Reality Bites: Shiv Sena’s ‘party animals’ out on a ‘wild’-life safari, eh?

Isn’t it about time Opposition parties set up HR dept to keep their flock together? It would be so much better than listening to party men whine that they are joining BJP because of blah, blah, blah

Rebel Sena MLAs enjoy hospitality at a 5-star hotel in Guwahati, courtesy...well...the crony chums of you know whose.
Rebel Sena MLAs enjoy hospitality at a 5-star hotel in Guwahati, courtesy...well...the crony chums of you know whose.

Rupa Gulab

For a few months now, I have avoided all Indian news channels including I’m-So-Liberal-But-So-Spineless Bendy TV. I have no desire to watch anchors spread propaganda spoon fed to them by the BJP or the BJP’s industrialist friends who pay their salaries.

Nothing can make me go back, not even the current episode of the BJP’s Big Bully Reality TV show, in which it cocks a snook at democratic values and tries to topple yet another state government by flaunting its money power.

As I type this, the MVA government in Maharashtra is under attack—by the time you read this, we may know how it ends. A fair number of Shiv Sena ministers were abducted or enticed to Gujarat (a BJP state), and then shifted to Assam (another BJP state).

Police protection, luxury buses, chartered planes, 5-star hotel accommodation, eat-your-heart-out arrangements, and possibly vast sums of money too have been provided to make those rebels feel as cuddled and precious as toilet-trained babies.

I have asked friends who are courageous enough to still watch Indian news channels if sponsors of the Big Bully Reality TV show have been announced, but the answer is no. Such a pity! The nation would love to hear honest words like, “This undemocratic act was brought to you by Electoral Bonds/ Crony A/ Crony B/ Crony C/ Pan Masala/ Businessmen Who Got Contracts From the Diyar Leader For Faulty Ventilator Machines/ Others.

If you’re wondering why I didn’t add PM Cares Fund as one of the sponsors, it’s because the Diyar Leader has been very tight-fisted about doling it out, even for Covid relief. He cares for his fund more than he cares for us, and it appears to be safely tucked away in his jhola—yes, that jhola he keeps talking about.

I follow ear-to-the-ground journalists in Maharashtra on Twitter, so while I gratefully avoided the hysteria of news anchors overjoyed that yet another state may be annexed by the BJP, I didn’t miss the action and the barbs. Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut gets full marks for his remark that his party’s rebels were in Assam to visit wildlife sanctuaries.

He’s not so far off the mark because every BJP state is packed with animals at the top, particularly scavenging hyenas. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi showed great wisdom when he preferred to play with his dog a few years ago instead of tickling the current CM of Assam on his tummy.

While wannabe CM Fadnavis is tunelessly singing duets with his wife and ironing his vast, mothballed collection of chief ministerial bandhgalas, I have a question: Isn’t it about time Opposition parties set up HR departments to keep their flock safely together?

It would be so much better than listening to disgruntled party members whine that they are joining the BJP because their party is not bigoted enough, or because a senior leader offered his pet tastier biscuits, and other such rubbish.

I also did not watch telly during the fiery protests over Agnipath, a controversial armed forces scheme. BJP cronies shouted as loudly as the protestors—they were ordered to defend the scheme or else. I’m so glad I missed that shameless apple polishing!

I have decided that I won’t quit Twitter even if Elon Musk buys it and Trump is back on it. It’s more bearable than Indian news channels because it shares news with searing wit, instead of the ridiculous reverential tones that news anchors employ.

I wish I had had an inexhaustible supply of popcorn at home on International Yoga Day, because the photographs and clips made me snigger. It’s always fun watching the Diyar Leader and his ministers make public spectacles of themselves doing kindergarten-grade yoga as cameras lovingly caress their lumpy, bumpy, pot-bellied bodies and fleshy, flapping arms.

One would have thought that after the first year when they saw themselves doing yoga on news clips they would swear to exercise daily, but nope.

This year, the pièce de résistance was a BJP minister in a red tee — she looked like a gigantic steroid-pumped tomato that would win first prize at an English village garden show. I am so grateful that she wears sarees on the other days of the year—the slimming effect of sarees cannot be underestimated!

(Any resemblance to real people or events is a coincidence)

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