Saviours Of Secularism
India That Is Bharat
Ring, on bells, rejoice, oh shores, for secularism has triumphed once again. Salman Rushdie—he of the “Satanic Verses” ill-fame—has been officially asked not to come to India for a literary fest to which its organisers had invited him. Satiricus is of course overjoyed. For this proves once more if proof were needed that we, the indomitable Indian defenders of secularism, have, in the case of the wretched Rushdie, rescued secularism from Iranian anti-secularism in letting this abominable unbeliever continue to live despite the (now, alas, abandoned) fatwa on his head.
At the same time this also shows that eternal vigilance is the price of secure secularism. Fortunately, our Ministry of Secular Affairs at Darul Uloom is always on guard. Where would our secularism have been but for its fatwas? For instance, it decreed that Vande Mataram is anti-Islam and the government must not force hapless school-children to sing it. Of course, of course, readily responded the government. It said we quite agree that Vande Mataram is anti-Islamic and therefore anti-secular and therefore an anti-national national song. But we didn’t make its singing compulsory, did we?
As for the satanic Salman Rushdie, Satiricus recalls some mullah eruditely explaining that the Quran is the word of God but some verses were interpolated in it by Satan. That clearly explains rotten Rushdie’s political perfidy. For according to the Quran there is God’s party and there is Satan’s Party, and this Salman has sided with Satan. Still this Hindu ignoramus wonders why were the interpolated satanic verses not removed? Satiricus recalls that when Musharraf was President of Oh-so-Islamic Pakistan he had actually edited the immutable Quran and removed some verses that he thought too violent. But perhaps that was precisely why the na-pak Pak President had to pack up.
We are in the midst of the election season, and every political party is asking for our roles. But do we really need this tiresome, repetitive exercise when we have already noted a party into power for 60 years (almost) without a break? Should we be so greedy as to demand more health and wealth, plenty and prosperity than we are already so hugely enjoying? Satiricus, for one, is virtually suffering from a surfeit of happiness. But alas, not everybody is as patriotically happy as Satiricus. Even after six glorious decades there are still antisocially unhappy elements that come up with all sorts of silly surveys showing that the Rama-rajya preached by the first has now become the hey-Rama-rajya presided over by the latest Gandhi.
For instance, satiricus recalls that a couple of short years ago the World Bank asked our Mai Baap Sarkar, how is it that in India the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting power? Of course it was a base, baseless allegation, but now some silly survey has actually statistically quantified it and claimed (falsely, of course) that the rich are ten times richer and the poor are ten times poorer. Another stupid survey shows that among 70 odd countries of the world whose people have little food to eat, India is among the bottom 15. Yet another equally (or still more) stupid survey says there are only 14 countries in the world where more people are starving than 23 crore starving Indians. Yet another survey, perhaps providing a footnote to our starving status, says over 55,000 mothers and 13 lakh children in India die every years. To add to this catalogue of calumny, a minister says India is the world’s dirtiest country, and a judge says every government office is a den of bribery. And what does Satiricus say? He says ban such scurrilous surveys and rotten remarks. For could there be a more scintillating record of good governance? Satiricus is sure not. He knows he never had it so good. So he is going to vote for this party but only on the condition that this good doesn’t become better. He simply won’t be able to stand still more Indian happiness.
Is the law an ass or is the law a donkey? Satiricus is not joking. There’s a difference. An ass, say the dons of the dictionary, is an animal of the “horse genus”, while the word donkey is derived from the word ‘dun’, and a meaning of ‘dun’ is a horse of a particular colour. That makes a donkey a more authentic horse and an ass a less authentic horse. In turn that makes the law more of an ass than a donkey. For instance, in Thailand it is against the law to go out of the house without wearing underwear, while in Zimbabwe it is against the law to sell secondhand underwear. And whether your underwear is legal or illegal, in the city of Phoenix in the state of Arizona in the US of A it is against the law to enter the city limits if you are not wearing a pant. On well, who says the law must make sartorial sense? And anyway what is legal need not be sensible, wot?