Teachers’ Day in September this year was a day of grand celebration for climate-change deniers the world over, and they must be wallowing in self-praise. They got a new chubby pot-bellied member in their club, a high-profile globetrotter whose reckless selfies with animate and inanimate entities alone amount to gigabytes of e-waste, and whose unceasing frequent foreign tours alone make a case against him for having a disproportionately large carbon footprint.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am talking about none other than Mr Modi, the deity of the dumbass diaspora and the imbecile right-wing fanatics. With his arrival in the club, the deniers will definitely get a new lease of life because mind you, wherever he goes he not only carries his idiosyncratic megalomaniac persona, but also invents some spontaneous barmy doctrines. In a televised address to schoolchildren, he explained his doctrine thus:
Climate has not changed. We have changed. Our habits have changed. We take too many selfies and expect our data storage won’t run out—is that even possible?! These wiry old men and women bathing in the lazy afternoon sun in the hinterlands of Haryana and UP feel it is cold out there. No no no, mere mitron aur balakon, they have actually lost it: it is their bodies that have become weak, because they work too many hours in those big fields, which yield nothing more than a seasonal grain for them. If they sell these fields to us they will never feel cold and they will never say climate has changed. Just look at those smart guys in Gurgaon’s tall office towers, ask them whether they feel cold and do they feel the climate has changed. No of course not. Because they are smart people, they work for my buddies Ambani and Adani, and my buddies make sure their bodies are always strong and they do not feel cold and they do not say climate has changed.
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The Grand European Sale of Humanity concluded in Brussels a few days ago. Turkey, the former sick man of Europe, got a package of $3.2 billion from the 28 European Union member states, besides promises of entry into their buddy club that would be just short of full membership, for now at least. The steam of this newfound love with Turkey seems not strong enough to warrant an immediate marriage at Brussels. Notwithstanding the promise of the European dream, the sceptics warn to be wary of this political hanky-panky.
Remarking on the agreement, European Council President Donald Tusk said:
We Europeans are a smart people, you know that. We outsource services and manufacturing because we want to reduce certain expenses, like corporate taxes and healthcare costs, but maintain salaries of gargantuan proportions for our executives. This is our successful business model.
So here at this historic moment, we are also applying this model to the current migrant and refugee crisis. We are outsourcing humanitarianism to Turkey because it is cost-effective, politically and economically. We do believe in human rights, refugee rights and all that, but lets us put this burden on Turkey for now; we believe they can manage it. See, if they can host over one and half million, they can cope with many more. They need money, we will provide that, but please do not let them come to Europe. Our capacity of preaching human rights to others is excessive, but this crisis has confused us, really.
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The past few years have shown us that if the Hindutva bhakts are good at anything, it is their dumbass public display of aggressiveness and chauvinism towards innocent bystanders and minorities. But with the arrival of Modi on the scene there is an added element to their dumbassery: their Modi-manic hysteria, which made Salman Rushdie call them Modi toadies.
They have their own warped logic and hare-brained doctrine: you cannot criticise the BJP because BJP is Modi and Modi is BJP and in turn Modi is India which means BJP is India and since Modi and BJP are one, criticising the BJP government is tantamount to criticising Modi and criticising Modi is tantamount to criticising India and we are desh bhakts who will never tolerate it. Good grief! Thesebhakts really must be as high as a kite. And when people whose minds are filled with such bilge are put in charge of important cultural and educational institutions, you’ve got to marvel at the interesting times we live in.
One of the interesting episodes was the India release of the latest James Bond film. Since the chairman of the censor board is big-time Modi toady Pahlaj Nihalani (of “Modi Kaka!” fame), he was adamant that Mr Bond act as sanskari as possible while in Modi’s India. He took Sam Mendes ke Gunahon Ka Faisla and ordered cuts in the kissing scenes, removing Shola from Shabnam for the viewers.
Another interesting episode was Aamir Khan’s so-called controversial remarks about intolerance. The bhakts argued that since Aamir was the brand ambassador of the !ncredible !ndia campaign, he should not have opened his mouth, which in turn ruffled the feathers of the brand ambassadors of the intolerant India campaign. However, what was more interesting in this episode was not the hyperactive overreaction of the Modi toadies—which is now as predictable as a loud belch after a Punjabi dinner—but the way Anupam Kher again tried to poke his baldy crown into this overblown affair, fanning the degenerate politics around it and exacerbating the situation. True to his absurd logic, he again harped on about “What about the Kashmiri Pandits?”, a refrain he brings into any discussion whether or not it is remotely connected; it has become a pathological obsession, for which he recently got a slap on his wrists by Rajdeep Sardesai.
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A new scandal has come to the fore on which the media has strangely remained circumspect. On Twitter, though, it is trending as #ModiMediaGate. Washington Post journalist Annie Gowen has revealed that the BJP government tried to influence her newspaper. She tweeted:
We have been contacted twice in recent weeks by private PR companies representing Indian govt. officials. Good use of govt funds?
Well, when a PR company contacts a newspaper they do not talk politics, they talk business. However, after the revelation that Lance Price, a former BBC journalist, was paid to write Modi’s biography The Modi Effect, one would not be as surprised to learn that The Washington Post was approached to succumb to the Modi effect too. But the million-dollar question is how many have succumbed so far?
That the BJP government could somehow tame the important players of the corporate media in India does not mean that criticism against it, especially against its fascist anti-minority agenda, would have ceased to percolate from major international dailies onto social media. One after another, prominent news outlets like The Guardian, The New York Times, The Washington Post and Al Jazeera English have come out with editorials and op-ed pieces that were unflattering for the Modi government. The left-leaning Guardian carried searing critiques of the Modi government from noted intellectuals and writers. Pankaj Mishra called Modi a “divisive manipulator” and Anish Kapoor described the present BJP regime in India as “a Hindu Taliban”.
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As much as he is the father of Omar, Farooq Abdullah is also the father of political absurdity. We are all well accustomed to his political shenanigans—his dumbass attempts to bamboozle us with his linguistic hocus-pocus, barmy theatrics and bunkum ideas. He is everything that is wrong with Kashmir, the chief patron of the occupational kleptocracy whose primary aim, nature and raison d’etre is to exploit the people of Kashmir and their misfortunes.
More crucially, he is the one who propagates, along with the Muftis and Syed Qasims and Bakhshis and Waheed Parras, the political doctrine in which the occupied are asked to abandon the resistance struggle for political justice and dignity and instead asked to internalise a slave mentality and accept the status quo and live an apolitical and an ahistorical life. Isn’t this audaciously asinine, political chutzpah?
That is why when Farooq Abdullah says Pakistan-controlled Kashmir will remain with Pakistan and India-controlled Kashmir will remain with India, he should not be taken seriously. There is, after all, a principal party to making this decision. They’re called ordinary Kashmiris, and they’re known to goRagda Ragda de Ragda from time to time to bring Abdullah and his ilk to their senses.
First published in Kindle Magazine on December 2, 2015: http://kindlemag.in/rab-ne-bana-di-toady/