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   God had called a meeting... (September 25, 1991)

God had called a meeting of his advertising agency to discuss the account of its latest client, Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam. The meeting was called to order, the lights were dimmed, and on the video screen were shown some of the agency's public service campaigns, including antidowry, pro-literacy, and Rajiv Gandhi - Nationality Indian, Religion Indian.

Then the actual proceedings began. God, in a voice more Madison Avenue (or Nariman Point) that godly, said: "Damn! We have been wrongly and unncessarily dragged into this dam controversy."

A member of the staff, wearing scarlet suspenders and grey beard, inquired: "You are referring to dam or damn?"

"Plese reserve you semantics for the Sunday papers," God said. "We were misinformed, we were told that 30 million water starved people in Northen Gujarat would benefit by the sarovar Dam and wash their clothes in it with Surf. Now it turn out we were short-listed."

"Yes," said another member. "We were short-listed with Mudra, HTA and R.K. Swamy, and the Nigam considered our presentation to be the most optimal representation of their case."

"Let us not go into that all over again," God interrupted. "That is history. I have not ime for it, I have a rehersal in 20 minutes. The point is that though we made an advertisement presentations and spent a lot of time, money, talents and effort in it, we had no intention of accepting the account. Enviornmentalists should note that, instead of jumping to conclusions."

"In Australia they call it kangaroo court," the scarlet braces said.

"I am aware of that," God said. "In fact, I have written a letter to The Times Of India pointing that out. It is a great pity that dedicated public service workers like Anand Patwardhan and others should rush into print without consulting God at whom they are levelling these accusations."

"True," said a junior member of the staff, who had entered God's kingdon only a few month back. "So what is going to be our line of action?"

"There is going to be no line of action," God said. "As we have already pointed out in subsequent meetings with the nigam, we do not think advertisements are the best way to go about this project. Instead, there should be seminars with respected environmentalists."

"What happen if the nigam is not agreeable to this view and gives the account for publicity of the project to HTA?" a member asked.

"That would make no difference," God said, dismissively. "Even if Mike Khanna were to get the Sardar Sarovar account, HTA would still continue to be the No. 2 agency."

 
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