Reality Bites: De, de, Ram ke naam pe de de, aur nahin toh: donate or else…

Collecting donations for the Ram Temple, going on since 1990, should not come as a surprise. ‘Collection’ is a national hobby

Reality Bites: De, de, Ram ke naam pe de de, aur nahin toh: donate or else…

Rupa Gulab

They love collecting things. Filthy lucre, of course, heads the list. The fat PM Cares piggy bank packed with crores from cronies, coerced crores from government employees and suppliers and more from gullible individuals is just a tiny example.

Well before they demolished the Babri Masjid in 1992, RSS-BJP collected donations for the temple they plotted to build on the site. Not just in India, but from Hindu extremists across the world. You assume they must have collected enough by now, but nope—the greedy things are knocking on doors and terrorising almost everyone in India, non-bigots included, to donate towards the temple.

I’m eagerly waiting for them to come knocking at my door because I am prepared. Not to make a donation, but to give them a long lecture on secularism, generously peppered with archaic insults like cockalorum, picaroon and dandiprat (These are not Sanskrit but English words. Look them up).

I will record my interaction with them too, and when they threaten me (like I’ve been told they do when people refuse to cough up donations) I will report them to the police for extortion. Last heard, it was a crime. Jails are vitally important collection centres. The more students, activists and dissenters they collect there, the happier they are. Only sheeple and bigots who love them are spared because they never ever question the RSS-BJP.

All of them are cowards. India’s “strongest” prime minister cannot name China when he rattles his gigantic sabre (note: It’s made in a Nagpur NGO by poor, blind bhakts). He was too frightened to take the first shot of the vaccine unlike many of his peers across the world (the scaredy cat is waiting to see how India’s guinea pigs fare). And of course, we’ve known for ages that he feels very thirsty when he’s asked uncomfortable questions—not normal thirsty, but severe dehydration that could lead to hospitalisation—so he refuses to answer any. Jail is the best place to keep educated and inquisitive people who ask questions, so people like him can pretend to feel superior.

Their most disturbing and perverted hobby, though, is appropriating national icons who cannot tell them to get lost because they’re dead. They particularly want people who had openly expressed contempt for the Sangh Parivar’s majoritarianism and bigotry. Since dead people cannot be jailed, rewriting their history is another way to punish them and ensure that they don’t rest in peace. Rabindranath Tagore and Subhas Chandra Bose are their latest victims, because elections in West Bengal are around the corner. Oh, how I wish Gandhi, Patel, Tagore and Bose would haunt them!

Every time they do this, people want to know why they’re stealing heroes from other ideologies, and don’t they have any of their own? Journalist Sujata Anandan has addressed that in one of her recent columns: “But, then, the Hindu Rashtra is a nation without heroes and all those they would want as heroes are actually villains.”

They are trying to collect contemporary heroes from cinema and sports who are not averse to their warped ideology, but so far they have only managed the B to Z-grade lot. Recently, a former captain of the Indian cricket team had to be rushed to the ICU in Kolkata not once but twice—it is whispered that their attempts to make him join their party made his heart go weak.

A film star they were passionately wooing in Tamil Nadu checked into the ICU too. When he emerged, he said his health was more important than dabbling in politics. Ah well, hardcore fascists are not terribly well versed in the art of gentle persuasion. A spot of knocking around with an iron rod works better for them.

Which brings me to Komal Sharma, aka the Girl with the Iron Rod. She mysteriously vanished after she swung that rod on students at JNU, but her legend lives on. I have to confess that she is the only RSS-BJP hero/villain who taught me how to give pigeons “a fitting reply”. Watching her in action inspired me pick up a long-handled floor wiper and shoo them away from my balcony— it worked!

I have now installed a scarecrow with her mug shot on my balcony as a tribute. This is the first in my RSS-BJP hero/villain collection.

(Any resemblance to real people or events is a coincidence)

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Published: 05 Feb 2021, 6:00 PM