You want facts – I’ll give you facts! On March 5, 2014, BJP leader Nitin Gadkari said that if his party was voted to power at the Centre, it would try to abolish most of the direct and indirect taxes to generate more revenue and reduce inflation. Well, the BJP won that election and by now most of us know that all they have generated so far is hot air, photoshopped images, and doctored tapes (apart from divisive Hindutva sloganeering, lying shamelessly appears to be a big part of the party’s warped ideology too). Inflation has shot up and so have taxes.
Stop the world – I want to get off now! It appears to be taking a sharp turn to the ugly right, with bigots, fascists, fundamentalists, dictators and other mad people in charge. Parts of the Middle East and Africa are worse off than before, what with the nasty ISIS, Boko Haram and other terrorist organisations on a murdering, raping rampage. China and Russia are more or less as dictatorial as before. Turkey is on a slow roast with Erdogan bossing it around and as for India, sigh – I’ll get to that later.
In highly polarised times like these the words of Rabindranath Tagore provide some much needed inspiration
I ’m tired of politics so I’ve decided to write about books instead. Not books that have already been written, but books that really should be written. Here are a few:
Is There Life After Facebook? (Non-fiction)
The most important thing we learnt in 2015 is that the BJP is very, very special. It’s so special that rules that apply to other parties do not apply to it at all. This party is a gift from the gods (only Hindu gods, mind you) and anyone who thinks otherwise will be banished to Pakistan. The Ministry of External Affairs will do all the irritating paperwork, I assume, and we’ll get a grand send-off – shoes will be hurled at us which is a good thing because we can set up shoe shops as soon as we arrive.
For a long, long time, I’ve had nothing positive to say about my country. I’ve watched bigotry and hatred spread across its length and breadth with growing horror. Things have got so bad that I have a repartee ready for Hindutva supporters who often urge me to go to Pakistan: “Why bother,” I will say in a laconic voice, “India has become just like Pakistan. Same difference.”
I admit that I laughed like a hyena when Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that our neighbourhood astrologers are the cleverest people on Earth and make NASA scientists look like dim bulbs – zero watts is what he implied. After my laughter subsided, I decided that we should give him a chance and test his pet theory. He could well be right. Hey, for all we know, those Lefties fooled us for decades!
Of all the ugly discourses happening during achhe din, the Adarsh Sanghi/Bhakt and Adarsh Liberal posters/cartoon strips are the least offensive and the most amusing. Here’s an example from an article in the Hindustan Times:
An Adarsh Liberal is “someone who goes on an expensive holiday to discuss and understand poverty,” and while he “supports PETA”, he “eats chicken and beef”, “shifts goalposts if losing arguments”, “attacks Hindu gods to become secular”, etc.
It’s now painfully clear: the BJP and AAP firmly believe that pouring tax-payers’ money into advertising and PR is the best way to govern the country, states, Union Territories, et cetera. I don’t know about you, but I flinch when I discover that crores of rupees are wasted on the silliest of ads and unnecessary PR initiatives. Since we cannot dissuade both these parties from engaging in this battle to win our fickle hearts and minds, how about we recommend a few ways they can cut costs?
I have giggled a lot this month, thanks to the NDA government. Here’s why:
Asanas for Asses:
Corruption charges that recently hit senior ministers of the BJP government have had most of us rolling on the floor with mirth. Particularly when External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj claimed that she helped Lalit Modi on humanitarian grounds. Hello, the BJP is not known to be remotely sympathetic to human beings—they’re more cowitarian than humanitarian. And Lalit Modi is not a holy cow, is he?
The acche din sarkar is just over a year old, hooray.