Tinku started his fast Thursday afternoon after having a grand five-course meal with second helpings of each item. “Tinku baba needs energy for his fast,” said Sakkhubai, Tinku’s maid servant who prepared the massive meal for him. In the first few hours, only a handful of relatives were by his side supporting and motivating him. However, as soon as the press and TV news channels came to cover the story, several friends and well-wishers began pouring in, offering their support for Tinku. “I heard that there were TV people covering some boy’s fast, so I came to support him. Who knows, I may be on the front page tomorrow and a movie director calls me up for a movie,” said Neha, who looked as if she had accidentally tripped into a box of makeup.
“IITs should consider the passion and commitment of students before taking them in. My friend is passionate about vodka and has been committed to 15 girls,” said Akash, Tinku’s friend. Tinku’s parents are proud that their child was taking a stand for what he believes in. “I always felt that my son would amount to nothing, but look at him today, he is doing something that the famous people in our country do. Now even he will be famous. I say every child who wants to achieve something in life should go on a fast until he achieves it,” said his father. “Besides, if Baba Ramdev is doing it, it means that a hunger strike must be beneficial to the body and will cleanse the mind, body and soul,” said the mother, an ardent Ramdev follower. There were some relatives who felt Tinku’s fast won’t hold as much mettle as Baba Ramdev’s because he has no armed followers to threaten the government with.
Tinku seems determined to remain on fast until he is given a seat in IIT Bombay, though we did catch him stealing hungry glances at the delicious samosas his maid had made for us. The government expressed concerns over Tinku’s fast and called for an urgent committee meeting headed by HRD minister Kapil Sibal to look into the matter. On being questioned about the matter, Sibal told us, “We agree that IIT-JEE is no judge to a student’s merit. In fact, seeing the current scenario, we believe that JEE should be scrapped and admissions to IITs should be given only on the basis of fasts. Students will be judged on the length and severity of fasts they impose upon themselves, and on how many people come to support them. Extra credit will be awarded if there is an armed uprising.”
As the government loses sleep over Tinku, Digvijay Singh and P Chidambaram have come out openly to announce that it’s all an RSS conspiracy just like every other problem like Mohammad Ghazni’s invasion, the Kashmir dispute, the 1975 emergency, the Bofors scam, the mishandled Commonwealth Games, the 2G scam, and an issue as impo-(r)-tent as the alleged homosexuality of Rahul Gandhi are all an RSS scam.
Tinku’s friend Rinku said that he will also keep a 10-hour fast from 11pm onwards on June 11, to protest against the government’s neglect of Tinku’s demands, like Anna Hazare and his favourite writer Chetan Bhagat have done for Baba Ramdev. He said his fast will add to Tinku’s fast and then their friend Minku would join and all the fasts would be added up, thus in long term, creating a Fibonacci series of fasts. Apparently Rinku has made it to the IITs this time.
It remains to be seen whether this ‘fast’ decision by the Government appeals to the common man. However, late at night, the director of a well-known JEE coaching institute said, “It doesn’t really matter. We are already in the business of starving students for two years in the name of JEE preparation.”
In continuation to this story, you might like to read another related report published by us on June 10: Fasting—the Modern-Day Brahmastra