My letter, to open Chetan Bhagat – (and to Kashmir)

Nirbhaya's India

Dear Chetan Bhagat,

Only because you deserve it achingly, I am going to pound your infamously silly article. Pam Pam Kher seems to have liked it and that conclusively confirms the room temperature IQ it is suffused with. Pam Pam Kher who, are you asking? Oh he’s Mr Weatherbee of moviedom. Mysterious things much like his symbolic pate have happened to him too early in life, including the fact he lived in Shimla and not in Kashmir and yet pretends otherwise. More on this another time. And in detail. That’s a promise.

Coming back to you, I know you write for lakhs of English-challenged vernacular readers and so I will try to write in an English that won’t leave you reaching for Sorbitrate. And because in general compehension, you are more the A for Apple type, I shall spare you the tedium of a long discourse to the extent possible…

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The Namo-mards

Their role model begged the British for mercy. Their most nehruvian of PMs (just one) simply ran away. Most recently, some fellows put on masks and staged sloganeering that allowed sedition charges to be dubiously levied. In the Indira years, a small time student demagogue screamed ‘bhaago’ and zipped. This was in the emergency years when every man or mouse that spoke or squeaked at all was arrested, thereby blowing a big hole into the went-to-jail-so-see-how-bold-I-am puff. As many as 1200 Namo-mards marched to Best Bakery and torched a small muslim family that ran it peaceably. Some Namo-mards chose the protection of their state ruler’s prefix to riot and leave a couple of thousands of muslims dead. Two groups (or was it one) of Namo-mards killed two unarmed rationalists in a span of months, when their prefix was on its ascendancy. Before that in formulaic electoral style, some Namo-mards left Muzaffarnagar ablaze. Others went trishul and tongs at quiet churches and quieter Christianity. Still others chose the auspicious timing of the hustings to set a valley known for both inherent peace and forced war, in rioting flames. At Kishtwar, they opened their inflammatory account in the valley. Some cops ‘encountered’ a young muslim girl and her alleged compatriots who were so heavily armed—yet none of the cops were injured; and yet all of them, muslims naturally, were dead. They were supposedly on a dangerous mission to eliminate Namo, then known more traditionally as the visa-less, local hood of Gujarat who had risen to be CM. See ‘Godfather’ was always a picture of militating machismo wasn’t he. ‘Mard’ is its nearest transliteration. The prefix however, sets this one apart. And it is different from the breed called ‘Bhakt’. That one encompasses the entire universe of blatant and latent muslim haters, the former who voted Namo in 2014 for only this reason and the latter who voted for the same reason but invariably advanced another. It is thanks to Namo in 2014, that we know this percentage is 31. But this 31 per cent is the full ambit of blatant and latent muslim haters. When you flesh it down to the doers, the actionable beings—and not its full gallery of vilifiers, abusers and atrocious English speakers, plus educated favour seekers such as an ex IT honcho turned VC, or a motor-mouth socialite or a bad English writer of English books for vernacular readers, or the businessman who better fall in line and publicly—then and only then, do you arrive at the ones who lead the charge, to whom the strict label of Namo-mards can be aptly applied. This is to separate the ‘mards’ from the boys in the Namo fan club.

 

A variant of godfather types, and quite significantly, besides the deep DNA of fascism, Namo-mards share some telltale characteristics. They cleverly conceal the low esteem, which their poor cousins in the fan club are unable to hide. It shows up only sporadically, quite like their prefixed better half. On occasion, when challenged in a so-called debate (anything with decibels can be called that these days), they show the same inferiority complex. But the one trait that singles them out is is that they have the traders great grudge for intellect and a deep-seated hatred for all things and beings intellectual. Learning and education is what they wage war against. Pakistan can wait. Resorting to plebeian castigation of Nehru, whom they sub-consciously blame for being seen as intellectual refuse, they rave bitterly, while the big man lies dead, as much unaware of their pitiable existence now, as he was then. Then what also sets them apart is the complex of accidently touching power. This keeps them perpetually in the electioneering mode to the bafflement of all. But what makes the Namo-mard an unfortunate antonym of ‘mard’ and unlike any other bloodthirsty category, is the decidedly cowardly ideology. It always hides its real agenda even after decades. Fear is main glue that binds this breed. It works under cover, unable to ever boldly articulate its mission. Worse than terrorists, it pussyfoots its bloody stench only occasionally in daylight, never owning up to the act openly. Even its ultimate symbolism of razing Babri Masjid and making a Ram temple stand in its place, it daren’t state openly for fear of judicial repercussions. In doing so, it shows a laughable trait of militant cowardice, in that it only functions in the safety of a mob, while individually even begging pardon. The irony of this double speak is lost on none. When among themselves, they glow with self-congratulation, while before the courts, they hotly deny complicity. They cajole a mob to rioting, but lack the gall to admit it. The irony surfaces every year when Sarvarkar is feted around the same time Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev are. The latter, bold indisputable revolutionaries, and the former who pleaded for mercy. In the process, leaving behind a legacy of cringing, cowardly Namo-mards with low self-esteem.

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