Reality Bites: Kamala & Kamal, Harris & Human Rights

In the BJP’s handbook, powerful leaders leave no stone unturned to stay in power. They have many democratic tools at their disposal like the election commission, the judiciary, police, the media

 Reality Bites: Kamala & Kamal, Harris & Human Rights

Rupa Gulab

The BJP is extremely puzzled these days. If life were an Archie comic, the party would be depicted as Big Moose with a speech bubble that says “Duh.” They took it for granted that their beloved Dolanji would be re-elected POTUSA—how could he not, after they organised two mega campaigns for him: Howdy Modi in Texas, and Namaste Trump in Ahmedabad. The Emperor (recently crowned in Ayodhya) even yowled “Ab ki baar Trump Sarkar” at the Howdy Modi event! And unlike the BJP’s tight-fisted attitude during the recent migrant crisis, big money was happily pumped into those campaigns.

In the BJP’s handbook, powerful leaders leave no stone unturned to stay in power. They have many democratic tools at their disposal like the election commission, the judiciary, police, the media, etc—a sneaky little tweak here and there and bingo—you can be Emperor till you live. That Joe Biden is leading in the popularity charts appears to hurt them more than it hurts poor Dolanji himself. They must be scratching their heads and wondering why Dolanji is not organising fake surgical strikes or starting wars for instant popularity. I won’t be surprised if they’re sneakily sending anxious little love notes to Dolanji, offering the services of their infamous Chanakya to buy out his political rivals.

When Biden announced that Kamala Harris would be his VP candidate, the BJP and its supporters were torn. Her mother was Indian, a Hindu and a Brahmin—ticks all their boxes, hooray! Her father was Jamaican, but shhh—India’s hysterical media has already glossed over that. Her Indian family tree has been explored in great detail, her relatives have been interviewed, and soon we will be gleefully informed what her favourite Indian snack is. I still remember clearly that astronaut Sunita Williams (another Indian-origin America citizen) loved samosas best, because the media drilled it into my head. Now, if only my school teachers had been as relentless in imparting information as the Indian media I may have been an academic star!

The only part of the sickeningly awe-struck coverage I appreciated was this: our servile news channels showed more footage of Harris than the Emperor for a few days—such a blessed relief ! Now on to why the BJP is wary of Harris: she’s a (gasp) liberal who (gasp, gasp) actually believes in human rights! They discovered this shocking flaw in her character in 2019, after the abrogation of Article 370 in Kashmir. US Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal had introduced a Congressional resolution urging India to lift all the restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir, and this hurt the fragile sentiments of our External Affairs Minister.

Dr Jaishankar has proved over and over again that petulance is his thing, and he didn’t let the nation down that time either. He demanded that Jayapal be excluded from his meeting with US lawmakers. When they did not oblige he smashed a few plates in the privacy of his hotel room (I’m guessing) and cancelled his meeting with them.

Many US Democrats were indignant and said they stood with Jayapal. Harris tweeted: “It’s wrong for any foreign government to tell Congress what members are allowed in meetings on Capitol Hill. I stand with @RepJayapal, and I’m glad her colleagues in the House did too.” Dr Jaishankar will have to mend bridges with Harris if Biden wins. Fortunately, he has been given a new speech writer who even composes some of his tweets. His style is treacly Hallmark, while his content is fascist. Perhaps he could charm Harris into forgiving his petulant boss? And also sweetly tell her what the BJP firmly believes in:“Human rights is not part of Hindu culture.”

Finally, there’s one more test for Harris—a big one! We know from all those interviews that she speaks a few words of Tamil, but, as my Twitter buddy @venkat1962 pointed out, “If she doesn’t know Hindi, is she even Indian?”

This is a valid question, keeping in mind what DMK leader Kanimozhi recently experienced: ‘Today at the airport a CISF officer asked me if “I am an Indian” when I asked her to speak to me in tamil (sic) or English as I did not know Hindi. I would like to know from when being indian (sic) is equal to knowing Hindi.”

(Any resemblance to real characters and events is a concidence)

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