“Vikas has “surrendered“; long live Vikas.”
Whichever way you look at it, arrest or surrender, the sight of “Vikas Dubey Kanpurwala” sitting upright in police custody in Madhya Pradesh is a reassuring sign to those who only expected him to be caught horizontally in an encounter.
Or, flee abroad safely.
But for a week, Hindi newspaper readers have had a somewhat surrealistic experience with headline after headline speculating about Vikas, the alleged mastermind behind an ambush of police personnel in Uttar Pradesh.
Surrealistic because “vikas” also happens to be the eponymous hero of many a Narendra Modi fable on progress and development. Just as that mythical creature has been missing for six years and possibly forever, so was the criminal figure.
The stand-up comic Rajiv Nigam brings this home with a straight face in a YouTube video.
Still, the Hindi newspaper headlines on “Vikas” (upper case ‘V’) are a class by themselves—and oddly satisfying if you are not a full paid-up bhakt who has bought into the great Indian dream of “vikas” (lower case ‘v’).
Some newspapers are mindful of the association between the most wanted criminal and the most desired goal. So they use his full name, or just his surname, or call him gangster so that readers do not confuse the two.
But it is difficult to do so for a week. So “Vikas” pops up in headlines. Below are a few which capture a nation’s quest for ‘V’ and ‘v’ in more ways than one.
# Vikas ke kareeb pulis
# Noida me dikha Vikas
# Pulis ke liye bada sawal, aakhir kaha gaya Vikas
# 72 ghante, 60 team, phir bhi pakad se door Vikas
# ‘Vikas insaan nahi raakshas hai‘
# Aparadh va siyaset ka ‘Vikas’ model hai bikru
Vikas ki ma ne kaha, maar diya jaaye use
# Vikas ab most wanted; 5 lakh hua inaam
# Bhesh badal pulis ko chakma de sakta Vikas
# ‘Tihar ki kadi’ se padegi Vikas ki hathkadi
# Toll plaza par Vikas ke poster lage
# Vikas ke ghar se teen shaktishaali bum mile
# Vikas ka naukar giraftar
# Vikas ke bhatije ki patni, naukarani, aur padosi giraftar
# Vikas ke kaali kamayi ko safed karta tha Jay
# Do din tak Sheoli mein hi dost ke ghar chipa tha Vikas
# Har party ne Vikas ke sar par rakha tha haath
# BaSaPa mein rah ke Vikas ne khareed lee thi SaPa sakriya sadasyata ke raseed
# Vikas ko phaasi se kam nahi milegi saja
# Vikas ki talash mein tabadtod chaapemaari
And this killer line which is surrealistic at many levels:
# 2002 mein netaon ke saath kiya tha surrender Vikas
चौकीदार और विकास साथ साथ…👇 pic.twitter.com/5JWML3tSJ2
— Raju Parulekar (@rajuparulekar) July 9, 2020
Screenshots: courtesy Dainik Bhaskar, Dainik Jagran, Hindustan, Navbharat Times, Sahara India, Jansatta