Reality Bites: My Aadhaar has my picture by mistake!

We’re so used to Dear Leader’s overpowering passion for himself and so frightened of being framed when we criticise him. And then dear man sweetly wonders in public why more people don’t criticise him

Reality Bites: My Aadhaar has my picture by mistake!

Rupa Gulab

I woke up one morning, glanced at the news, and shrieked: Union ‘Heckling Amazon’ Minister, Piyush Goyal, had had a face transplant! Did Amazon owner Jeff Bezos put out a supari for him? The only other person in the house came rushing into the room and said “What? Cockroach?” “Worse,” I croaked, and thrust my smart phone into his hand.

He gazed at the ad announcing that Goyal would grace some event or the other, and blinked when he saw that it carried a photograph of the Dear Leader instead of Goyal. Then he stalked out of the room muttering dark things about megalomania. Social media bubbled with mirth all day, and my favourite tweet was by Asif Rahman, who cheekily said, “My Aadhar has my picture by mistake.”

A few days later, the weary nation saw an ad announcing that Vice President Venkaiah Naidu would be addressing an event, and once again, the only photograph featured was of the Dear Leader. No one was shocked anymore, but there were a few grumbles about a breach of protocol. I mean, imagine if UK ads replaced photographs of the Queen with those of PM Boris Johnson cuddling corgis?

But then, we’re so used to the Dear Leader’s overpowering passion for himself—more importantly, we’re so frightened of being framed when we criticise him. Take the latest raids on News Click and News Laundry, for instance. And then the dear man sweetly wonders in public why more people don’t criticise him!

I don’t know what brought on this fresh spurt of wherever-you-go-you-will-see-me-glaring-at-you megalomania, but it could be because the Dear Leader knows that a few more people have seen through him and the mess he’s made of the nation.

That glare is to remind us to be afraid. India is reaping the fruits of his big boo boos in J&K right now, where civilians are being killed either by militants or security forces. Didn’t the Dear Leader tell us that demonetisation would stop acts of terrorism, and didn’t he warmly assure us that doing away with Article 370 would make terrorists wave white hankies and squeak, “We give up, you won!”

I’m waiting impatiently for the Dear Leader to step to the next level: A directive to his ministers to co-operate with him and wear Dear Leader masks every time they address the public or else (his sidekick knows where they live and in which parks they walk, see?). Shouldn’t his ministers also replace their display pictures on social media with the Dear Leader’s mugshots? Why don’t they all wear gaudy clothes and weird hats like he does too?

When Ashish Mishra, son of Union Minister Ajay Mishra, was absconding after allegedly mowing down farmers who were protesting peacefully in Lakhimpur Kheri, I had indeed looked forward to large “Wanted” posters of Mishra sporting the Dear Leader’s photograph instead. That could make us feel happier than we’ve felt for over seven years. Wishful thinking is a great stress-buster.

Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, not exactly a fan of the Dear Leader, should be made to fall in line as well. He recently said that he was planning to bring a law under which only the sounds of Indian musical instruments can be used as horns for vehicles. This is a terrible idea and we may panic and think that every day is Ganpati immersion day.

Seriously though, would the sound of a weeping violin make you jump out of harm’s way? I say, instead of horns, the Dear Leader’s voice should play instead. One of his most remembered quotes, the chilling one about “crushed puppies” would be perfect. What exactly had he said about the 2002 riots/pogrom in Gujarat. Ah yes: “If someone else is driving a car and we’re sitting behind, even then if a puppy comes under the wheel, will it be painful or not?” I would break the current Olympic high jump record if I heard him say that while crossing roads!

Honestly, I don’t really care how far the Dear Leader’s megalomania takes him. If he is determined to shove himself in our faces, he may as well go the whole hog. I just wish he’d concentrate even more on himself and leave us alone!

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