KBNN has been struggling to find new news as its sole reporter (until recently) has been on vacation.
While it’s recent recruit [here was his first investigative piece] learns the ropes, and all that, we’re fishing in our archives, for news we did not find fit to print at the time it happened. [Ed. Which basically meant, we were lazy enough never to print]
Interview with Bhada Badhao
Mr. Bhada Badhao, the leader of one of Pune’s fifty odd Auto Rickshaw Unions, was interviewed recently by KandaBatata reporter. Mr. Badhao, who is known for his outspoken and candid interviews, talks about the recently concluded strike, its aftermath, and the eventful lives of the Pune’s Rickshaw drivers.
KBI: Mr. Badhao, tell us a bit about yourself.
BB: I’m not important.
KBI: Okay, tell us about your union.
BB: It’s not my union. I’m union’s humble servant.
KBI: Um. Okay, tell us about the recent strike. There was a strong resentment in the public about the strike. Don’t you think, Sir, that it is justified?
BB: The resentment is manufactured by the media.
KBI: Hmmm. But with the Petrol prices down so much, shouldn’t the meter be rationalized?
BB: How is the price of petrol related to the Rickshaw meter?
KBI: Errr. What do you mean?
BB: Show me one guy in my union who uses Petrol. Have you checked prices of Kerosene, recently? It almost looks like we’ll have to start using Petrol, after all these years.
KBI: Hmmm. That gets me to my next question. Why the reluctance to move to CNG? Is it only the availability of filling stations that is the issue?
BB: This only shows the ignorance of media about the whole issue. Has any auto-rickshaw driver ever complained about the lack of availability of Kerosene filling pumps? The rickshaw drivers are very resourceful people.
KBI: So what is the problem?
BB: What problem?
KBI: So you’re saying you’re ready to use Kerosene, err, I mean CNG?
BB: Who am I?
KBI: I mean Sir, your union… the union you serve.
BB: You’ll have to ask the union, that.
KBI: So what, in your opinion, is the real reason for the strike?
BB: I thought you guys in media will know at least this much. The government is controlling Kerosene supply, so that they force us to use CNG, which, we all know, to be the inferior fuel. I mean, if aeroplanes can fly with Kerosene, why not autos? It’s all conspiracy between big business and political nexus. But we won’t give up.
KBI: But you did call off the strike.
BB: Yes. The kerosene supply in black market is back to normal.
KBI: And you’re happy about the new meter rates, I presume?
BB: Oh that. When is the last time you saw any rikshaw driver from Pune charge anyone by the meter? It’s just for headlines. You guys should know that well!
KBI: Thank you Sir. It was a privilege talking to you.
BB: Sure. Next time, get your facts right.
Post Script: The KBNN reporter has resigned from KBNN, and is planning to buy an auto-rikshaw. His exit interview with us mentions “better prospects” as the sole reason [Ed. We don’t blame him]. We’re hiring.