Reality Bites: ‘Samrath ko nahin dosh Gosain’!
Tulsidas pointedly wrote in Ramcharitmanas that the powerful can do what they like and cannot be faulted
Relentless PR is not the only thing the BJP is good at. They have something else, a special something that selfish and conservative Indian parents shamelessly use on their children: emotional blackmail. It’s gut-churning to see all those hairy men turn on their inner Nirupa Roy waterfalls.
Even though the BJP has traumatised Indians with the stupidest of policies and actions, most Opposition parties have been cornered by their anti-national and anti-Hindu wails.
We expected the same nonsense on 5th August, but this time almost all the Opposition parties preempted the BJP and sang a different tune: they wanted the temple built over an illegally demolished mosque too, so there! Some said it directly, some said the Supreme Court judgement made it kosher, some used their words carefully and gushed over Ram, some whined that they weren’t invited to witness the spectacle, and some said nothing at all. None (apart from Left parties) spared a thought for the criminality of the act and the humiliation of the Muslim community.
Is this a country we’re living in or is it a zoo? The media has turned from watchdog (Kaiser) to lapdog (Fluffy). Activist Saket Gokhale’s RTI efforts have revealed that the ECI is yoked to the BJP cart like a helpless donkey. People have started behaving like sheep. Even the SC appears to have turned into some kind of an avian mimic—is it really parroting the SG and AG, or are we just hearing things? And to add insult to injury, the Opposition behave like headless chickens! Here’s a question for all Opposition parties: it’s a given that the BJP corners you with emotional blackmail, but isn’t six years enough time for you to have devised a strategy to thwart them? If you can’t find the words, fall back on Rabindranath Tagore.
Tagore’s writings are treasures, particularly during these dark days, and cover practically everything from the inspiration for a better nation (“Where the mind is without fear, And the head is held high, Where knowledge is free...”), to patriotism (“I will never allow patriotism to triumph over humanity as long as I live.”) and the horrors of aggressive nationalism. Why, it even gives us words to describe the mandir issue!
On 5th August, social media was buzzing with his poem ‘Deeno Daan.’ A friend gave me the gist:
A king builds an expensive temple, but the priest refuses to conduct prayers and says there is no god in it. The King protests that the temple is grand, God would love it. The priest firmly tells the King that he has put himself in the temple, not God, and goes on to say that many people had no food and shelter during the drought, but the King ignored their pleas for help and built a house for God instead. He asks the King, “do you think God will stay in your temple?” The priest was banished, of course!
Now, if I were a member of an Opposition party, I would print this poem on flyers, paint it on hoardings/ walls, circulate it on WhatsApp, heck, the whole works! And now for D-Diwas (5th August). A few days before the circus, quite a few BJP leaders including the Union Home Minister got their mummies and daddies to write letters to the Supreme Leader excusing them from the event on various pretences, some of which were rather amusing.
I did not have the courage to watch Indian news channels on the 5th, and thank god I didn’t because I believe many news anchors yowled “Jai Shri Ram” with the fervour of lynch mobs. A news anchor even sang bhajans during her show (she will go down in history as Manika Kumar). Chances are, the warbling wife of a former Maharashtra Chief Minister will be very upset with her—she hates competition.
Here are the highlights of the day that I gleaned from random articles: the Supreme Leader strutted around in his usual manner, and did a few floor exercises. We know how much he loves headgear, but I thought it was a bit excessive to wear a hat and then put a crown on it. Such a pity that he didn’t put a third piece of headgear on too—news anchors would have loved the opportunity to squeal with joy and call it a hat trick!
(Any resemblance with real people or events is a coincidence)