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24th August 2006 will go down in the annals of history of the Solar System as the most shameful day in its 4.6 Billion years of existence. In an act of blatant insensitivity and cruelty, a group of astronomers, calling themselves International Astronomical Union (IAU) humiliated and excommunicated Pluto from the elite core group of the Solar system- the Planets.
Pluto, who had attained the coveted position by sheer grit and perseverance- in spite of being small in stature- was understandably crushed.
But it takes enormous inner strength to attain Planethood, and Pluto, who had fought hard all his life to attain this distinction is not planning to give up without a fight.
When this correspondent met Pluto’s lawyer, Ai Yam Anass, he was livid about the public humiliation meted out to his client.
‘We have directly approached the supreme court for legal redressal,’ said Anass. ‘This act by the self-proclaimed Astrological Union is most unfortunate. In this country, we believe in equality. Just because my client is different, it is no reason to have him summarily booted out. Granted, he has an orbit more elliptical than normal and that it is tilted 17 degrees from the rest. But since when has this country started being so opposed to individual differences? Also, remember, he has managed to grab and retain five satellites- one of them almost as big as himself. This whole thing is a conspiracy by the big bullies in the club- Jupiter and Saturn- to discredit my client. They had even conspired to make him appear to be a dog. But let me tell you, my client is better that either of them. At least he is solid through and through, unlike those two who are full of gas.’
I gently pointed out that the biggest reason cited for the demotion was not these, but that Pluto had been unsuccessful in clearing the smaller objects from his path.
Ai Yam Anass bristled at this. Clearly he felt deeply for his client’s unfair treatment ‘Hello! Do you know how far away the rest of those cowards are from the Kuiper belt? While my client is battling the strays from the frozen outbacks of the solar system, freezing his backside off, the rest of those morons are warming their posteriors around the sun. Give him some time, I say. Another billion years and he would have cleared all the Debris. Do you know how many rounds it takes to clear all debris in the path? My client takes 248 years to make each round. So Earth has had 248 times the opportunity to clear all other objects in the path’
I asked him what he felt his chances are in the Supreme Court.
‘It is a matter of fundamental rights. Once you discriminate based on size, there is no stopping. Next they will throw out Mercury, then Mars, then Venus. Finally you will all wake up when Earth has ceased to be a planet. Pretty silly humanity will look- being the inhabitants of a Dwarf Planet. Can you imagine the religious repercussions? The Catholic Church will go nuts. Just four centuries back, they claimed Earth was the centre of the Universe. From that, coming down to Dwarf Planet? I tell you, this is the time to take a stand.’
‘Any comments from your Client that I can quote?’
‘No comments. The matter is sub judice. But take it from me, he is a great fighter. The Supreme Court has ordered a probe based on our request. The probe- New Horizons- will send the pictures back by July 2015. Then we will see. The stupid morons of IAU will have to eat their words,’ said Ai Yam Anass.
I wished him all the best. My heart is with Pluto. After all, no civilised society should tolerate bullies picking on someone just because of his size. I silently vowed to get a million Facebook votes for Pluto- the true Planet.