The Anna phenomenon—a nightmare for some businesses, booster for some!

In a recent remark, an agitated equities trader mentioned in a casual conversation that Anna Hazare is one of the key contributors to the crash of the stock markets in India. Mr. Singh, an expert in forward trading, commented, “Ever since Anna Hazare started his protests through fasts, several companies are not functioning properly due to lack of employees. Everyone wishes to be a part of the protest as it is for a ‘noble’ cause.” Supporting Mr. Singh’s views on the issue, an agitated friend, Mr. Sharma added, “Everyone thinks that they can make a difference to the protest by joining hands with Anna. Two of my employees had taken a day off to join the fast, but I spotted them at a nearby mall with their extra-marital connections,” while he scavenged on Mr. Singh’s vada pav.

Expressing grievances over the initiation of the protests, Mr. Rocky says, “Off late people have stopped coming to the gym. Everyone is fasting with Anna and reducing their weight and once they break the fast, they are following the diet regime that I recommended.” Even fitness biggies like the Talwalkars have announced attractive discounts to regain customers and sustain their business.

However, flipping the coin to check the other side reveals a host of people who have benefited from the protests. B Puri, a chaat vendor at Juhu, has now shifted his base to Delhi after Anna has frequented fasts at the capital city. Puri indicates by pointing out that a number of people who come to fast are incapable of doing so and sneak out on the pretext of attending to nature’s call, only to shamelessly land up at his shop and eat like there’s no tomorrow. In fact Puri, who used to sleep underneath his pushcart while he was at Juhu, now owns an apartment at Noida and travels by car to his shop after he strategically relocated.

At a press conference held at New Delhi, Airtel’s parent company owner Sunil B Mittal stated, “People are going mad over these protests and feel the need to be a part of it. So, we have increased the billing tariff when on roaming and indeed this business model is working out positive.” Says K Srinivas, a senior member at Airtel, drumming to the movements of his boss, “People are travelling from several parts of the country to Delhi to join the protest and send messages until the keys 2 and 6 fall off their mobile phones. Owing to severe pressure from the government, we are soon going to charge an additional Lokpal Tax for all messages that have the word ‘Anna’ in it.”

Mexican immigrant Anna Gonzales expressed grave concerns about the Lokpal Tax, but later observed that her plea had gone unnoticed like Anna Hazare’s. The shock came when she raised queries on MMS and her account was immediately blocked. She has now filed a petition at a Consumer Court questioning the action and clarifying other possible interpretations of MMS.

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Swaroop Sriram

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