Reality Bites: Strong men are not so strong after all, reveals the jam in Punjab

He is safe, thank God, wailed the lord after getting out of the jam. Wasn’t he made of sterner stuff, wonders Rupa Gulab

Reality Bites: Strong men are not so strong after all, reveals the jam in Punjab

Rupa Gulab

Exactly how brave are those two politicians who are hailed as “strong men” by the media? Let’s take Adityanath, the current CM of UP, who frequently throws people into jail just for a few spiteful laughs. Recently, I read a fabulous article by Dhirendra K. Jha, who said that Adityanath was arrested by the SP govt for trying to turn a local crime into a communal war.

When he was released on bail a few days later, the state government withdrew security guards assigned to protect him. Now here’s the bit where Shakespeare would have scoffed and called Adityanath “lily-livered”: “On 12 March, he famously broke down on the floor of the Lok Sabha, where he had represented Gorakhpur since 1998. His eyes welled up and tears rolled down his face as he recounted the trauma he had suffered in jail. His voice quivered and cracked, occasionally becoming shrill with emotion…and (he) threatened to quit if parliament would not offer him protection.” I feel sorrier for the clean-up team: They must have had to use swimming pool draining equipment to dry the parliament building.

Now look at our Dear Leader’s latest tantrum in Punjab. He got stuck in a traffic jam (in a bulletproof car, mind you) because of a few unarmed protestors ahead, and has been alternating between weeping and breathing fire and brimstone since. Which reminds me of a favourite childhood poem about a beetle in a jam. I’ve tweaked it a bit:

The Dear Leader got stuck in a traffic jam,

He sobbed, don’t the meanies know who I am?

Then, he expected 70,000+ fans at his speech,

But only 700 bored stragglers turned up, sheesh!

So, his SPG took the cry baby home in his pram.

Once at Bathinda airport, the Dear Leader told officials between gasping sobs, “Thank your CM, at least I reached Bhatinda airport alive.” The PMO sprang into action (most likely in consultation with some regressive TV soap producer). Ministers were ordered to hold press conferences condemning the “security breach”. Debates were held on news channels over the threats to the Dear Leader’s life, and the usual shameless news anchors honked into their hankies while their favourite panelists outraged in support of the cry baby.

While his supporters wept, normal Indians laughed till tears rolled down their cheeks. A tweet by @tractor2twitr (a social media handle run by farmers to campaign against farm laws) put it rather well: “Only 700 out of 70,000 chairs were occupied. Accept the reality @narendramodi, Punjab has rejected you.” Soon after, a wonderful hashtag sprang to life on Twitter: #70000kursi700bande

The PMO and the regressive TV soap producer weren’t done yet though. The next day, ministers were ordered to hold pujas across the nation and pray for the Dear Leader’s “long life,” and news channels were instructed to faithfully air them. The Dear Leader himself was put to work: He visited his Official Rubber Stamp and tattled. His Official Rubber Stamp did what he is paid to do—agree. News channels were instructed to air that meeting too. I was shocked to note that the Dear Leader wasn’t wearing designer dark glasses to hide his teary “lal aankh”. In fact, he was dry-eyed.

That very same evening, Punjab chief minister Channi showed the nation how the Dear Leader should have played it. He too was held up by protestors while driving, but he leapt out of his car, had a brief chat with them and gave them a date and time for a longer chat. But of course, the media won’t call Channi a strong man, because he doesn’t belong to the BJP.

Unlike the media, I have only contempt for the Lord. What can you say about a man who shrugs off the deaths of over 700 protesting farmers with a cold “Did they die for me” comment. A man who doesn’t squeak when his supporters “bully” and “sully” Muslims, Christians, Sikhs and Dalits online, and physically attack them offline. Perhaps his Man Friday was right when he told the Governor of Meghalaya that the Dear Leader has lost his marbles—all hail Lord Ga Ga!

I’m now inspired to do this: When I make it out of traffic jams, I’m going to effusively thank my CM on Twitter for allowing me to exit alive.

(Any resemblance with real characters and events is a coincidence)

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