New Trends in New India

Published: Fri, 05/19/2017 - 08:12

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!

The rejuvenation of sagging careers: Botox, plastic surgery  and facelift sessions have been on the rise since Bollywood leftovers realised that all they needed to do to get their careers afloat again was to get Twitter accounts and engage in Bhaktspeak. Raveena Tandon and Ajay Devgn have been doing just that, following in the not-so-illustrious footsteps of Anupam Kher. In the recent past, a has-been Bollywood singer called Sonu Nigam (who has now been more or less reduced to singing bhajans to earn his living) complained about the azaan call disturbing his sleep. Pity he didn’t think of the rest of us who are kept awake by his late-night yowling when he performs at Mata ki Chowkis and other jagrans. Even my two-week-old squirrel agrees that his diatribe wasn’t against loudspeakers or noise pollution, but a hate tweet directed at Islam. He wanted to prove to the adminstration that he is a ‘proud Hindu’, get free publicity, respectable assignments and an award for sucking up like Kher. He got the free publicity almost immediately as our news channels are starved of news – they’re not permitted to report anything but government propaganda, remember.

The rise of tokenism and lal batti behaviour: The Dear Leader loves making grandiose statements. Even when other people make them before him, he pretends it was his very own idea (as he has done with every UPA scheme that he trashed before he became PM)!  So, in a voice choking with emotion, he recently announced that red beacons will be banned (except for him, of course, and the president and vice-president of India). Big deal! Lal battis may be banned, but lal batti behaviour continues unabated. Ravindra Gaikwad, the Shiv Sena MP who slapped a 60-year-old Air India employee 25 times with his slipper, was not chastened at all when airlines decided to ban him. In fact, he got his second wind when fellow parliamentarians insisted that airlines drop the ban. He’s flying high again, and this time he created a nasty little scene outside an ATM in Latur, Maharashtra, because the naughty ATM didn’t have cash when he wanted it. If he really had spunk, he should have protested outside the Dear Leader’s residence in New Delhi, since his ridiculous demonetisation scheme (the only idea he’s ever come up with himself) is responsible for dry ATMs. All bullies are cowards, QED. 

Startling new ways to protest: Distressed Tamil Nadu farmers are trying their damndest to get the Dear Leader’s attention at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi. They’ve eaten rats, worn masks with the Dear Leader’s face and fake-flogged fellow farmers, shaved their heads, etc. etc. for weeks now, but not a squeak has come out of the Dear Leader. Someone should tell the farmers to pack up the protests without hurting themselves any further. If they really want the Dear Leader’s attention, they should drop farming and get into something more lucrative like money laundering to get obscenely rich quick. Then, and only then, will he listen to them and even take them on his trips abroad to buy a few mines here and there. With massive loans guaranteed from Indian banks, naturally.

If you can’t win votes, buy ’em: The BJP is doing just that. Buying politicians from other parties to form governments when they lose elections. Ah, so is that what demonetisation was all about?   

This story is from print issue of HardNews