Reality Bites: Welcome to Jumla Land

We are already aware that mainstream media never calls out Diyar Leader’s lies. Now it’s going to get even worse. His dearest cronies Mr A and Mr A are investing billions in media business

Reality Bites: Welcome to Jumla Land

Rupa Gulab

When I was younger, I used to believe that people who studied law also had to study the classics to sound grand while delivering judgements. Why, there was a time when many of our own judges used to loftily speak about cleaning Augean stables and make me gasp with awe.

That, to my gullible mind, was why they were called “learned judges” in courtrooms. Foolishly, I didn’t stop to think why professors who taught the classics weren’t addressed as “learned professors” too.

All that is history. Now I firmly believe that a truly “learned judge” is someone who has more knowledge of the country’s current affairs than about say, Dante and his infernal inferno.

Which is why I was astonished when a judge spluttered as he encountered the word “Jumla” in a speech by an anti-CAA protestor (one who has been charged under that spine-chilling UAPA for asking for a wonderful thing like non-discrimination).

Yes, just like Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani was recently arrested by the Assam police for tweets where he condemned the Diyar Leader’s studied silence and urged him to speak up and stop the latest incidents of communal violence. Since when did cries for equality and harmony become crimes?

It’s a pity that the judge wasn’t aware that the word “jumla” entered our discourse thanks to the BJP government. To rewind: We were airily informed that the promise of Rs. 15 lakhs that would be deposited in our bank accounts if a certain CM became the PM was just a casual election lie.

The word ‘jumla’ then came to be understood as an empty promise, and the Diyar Leader gave us more and more jumlas as time went by. So many in fact, that adults started singing a song to the tune of Spider-Man:

Jumla-Man, Jumla-Man,

Does whatever jumlas he can,

Makes a promise, any size,

Opens his mouth and lies and lies,

Look out,

Here comes the Jumla-Man.”

Note: There’s also a special Christmas version that goes, “Jumla bells, Jumla bells, Jumlas all the way.”

Many people raised their eyebrows at the judge’s remark that the word jumla was not “proper”. Twitter was buzzing with shock, and Gujarati satirist Urvish Kothari hit the nail on the head with this tweet:

“Then: Entire Modi campaign pre-2014 and his image projection as a CM was built on crude, indecent comments about Manmohan Singh.

Now: Use of the word Jumla for PM is improper. Laxman Rekha needed.”

Shouldn’t the Diyar Leader’s henchman who popularised the word jumla have been hauled up by the judge too and been coldly informed that it was not a “proper” thing to say? Hello, shouldn’t the Diyar Leader himself have got a light rap on his knuckles with a friendly reminder that if he continues to lie he won’t go to heaven?

That 15 lakh lie still rankles, by the way. All the lies do. India is a democracy, not a dictatorship, and the government of the day is not above criticism.

Another whopper of another lie that was uttered in Gujarat is causing a spot of unhappiness amongst students. In 2017, the Gujarat government announced a NAMO e-Tablet scheme, which was applauded. About 75,000 students who paid Rs 1000 each for the tablets still haven’t got them, their degree/diploma courses are ending, and, understandably, they want their money back.

Incidentally, when this scheme was launched, Rupani (the CM at the time) held huge events and attacked the opposition for being sceptical about the scheme. “Rivals call our decision to give subsided tablets a poll strategy. But we want Gujarat students to lead the world.”

Guess who is having the last laugh now, and practically rolling on the floor with mirth? I’m waiting for the Gujarat government to now rename the NAMO e-Tablet because retaining Diyar Leader’s name for a flopped scheme would be embarrassing, innit?

I’m sighing deeply as I type this. We are already aware that the mainstream media never calls out the Diyar Leader’s lies, and enthusiastically promotes communal hatred. Now it’s going to get even worse. His dearest cronies Mr A and Mr A are investing gazillions in the media business, so this is it: We’re going to be stuck in bigoted Jumla Land forever. You have been warned.

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

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