Reality Bites: The net-zero pledges we need

The climate of hatred and fear in our society is as terrifying as rising sea levels, floods, wildfires, etc. We must demand net-zero pledges on these too, besides net-zero crony capitalism

PM Modi at COP26 in Glasgow, UK
PM Modi at COP26 in Glasgow, UK
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Rupa Gulab

The world looked on with boredom as the greatest liars in the universe got together to tackle climate change at COP26 in Glasgow and made half-hearted promises. It was amusing to see these world leaders solemnly praising each other’s speeches, and generating more methane than millions of cows with upset tummies on a tiny field. My commiserations to the people of Glasgow.

Young climate activists who had gathered on the fringes of the COP26 cop out scoffed at the greenwashing by world leaders and their “blah, blah, blahs” on carbon offsetting. The star was Sweden’s feisty Greta Thunberg, of course. My favourite moment was when she sang, “You can shove your climate crisis up your a***” to the tune of “She’ll be coming round the mountain when she comes”. I have been cheerfully humming this song ever since.

In another sharp jibe at world leaders, Thunberg made a pledge on Twitter: “I am pleased to announce that I’ve decided to go net-zero on swear words and bad language. In the event that I should say something inappropriate I pledge to compensate that by saying something nice.” Oh, how I love her!

It’s about time Indian citizens took net-zero pledges too. We must demand net-zero communalism, for starters. Whenever the Dear Leader and his cabinet ministers blow their dog whistles, they should immediately be kicked out and replaced by members of India’s minority communities. If my proposal is accepted, in just 7 days Indians will be happier than they ever were during the last 7 years.

I even know who will be replaced first: The Dear Leader’s Man Friday, who has taken the term Man Friday far beyond the Robinson Crusoe loyal male servant implications. You see, at the tender age of 57, our Home Minister has suddenly discovered that namaz happens every Friday, and he’s been huffing and puffing into his dog whistle about traffic jams on Fridays, along with his usual taunts.


We must also demand net-zero crony capitalism. Every time the Dear Leader gives his cronies airports or airlines (or whatever they fancy in exchange for electoral bonds), a few of their businesses must be sold dirt cheap to small/medium entrepreneurs. Monopolies and oligarchs kill economies, as we have seen. It’s madness to allow crony capitalists to behave like greedy pythons and swallow every business in the nation. It only helps them grow, not the nation.

Things are so bad, we’ve seen more and more wealthy Indians fleeing abroad for “better investment opportunities, wealth preservation, lifestyle, healthcare” etc. Many of them, interestingly, are vocal supporters of the Dear Leader and have buttered him up so liberally I’m terrified that if the Dear Leader so much as stands near a lit candle he may turn into a crisp pakoda.

The latest to say “Ok, tata, bye bye” is Billionairebhai. He has followed in the footsteps of Saudis and Russian oligarchs and set up home in the UK. There are many speculations about why he is leaving his beloved home land and his equally beloved Dear Leader. Here are a few theories:

Like Frankenstein, he’s now scared of the monster he helped to create.

1. He has health issues and doesn’t trust any of the doctors at his fancy, expensive hospitals in India to treat him.

2. He wants a title, and Sir Billionairebhai will suit him very nicely till he buys Buckingham Palace and becomes King Billionairebhai.

3. There is a creepy deal between him, the Dear Leader and the UK government.

4. He’s setting up a safe home for the Dear Leader and his cohorts if they lose the 2024 elections. Why, there may even be a secret tunnel leading from the grotesque Central Vista in Delhi to his house in the UK, with the losers carrying their loot in jholas and scurrying like rats.

Note: There are only 49 rooms in this house (tut), so some of the rats may have to share.

Me, I don’t care if I never see or hear of Billionairebhai again. I just hope he takes his bigoted jihad-obsessed news channels with him too. Remember, the climate of hatred and fear in our society is as terrifying as rising sea levels, floods, wildfires, etc. Is this what we want to leave for our children? We absolutely must demand net-zero pledges on these too, or else.

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

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