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2nd June synonymous to “DO JUNE ROTI” turned “Pretty” ugly for the erstwhile, Food Specialties’ promo-stars; “Bacchanal bi back an Hakka,” thanks to our politicians. Surprisingly for past 32 years it was never a “Chinese” food for even a “2-miniute” thought. Even as large sections of media and politicians hail Tendulkar, an RS MP from Congress, for refusing a liquor-promo, the FIRs against supposedly anti-Congress Preity and Amitabh do not come in good ‘taste (Maggi tastemakers notwithstanding).’

The good old radio-transistor days refresh, “And now a word from Sunil Gavaskar - …… I use Iodex.” Where the well-read Mumbai lad, a Xaviers’ grad and author of ‘Sunny Days’, would have been conscious of side-effects of ‘fast’-heals, his anti-BJP feelings came out in open when he refused Mr Vajpayee’s bus-ticket to Lahore in 1998. The common man today is aware of the side effects of this Methyl Salicylate topical – stinging of skin, skin irritation, allergic reaction, burns, hives, shallow skin ulcer, skin inflammation, skin ulcer and itching – but then only a few may comprehend that we had the newly re-elected Congress (I) – the ‘I’ as in Indra NOT Italian – in early-1980 with whose blessings the Iodex-man could sound a political fatigue to promote his brother-in-law, Gundappa Vishy, as skipper, with an apolitical Kapil Dev, with youngest 1000 run-100 wkt double, in the reckoning. Little did we knew, then, how cricket, politics and promos went hand-in-glove (yes the Congress’ symbolic ‘hand’ in a batting-‘glove’) – that when Congress backed Lokdal happened, Venkat was out and Sunny was in, that Kapil Dev’s supposed negation to be in a star-studded truck with Rajiv Gandhi during ’84-polls saw an angry Gavaskar derailing his 67-long continuous-tests innings from a prospective world record. The congress ‘hand’ was later evident when Kapil accompanied Mr Vajpayee to Lahore only to be in the bad-eyes of Mr Sharad Pawar which eventually shattered an innovative ICL dream. The Congress-Iodex man did have the last laugh when his ESPN commitments reasoned to Mr Vajpayee costed him an anti-BJP ICC’s referee-berth, only to be passed on Vishy, in 1998.

The Rahul Gandhi showered Bharat Ratna, a SACHha INdian, is winning accolades for refusing alcohol promotion (pertinently, an NCP-Iftar regular Jackie Shroff was never condemned for his Four Square enterprise), after distancing from Coke-trollies, in the interests of BJP-friendly Baba Ramdev’s  favourite ‘toilet-cleaner’ – Pepsi -  and against National interests, in 1996 WCC. During the time when Pepsi rolled into doldrums (to be timely, however partially, substituted, rather camouflaged, by a ‘diet’ version), Congress-icon Azharuddin ‘ate and slept cricket but drank only pepsi.’ Where pepsi debuted in Indian market to counter Coke’s second innings when Rajiv Gandhi supported Chandershekher Government was in power, the ‘Leher Pepsi Girl’, Ashwariya Rai, too had many legal eye-brows raised over suspected divorce, only to be cleared when Congress’ family-parting gimmicks became conspicuous with Ash supporting Arun Rai against Mr Modi at Varanasi. The world sees Congress supporting bahu bailed out of pepsi critics and the Big B booked in a political vendetta erupted in his dream-college city, Barabanki. The loss of Punia, now an RS member representing Congress, from Barabanki, a place where Mr Modi’s foe-turned-friend is a Shahanshah, will go this far, was nobody’s imagination. The ill-effects of pepsi which Sachin, Ashwariya, Azhar and the likes may knowingly or unknowingly conceal may be googled – “Drinking regular Pepsi causes gaining weight…  areas of the fat build up …… That caramel coloring in Pepsi causes cancer … it was asked to ban it because it contains 2 and 4- methylimidazoles……  study on the phosphates in Pepsi suggests they may accelerate the aging process. … Phosphoric acid is the third listed ingredient in the can … potentially cause kidney and heart problems, muscle loss and eventually osteoporosis….. Pepsi contains banded substance…  bisphenol A. The chemical made headline news because companies used it to line plastic baby bottles even though it can leach into the liquid and cause long term effects. Those include hormone disbalance, infertility and obesity. While most baby bottles no longer contain it, the aluminum cans filled with the Pepsi of your choice sure do…. between the sugar and the acidity, Pepsi is terrible for your teeth…… high levels of toxic pesticides and insecticides, high enough to cause cancer, damage to the nervous and reproductive systems, birth defects and severe disruption of the immune system in Pepsi manufactured in India.

Besides Big B, Bollywood’s Pretty Women too, seems to be paying for her “PrettiNess” -  an abstract noun given an state-of-the-art illustration in her affairs in that Nes’ please-all-politocos theory has strengthened his bonds with congress over the ‘year’ with BJP-links shying away to an abstract dressing- room  given the fact that this Zinta-Nes mess happened only a fortnight after BJP’s landslide victory which left the winning coalition with little options but to keep a studied silence. Apparently, in the emergent impasse, Congress chanced to thrust that extra-trust upon a strong Wadia-Trust ,however, Madam M - the only apolitical victim – was caught off guard; however, the ‘ek-do-teen girl’ seen in ‘do-minute promos’ of mid-90s, can afford a rich currency today for the cheap Chinese food served with designer chop-sticks of police-baton dimensions and frilled with frivolous canards.

Anticipating the loss in LS in Bacchan’s city, Barabanki, Punia’s congress appears to have cultivated this anti-maggi market as an election campaign fifteen months ago, but the shocking part is the manner in which it travelled from non-BJP ruled UP to Nitish Kumar’s domain where the political iron is hot and where the anti-BJP bigwigs SP, Congress, JD(U), Laloo and Kejriwal are ironing out every fold. Here we have a learned advocate in Muzaffarpur, who was oblivious of the 15-month old maggi case of neighbouring Barabanki as also the verdict of 30 May 15 morning, goes to buy a packet for himself, eats it and falls sick. If he was legally-indate and had tagged camera or witnesses, the suicidal mission was uncalled for. The political motives are apparent as his obliviousness, unwitting-feast, sick-report and a brisk follow-up where this learned all-too-ignorant took hardly 2-minutes to reach out to the manufacturers as well as a host of select ex-promotors. The Nitish-Laloo courts battling ‘delayed’-justice in fodder-case acted with due precision and promptness in issuing FIRs and advisories to police towards arrest. Where the non-BJP governments of UP, Bihar, Delhi and Karnataka have triggered the ‘appropriate’ machinery which smells fish, the BJP ruled Maharashtra and Goa have successfully fished quality and standards in their stocks.

The “hand” picked stars who may have featured for a “miniute or two” decades back, would, in all certainity, see the damp-courts in the time to come, but is the aggrieved willing to seek due redresal from Congress-friendly institutions – Amity and Xaviers-Ryan – who have been hosting ‘Maggi-Fests‘ for students, children all these years ?

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Marketing- Young Bharitya Studied Mass Media at Sophia College for Women, Mumbai

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