Opinion

Humour on the Hill: Rupa Gulab reflects on the Magic of Dal Raisina

Too frightened to talk about the new Home Minister (health tip: don’t go on morning walks if you are a heckler), Rupa Gulab ruminates on the Rajma Chawal served to guests after the swearing in

Photo courtesy: Twitter
Photo courtesy: Twitter

Rupa Gulab

When the clock struck 7 pm on May 30, a grand swearing in ceremony kicked off in India. I cannot report the proceedings because I did not watch it. I did, however, see many tweets about the preparations for the ceremony from awestruck senior editors who were chuffed to be invited. Many got their serfs to write articles on the star dish: Dal Raisina.

After I read several articles about the ingredients that go into it, Urad dal and Rajma, I had to admit that this was a masterstroke: what an enchanting party it would have been with over 6000 colourfully dressed people floating to the ceiling like balloons! And what a wonderful way to remember the occasion—far better than boring old coronation plates.

A word of criticism, though: why wasn’t he wearing a tiara? That was sorely missed, and I sincerely hope he gets the Kohinoor diamond back from the UK before his next ceremony in 2024 (guaranteed in this EVM sarkar). Till then, we must be content with his stunning headgear: why, he even has a wider collection of exquisite hats than British royals!

Like I said before, I didn’t watch the ceremony because I was captivated by acts of resistance that showed up on Twitter. Many little protests were on, but the most engaging one happened when the BJP website was hacked for a couple of hours. The party was renamed Beef Janata Party, and exotic beef recipes were posted. Who can blame me for forgetting to witness the magic of Dal Raisina?

When cabinet portfolios were announced the next day, I marvelled at the fact that the Dear Leader’s choices said a lot about his sterling qualities. You cannot deny that the Dear Leader is refreshingly egalitarian. He made it clear yet again that you don’t need silly things like qualifications or real degrees to school the minds of future voters. As he once astutely pointed out ‘Hard work is better than Harvard.’

The ‘stupidification’ of India is the BJP’s largest and most successful project. All you require as HRD minister are imaginative skills and a basic knowledge of the Ramayana and Mahabharata to rewrite history, science, et cetera. It makes no difference if Indian children grow up stupid and ignorant—if they don’t wish to sell greasy pakodas on the streets, they can always get fabulous jobs as journalists. Our Dear Leader is so considerate, he’s taken care of all the news for them. Journalists now get sheets of paper that they can publish or talk about—easy peasy!

While the Dear Leader loves coming first at everything, the unselfish man absolutely insists that journalists ensure that his ministers come first as well. That was why Nirmala Sitharaman was declared India’s very first female Finance Minister. When hecklers gasped, ‘Correction, Indira Gandhi was the first,’ they were shushed.

The jungle tom toms also announced that Dr S Jaishankar was India’s very first career diplomat to become foreign minister. Nasty hecklers then shouted, ‘Oy! Natwar Singh was the first,’ to no avail.

Like Jesus, the Dear Leader can make miracles happen. Look at how he reinvented Pratap Sarangi overnight. This former Bajrang Dal leader enjoyed delivering jolly diatribes against religious conversions to pass the time in Odisha when, coincidentally, Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two little sons were burnt alive. That was in 1999—so last century darlings, you really can’t blame our journalists for forgetting about it, right?

Sarangi was portrayed as a dear old humble man who would have humbly cycled to New Delhi (with all his humble worldly possessions packed in a humble jhola) to take his oath as Cabinet minister if the government hadn’t sent him an air ticket. Sarangi’s stains finally showed up when the BBC published a brief article on his dubious past.

We’re all aware that the Dear Leader believes friendship is the most precious gift ever. So, no surprises at all when his bestie became the Home minister. Admittedly, there was a fair amount of consternation at that, but I’m too frightened to talk about it here.

Tip: health-conscious hecklers should buy treadmills post haste.

(Rupa Gulab is an author and columnist)

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