An open letter to the Opposition

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, dalits and non dalits, Kashmiris and Tamilians, Bengalis and Gujaratis, Thakurs and Banias, men and women, homosexuals and heterosexuals, farmers and soldiers, teachers and students – hitherto and wholesomely called the Opposition: your time is up

You learnt nothing from even history as recent as 2014.

From examples of your own old fiefdoms, multiregional, multiligual and multicaste, multireligious, you forgot how your 69% mandate was salami sliced such that the largest slice of salami was smaller than an abysmal 31%. And how that despite 69% of India voting Modi out in an election that was centred completely around him, you managed to fragment yourselves into such tiny bits. And then you waited and watched for five years bemoaning the rampant siege on democracy fighting your so called battles in what can easily be called a kangaroo court. And then on the eve of the hustings,  you discovered you had two new adversaries to contend with: the EC and SC (there’s something about C’s haven’t we always known in Hindi). And there is one waiting in the wings. The President of India who presides over fractured mandates and uses his discretion to decide who the devil deserves this democracy where voting percentages play second fiddle to horse-trading. You don’t aam admi to remind you that the President at the centre is not very different constitutionally from the Governor in the state. And you also know from your failed attempt at impeaching the last CJI, that impeachment is yet another joke in the Indian constitution, which many of us have been taught to respect despite that even Ambedkar had his reservations about it. And if he did not, then he jolly well should have had his reservations about it. And so dear opposition, you have no constitutional safeguards too. At best you can frame that paper and worship it agarbattis, but let’s admit, it isn’t of any more use than that. Like many other mere symbolisms in Indian democracy, the constitution is another. So now what if, after May 23, the Indian Parliament goes the Goa or Uttarakhand assembly way? What do you plan to do then – I mean together, not in your varied salami slices? Will you take to the streets? For a change? Or will it take the invention of portable Air Conditioners to get you to do that? Tell me, do you appreciate that India is worse than what France was before the French revolution, or even Russia was before the Russian revolution? See the days of Indira Gandhi are long gone – those days when the Youth Congress stood guard in ruffian-for-ruffian style lest the anarchic elements of the RSS take over. The RSS then merely did the dandi dance in muddy shakhas which too were as prevalent as Gujaratis in the Indian army. Because Indira Gandhi’s Congress knew the undercurrents of lawlessness in our cosmetically lawful country. And this at a time when the Supreme Court had both dignity and shame. But now look what’s happened. Only Mamata understands the Youth Congress like counter. And poor Kejriwal has abandoned dharnas after most of colleagues abandoned him. The rise and fall of the AAP is the stuff legends are made of, except that in this case, the expiry date was a matter of months. From the Anna sat down to when Anna stood up and sat down again, Kejriwal’s colleagues did to him, what Modi did to his wife. And then to negotiate with the Congress for Haryana and Punjab is really the symptom of the disease. A disease that afflicts gamblers – they must gamble till they are bankrupt. A disease that has afflicted many of you honorable members of opposition – the many English speaking lawyers and argumentative Indians that make the Congress and the vernacular grotty groupings of regional politics of which your very own Damodardas Modi proved to be a shining example. But many of you havn’t learnt from that. Maywati as PM? Really? Mamata? Kejr – oops let’s stop right here. Now see, while Stalin has the maturity to see the Congress in the centre and himself in Tamil Nadu, the same maturity seems to have bypassed the likes of Kejriwal and Mamta or perhaps  even Mayawati for that matter, to whom idea of the third front is as optimistic as Shahrukh Khan now staging a comeback in Dilwale Dulhaniya le jayenge Part 2. Yes, yes I know, the SRK fans reading this must have said ‘Why not!’. Ditto for the Mamata, Kejriwal and Mayawati fans. You see fans and fandom is the last place to go to for objective reasoning. Yet these fans and their adulation is behind the delusional dreams of such leaders – a thorn in the flesh of opposition unity.

So now let’s roll open the mat of reality and look at the spread.

On one side you have Ayodhya and Kedarnath, and the wily Shah whose pop (pet operating procedure) is invariably illegal and downright criminal. From kill the judge to buy the judge, anything goes. And by their side are the guys responsible for conducting free and fair polls. And then lurking behind is a President from the RSS. And if you harbour any notions of taking the help of an army to overthrow a fanatic fascist as bolder countries than ours have done, then remember the army chief too is on that side. Like it or not, I have to say this – even Pakistan has more hope than India. For one they don’t have so many salami slices. Then their army kicks scoundrels out. Ours takes scoundrels in nowadays and even gives them medals for human rights violations of the most brazen and public kinds. But of course when the Pakistan army hands over the throne to another civilian, he too turns out to be a scoundrel too (they are our cousins after all) but wait a minute . . . not any more. Imran Khan is NOT a scoundrel whatever else he may be. For one he talks sense and is mature and intelligent. It helps his degree certificates (Oxford in his case) aren’t invisible. He isn’t a war monger. You have to be an idiot to call him that. And so my dear opposition, the Pakistan example was only given to shove diversionary hyper-patriotism where it belongs. So do us a favour. Just cut the crap on eulogising government bullshit on Pakistan for your own political safety. Say upfront that it’s all balls and not an election issue. Even though the c suckers from media will make sure they cover Pakistan like a neighborhood shrew keeps peeping silly into the neighbor’s keyhole

So please understand dear opposition, we the people of India, those of us who are still banking on you, those of us who want you to flush the BJP back into political toilet their original place of birth: we don’t want any version of Modi as PM whether from Bengal, or from Delhi. Let the hurly burly of state assemblies where legislators hurl slippers and abuses at each other, stay in their respective states for another good reason. The reason being that Mamata doesn’t mean damn thing outside Bengal. And Kejriwal outside some four Lok Sabha seats. And Maywati, well! She would do well to remember that despite her strong-woman claims on the back of caste politics, her own caste gave her a duck in 2014.

ZERO.

So dear opposition, here’s what an aam admi recommends.

Get together before May 23 ask the three errant fault-lines in opposition unity to Shut the fuck up or Get the hell out. And if after 23rd this holy democracy shows every sign of having been desecrated by the EC or SC or any other allied C, or even P for President, then follow the great Judge Gogoi’s advice in those days of his ascension – when he said REVOLUTION and we gave him the thumbs only to realize soon after he took office that men can be deceptive like EVMs.

Okay okay, I know your mouth is dry at the audaciousness of this word REVOLUTION. Because after all isn’t the bulk of our polity a straggle of arm chairs. And of course, you could justifiably argue, that if we had balls like the Russians and the French, we wouldn’t be here in the first place would we! Right O!

Okay then here’s the moderated advice, practical advice that you can do – something that you’ve done in the paste. Recreate the Youth Congress and send the RSS scurrying back into its rat holes. Tell Sonia and Rahul to be real – that in this heat and dust of India, European principles are ineffectual. Tell them we are like an iceberg – the tip that is seen purports to be a beautiful democracy. But inside, shrouded deep within, we harbor the stench of anarchy. Still. Even after seventy long constitutional years, after umpteen Lok Sabha elections. Tell them that let alone Gandhi or Nehru, there is even a TN Seshan who exists today. Tell them Manekshaw was an eons-ago deception. Now there is Arora and Rawat. Remind them that we are one nation only so long as we are united by a common enemy, be it the British earlier, and Pakistan now. Take away a common enemy and we will be fighting even on any pretext, real or imaginary, gods, temples and mosques, or even river water. Tell them we are bigoted, communal, and parochially fucked. And so either we revive the anarchic wing of the political party like Indira Gandhi did. Or else we ger real. And slice the salami right away when it can still be a bloodless affair.

And now dear opposition even your last recourse, just two days before 23rd has dried up. You can’t even pray at Kedarnath. Even the gods have been taken over and they now report to Modi. I’ll tell you what you should pray to. That white machine with buttons of deception. Just pray that like everything else even fraud and fakery can’t be perfect. Pray that despite that partial rigging, this nation gave such a tight slap to its marauder of past years, that you still win. But remember you still have to join hands together.

Best of luck. Be bad. If you don’t want the bad guy to win. You know don’t you, that victory of good over evil belongs to myths only simply because it doesn’t belong anywhere on terra firma.

 

Khuda Hafiz.

May 23rd: All eyes on the EVM

Paradoxically, the EVM will be the cynosure of all eyes on May 23 well after voting is over. And there are many short and sweet reasons for why this election is testing the EVM and the Election Commission more than any candidate. Okay, so one might argue that the EVM . . . or its godly creator the Election Commission . . . reports to Modi and Shah Pvt Ltd. At least on this part even the most hardened bhakts should agree after what happened in West Bengal where Mamta Didi refused to cow (pun intended) down before any piece of beef that dared enter her bastion. Whatever the larger ramifications of that event (that futile debate on who started a communal flare up in a place where BJP has entered), one thing is clear – that the stance of the election commission (lower case, henceforth please) in Tagore’s and Netaji’s state was such that the poor EVM will be stared at hard on May 23rd. The moot point and the rude question in every polite liberal mind is – why on earth will such an election commission NOT rig the EVM. It doesn’t help that the Election Commission went into overdrive advertising the virtues of the EVM through a very BJP like mass media campaign on the eve of elections. A pre-emptive surgical strike on the unsuspecting electorate under radar free cloud cover. But since all politics is now only about marketing, methinks the election commission badly needs a fresh contemporary logo. Ideas for the same are welcome. But given that the election has outdone Pakistani electioneering by far, my humble suggestion for their logo is one ripe and juicy banana. It will signify to all proud Indians that the election commission at the behest of Modi & Shah Pvt LTD has successfully turned this proud nation – which was so far relying on the national anthem sung at high frequency to transform it into a republic that would make America and Europe go green with envy, and make China give up in frustration – into a sparkling and ripe banana republic. Not surprising since even the meaning of the word ‘Republic’ has itself changed so much after the advent of republic TV that to prefix ‘banana’ to it is act of redundant repetition. And not to mention the megalomaniacally named Namo TV which escaped the lens of the election commission as well as their ally, the Supreme Court. It makes one wonder if the election commission is a crazed misadvenventurer or is privately assured of stunning immunity through perpetuity. Here’s a damning inference. The only way the election commission can now make itself immune to trial in the future is by ensuring the EVM does its bidding and thereby ensures its masters remain in the seat for another term. And so again, the EVM will bear the brunt of it all on May 23rd. Funny how the gun can be blamed in a random shoot – out. How’s that for the ultimate diversionary tactic.

 

But wait a minute.

None of my anti national blasphemy above is meant to imply to that only 69% of the population will be staring hard at the EVM on May 23rd. No sir! It is the magical 31% with both its sub segments – the one in the communal lavatory and the other in the communal closet that breached the dams of restraint in May 2014 – which be looking optimistically at the EVM on May 23rd. See it’s very simple. As far as the bhakt is concerned, true to his / her nomenclature, Modi and Shah Pvt LTD must win by hook or by crook, preferably the latter. That gives them the joy of sticking their black tongues out at the 69% of Indians who are standing in the way of creating the India of Pvt LTD dreams.

 

But yes, there is a glimmer of hope. Yes, there is. Still.

If all the focus of Modi and Shah Pvt LTD is on West Bengal and how to use their core competence of fakery and fraud, then it may well mean that UP is lost. Or even Bihar for that matter. But wait a minute again. Don’t miss the ‘glimmer’ in the ‘glimmer of hope’ in sentence of sacrilege above. Merely a glimmer because, for all their talents, Modi and Shah pvt LTD can’t rig all the EVMs. Else why would they even bother campaigning. But here’s the contradiction is my treason-ic statement above – may be they are simply campaigning out of the force of habit, because that’s all they do anyway. And governance in any case is incidental. And so when the election commission or its ally the supreme Court can take belated and feeble action on saffron violations and act with surprising urgency against others, and actually encourage Pvt LTD to acquire the Indian army (and now also the Air Force; the Indian Navy is a matter of time), you have n choice but to stare hard at that small white piece of disgrace with its gleaming buttons of deception with deeply impregnated doubt. The Kolkata top cop, a Facebook post, vendetta on an ex CRPF candidate from Varanasi, and some social workers arrested in Poona, all are merely collateral damage of a nation struggling after seventy years at two fronts – one, in becoming a democracy, and two, in becoming one nation. Yes all those who make the news that bleeds from vendetta are only collateral damage. Only collateral. The main damage is all of us – you and I, our muted vox populi, we the hoi polio – both 69% of us who don’t want to make asses of ourselves and the 31% who have no choice because they wear the DNA of asinine long ears to believe every rumor fakery and fraud and broadcast it further with incessant braying. The joke is on them too but they don’t know it. Pray, how can a joke know that the joke is on the joke.

And so ladies and gentlemen, on May 23rd if the EVM performs as the Pvt LTD mandate, it will be time to heed to the same honorable judge’s advice, an advice he gave in times his ascension and we believed him, unknowing at the time, the men can be as deceptive as EVM buttons. By the way, he said it’s time for a revolution. And then took office.

Think about it.

 

But meanwhile let’s stop eating the banana because it is now elevated to the status of a republic and we must respect it. And if the banana doesn’t return in full on May 23rd, because all EVMs can’t be rigged, or because perfection eludes even fakery and fraud, then it may well be a dessert of split banana, but a banana none the less. Who would have thought the National Defence Academy would one day share its acronym with an effing banana!

But we are deep in the throes of Kali Yug now.

Still. Have a nice day. Be good. Let bad guys win.

See you on May 23rd.

If we are able to breathe.

Ta ta.

 

P.S. As I finish typing this, I am staring at a screenshot of a tweet sent to me. It’s a tweet by Raghav Chadha of AAP who writes – “Have learnt through reliable sources that EC has summoned presiding officers of South Delhi’s Parliamentary Constituency’s polling stations to re-create and re-sign EVM related documents. This is shocking. What is going on? Why are docs being re-created? Are EVMs being replaced too?”

Amen.

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