Why ‘Nirma’ is a rage as Amit Shah visits Hyderabad
The BRS and satirists celebrate ‘Bhajipa’ detergent’s superb ability to wash off any stains of alleged corruption and wrongdoings. Use it to believe it
Remember the ubiquitous Nirma jingle from the 90s? ‘Doodh si safedi Nirma se aaye/ Rangeen kapda bhi khil khil jaye…’ went the jingle that remained almost unchanged for nearly two decades.
Now, what is the connect between Nirma detergent and Union home minister Amit Shah beyond the fact that both Karsanbhai Patel, Nirma’s founder, and Amit Shah hail from Gujarat?
The minds behind the hoardings ‘welcoming’ Union home minister Amit Shah to Telangana that featured the Nirma girl, albeit with a twist, indeed saw a link.
Amit Shah visited Hyderabad on Sunday to attend the 54th Raising Day Parade of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), a central paramilitary force.
The hoarding had the faces of eight BJP leaders pasted atop the Nirma girl. These are Himanta Biswa Sarma, Narayan Rane, Suvendu Adhikari, Sujana Chowdary, Virupakshappa, Eshwarappa, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Arjun Khotkar. Most of them joined the BJP in recent years after facing allegations of corruption and probe by central agencies.
The ruling Bharatiya Rashtra Samithi (BRS) in Telangana is enraged at the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) questioning chief minister K. Chandrashekar Rao’s daughter K. Kavitha in connection with Delhi liquor policy ‘scam’.
The hoarding, which doesn't mention the sponsor(s), is a jibe at the BJP’s, Shah’s party, ability to turn allegedly “tainted” politicians squeaky clean as soon as they join it, just like the Nirma detergent made filthy clothes “as white as milk.
The charge is not new. The Opposition has been accusing the BJP of misusing central investigative agencies to harass and pressurise politicians and political parties opposed to the BJP.
However, as soon as a politician being probed by agencies like CBI and ED joins the BJP, the allegations of corruption just dwindle and the probe/ summons by agencies suddenly stop.
For example, in 2015 the BJP had alleged that Himanta Biswa Sarma was a “key suspect” in the Louis Berger ‘scam’ related to a Guwahati water supply project. The central government ordered a probe by the ED in the case. Soon after, Sarma joined the BJP and is today the chief minister of Assam. What came out of the ED probe? Is the probe still on or the case has been closed? Only the ED can answer.
West Bengal MLA Suvendu Adhikari, the former close confidant of chief minister Mamata Banerjee, too faced the central agencies in the Sarada scam. He too joined the BJP in 2020 and is the most prominent BJP leader in West Bengal.
The ED has not been unleashed on Karnataka BJP MLA Madal Virupakshappa whose son Prashanth Kumar M V was caught red-handed taking a bribe of Rs 40 lakh from a businessman on 2 March, allegedly on behalf of his father. The search at Prashanth Kumar’s house by the Lokayukta yielded Rs 8 crore. But ED didn’t smell any rat.
And there are endless similar stories.
Nirma still a rage
Back to Nirma. The jingle as well the ‘Nirma girl’ have still not lost their popularity after so many years. It’s quite popular with satirists.
On 10 March, a statirist who goes by the name of Dr Medusa on Twitter, uploaded a short video based on the Nirma jingle in which she points how washing powder “Bhajipa” can wash off all stains of alleged corruption in one go.
Here is the video:
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