Politics

Mapping New India

Hopefully, the people whose hands are sore from applauding the decision to scrap Article 370, and who are making plans to buy a pad in Pahalgam, will at some point play this out to its logical end in their heads.

This column is brought to you from deep within a cowpat, where, I have been assured, one is safest from cell phone radiation, cultural deracination and intellectual slavery. I’ve planted the tricolour on it just to be extra safe.

Isn’t it great that we’ve handed the house keys to Mr Modi again? So much peace of mind comes from knowing that he’s put on his apron and is busily cooking, vacuuming and doing laundry, managing the household and allowing us to devote more time to feeling upset about the Mughals. The only thing is, he keeps leaping out at us from behind corners – demonetisation, boo! surgical strikes, boo! Article 370, boo! – and he can’t really cook. But we all love him so much that we don’t mind the odd myocardial infarction or a bit of food poisoning.

We are obviously all very pleased to be done with the perils of rationality, pluralism, individual rights, independent thought, real news and consultative democracy – it saves us a lot of tedious decision-making. Enough shuffling around wasting time asking everyone what they’d like to eat. We’ll take a good fait accompli any day.

I imagine you’re as excited as I am by the atmosphere in the house these days. Okay so there’s less money, and people get put in the corner a lot, and someone keeps going through our drawers. But gone are the days when everyone was welcome and just ran around eating whatever they wanted and ostentatiously worshipping their god; when there was no imposed order, and one could never get anything done, for god’s sake.

Also read: In Kashmir Again, the Deluge

Mr Modi understands that getting a thing done is far more important than whether it is the best thing to do. For example, if he says he’s going to amputate some people’s right leg, and then actually goes ahead and amputates some people’s right leg, he knows he comes off as sexily strong. Everyone, maybe even some of the amputees, will love him for being a dude who delivers. Anyone who questions the idea of cutting off people’s right leg is obviously either lily-livered, or funded by terrorists.

He has withering answers for them anyway. Why cut off people’s legs? Because he promised to, it was right there on his CV. Why do it without administering any anaesthesia? You should be willing to take a little pain for the sake of the household. Why cut off people’s legs and also their arms? What a predictable reaction from those who have slavishly tolerated limbs for 70 years and are now irrelevant. Why lock the front door, turn off the lights, rip out the telephone lines, tie up the attached-limb lobby and throw them in a cupboard and hold everyone at gunpoint in order to cut off their legs? So that they can finally enjoy development. Ta-da!

I really hope that my snug cowpat will hold me safe from what Mr Modi and Mr Shah have unleashed in the newly-minted Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir – a name that sounds about as right as ‘Nagaland Colony’ or ‘Pocket Telangana’.

Hopefully, the people whose hands are sore from applauding the decision to scrap Article 370, and who are making plans to buy a pad in Pahalgam, will at some point play this out to its logical end in their heads. Mr Modi should certainly be able to, as a man well placed to understand the power of historical grievance. When you assemble an unnatural body, you risk creating Frankenstein.

But hey, he got it done, didn’t he? What a legend. My hands are sore from clapping too, but it’s a slow clap.

Mitali Saran is an independent writer and columnist based in Delhi.