If the Americans have one Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, we have three.
The only difference between Mr Robert Ripley’s cartoons and the Indian versions is that there’s nothing to see, you’ve got to hear them to believe – or not.
The oldest of the three but not necessarily the most famous is Beni’s Believe It Or Not!
Named after a septuagenarian Congress survivor from UP, the protagonist has a penchant for putting both his feet in the mouth and on a good day only spits out colourful abuses at his political adversaries.
But on a bad day, Beni could blast his own PM calling him too old to rule or invoke the EC’s wrath by treading on the same “model” path that a fellow Congressman had followed and fallen.
Giving him competition is a regal Congressman from neighbouring Madhya Pradesh with his own series — Diggy’s Believe It Or Not.
Now this character is in a different mould. Diggy doesn’t believe in treading on anyone else’s path not even his party’s path, he walks alone.
For instance, in a city like Delhi, if his party hurriedly walks away from a landmark building called Bathla House he chooses to walk towards it.
Some say there’s a method to his madness which they say is chalked out at a certain house on a certain street in the Capital.
But the piece de resistance of course is Didi’s Believe It Or Not. It could also be Didi’s comedy show, but let’s not be too uncharitable.
Our Didi has gone on from being an agitator to a perpetually agitated chief minister who is paranoid about even looking to her left.
So much so that she blamed the death of infants in government hospitals on the Left rule saying the kids were conceived before she came to power!
Courtesy: This article was published in the Whiplash column in my newspaper the Mail Today.