Romeo Must Die: A bad movie with a great song

Amartya Sen was wrong. Indians are not ‘argumentative’. They are ‘ridiculously sensitive’ as the controversy over Romeo and Lord Krishna reveals

Photo by Deepak Gupta/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Photo by Deepak Gupta/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Rupa Gulab

In early February 2017, BJP party president Amit Shah declared three charming little words during an election rally in Uttar Pradesh: Anti-Romeo Squads. This made the nation cheer madly (evil liberals included). We foolishly believed that Shah, a former state-sponsored stalker for a former chief minister, had seen the error of his creepy ways, hallelujah, etc.

The euphoria didn’t last long. Anti-Romeo squads were actually Shah’s promise to assure a continuance of the Sangh Parivar’s Love Jihad persecution programme amongst its bigoted followers. I’m guessing he renamed it because he saw a Hollywood movie with an engaging title the night before: ‘Romeo Must Die.’

Anyone who has heard of Amit Shah knows a few things about this marvellous man: the word ‘Die’ turns him on like nothing else, and he doesn’t use soap (if you don’t believe me about the soap bit, Google-search TOI + Amit Shah + Soap + 2014). I wouldn’t get too close to him if I were you, is all I can say. For both reasons, of course.

All clear so far? It stands to reason then that even if Rita Bahuguna Joshi (formerly secular, now possibly rich) had been appointed chief minister instead of Yogi Adiyanath, the Anti-Romeo squad would have been formed. So please don’t blame dear Yogi for everything the BJP is doing wrong in UP, okay?

Which brings us to social media in general and Twitter in particular. In outrage-a-second territory, lawyer Prashant Bhushan sent out a sarcastic tweet for which he is being harassed both online and offline.

‘Romeo loved just one lady, while Krishna was a legendary Eve teaser. Would Adityanath have the guts to call his vigilantes Anti-Krishna squads?’

While Bhushan has apologetically explained exactly what he meant (Krishna had female friends/devotees and loved playing pranks on them, blah, blah), FIRs are still flying in thick and fast. Violent people have feelings too, see?

This makes me hope that Professor Amartya Sen will write a book called ‘The Ridiculously Sensitive Indian’ about this peculiar new India. His earlier book, ‘The Argumentative Indian’ spoke of an India where dissent was seen as healthy. Times have changed, and dissent is injurious to our health. We could be slapped with law suits or we could be slapped around by BJP-friendly lawyers. Remember what they did to Kanhaiya Kumar?

Oh, and in case you’re wondering why Shah didn’t promise ‘Anti-Romeo Squads’ in other BJP states, it’s because, well, UP is sort of like the RSS-BJP laboratory. Worry not, though: Anti-Romeo squads will be coming to your neighbourhood soon, wherever in India you may be. Enjoy!

Rupa Gulab is a columnist and author.

Disclaimer: If it's not clear, this is a piece of satire.

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Published: 05 Apr 2017, 2:45 PM