar

and hence her film can be frozen, the Cen