2014: People are sick of the slow, venal and shady UPA. New times, new designs. The rallying cry is ‘Mera desh badal raha hai’ (‘My country is changing’).
2018: People are sick of the bombastic, incompetent and shady BJP. Now ‘Mera desh badal raha hai’ is the soundtrack to a good economic and social mauling, and everyone is crying.
But cry all you want, strong, stable governments stick to their guns. The plan is to badalo the desh until it looks absolutely nothing like the desh you once knew. And if a strong, stable government has to not just lower the bar but throw the bar away completely to do it, then, by the 33,000 gods, they will.
So I object to all of you grumbling about Jayant Sinha. Quit hating on him just because he’s some grown-ass man with a liberal education and a cosmopolitan air about him. You think that because he went to Harvard he should be enlightened? I mean, Subramanian Swamy went to Harvard, and he’s one of our suavest, most articulate bigots – but you all keep running to him for sound bytes. Double standards much? The truth is, you’re not upset with Jayant Sinha, you’re upset with his pedigree. In your head you should be able to keep liking him, and he’s making it hard.
Well, cry me a river. When the government’s minister for culture, Mahesh Sharma, went to the funeral of one of the men who lynched Akhlaq in Dadri, the corpse was tenderly draped with the tricolour. You dismissed that because Sharma is an ‘RSS-y type’ who was always going to console the accused in any Hindu-on-Muslim murder story and ensure that they be compensated. I mean, you’re not going to catch proper RSS-y types bemoaning the killing of Muslims in the justified heat of a Hindu moment because maybe-beef. But Jayant Sinha shouldn’t garland lynching convicts as they exit jail on bail just because he has an MBA?
A couple of BJP MPs took out a rally to support the rapists and murderers of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua, but they were just a few horrid, misguided folks who overstepped the line that exists only in your head. But Jayant Sinha feeds lynchers sweets, and suddenly he’s betraying you personally?
Giriraj Singh bursts into tears because some Hindus are being held in a Bihar jail for rioting, and you mock him for his histrionics because he’s an RSS-y type who is never going to see a good Hindu riot as anything but a beautiful expression of Hindu pride. Jayant Sinha just welcomes his lynching constituents back to freedom and wham, there’s a petition demanding that Harvard University revoke his alumnus status?
As a concerned citizen of India and an Alumni of @harvard, I am shocked by the actions @jayantsinha. His actions are in stark contrast with the values of Harvard. I request President Bacow to withdraw his Alumni status, Sign Petition: https://t.co/on9t1DKJBF via @ChangeOrg_India
— Prateek Kanwal (@prateekkanwal) July 10, 2018
Prime Minister Narendra Modi loses his powers of speech when it comes to lynchers and rapists, and talks the hind legs off a donkey about kabristan vs shamshan ghat, but you figure he’s hugging world leaders and boosting your stock holdings. Poor Jayant Sinha claims he’s following due process of law and now he’s suddenly too smelly to stand next to?
BJP leaders call people opposing governmental projects ‘terrorists’, Republic and Times Now call students anti-national, and BJP-paid trolls brand journalists and dissenters as corrupt traitors – but Jayant Sinha was a fund manager and consultant and worked for McKinsey and Omidyar Network, so he’s supposed to run with truth and justice? Come on.
You haven’t been paying attention. In this country, Hindu groups in Jodhpur put up a Ram Navami tableau of Shambhulal Regar, who filmed himself axing a man to death and setting him on fire, and landed a lot of supportive love and money for his efforts. Hindus in Haryana’s Patla village have clearly said that if Muslims try to build a mosque under the pretext of fixing their cemetery, they will be killed. In this country, the government lies in parliament and on social media, its ministers tell people to go to Pakistan, its most vicious rape- and murder-threatening trolls are followed online and fed tea and biscuits in real life by the prime minister. Jayant Sinha is part of this government. Jayant Sinha wants to go places in this government. He knows what the plan is and he’s just doing his bit to implement it.
Those who say ‘there’s no alternative to Modi’ are signalling a willingness to endorse the continuation of that same plan. Take a minute and run down your friends’ list – do you know anyone like that? There’s only a little distance between them and Jayant Sinha, and the difference is that maybe your friends are holding their noses as they do the same thing. If you thought Jayant Sinha was too close to home, take a good hard look at your actual home.
Here’s a possibility:
2019: People are sick to the stomach, but it’s too late. Mera desh badal gaya hai.