A little mirth and laughter lifts your spirits and makes you buoyant and lively. And April Fool’s Day does call for some fun. Team Sakal Times asks a cross section of audience which well-known personality managed to pull off the biggest prank in recent times.
He is a big disappointment to the common Indian. It is not about what he did, but what he did not — that is changing the way our system works. Corruption and nepotism have only changed their face.
— Satyajit Salgarkar, 39, Teacher
With the hard hitting slogan of ‘Achhe Din’, people like me were compelled to vote for Narendra Modi and I really thought he was a friend more than the Prime Minister of the country. Now, I believe that ‘mitron’ is just a word Modi uses casually and does not really mean anything. He has definitely been successful in fooling each and every citizen of the country by not fulfilling the promises he made.
— Nikita Panhalkar, 25, Lawyer
When he implemented GST, I was so excited because the concept is really good. I thought that it will make business more transparent. But later, when I understood the GST Return Submission procedure, I realised that Modi had fooled the nation. The procedure to file GST returns is very complicated and several protocols are required. We have to hire separate manpower just to file GST returns which increases our cost.
— Sunny Dey, 30, Entrepreneur
Nobody, but only our Khiladi Kumar, can fool us with such swag. I don’t have a problem with him holding a Canadian passport and tom-tom about desh bhakti, but his ‘make sanitary pad available for free’ and ‘menstrual hygiene’ propaganda is all fake. He can pull off the ‘social reformer’ gimmick like a pro. Before his film’s release, the #PadmanChallenge created a lot of buzz, but nothing happened later. People have to understand that he was just selling a film and never intended to tackle the taboos revolving around menstruation. Recently, when 40 students were allegedly strip-searched at a Bhopal College after a used sanitary napkin was found in the hostel premises, you would have expected our desi superhero to take a stand, but did you hear him talk? His film has already earned a lot of money at the box office, so he doesn’t care. He is musing over a new propaganda to fool the bholi janta in his next film perhaps. It’s time we realised that his films are just an eyewash and he is the biggest conman of the year!
— Dr Shantanu Deb, 49, Eye Specialist
After having taken up Canadian citizenship, his love for India and patriotism doesn’t seem so genuine. His love for the country and the people is a way to win over the audience and nothing else. Many may argue that he is working in India and is paying taxes to the Indian government and doing films that will bring change in society, but it doesn’t work like that. If he really loved the country and was patriotic, he should have given up his Canadian citizenship by now. Also, if he was so honest, he should have revealed it to the world about his Canadian citizenship. Why did the media have to disclose it? And why didn’t he meet Justin Trudeau, the Canadian Prime Minister, during his recent visit to India?
— Sanchari Ghosh, 32, Fitness Trainer
Akshay Kumar is the real ‘Boss’ because he can fool you and you won’t even realise. He wears the mask of an activist when his films release. People think he is a patriot because his films talk about love for the nation, social issues, etc but everyone overlooks the fact that he intentionally releases his films around Independence/ Republic Day to make people believe that he cares for the nation. Once and for all, I think he should be sent to Canada where he can have a good time fooling the Canadians. If he is serious about issues like menstrual hygiene and lack of toilets, he should work for society.
— Sukhwinder Singh Saluja, 31, Businessman
Rahul Gandhi is a mirage. His actions and speech are confusing. One day, he comes across as intelligent and capable of understanding crucial issues of governance, giving assurance to the people that he can be a good leader. But soon enough, he says something foolish.
— Prajakta Salgarkar, 38, Teacher
Definitely Rahul Gandhi! He must be super smart but he is deceiving people with his goof-ups every now and then. We can only hope they are just goof-ups though.
— Sangram Lotankar, 28, Lawyer
Rahul Gandhi has not just fooled me but the entire nation. He has been claiming that PM Modi has taken commission for the purchase of 36 French-manufactured Rafale fighter jets off-the-shelf from Dassault, the French aircraft builder and integrator, because he is not disclosing the price at which the government has bought the fighter jets. Obviously, if the aircraft builder is selling us those jets at a lower price compared to the market price, they do not want us to disclose the actual cost. If we share the price with the world, they will cancel the deal. If PM Modi wanted commission from the deal, why would he order 36 jets, he would have ordered more. Rahul Gandhi has also been saying that Modi has been globetrotting and is not looking into issues back at home. But he has been travelling to sell the Indian market. I firmly believe that if the nation selects the Congress and Rahul Gandhi becomes our next Prime Minister, we will be the biggest fools.
— Suraj Singh, 38, Marketing Manager
Cambridge Analytica (CA) started collecting data in 2013. Facebook sent their auditors to CA. Apparently, the auditors were satisfied with a simple assurance from CA that the data will not be used. Come on. You are handling data from billion plus users and you can’t think of simple steps to restrict its access?
‘We weren’t aware’ doesn’t work. It is like an oil refinery owner saying that he wasn’t aware the oil was flammable, so didn’t take any precaution to prevent fire. Owning the biggest social media platform comes with the responsibility towards users.
Zuckerberg was never considered “Evil” like some other business owners. (Bezos), But when we look at the timeline, it becomes surprising that Facebook kept this data leak quiet for so long.
— Vishwas Mokashi, 47, Entrepreneur
It has to be Mark Zuckerberg. He initially stressed so much on data protection and privacy maintained by his social media platform Facebook and yet the Cambridge Analytica incident took place. The data mining and analytics company, based out of London, gained access to data on 50 million Facebook profiles, thanks to generous data-sharing policies of Facebook app developers in the past. This data was sold to Cambridge Analytica against Facebook’s terms of service.
— Siddhesh Jaywant, 27, Engineer
The best prank anyone has successfully pulled off is our social media guru. Who knew that users were being fooled all this while when we literally spent hours at a stretch on Facebook? But I would definitely say that he is a really smart fellow and a real good actor who kept it all hidden under the carpet. But now that everyone is aware of what Zuckerberg is up to, I believe he is going to be even more careful in order to fool us again in the near future, maybe by selling off Facebook to a giant data analyst organsiation without letting us know.
— Rebant Jacob, 26, Merchant Navy,
Mark Zuckerberg has been fooling us for years by leaking our personal details for years. Imagine a third eye snooping over your personal details for political gains! Now, I am worried to even upload pictures on Facebook because I am not sure how it’s going to be misused. We even ‘Check In’ on FB which means we are giving away our current location, this can also work against us.
—Pawan Bhatnagar, 29,
Politicians portray themselves as personalities that they are not. They are aided in this exercise by their publicists and PR machinery. For example, a leader calls himself committed to development, when in reality, he is committed to power; or a politician champions equality in public, whereas he is a casteist; or he calls himself democratic, when he is ruthlessly autocratic... the list is endless. Donald Trump, however, was projected as a crass, right wing buffoon and he has turned out to be exactly that. You thought he was actually going to be different? April Fool!
— Amitabh Pandey, 60, Author
Since the time Donald J Trump decided to run for the office of the President of the USA, I knew everything that was right in America would soon go wrong. It all started with his speeches at the Presidential election campaign when he made insensitive remarks about women and Muslims, and taunted those who serve the US military. Now, in office, he exhibits a different level of foolishness. I believe he is definitely going down in history as the world’s most foolish President.
—Gaurav Shirole, 27, Student
This is a President who once eviscerated his predecessor (Barack Obama) for meddling in Syria but has in a matter of days undergone a complete reversal and decided to lob a few dozen Tomahawk missiles at Assad (Syrian President); who ran his elections as a populist but who also wants to cut taxes on the rich; who mercilessly attacked Goldman Sachs but then tapped several prominent people from the investment bank for his Cabinet and other senior positions; who promised no one would lose health insurance when ObamaCare was repealed but then pushed a bill that would have left 24 million fewer people insured; who spent two years denouncing existing free trade agreements but now can’t decide whether to break with existing trade policy.
— Vedant Ranade, 25, Theatre Personality
With all his fire and fury comments on North Korea, now he is willing to dine with Kim Jong Un. Trump has even praised Un’s surprise visit to China recently as a step toward de-nuclearisation, and justified his plan to meet the North Korean leader for his country’s nuclear weapons programme.
—Amit Vijayan, 30, Finance Professional
More than Virat-Anushka, I think the media played a bigger role in fooling us into believing that we really cared about their wedding. I remember waking up, being bombarded by their pictures only to feel like a close friend got married because I had so many details of the wedding (courtesy: media). In real life, I couldn’t care less about them. More than Virushka, I rather think Arun Jaitley fooled us for the what-a-blah budget for the aam aadmi. The little he did (imposition of long-term capital gains tax) was so absolutely useless.
— Ritika Dange, 27, Entrepreneur
We have to give it to Anushka Sharma for using her experience of playing a con artist in Badmaash Company and Ladies vs Ricky Bahl and pulling off the trick in real life. And no, it isn’t just Anushka who’d mastered the skill, but Virat Kohli too fooled us into believing that the news of their wedding in Italy was nothing but a hoax. Despite the entire stir and gossip on social media and news channels, the couple was tight-lipped. I am sure the preparations must have gone on for months and even some of their friends from Bollywood and cricket fraternity must have been aware of their wedding, but the news wasn’t leaked. That’s quite a talent Mr and Mrs Kohli!
— Akansha Shah, 28, Choreographer
Virat Kholi and Anushka Sharma sure know how to grab eyeballs. By keeping their wedding affair a secret, they actually sought so much attention. This was their way of tricking everyone into talking about their wedding, otherwise how would people get all the videos from their pheras, mehendi, sangeet, etc. It was their PR who made sure that the couple grabbed media attention for more than a week.
— Heena Agrawal, 23, Student
I still remember when Virat unfollowed Anushka sometime last year but what followed by the end of the year was just shocking — the extravagant wedding, to all the affectionate Instagram posts, to holding hands while travelling was all there for the whole world to see. A fancy wedding after rumours of breaking up is one of the classic pranks a celebrity couple can play on you.
— Sanika Pathak, 23, Student