Jug Suraiya's Column That Was Dropped From Times of India's Print Edition

A conversation between the Supreme Leader and his Supreme Sidekick.

The Supreme Leader and his Supreme Sidekick in a huddle trying to figure out what to do to counter the increasingly bad press they’re getting amid the rising tide of Covid cases in the country.

Supreme Leader: More and more people are blaming me for having single-handedly – or, rather, single-mindedly – turned our country from the universal saviour in the pandemic by being the biggest vaccine produce on Earth and having the fewest cases of the virus to now being a basket case needing help from everyone, including our arch adversaries, China and Pakistan. It’s not fair! It’s not my fault all this has happened. It’s the fault of the system.

Supreme Sidekick: But, Boss, you are the system.

SL: I am? Golly, I never thought of that. In fact, I never thought of much at all except drumming up as many people as I could to all those rallies we held in that place whose name I forget now, except that it begins with a B, and a fat lot of good that did us.

SS: Boot begins with a B. Maybe that’s the name you can’t remember. Anyway, critics are saying that instead of rallying in this B place you should have been rallying round getting more vaccines and oxygen produced, both of which we desperately need.

SL: So what do we do now?

SS: What we do now is practice frequent hand washing.

SL: Frequent hand washing to protect against the coronavirus?

SS: No. Frequent handwashing to protect against the worse virus: the virus of blame. We wash our hands frequently of the whole thing. We also maintain social distancing.

SL: Social distancing from people who can infect us?

SS: No. Social distancing from any policies which can infect us. We must distance ourselves from all policies, past, present and future. That way we remain escape goats.

SL: You mean scapegoats.

SS: No. I mean escape goats. We escape by making others into scapegoats.

SL: Where’ll we find these scapegoats?

SS: No problem. Hasn’t the country been turned into a nation of 1.3 billion bakras…?

Published with the author’s permission.