Reality Bites: In the land of nationalist Neros, billionaire saints and creepy crawlies
Will his architect buddy, who designed Central Vista birthday cake, get contracts for these new hospitals too? Will they also resemble birthday cakes or resemble giant syringes, asks Rupa Gulab
While grave diggers are working 24x7, and crematoriums across India are burning, Nationalist Nero is fiddling. He’s fiddling with Covid data to make himself look less incompetent, fiddling with federalism to give himself more power, fiddling with everything he can fiddle with because he will get away with it. No questions will be asked by mainstream media, see?
Note: Though I sneer at India’s mainstream media, I cannot deny that they have a great future ahead. Even if this regime falls (through no fault of those spineless darlings), they can always work with dictators and fundamentalist/terrorist organisations across the world.
My Twitter buddy Jassi Khangura pointed out that with the withdrawal of US troops in Afghanistan, “The Taliban will soon need some good PR in the region,” and he has urged our journalists to send in their applications asap. Khangura firmly believes that one chap in particular, let’s call him Sicker Kofta, will make the Taliban look saintly.
Meanwhile, the “Nationalist Nero is our Hero” campaign has kicked in. This is a two-pronged attack:
1: Blame ordinary citizens for the Covid surge. I heard one of Nationalist Nero’s fans (a doctor, mind you) on TV splutter that when vaccines were available no one came (liar!), and now when they’re not available, everyone wants them. In short, we are ungrateful wretches who deserve to die.
2: Heap praise on Nationalist Nero. Cheers have greeted his proposal to give a hundred new hospitals their own oxygen plants with money from the PM-CARES fund. Yeah, that fund that we suspect is only dipped into to buy MLAs to topple non-BJP state governments. Because the BJP finds non-BJP state governments more frightening than a global pandemic.
Naturally, not a single question has been asked by the media. Like, have the foundation stones for these new hospitals been laid yet? Will his architect buddy, the chap who designed that Central Vista birthday cake, get contracts for these new hospitals as well? Will these new hospitals also look like birthday cakes or will they resemble gigantic syringes, be featured in Nationalist Nero’s favourite book, the Guinness Book of World Records, and get a fake UNESCO tag from the BJP IT Cell?
As I write this, India is recording over 2 lakh Covid cases and over 1000 deaths daily. After setting their trolls on Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for offering sensible advice, the BJP has finally taken a few tips, like allowing international vaccines in—this will take a few months, sadly. Of course, the media makes it sound like it was Nationalist Nero’s idea, or else they won’t get government ads and the Income Tax chaps may pop in for intense midnight chats.
The BJP’s very own ideas to fight the virus are downright ridiculous. Every senior in the party including Nationalist Nero, the Union Health Minister and Niti Aayog’s Dr VK Paul has recommended ayurvedic remedies like turmeric lattes and chyawanprash. Oddly enough when their own people like RSS chief Bhagwat and UP CM Adityanath tested positive, they were rushed into hospitals as “precautionary measures” although they only had mild symptoms. These are not reassuring ads for chyawanprash. Also, it makes desperate people who cannot get hospital beds for seriously ill family members weep.
As always, the BJP is fighting perceptions instead of the virus. An example: Countless funeral fires at a Lucknow crematorium drew gasps on social media and people questioned the number of reported deaths. The morning after, UP authorities blocked the view with metal sheets and pinned a notice that said unauthorised people were no longer allowed to enter the crematorium since it was a "COVID-19 affected area". Trespassers were also warned of strict action. Moral: If you don’t know the truth, you will be happier with the BJP.
Finally, Mother Teresa has been overshadowed by a new saint—a BJP supporter at that, yay! While Bhakts are bragging about Saint Billionairebhai’s generosity, activist Saket Gokhale has brought them back to earth with a thud. I quote him below:
1. Ambani gave 100 tons of oxygen to Maharashtra. Daily demand is 15,000 tons. The oxygen he gave lasted for 11 mins.
2. He is eligible for a tax break on this “donation”.
3. Spent more on PR than the oxygen itself.
No bhakts - we aren’t “living on Ambani’s oxygen”.
(Any resemblance with real people or events is a coincidence)