Reality Bites: The Swami and the Pope

I am not a masochist—I have never watched RTV even once (nor do I intend to). In fact, I don’t watch news channels that have hysterical anchors, which leaves me only with NTV

Reality Bites: The Swami and the Pope

Rupa Gulab

I am not a masochist—I have never watched RTV even once (nor do I intend to). In fact, I don’t watch news channels that have hysterical anchors, which leaves me only with NTV. I watch NTV less frequently these days because, though the anchors may be calm, many of their regular panelists are not. I will go to a natural history channel or YouTube, thank you very much, if I ever want to see a bunch of rabid wolves or ‘arrested’ adolescents.

I did, however, see a brief clip circulating on Twitter, where the gifted anchor was lying as outrageously as usual. He was desperately trying to hide the fact that a couple of AJP office bearers were allegedly responsible for inciting the mob that lynched two Sadhus in Palghar. He decided to deflect the blame to Rome instead. (Note: Rome clearly means the Vatican and not the Government of Italy in the Parivar’s Hate Handbook).

Since people are stupid enough to jump off their balconies if the Supreme Leader asks them to, surely, they’re also stupid enough to believe that Pope Francis cheers madly in the Vatican when random people are killed in India?

Now, Pope Francis has always struck me as being a decent sort of chap, so I was outraged on his behalf. If I had his phone number, I’d have called him and warned him that he was being maligned in our holy land. Sadly, I have no friends in high places, so I called my sister instead. You see, my sister and I had discussed the anchor at great length a few years ago after my nephew (then an 8-year-old) had returned from a sleepover at a friend’s place.

His friend’s dad had had the TV on full blast and my nephew was horrified to see “a fat man with a square face” screaming at a college student on his show, calling him anti-national, and telling him he should be in jail among other scary things. The nephew refused to go to school ever again, and said education wasn’t worth it if fat men with square faces kept shouting angrily at students. I rushed over to placate him, and started out by telling him that the anchor was a bully and a liar too.

He fired off a series of questions at me: If he bites you do you have to have injections in your tummy like when dogs and monkeys bite you? Why isn’t he in a loony bin? Is he as mean and shouty to his own children? Does he kill birds who do potty on his head? My sister had then firmly decided that her son would never spend the night at homes of friends whose parents watch the anchor on TV.

Since she’s a hyper helicopter mom, she had no qualms about asking the mothers of my nephew’s friends which news channels they watch, but was tactful enough to make it sound like a casual question. Back to the present: my sister gasped when I told her about the anchor’s latest act of idiocy. “I really hope he doesn’t have kids, he’d be such a terrible influence on them,” she said, and launched into a lecture on Karma.

I was about to tune out, when she added (rather heatedly), “I hope his kid goes to a school run by nuns or priests, and just suppose one day he doesn’t do his homework and tells a horrified nun/priest that Pope Francis ate it—then what?” she demanded. “Then nothing!” I said. I assured her that the fat man with the square face would go on TV again, tell his idiotic audience that schools run by Christians are anti-Hindu and incite them to spread more poison.

After which he will get additional security funded by tax payers, and will be encouraged to get even more outrageous. Oh, if only Pope Francis finds out about this bizarre attack on him and sues the anchor for defamation in Rome!

(This is a satirical piece. Any resemblance to people in real life is coincidental)

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