The PM spoke at Wembley in London tonight and I listened. So did Cameron. And the British PM applauded more than once… and I could see that he was excited when Modi informed the Indians in London of the jugaad way of knowing the time in India – that is, without having to add hours – when a simple inverse image of the analog clock gives the approximate time in India.
Yes, I loved it when he gave the example of Imran from Alwar who has developed educational apps and given them away to students for free… these are the stories that the world press needs to notice and write about. No more snide remarks on what Pappu should have done or what a neighbouring country needs to do once his party loses an election. Modi needs to understand that the jokes and funny sentences that got him applause an year back will get him nothing but stony silence now… but I guess politicians take a lot of time dropping success formulas of the past.
But let me come to all that our PM forgot to mention tonight.
Did he really forget something vital? I mean, he did mention terrorism and the new-age Indian definition of FDI did fetch him appreciative claps. After all, the day other countries understand that FDI for us is First Develop India, it automatically gets more footfalls into the store called Make in India that Modi has assiduously built in the past few months.
But yes, he did forget to mention that the RSS has categorically endorsed the view of an errant tweet warning Flipkart to remove their leather goods as cows and leather come together to create a cocktail worse than the Molotov cocktails that the radicals have so far been using. Frankly, a part of me did expect Modi to walk up in rubber flip-flops and unstrap a watch with no leather strap… and every time he wore a pant, he should’ve lifted his kurta to show the world press that he was not wearing a leather belt. What better opportunity than this to promote indigenously made pyjama nadas as the belts of the future! Imagine the fashion designers from the world over rushing to India to know more about this fashion riot that nadas would surely be responsible for. I can go on and on about the advantages of nadas for the good of society… I mean, farmers who want to commit suicide will not have to wait to save enough to purchase rope and just use their nadas to escape their troubled future. The khaaps and those with a penchant for social policing can just go around tying romancing couples with their nadas though their trousers slipping might be a cause of concern. But then your own nakedness is just a vital resource for society that needs to be borne stoically, right?
So what else did he forget? Ah! The piles of returned awards that seem to be increasing in the rooms of Sahitya Academy and other organisations… but is that really important? After all, an old memento or medal needs hard work and resources to keep them shining… and returning them sounds so prudent. However, the reason why this is being done is not something that can be swept under the carpet. If talking about Tipu Sultan can get Girish Karnad a death threat, I can imagine every Muslim ruler in Indian history quietly queuing up to have their name erased from not just sign boards but also from the pages of books. I thought politicians were intolerant only towards the creators of lampooning cartoons and views on the social media… but if the truth in our records is gasping for breath, I can imagine what a living writer feels like. No, I am not defending the writers because I feel they need to write stronger words and be open and bold in their opinions expressed on every platform… their job is to give a direction through expression and not through returning awards. But here I am talking about all that Modi ji missed mentioning in his speech made to the Indian diaspora in London.
Did he talk about the way we Indians laugh at issues like love jehad or ghar wapsi? The world press needs to know and understand that Indians know how to laugh at whatever is laughable and that we are not the sorts who will silently suffer any more. Religion and rioting do not go together and tolerance is all about not allowing them to ever mix and become a volatile issue. So, did Modi say anything about his government’s intention to silence voices that wish to mix religion and rioting?
No, there’s more. But then before some reader with blinds thinks this post is enough to tweet me a threat, let me end the post and leave the rest for another day. So wait for more.
13 November 2015