Has Modi scored a self-goal with Tunday Kabab bandi?

This is an article from the future. But, I am going to publish it today itself, beating Scroll and/or Wire to the punch.

It was the night of March 8, just after the end of the seventh phase of the Uttar Pradesh polls. But the exit polls couldn’t be unwrapped yet, because the Election Commission was still to conduct polling for one seat each in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. As such, bored news channels had made up their mind to pass the evening with the usual parade of astrologers, tarot card readers and expert election analysts.

That’s when they were told to stand by for an important announcement by the Prime Minister at 8 pm. As Modi spoke, the nation turned to stone.

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As of midnight on March 8, the old Tunde Kabab would no longer be in circulation. All Tunde Kabab outlets would remain closed the following day. Starting March 10, the supply of Tunde Kabab would slowly be restored to the public, as the meat from unlicensed, illegal slaughterhouses in circulation is replaced by the new legal meat.

Despite the obvious problems with the logistics, as Aakar Patel points out here, Modi’s initial announcement was so powerful and energetic that he carried the public opinion with him. Only two grassroots leaders, Mamata Banerjee and Arvind Kejriwal, recognised the danger and opposed it.

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Kejriwal’s response to the decision consists of unprintable expletives. The only other person who could anticipate the disaster was Shobha De, who tweeted this out in extreme anguish:

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But the full scale of the disaster began to dawn when the Tunde Kabab outlets reopened on March 10. Since then, we have seen every single day, long serpentine queues of Tunde Kabab lovers waiting for kabab that never arrives.

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Slowly but surely, Modi is losing the media narrative here. And ground reports from journalists confirm this, as seen in this tweet from the Associate Editor of CatchNews.

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At some places, the situation turned so bad that people had to downgrade to chicken and mutton. Congrats India, did you vote for Modi in 2014 so you had to be stuck with eating chicken and mutton? Is this Achche Din?

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Our correspondent caught up with 50 year old Umar Kanhaiyya standing in a queue before a Tunde Kabab outlet near Delhi’s famous Seculari Gate.

“My daughter is getting married tomorrow. The invitations have long gone out. People have started arriving. All the guests have been promised Tunde Kabab. What am I supposed to do now? I have been standing in line since 3 AM but this line is still not moving.”

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Another gentleman who was standing nearby chippen in, “Do you see anyone from an illegal slaughterhouse standing in line here? We are all honest people here, waiting for our hard earned Tunde Kabab.”

Meanwhile, the government has decided to provide some interim relief by allowing Tunde Kabab from old slaughterhouses in special circumstances. The old Tunde Kabab will continue to be available outside Delhi media studios, JNU and NGO offices, including PETA & Greenpeace.

Everywhere across this land, it’s the same story of ruin. With Kababbandi, the activity of transporting bulls rescued from Jallikattu to safe homes in slaughterhouses has come to a standstill. Across the enclaves of Lutyens Delhi, there are heartbreaking stories of NGO workers returning en masse from Tamil Nadu after losing their jobs.

The BJP has begun to feel the pinch. As the public moved from voluble support to silence to outright anger, there was palpable panic in the Modi camp. With the  Panvel Tunde Kabab Cooperative Committee elections billed as the “real test for Modi” and “referendum on Modi”, there was a lot at stake. And Modi’s worst fears came true.

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Modi has committed a self goal with Tunde Kababbandi. Only time will tell how high a political price he will pay.

And liberal journalists are celebrating already.

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