Three and a half years after Narendra Modi’s virtual coronation as Emperor of the Monogrammed Suit, the only ‘vikas’ I’ve seen is my neighbour Vikas Gupta.
Angst in My Pants
I’m guessing every Indian citizen and his/her dog/cat/hamster now knows that Arnab Goswami, Editor-in-Chief of Republic TV, told a big fat lie. In case you were sleeping, here goes: a couple of years ago at a public event, Goswami related Rajdeep Sardesai’s anecdote of a rather scary confrontation with a Hindutva mob while covering the 2002 Gujarat pogrom. However, Goswami pretended that it had happened to him and held forth in his charming bombastic style while cameras were rolling.
America is great again, despite Donald Trump. Media resistance in the face of an authoritarian regime is a heartening thing to see. It has inspired some of India’s mainstream journalists to tweet about it in awestruck tones. Yes, the very same people who bow and scrape so low before the establishment that even footstools are taller than them. The tragedy is that a few of that lot were former liberals who, after they figured out which way the wind was blowing in 2014, caved in as depressingly as cakes do when eager beavers open oven doors too soon.
New is not always nice, as we all know. New shoes pinch and can sometimes cause bunions and corns that you’re stuck with for the rest of your life. Here are just four of the latest trends in Modi’s new India. By the way, if you’re wondering why I haven’t included right-wing supporters calling anyone who disagrees with them over anything anti-national, it’s because it’s old hat!
It’s a voter hate voter world out there today. Liberals and bigots are fighting each other like never before. Oddly enough, liberals are not remotely ashamed to admit that they’re liberals, but bigots (the poor hypocritical darlings) are terribly embarrassed to be called out for what they are. They use far too many excuses to justify their bigotry. Development is the most popular fig leaf, of course. It’s an old tried and trusted excuse favoured by Nazi supporters.
It’s time for my year-end award ceremony–the only occasion when I get to decide who wins what! It’s been a rather sad year for most of us across the world and I doubt 2017 is going to be better. How is it possible with bigots in charge of so many countries (sigh)? Anyway, back to the present.
It’s truly upsetting that the hyper-nationalist BJP government has asked China to make Sardar Patel’s statue. Some of us have gone into a state of shock. This definitely weakens its ‘Make in India’ slogan and makes the roaring lion logo look like a mewling kitten stuck on a tree-top. Oh, and I’m also going to make sure that I never stand next to that statue when it is installed. No way! I’ve seen how little bits and pieces of my ‘Made in China’ laptop fall off whenever it goes through airport security scanners. Shudder.
The shockingly uncultured Union Minister of Culture, Mahesh Sharma, has had what some in the media call a brainwave. To the rest of us, though, it sounds more like a short circuit of that walnut-sized organ in his skull that is an apology for a human brain. He has decided to grade artistes and writers into three categories: Outstanding, Promising and Waiting. The Outstanding and Promising lot will officially represent India at events, while the Waiting will wait for a change in government, I assume. I am pretty certain there’s a secret fourth category titled ‘Ignoring’.
From Nehru jackets, Fab India kurtas, and a brief flirtation with a monogrammed suit, India moved to mufflers. Much has been made of Arvind Kejriwal’s mufflers. So much, in fact, that the astute man turned it into an advantage. He found a way around the Supreme Court ruling that chief ministers cannot feature in ads –he got himself shot from the back wearing his trademark muffler and pullover, while promoting AAP’s odd-even drive. However, that look is so yesterday. Fashion pundits are bubbling with new predictions. Here goes: