Alice in New Delhi

Alice was walking down Rajpath when the March Hare asked her, “how would you like to go to a government press briefing?”

“What’s a govt. press briefing?” Alice asked.

“That’s where they tell you that everything that you heard is false and that’s the only reason you heard it all” the March Hare said.

“Sounds like a lot fun” Alice said.

The March Hare brought Alice into a press room. A bunch of chess pawns were standing at a podium.

“Who are they?” Alice asked.

“They are the Kingsmen. They talk in riddles. Listen closely.”

“Is forcing the poor of a country to compromise their privacy for state provided subsidies a transgression of state’s powers?” the leader among the Kingsmen asked.

“I certainly don’t know the answer to that question,” Alice said to March Hare. “Is it a transgression of state’s powers?” she shouted aloud.

The leader of the Kingsmen stared coldly into Alice’s eyes. “We don’t appreciate that question one single bit.”

Alice looked confused. “Didn’t he ask the question? I just shouted it aloud.”

The March Hare said, “They don’t tell them the answers; they just know the riddles.”

“What a stupid thing,” Alice said. “Why are all the cameramen cramming into the room to film this?”

“They film everything he says even though they don’t believe him.”

“Why don’t they believe him?” Alice asked.

“Because he makes things up. If he wouldn’t, there wouldn’t be anything to show the people.”

The leader among the Kingsmen spoke again. “All this while we’ve been saying that privacy is a fundamental right of the people of this country and ergo, ergo, ergo, etcetera.”

“But what about the Attorney General’s statements in court in which he has argued that the state’s position is exactly the opposite.” the dormouse interrupted.

“Those statements don’t mean anything.” The Kingsmen’s leader replied. “If the state was against privacy being a fundamental right of the citizens, we wouldn’t be congratulating the people for their victory. The fact that we are all here today to celebrate means that we’ve never had any disagreement with verdict that has been declared by the courts today. It’s simple as that.”

“That doesn’t sound very simple to me,” Alice said.

“What about the Central Bank’s recent report?” the Mock Turtle asked, “it seems like the demonetization drive was a complete failure.”

The Kingsmen’s leader replied, “If you read the report closely, it’ll have you believe that all the failures mentioned in the report are actually successes and all the successes are failures, and it would serve no purpose but to confuse you. Besides, what you would read is not what you hear and what you hear is not what you would read. So it’s better to hear what cannot be read. Isn’t that perfectly clear?”

“Are we back at the Mad Hatter’s tea party?” Alice wondered aloud.

“Now I’ll give you some important news about a new policy change we’re implementing,” the Kingsmen’s leader said. “The ‘M’ in the phrase ‘party funding’ stands for ‘vikaas’, the ‘L’ stands for law — which we are fully committed to — changing.”

Everyone nodded and clapped.

“What did he say?” Alice asked.

“Nothing” the March Hare replied “He’s just helping the journalists with sweet nothings they can tweet after the briefing is over.”