Forget Kashmir, focus on bears, bores, and creepy crawlies

Though we know that Modi govt is lying on Kashmir, there is little we can do without being called a terrorist or an anti-national. Hence we must divert our attention to Discovery’s Bear and the Bore

Forget Kashmir, focus on bears, bores, and creepy crawlies

Rupa Gulab

We are not allowed to challenge the government’s rosy lies on Kashmir even if we have proof to the contrary. Any of their supporters can point a finger at us and scream “Terrorist! Terrorist!” We are also shouted at and called anti-nationals if we dare to discuss the sinking economy and the far more horrifying fact that Indian men may not buy new underpants even if their existing ones resemble colanders as the economy stinks (oops, sinks) further. By the way, the said underwear theory was propounded by former US Federal Reserve Board chairman Alan Greenspan, please do not call me anti-national or anti-men!

So let’s talk about other things. Like the fact that I didn’t watch that Discovery channel programme on the Bear and the Bore. And I’m glad I didn’t, because I read about it after it was aired (many scathing articles, particularly the hilarious one published in The Guardian) and frankly, I’m astonished that the Bear didn’t fall asleep standing (like a horse) during the Dear Leader’s usual self pitying monologue about living in poverty, his brags about living with yogis in the Himalayas etc.

Ah come on, if he really had lived with austere yogis, perhaps he wouldn’t have stepped on to a red carpet (video proof available) and walked into a terribly expensive cave-shaped hotel room earlier this year (video proof avail-able), looking like a gigantic bottle of Fanta (video proof available). I’m hugely disappointed with Discovery channel. Why on earth did they think that asking the Dear Leader to inhale elephant dung was a daring challenge?

If Discovery had bothered to do a spot of research, it may have discovered that inhaling the rich aroma of dung is normal for the average RSS-BJP member. Hello, many of them insist on being interviewed in cow sheds (no, I’m not lying: I have seen one of India Today’s star anchors knee deep in fresh manure, asking terribly polite questions while trying not to breathe). And hey, you can even buy cow dung from Amazon — just like bigotry, dung has been normalised.

So I’m guessing that the Dear Leader copped out of a real challenge (as usual) and set this easy-peasy one for himself. Shame. This would have been a great opportunity for him to prove to the nation that he wasn’t fibbing when he told us that he wrestled crocodiles/lizards/whatever in his childhood. A huge thumbs down to the Bear, the Bore and Discovery. What truly was entertaining this month, though, was the photograph of a disqualified Karnataka MLA, MTB Nagaraj, posing next to a white Rolls-Royce Phantom VIII, apparently the most expensive automobile in India, with an on-road price of about Rs 11 crores. You can’t blame people for wondering if he purchased it with his ill-gotten gains after he crossed over to the dark, bigoted side.

If I had voted for this turncoat, I’d probably spend my days leaping into cabs, shouting “Follow that white hearse” to the cabbie, and puncture Nagaraj’s tires with my nail file whenever and wherever he parked. When I give my vote to a member of a secular party, I expect that vote to stay on the secular side! I do hope irate members of his constituency in Hoskote will throw rotten eggs/tomatoes/anything smelly and squelchy at his car at every possible opportunity. We always look forward to sound bites from senior RSS-BJP members — they provide bursts of levity during these grim days when midnight knocks are not unexpected.

This month it was our Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal who made us break out in giggles when he said, “Indian scriptures mentioned the concept of gravity long before Isaac Newton did.” Social media lit up like 5 trillion chandeliers and wit flowed like champagne. Journalist and author Salil Tripathi’s tweet on the subject was my favourite: “‘Gravity’ indeed comes from graha (planet, our home) and vrutti (nature/characteristic) and gravity is a characteristic of a planet, a graha vrutti. And it wasn’t Isaac Newton, but Ishwar Nautam, who first thought of it when a banana fell on his head.”

What’s even more astonishing is that Pokhriyal said this to directors of IITs, NITs and heads of organisations like the UGC and All India Council for Technical Education and none of them tit- tered. Forget new scientific discoveries in India now as our sharp-est scientists have been ordered to dig deeper into ancient Indian science to prove that India was a pioneer in the field, and also to prove that the minister was right. Oh dear, now we have even more things to worry about apart from Kashmir and torn underpants!

For all the latest India News, Follow India Section.

Published: 24 Aug 2019, 9:30 AM