In these polarized times, it is more important than ever to understand an opposing viewpoint. Because as Gandhi once noted, sometimes it is important to find out just why people want to kill you- not that it would help you live longer but dying with an understanding of why you needed to go is always better than kicking the bucket with a confused expression on your face!
So, recently I visited a woke township to understand why people wanted to fornicate the religion I was born in. This place is called Building Understanding, Love & Leadership for Singularly Humane Indian Titans or BULLSHIT.
It is full of 40-year-old students, stand-up comics whose entire act consists of comparing the PM to Hitler, media-persons working for channels with basement low ratings and politicians who lost their deposits in elections 8 months ago- or as they like to call themselves – the voice of the country! In BULLSHIT, there are two primary groups of eminent citizens. The first is Indian Nonconformist Secular And Neutrals Enterprise or INSANE and the other is Communist Radicals And Zestful Youth or CRAZY. After I convinced them that I was not Sanghi enough to be blocked by any of the leading ‘neutral’ journalists, they deigned to grant me a discussion. (I am referred to as Barely Sanghi or BS- frequently by both sides!)
BS- So if I understand you correctly, you think the government should roll back CAA, and assure there would be no NRC. Can you tell me why?
INSANE Representative One- How can you differentiate on the basis of religion?
BS- So, if the government brings Uniform Civil Code and changes provisions in various articles giving preferential treatment to non–Hindus, you would welcome that?
CRAZY Representative One- Of course not! How can the government tell me how to practice my religion?
BS- So, in 2017 when Sabarimala protests were going on, you were with the devotees?
INSANE One- Misogynist Sanghi! How dare those patriarchal thugs to dictate terms? Rule of law above religion, dude!
BS- So, tomorrow if the law demands that Civil Code be—
CRAZY ONE- let me save you some time Sanghi. Courts telling you how to practice religion is secular, anyone telling us the same is communal. Got it?
BS- (Coughs) sure, coming back to CAA, on what basis are you saying that the country doesn’t want this law?
INSANE ONE- Do you read newspapers or watch the news, dude? Did you see the spontaneous protests across the country?
BS- But weren’t there even bigger rallies supporting CAA?
CRAZY ONE: (Laughs) BJP IT cell organized rallies. Reminded me of Nazi Germany of 1930s.
BS- Weren’t the protests similarly organized by opposition parties?
INSANE ONE (with Rajdeep-Esque pained expression)- The youth of the country has spoken Sir, please stop painting everything with a political brush.
BS- But didn’t your friend do that a moment ago?
INSANE ONE- Of course, and rightly so. Please understand that in a democracy, people’s will is supreme and government must heed it. Otherwise, what is the difference between us and Nazi Germany?
BS- But isn’t the law passed by lawmakers who were elected by the same people in May last year?
CRAZY ONE (condescending smile) – so First Past the Post is an expression of people’s will, eh? Cute!
BS- So, election results don’t reflect people’s will?
Both- Of course not.
BS- But then, didn’t the Sabarimala protest show a similar people’s will?
INSANE ONE- Democracy can’t be held hostage to majoritarianism, my good sir. That is the road to Nazi Germany.
BS-(wipes sweat on brows)- Let me see if I get this straight- Pro CAA rallies are BJP’s propaganda machinery, Anti CAA rallies are apolitical and spontaneous.
BS- Also, anti CAA rallies express people’s will but people standing in line in the summer heat and casting their vote to choose their representative doesn’t?
Both (getting tired of stating obvious)- Yes!
BS- and lastly, the government should heed the majority or it will be like Nazi Germany, except it should also not heed the majority or else it will be like Nazi Germany. Did I get that right?
Both (visible exasperation)- Yes!
BS- Moving on, I wanted to know your thoughts about Deepika Padukone going to JNU
Both (gushing, tearful eyes)- So brave! Respect! Courage!
BS- But don’t you think she should have met injured students from both sides?
CRAZY ONE- Meet the Sanghi goons? Never!
BS- So if the other side dismisses her visit as partisanship or publicity stunt—
INSANE ONE (shouts, spittle flying from the corners of the mouth)- Don’t. You. Dare. Politicize. This. Courageous. Woman.
CRAZY ONE- We wish the men in Bollywood show similar spine.
BS- So if tomorrow a male actor speaks on the issue but happens to be on the other side, will you hail him too?
CRAZY ONE- Why should we hail a spineless millionaire who speaks against the plural fabric of the country? Like the foundational principle of liberalism says- you are with us or a Nazi.
BS- so can the other side similarly term actors against CAA as Communists?
INSANE ONE- I am warning you for the last time, don’t politicize the bravery of these neutral women. They are not Sanghi trolls who go and meet the PM.
BS- So Deepika meeting the Tukde Tukde gang is ok but Shorey meeting the Prime Minister is not?
CRAZY ONE- Will you stop referring to those brave students as Tukde Tukde please? Not everyone who opposes you is an anti-national.
BS- But anyone opposing you is a Nazi.
CRAZY ONE (rolls eyes)- your continuous stating of the obvious is getting on my nerves, Bucko.
BS- I apologize. The last issue – in many protests people were showing banners that abused Hindu religion and demanded separate Kashmir—
INSANE ONE- Hindutva and Hinduism is different, please read good writers like Dr Tharoor to understand how.
CRAZY ONE- and then come back to us so we can explain how he is wrong comparing Hindutva with Christianity and Islam.
BS- but those banners—
INSANE ONE- This is an inter-sectional protest, dude. People who oppose fascism from all angles have joined hands.
BS- So, if I join this protest with a sign against Islamic terrorism—
Both (screeching, about to take a bite out of my face)- Don’t you dare bring your islamophobia here.
BS- So, people abusing Hindu religion is not Hinduphobia?
INSANE ONE- of course not. Freedom of speech, anyone?
BS- Speaking of which- did you see Ricky Gervais’s monologue at the golden globes?
I asked this because I wanted to change the topic. Unfortunately, no sooner was the name out of my mouth, CRAZY ONE began foaming at the mouth and INSANE ONE began tearing their hair off. They asked a security guard to show me out while hissing words like ‘transphobe’ and ‘punching down’ from between clenched teeth.