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About Amit Varma

Amit Varma is a writer based in Mumbai. He worked in journalism for over a decade, and won the Bastiat Prize for Journalism in 2007. His bestselling novel, My Friend Sancho, was published in 2009. He is best known for his blog, India Uncut. His current project is a non-fiction book about the lack of personal and economic freedoms in post-Independence India.




Bastiat Prize 2007 Winner

Recent entries

In Defence of Tanmay Bhat

I have four quick comments to make on the Tanmay Bhat controversy. (The first two are trivial but need to…

Gandhi and the Troll

Every Sunday, two of my limericks appear on the edit page of the Sunday Times of India. Here’s today’s installment.…

Train

Mid Day reports: Talk about catching a lucky break. A 60-year-old woman at Ghatkopar station yesterday sauntered onto the platform,…

Sandy the Dandy

Once there was a guy called Sandy Who behaved all macho and randy, But guys who flex their pecs Usually…

Jawaharlal Nehru: Not a Saint, Not a Sinner

It is ironic that one of the great unifying forces in Indian history has become such a polarising figure decades…

05 March, 2009

Animal Alchemy

Graeme Wood, in a feature on Lalu Prasad Yadav’s achievements as India’s railways minister, writes:

When Lalu presented his latest budget to Parliament on February 13, he bragged, “Hathi ko cheetah bana diya” (“I have turned an elephant into a cheetah”). What’s his secret?

“Cow dung,” he says. “I have 350 cows, including bulls. Cow dung—no need of gas.”

A few paragraphs later, Wood quotes a civil servant named Sudhir Kumar as saying, “If there is money lying around, we can smell it.” I wish these quotes had been used out of context, they would have made India seem so delightfully exotic: a land where you apply cow dung on an elephant to turn it into a cheetah, and where natives can smell money. Sadly, Wood sticks to responsible journalism and does nothing of the kind.

Still, that cow dung bit isn’t quite explained…

(HT: Arun. Previous posts on cows: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31 , 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109.)

Posted by Amit Varma in India | Old memes | Cows | Politics | WTF

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