The Millennium Special

The Past

The Present

Varsha Bhosle

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Our columnist on ten entirely possible news items from the next 50 years

A R Rahman 2005
Music genius A R Rahman, fondly called Bal Bhagwan ("Infant God") in Bollywood circles, stunned the music world today with his electrifying concerto for the London Symphony Orchestra. Mr Rahman is soon expected to be named conductor of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, an honour previously accorded to India's Zubin Mehta.

PTI adds from Mumbai: Renowned composer Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber has finished recording the song Chhaiyan Chhaiyan, III for Subhash Ghai's film, Natyagraha Ka Bhoot ("Phantom of the Opera").


Washington during a presidential inauguration is a microcosm of America itself. It's the consummate sample slice from our sea-to-shining-sea pie. It's got it all: the good, the bad, the rich, the poor and... the South Asians. Specifically, the Silicon Valley variety.

At the black tie Presidential Ball gala (a package at $ 3,000 per couple that gave guests tickets to the ball, lodging, a reception and commemorative gifts), the first gentleman to enter wore rubber flip-flops. But that shouldn't have caused surprise. Especially since the First Lady was dressed in her ethnic costume -- the saree. Yes, India is here to stay.

Subramanian Swamy 2019
Subramanian Swamy, an aged resident of the Janata Ghar for the Perceptually Challenged, has begun an agitation to topple the trustees of the institution and expose their "sinister burrowing into the government framework." Mr Swamy claims that the board is "in reality only a political front of the RSS."

J Jayalalitha UNI adds from Chennai: J Jayalalitha has released a keep-fit video in which she herself stars. The former politician said she was "encouraged" by her fans "to expand the boundaries" of her talent, as well.

The largest democracy in history -- India -- is counting the votes of close on a billion of its citizens, more than the number of voters in the US, Canada and Europe combined. In Amethi, Feroze Varun Gandhi of the Bharatiya Janata Party, a liberal democratic body but with a strong nationalist tone, is vying against cousin Rahul Gandhi of the Congress, a secular party with a discernible European slant. However, there is no polarisation among voters, as there no longer exists an alternative to, what was once termed in that country as, "dynasty politics."

The Congress Party has finally put a quarter-century of speculations to rest by formally announcing its merger with the Bharatiya Janata Party. BJP spokesman young Vyankatesh Naidu confirmed the news with: "We did a lot of introspection. Since there are no ideological barriers to divide us any more, it is in India's interest that we provide a united front against the communal divisive leftist forces." Sources disclose that the new alliance is likely to be called "Bharatiya Congress Sangh."


It was a week that disrupted the history of Indian political journalism. Former editors and former Rajya Sabha members Arun Shourie, Prabhu Chawla (both nationalist) and M J Akbar (secular), individually, and amidst great fanfare, released their self-authored cookbooks. Informed sources revealed that this startling deviation from politics stems from the veteran opinion-makers' inability to fathom the character of the Bharatiya Congress Sangh.

PTI adds: Pritish Nandy and Vir Sanghvi have been elected to the BCS's parliamentary party.

Feroze Varun Gandhi 2034
Prime Minister Feroze Varun Gandhi offered prayers at the Ram Lalla Mandir during his official visit to Ayodhya. Earlier, a violent protest demonstration led by Marxist groups marked his arrival at the controversial site. The Opposition alleges that underneath the temple lie the remains of an ancient Baptist Church.


At a meeting of the Bharatiya Congress Sangh Central Committee, it was resolved that Varsha Bhosle be rewarded for her years of service to the nation. Ms Bhosle has been made lifetime chairperson of the Sonia Gandhi Memorial Trust, lifetime member of the Sonia Gandhi National Centre for Arts and Culture, and president of the Confederation of NGOs. It is learnt that the ever-ardent Ms Bhosle accepted only after being offered the yeomen services of BCS's Arun Jaitley and Jairam Ramesh. Since then, she has discontinued her incendiary tabloid.

N Chandrababu Naidu 2040
Prime Minister N Chandrababu Naidu was sworn in by President R Pilot today. This momentous event ends the post-Independence domination over India of the Hindi-speaking belt. Prime Minister Naidu is well on his way to fulfil his vow "to serve our state and, after that, to serve the nation." Indians fully repose their faith in him -- the Bharat Desam Party has won 498 seats. Mr Naidu told reporters, "My first priority is to establish cyberlinks with Pakistan and solve the Kashmir problem. Results may not be immediate, but it will happen."


The turbulence in the subcontinent has ended; peace reigns between India and Pakistan. The solution was so simple that the UN is debating on why it had not been conceived earlier: By an Imperial Decree, Kaiser Musharraf changed the name of his dominion to "The Islamic State of Kashmir." The Kaiser and India's Minister for External Affairs, cyberfriends since a decade, exchanged greetings and reminisced over their respective fathers, the late Pervez Musharraf and the late Chandrababu Naidu.

Illustrations: Dominic Xavier

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