Reality Bites: Waiting for the PM to inspect the holy river in Covid times

After Demonetisation, he had mocked people by saying that currency was floating in river. Now that bodies are floating in river, one waits for him to ride his favourite sea plane for a river cruise

Reality Bites: Waiting for the PM to inspect the holy river in Covid times

Rupa Gulab

There’s only one thing that gives me hope during these dark days: A few of India’s High Courts are actually asking the Centre and its handmaidens like the ECI hard questions. While the shortage of medical oxygen is a burning issue across the nation, the Delhi High Court had me cheering like a groupie at a rock show when I read its scathing comment on the Centre’s caller tune message asking people to get vaccinated:

"You have been playing that one irritating message on the phone whenever one makes a call, for we do not know how long, that you (people) should have the vaccine, when you (Centre) don't have enough vaccine.”

I would definitely have screamed, “I love you! Marry me! Please!” to the judge who made that welcome remark if I had been in that courtroom.

We need more and more sensible people like that judge in India. People who can see through the Centre’s incompetence and arrogance and are not scared to call it out. India has reported over 4000 Covid deaths daily over the past few days. While we’re gasping for breath during the Covid tsunami, we’re given large doses of PR to save the Big Fat Stadium’s image instead of oxygen to save our lives. We have been informed by the media that the BJP’s mothership, the RSS, is rushing to the government’s rescue with the launch of a campaign called “Positivity Unlimited.” The media got that wrong, tut. It’s not a rescue operation, it sounds more like the RSS is trolling the BJP instead, considering that the number of people who test positive these days appears to be unlimited. So yeah, “Positivity Unlimited” is perfect.

The Big Fat Stadium’s incompetence is hardly a surprise. We saw it clearly with Demonetisation in 2016. He guffawed at our suffering when he was in Japan and said with glee, “In the river Ganga, where people didn’t even donate one Rupee, now there are notes of Rs 1000 and Rs 500 floating.”

The Big Fat Stadium may have got away with Covid mismanagement too if international media hadn’t held him to account. Why, even his expensive Central Vista project has been called “Modi’s folly.” Who wastes public money in the time of a pandemic when thousands are dying daily and hundreds of dead bodies are floating down the holy Ganga? How come he hasn’t guffawed yet again and said, “Hundreds of dead bodies are flowing in the Ganga, hee-hee”? By the way, if the Big Fat Stadium ignores the heartbreaking stories Ma Ganga is telling him, expect an outbreak of cholera soon.

While we have been told that the Big Fat Stadium will not be attending the G-7 in the UK in June, because he wants to stay with us in our hour of need, many of us are certain that he did not call it off himself. The UK has officially declared that B.1.617.2 is a variant of concern as it appears to spread more quickly than the other Indian variants. It didn’t help that two of the members of the MEA who visited the UK recently tested positive. I’m pretty certain a discreet phone call was made from 10 Downing Street, and it was gently suggested that the Big Fat Stadium should not show up. Something on the lines of, “Um, I’m sure the prime minister would rather tackle the Covid outbreak in India than, ah, waste his time at some boring, pointless G-7 meeting.”

I gather that this is the first time Covid-19 has affected the Big Fat Stadium personally and made him weep into his gaudy silk hankies. Look at the poor chap, he’s been all dressed up with two fancy new planes at his disposal since 2020, but has nowhere to go, no big world leaders to hug, and no small world leaders to elbow out of the way when cameras are rolling.

There is one trip he should make, though: tour the length of the Ganga on one of the seaplanes he brags about, collect all the bodies that are found floating or stuck in sand banks, and cremate them all by himself. Just for once I won’t grudge him a massive televised ceremony. It’s about time he gave poor Indian citizens what he always ignores, some dignity.

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

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