I CARE for my PR, my gamcha, my mask and my popularity surveys—and why not?

So, what if I am the only world leader not out meeting people and the Press? My popularity is still soaring in case you didn’t know or missed online survey among 549 people that a news channel aired

Photo courtesy- social media
Photo courtesy- social media

Ranjona Banerji

When the world is falling apart, people are dying from both an illness without a cure and its monetary impact, when the economy has fallen over the edge into the abyss, when there is fear and desperation, when Nature adds to the deadly equation with a devastating cyclone, what does my government do?

Don’t be so silly now. As if you don’t know. My government calls a public relations company of course and works to shore up its image. Let my brand managers work out a canny strategy. Something along the lines of: “People may be dead, but before they succumbed to the virus/calamity/starvation they signed this online poll to say they love the Supreme Leader of this government best”.

Surveys like this are what make the world go round. Even when the whole world has collapsed, you will always find 547 people (that’s the highest number needed to represent 1.3 billion people according to publicity stats) ready to stand up and be counted. Of course, in an online poll there could be just one person, which could even be me voting for me. But, it’s just like you to quibble like this on small points of facts. What are facts in the face of the Greatest Indian Government ever on Earth?

After this survey has been done, you must spread it far and wide. And soon after all your loving pet doggies will wag their tails to help you. “News” channel after “news” channels, “news” paper after “news” paper, will line up smartly to be part of this grand effort. The nation’s pride is at stake after all. Remember how lovingly they all tom-tommed all my own original if borrowed ideas of balcony clapping, pot clanging and so on? They are so loyal, you don’t even have to give them doggie bikkis. Just a selfie now and then.

The next step is manufacturing. The economy is down, it needs help. To the rescue come vast factories of fact-flubbers. They can photoshop, they can morph, they can tweak and they can spread. In any possible way, as Great Leader, one must discredit all efforts made by, yuck, other politicians from other political parties to try and help the suffering.

Help is so very last-century in the artfulness of governance. Get with the programme. Today all you need is to claim that others are doing it for their own benefit whereas only you CARE. You care so much that would people kindly open their bank accounts and wallets and contribute to me so that I can show the world how much I CARE? The world is watching, but luckily the auditor general is not.

The next step is to increase your collection of handkerchiefs and scarves. This adds to the economy and also there is a subtle reference to my singular fashion sense. The virus has given me an extra accessory.

Whenever I appear on TV, I make sure there’s a newly coordinated mask which is actually not a mask but a dupatta or chunni or gamcha or something fabulous. (Note to self: get that dumb stylist to better coordinate the scarf with the state it comes from. These states can get very tetchy about such things.)

Remember, choose your battles. These inconsiderate 6 crore Indians who decided to show me up and walk home, making an absolute spectacle of themselves, even dying on the roads, just asked to be ignored. And all those demands about free trains and stuff? Where do they get the courage? Look at my I CARE initiative. See how many people added to it. Did these uncaring people? No, if the states want to get involved that’s their problem.

Instead, make a quick trip to a state, fly about and check your designer kurta pocket for some loose change and hand it over. After all, there are elections due in these states and a little token generosity goes a long way with the faithful and when they need to be, a tad violent, cadre.

I can guarantee you that no matter how many people die, lose their families, lose their livelihoods, are destroyed, whatever I don’t do will be hailed as a “masterstroke” by my influential and powerful “friends”.

I have proved it over the past six years. Disaster after disaster. Some of those disasters have been of my making and I still haven’t faced any flak.

Okay, the scarf stylist has arrived with a new batch.

Work to be done.

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