India That Is Bharat
The other night Satiricus had a weird dream. He dreamt he had gone to Mohali to watch—no, not a cricket match, but a puppet show. There were two puppets, one called Pak Puppet (PP) and the other called Na-Pak Puppet (NPP). The show was staged in the VIP enclosure at the cricket stadium. Satiricus dreamt he had become a fly on the wall, so that he could watch as the two danced according to strings attached and listen as they talked in their puppeteers’ voices.
“How do you do, Janab PP,” NPP said, “so nice of you to come at such a short notice.” “No problem, my dear NPP,” PP replied. “Of course I had to clear your invite with my puppeteer in Rawalpindi. But he was quite accommodating. In fact, he welcomed the idea and suggested it was a golden opportunity to send in a few dozen terrorists dressed as cricket fans.” “That’s OK,” NPP said with a smile of understanding: “We always look forward to receiving your terrorists. I have even issued orders that those of your fellow-travellers, who come covered as cricket fans but are later uncovered as terrorists, should be treated to biryani at government expense. And of course they can stay back. Last time, if you remember, nearly 50 such visitors simply vanished in our country. I do hope they are safe and sound and comfortably carrying on their admirable activities without pernicious police interference.” “Thank you so much, NPP,” PP said. “We over there cannot but appreciate your kindness towards our terrorists.” “No, no, it’s nothing at all,” NPP said, blushing at the high praise, and added, “ We in the Government of India firmly believe that if at all there is a terrorism problem in this country, it can be solved with a single sure-fire remedy—a cricket match.”
“By the way,” PP said, “your invite was a little sudden…. How could you get it cleared with your puppeteer in such a hurry?” “Actually, ” NPP rejoined, lowering his voice to a conspiratorial whisper, “If I say so myself, it was an inspired piece of diplomacy on my part, and I was on tenterhooks about getting it cleared. I know a puppet has no business thinking for itself, but these days I have to run to my puppeteer so often that it becomes quite exhausting. Luckily for me, you can see here for yourself that Allah is in his heaven, the sovereign is here at Mohali, and all is well with the secular world.”
“That is indeed good,” PP agreed, “but let me point out that we are a righteously religious people, and being secular is being irreligious, even blasphemous—and you may have seen that we don’t like blasphemy.” At these words a troubled look appeared on the normally wooden face of NPP, and he asked, “Then is it because we are secular, translated as blasphemous, that you have made more nuclear weapons than us, massed them on our border, and your terrorist leaders have directed you to make nuclear wars on us?”
Shaking his head reassuringly to allay NPP’s anxiety, PP said, “It is true that because we have more atom bombs than you have, we can destroy you before you can destroy us. But that would be counter productive, because we do not want India that is Bharat to be no more; rather, we want India that is Bharat to live and grow as India that is Islamistan—actually as three Islamistans rolled into one, as one of our respected terrorist leaders has declared, but how can that be possible if there is no India that is Bharat left to Islamise?”
“That makes sense,” NPP agreed. Then he mused…. “India that is Islamistan? Now, that is an idea worth consideration; I think I’ll mention it to my puppeteer—but of course my puppeteer will have to get it cleared with the Pope. Still I shall stress the welcome fact that not only your terrorists but your people as a whole are such dedicated Islamists that they would hail it….” At this point NPP frowned slightly, and said, “But Janab PP, isn’t it a bit too much when even your lawyers garlanded and kissed killer Qadri?” “Well,” rejoined PP, “I attended the funeral, you know, but my puppeteer was too busy to waste his time on such petty matters.” “But murder?” NPP asked. “Is murder permitted?” “No,” replied PP. “Murder is not permitted, murder is enjoined—there is even a Quranic quote saying so….”
—And that was when Satiricus woke up in a cold sweat, to find himself still alive, despite this blasphemous column.