Monday, November 21, 2016

I've had it up to here with the BJP gobarmint!

Published in Daily O, November 2016

Modimental Blunders

I concede defeat –the Dear Leader’s vociferous cheerleaders were right. ‘Modi will create history,’ they said with conviction, and indeed he just has. November 8th, 2016 will go down in the history of modern India as Bad Governance Day. Alternatively, it can be called DeModitisation Day.  Ordinary citizens will have a holiday, while BJP members will have to report to their party headquarters for a seven-day workshop.

Day 1: A 10,000 word essay-writing assignment. The topic: How Not to Make Modimental Blunders.

Refreshments will be served: Crow sandwiches for non-vegetarians, and humble pie for vegetarians.

Day 2: A book launch by any intelligent person who formerly worked for the BJP government.  I’m hoping former RBI governor, Raghuram Rajan, would have written his first tell all book by then. I assume the title will be something along the lines of, ‘Thank God Those Idiots Sacked Me!’ or, ‘I Told Them Not to Do It!’

Refreshments will be served: Same as above for BJP members.  Raghuram Rajan will get a thick wedge of gooey chocolate cake instead.

Day 3: A workshop will be conducted by a former union minister who held both the Home and Finance portfolios. He will probably beseech BJP members not to think of new policies as all the big ones they have introduced as ‘audacious’ and ‘pathbreaking’ have turned out to be colossal blunders. He will state very clearly that the reason why no other Indian government has thought of schemes like that before is because the schemes are incredibly stupid. He will try not to smirk as he reminds the audience that the only policies that have worked since the BJP took over were former UPA policies that were renamed on the grounds of numerology and/or megalomania.

Refreshments will be served: Same as above for BJP members.  The former union minister will get idli-sambar instead.

Day 4: A session called Modiplexes, conducted by psychiatrists who specialise in persecution complexes.  They will attempt to calm senior BJP members and assure them that the public has no desire at all to kill them, and besides they’re way too busy lining up for cash.

Refreshments will be served: Comfort food for all.

Day 5: An image consultant will hold two sessions.

Session 1: ‘Men with 56” chests don’t cry’.

Session 2:  ‘Stop with the Chest-thumping! Do not confuse Guerrilla tactics with Gorilla tactics’.

Refreshments will be served: Bananas for all.

Day 6: Documentaries of the urban and rural poor who suffered through the traumatic demonetisation exercise will be screened. Private school teachers will monitor the auditorium with cattle prods to ensure that the BJP members stay awake (we’ve seen them in Parliament, we know!).

Refreshments will not be served.

Day 7: A grand finale on a wildly extravagant Bollywood scale at the Ram Lila grounds in Delhi. BJP members will be joined by ten thousand lucky people. These will include Bollywood celebs like Anupam Kher and Ajay Devgn, certain journalists, certain members of corporate India and heads of big business houses like Baba Ramdev. They will have a 6 am to 6 pm yoga session where they will crouch, hold their ears, and practise just one asana: murgasana. This fabulous event will be beamed live across the nation.

Refreshments will be served: Only diuretic liquids.

Note: Only one sulabh sauchalaya will be available.  The crowd will have to queue to use it. There will be no special queues for ladies or senior citizens. People are only allowed to use the bathroom once during the entire day. Their right hand finger will be marked with indelible ink.

Ooh, I just can’t wait for the first anniversary!



Sunday, June 12, 2016

When Narendra met Barack

Amma or Didi as the next Prime Minister?


Rupa Gulab
You want facts – I’ll give you facts! On March 5, 2014, BJP leader Nitin Gadkari said that if his party was voted to power at the Centre, it would try to abolish most of the direct and indirect taxes to generate more revenue and reduce inflation. Well, the BJP won that election and by now most of us know that all they have generated so far is hot air, photoshopped images, and doctored tapes (apart from divisive Hindutva sloganeering, lying shamelessly appears to be a big part of the party’s warped ideology too). Inflation has shot up and so have taxes. To add to our burden, the BJP has slapped the Swachh Bharat cess and Krishi Kalyan cess (it kicks in from June 2016) on service tax as well. To be fair to Nitin Gadkari and the rest of the BJP’s large number of bariatric surgery patients, it’s pretty obvious that ‘less is more’ is not part of the party’s philosophy. I do have a question for the Dear Leader though: why torture us with heavy taxation when all he has to do is tell his wealthy friends to add to India’s coffers with cash instead of giving him extravagant presents like ridiculous monogrammed suits and joy rides in their private jets? Hello, he said ‘India First,’ didn’t he?
So yes, perhaps it’s a good thing that two powerful ladies who generously dish out freebies in the name of social welfare have retained their seats as Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. Here’s to J Jayalalithaa aka Amma and Mamata Banerjee aka Didi – two big cheers, please! So what if we have no idea where they’re getting the money to give marginalised citizens, cycles, dowries, subsidised groceries, idlis, etc. That’s their problem, not ours. Since they’re both chummy with the Dear Leader, I’m guessing that the Centre may eventually have to foot the bills in return for the ladies allowing the passage of contentious Bills in Parliament.
But, hey, I’m not trashing Amma and Didi for two very good reasons. For one, with inflation and high taxation slashing my meagre savings, I may have to prostrate myself at Amma’s feet like her party members frequently do (which is perhaps why they don’t go in for bariatric surgery like BJP party members) and beg for affordable idlis and sambar too. She’s lovely to people who bow and scrape. Ingratiating myself with Didi won’t be so easy, though. I’d have to burn a CPI(M) office or two or even beat up a few Lefties to prove that I’m not a Maoist, and I don’t think I can stomach violence of any kind. 
The other reason is that there’s a good chance either of them may become India’s next prime minister, and I say this with feeling: any party is a better option than the BJP!  That both Amma and Didi are authoritarian does not put me off one bit: the Dear Leader has already given us a dose of the repressive Gujarat model, and after that anything in comparison would feel like freedom. It would be fantastic to see the ABVP (BJP’s young bigots-in-waiting wing) get a taste of their own ghastly medicine.
As for secularism and pluralism (the BJP’s least favourite words), I don’t know too much about Amma, but Didi certainly makes a grand show of delivering. Well, she’s learnt that it is her only strong card – after she left the NDA many years ago, of course (oh dear, I’ve let out another of her little secrets).Given a choice between the two as India’s next prime minister, I’d probably choose Didi. Mainly because I would love to hear the strains of Rabindra Sangeet drown out the sounds of YoYo Honey Singh on Delhi’s streets. It’s settled then. Didi for next prime minister, okay?

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Leddies Only

Two middle-aged leddies going to the Dalli to do middle-aged leddies things. Pick up husband's jacket, buy practical undies, and other mind-numbingly boring chores. I never thought it would come to this.*Blush*
Well, on the upside, at least we can see for ourselves how Kejriwal's odd-even plan is doing. I'm beginning to admire Kejriwal's balls. Not just the odd-even thingie but his ads. He's found a way around the SC's ruling that chief ministers cannot feature in ads -- the sneaky guy has got himself shot from the back so there is no face, just his trademark muffler and pullover.
Ballsy, out-of-the-box thinking, dude!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Zuckerberg, I'm not Suckerberg

Hello, hello Blog -- I'm back. My fling with Facebook is over. I'm rather looking forward to life without a 'like' button. And yeah, I can live without pictures of food, cats, dogs, etc. I will miss my friends, though.
The thing is, I've had it up to here with Facebook. First the sneaky way they block articles that criticise the government, and now the way they're peddling Free Basics like they're doing social service -- my foot! Tell it like it is, Zuck. Spare us the old fashioned UNICEF ads -- too phoney for the internet. Hell, we stopped being third world years ago. More important, don't mess with the net!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Two divorces & much laughter


(Published in Hardnews, October 2012)

I’m hugely glad that TMC chief Mamata Banerjee has parted ways with UPA 2 – though I must confess that I secretly believe they are the ones who eased her out of the alliance in their smooth ‘Ve haf our vays’ style! Theirs was a marriage made in hell, with Mamata Banerjee imperiously behaving as though she were Prime Minister of India instead of Chief Minister of West Bengal. I resent her for trying to foist her populist policies on the nation at large – hey, the rest of us didn’t vote for her, why should we be punished cruelly?

Mamatadi, as usual, is spewing fire and brimstone, hitting the Congress party below the belt and raising her standard war cries: “conspiracy,” “phone-tapping’ et cetera. Soon she’ll graduate to her favourite insult, calling them “maoists!” Yes, I know what you’re thinking, under the leadership of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh they’re capitalists, not even socialists, but remember that Mamatadi doesn’t really know the difference. Anyone who doesn’t agree with her point of view or dares to question her is a maoist. And who can try to reason with a chief minister who thinks dengue is caused by dieting?

As a result of Mamatadi’s impulsive actions, that much coveted rescue/relief package for West Bengal is not coming anytime soon, sigh. But I urge the people of Kolkata to take heart. T-shirt manufacturers may be able to fill the empty coffers of West Bengal – but only if they keep their target audience clearly in mind. I have identified two:
Kolkata’s Intelligentsia: A fair number of people who voted for Mamata Banerjee hoping for change are seething with rage at her autocratic behavior and regressive policies. They’re madder at themselves though, for squandering their precious votes on her. Help them vent with the following t-shirts: “Forgive me, I voted for Mamata” for the older, more genteel voters, and “Kick me, I voted for Mamata” for the younger lot. Trust me, they’ll sell like hot-cakes! Pity they’ll have to furtively wear those t-shirts under their clothes or else they’ll probably be arrested on some false charge, but don’t let that stop you. Hey, they still want them!

Members of the TMC: Would you decorate your office cabin or your living room/bedroom with a photograph of your boss? After you stop gagging, read on. Most of the TMC party members do that. In TV interviews and debates, their “Beloved Leader’s” photo/painting is strategically placed behind them. This includes Amit Mitra as well, gasp! How about making t-shirts for them with Mamata’s mug shot and the message: “We swear fealty to our beloved leader”? She’ll love it and they’ll stay in favour.

And now on to the second painful divorce that has left a grown man sobbing. Yes, I’m talking about ‘India against Corruption’ leader Arvind Kejriwal. His mascot, Anna Hazare, has deserted him, refusing to support Kejriwal’s desire to float a political party. He has also made it clear that Kejriwal cannot use his name or photograph to promote his party. Bravely blinking back his tears, Kejriwal mournfully announced that he would always carry Anna Hazare’s photograph in his heart.

This parting has left the entire nation gobsmacked. Heck, we had absolutely no idea that Arvind Kejriwal had a heart! How come TV channels didn’t carry news of a transplant, is what the nation really wants to know! Meanwhile, we’re still watching agog as the drama unfolds. There’s bound to be a bitter custody battle over their joint movement, ‘India against Corruption’, and it may be as thrilling as ‘Jaws’ – that gory movie about multiple shark attacks. Skeletons have already started tumbling out of closets: there’s a strong rumour that Anna Hazare has the backing of the RSS (I take great pleasure in pointing out that this magazine has always maintained that) and that the BJP has promised to make Kiran Bedi Chief Minister of Delhi if they come to power. Oooh, you have absolutely no idea how lovely it feels to say, “We told you so”!

However, the thing that bothers me most is, what is Kejriwal going to do with the truckloads of “I am Anna” caps and t-shirts he has in his possession? I mean, he can run a pen through Anna’s name on the t-shirts and replace it with ‘Kejriwal’ if he wishes, but then no one would buy them apart from his mum.