Tuesday, March 31, 2020
Home Variety Satire Liberal conversation - Winds of Change

Liberal conversation – Winds of Change

Also Read

Kansaratvahttps://amzn.to/2PZDEfY
Author of "Twisted Threads", a satirical book on power, politics, and pollution set in the post-2014 era about connected machines and disconnected ideologies.

The four entered their usual restaurant in Delhi after more than a year. The manager, who knew them quite well, beamed the usual gracious smile and escorted them to their usual corner table.

The bald and bespectacled man ordered the usual, and said to others, “boire un coup!” The others ordered the usual, a 2002 Napa Valley vintage for R_______, a Beefeater for Sa______, and Pimm’s Iced Tea for A____. While R______ was dressed up in a dapper suit, Sa______ was looking chic in a plain green saree, her hair coiffed to resemble an ex-Prime Minister’s. A____ was in his usual faded kurta, and one would have thought that he had no other clothes.

The perspicacious manager noted that the group was more upbeat than when they had met earlier.

- article continues after ad - - article resumes -

Although S______’s face always carried an imprint of a smile, this time it was deep and genuine. “So, my friends, here we are again after a tumultuous year.”

Sa______ was the first to respond, which was not surprising. She beamed her best smile and asked, rather rhetorically, “Did you read my fabulous bestseller?”

“I cannot congratulate you on your staid English,” said A____, ever so gently. She was not amused, but her husband immediately shifted the goalpost. “It was a masterstroke, S______! If not for that potty-mouthed Ai___ we would have got Gujarat too! What do you think?”

S______ was not a man who rested on his laurels, and he knew well that in the new world of social media, praise, like outrage, lasted only 48 hours.

With great humility he said, “It was not exactly rocket science to use caste as the basis for ensuring social justice.”

“Ensuring social justice” was the accepted phrase to indicate breaking the vote-bank by creating or deepening fault-lines through caste and religion. Even within the confines of his friends, S______ believed in using the right language.

Gujarat was just the right laboratory to test the caste waters, and it had given some good insights despite setback. Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, the possibilities were endless, just like the permutations of caste arithmetic. Even Nitish Kumar would have dropped his jaw in awe at this social re-engineering experiment.

A____ remembered the old conversation, and in a voice brimming with sarcasm, turned to R______ and asked, “How is your new true patriot kid working out? Did he win Gujarat for us, or did he just put out his seedy CDs?”

While R______ was wondering whether to punch A____ or maintain his class, Sa______ intervened and quickly shifted the goalpost. “Look at the brighter side! We have the Internet Hindus squawking like headless chicken, pulling each other’s legs, outraging at suspended accounts, and ceaselessly yelling at their own leaders.”

“Well,” said A____ calmly, as if trying to stop the loud laughter of Sa______, “Didn’t I tell you that the social media will be taken care of?”

S______ added, with a twinkle in his eyes, “And didn’t I tell you that we may yet have some solid surprises for our Sanghi friends? The courts have been wonderful, and our network is stronger than ever now!”

After a slight pause, A____, as usual, raised the most important incomplete question of all, “How is the…?” and bowed his head. The others too bowed their heads in Reverence to the Supreme Sacrificer, She Who Shall Not Be Named. “Never been happier,” said S______. “With Ra___ G______ turning out to be a delectable blend of charm, confidence, and caustic wit, what is there to worry about? Go Goa Gone!”

On hearing this, A____ permitted himself a rare grin. “I have been saying this for years, that Ra___ is not only good looking and charismatic, but has an uncommon understanding of Indian reality.”

S______ said, “We have them busy laughing and jeering at the calculated gaffes of Ra___, while we continue to do our work unhindered. Surprisingly, even the ministers have fallen into this trap.”

The four knew quite well the reluctance of M___ and his government to do anything even remotely retributive, even where it actually made political sense. After an excruciating lull in the initial half, when nothing untoward really happened to them, they knew that it was time now to up their ante and go full throttle. Every medium of communication was in their control, whether the print media, the visual media, or even the social media.

“M____ bhakts sometimes give us a tough time to ignore them on Twitter,” continued S______. “Occasionally someone like our J____-saab lose their cool, but frankly, Twitter is at best a parallel world with hardly a connection to what happens on the ground. We could use Twitter to keep them all busy with their trends and jokes and facts and outrages while we do some real mobilization through WhatsApp and Telegram and Facebook. The new W-T-F in social media!”

“Newton only told half the story,” said R______, rather enigmatically. “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, but in politics, the reaction takes considerably more energy than the action.”

On hearing this, SA______ piped up, “Oh my Einstein, my hero!” As R______ winced, she added in all seriousness, “Of course, you are my second hero, after N____.” Everyone bowed in Reverence once again.

“Just a year back, the famous Ghanchi looked invincible,” observed A____, and then added, without an iota of irony, “and now, we are on our way to decimate the caste barriers!”

“Do you think,” asked R______ with some anxiety, “that 2019 could change our fortunes?”

“What more change of fortunes do you need, R_____?” joked S______. “Is your book not selling well?”

Once again, Sa______ quickly shifted the goalpost to save her darling husband. “By the way, what is happening down south? Do you think Superstar would spoil our party?”

A____ and S______ laughed gently at her innocence, or perhaps, ignorance. “You should travel to Chennai more often, and not just to launch your books,” said S______. “Also,” retorted A____, “it would help you write better articles than that Tamil Teri Maa atrocity.”

On seeing a bristling Sa______, R______ now shifted the goalpost, “I don’t understand. Doesn’t Superstar have the pull to change the face of politics in the south?”

Surprisingly, it was A____ who answered. “Religion is a powerful political weapon, R______, and it can trump any other passion in people, even in people as movie-obsessed as our Madrasi friends. Remember the brouhaha over the J_____ V____ movie?”

R______ was still confused. “I remember that, and it was heartening to see people raise their voice against the stifling of freedom of expression against M___’s GST.” Apparently, J______ was not responsible for GST as much as M___ was.

“Cut the crap,” said S______, in a rare outburst of anger. “It was never about GST. In a few days there would be festival time, and more protests. Who do you think would be behind those protests, and the protests again the movie? Who do you think was behind the protests at Marina last year? Who do you think was behind the farmer protests in Delhi instead of Chennai? You should read up on history of protests in the state, R______, and who is behind this mushrooming agitation industry.”

A____ coughed a little, indicating that S______ had spoken far more than what was necessary. “Well, let us just say that the days of Superstar are past.”

At this, they clinked their glasses and ordered another round of drinks. For today, unlike the year before, there was no apprehension about who would pay the bill. The Winds of Change had just started blowing from the West.

- Support OpIndia -
Support OpIndia by making a monetary contribution

Trending now

Kansaratvahttps://amzn.to/2PZDEfY
Author of "Twisted Threads", a satirical book on power, politics, and pollution set in the post-2014 era about connected machines and disconnected ideologies.

Latest News

Delhi Police registers FIR against Tablighi Jamaat’s Maulana Saad and others under the Epidemic Act

Delhi police registered FIR against Maulana Saad of Tablighi Jamaat and others under section 3 of The Epidemic Diseases Act (1897)

‘If 70,000 angels cannot save you, how can a doctor?’ preached the Maulana of Markaz, Nizamuddin amidst Coronavirus outbreak

The Maulana of Markaz, Nizamuddin declared the suggestions given by health experts to be a conspiracy against Islam.

Rajdeep Sardesai falsely claims Rahul Gandhi was ‘probably’ the first politician to raise alarm over Coronavirus: Here are the facts

Propagandist-in-Chief Rajdeep Sardesai created quite a stir on social media after claiming that Rahul Gandhi was 'probably' the first national politician to warn about the Wuhan Coronavirus pandemic.

50 new positive Coronavirus cases in Tamil Nadu linked to the Tablighi Jamaat event at Delhi: Tamil Nadu Health Secretary

The Tamil Nadu government raised an alarm over the Tablighi Jamaat congregation after many tested positive for Coronavirus

Meerut: 14 people hiding in a Maulana’s house arrested, had attended Tablighi Jamaat event amidst​ Coronavirus spread

The Maulana of a mosque in Kashi village of Meerut hid the 14 people who attended the Tablighi Jamaat event in his house

Assam doctor dies after consuming Hydroxychloroquine, medical superintendent says ‘not sure if death related to drug’

Senior doctor, Utpaljit Barman reportedly died from a heart attack after he took anti-malarial drug Hydroxychloroquine

Recently Popular

Delhi: Dozens of coronavirus cases across the country traced to Tablighi Jamat Mosque in Nizamuddin, hundreds in hospital, 2000 quarantined, area sealed off

A medical camp has been set up in the area and samples are being tested. Drones have been deployed to maintain strict vigilance over movements. As per reports, over 2000 people in the area are under quarantine.

We’re not rich like US, but we’ve Islam: Pakistan PM announces ways to fight Coronavirus

Imran Khan, in his address to his nation on March 30, praised China, the country which unleashed Wuhan coronavirus on rest of the world.

Tablighi Jamaat and its links to terrorist organizations: History of association to Al Qaeda, Taliban and Kashmiri terrorists

The links of Tablighi Jamaat with terrorist organizations such as the Al Qaeda become hugely significant.

Uttar Pradesh: Maulvi booked for hiding Indonesian Muslims in a mosque in Bijnor, Muslims of other nationalities also found from other mosques

A Markazi mosque in Kaiserbagh area of Lucknow was found sheltering foreigners from Kyrgystan and Kazakhastan since March 13

King Maha Vajiralongkorn of Thailand goes into isolation with his harem of 20 concubines in Germany, books an entire luxury hotel

Thailand King Maha Vajiralongkorn has booked out the entire Grand Hotel Sonnenbichl in Bavaria, with permission from local council

Subscribe to our newsletter

Each morning, get an email to keep updated with all the news, opinions and analysis published by OpIndia.

Connect with us

216,763FansLike
267,448FollowersFollow
208,000SubscribersSubscribe
Advertisements