INDIA THAT IS BHARAT
Satiricus lives and learns. He now learns to his patriotic satisfaction that the International Hunger Index published a couple of years ago, according to which Indians are among bottom 15 hungriest countries in the world, is an anti-Indian impossibility. This is because our well-fed leaders of the ruling party are assuring us that while our so-called poor are actually earning as much as Rs. 27 per day in the villages and Rs. 32 per day in the cities, they can gorge a meal that costs a rich variety of cheap prices. Congress spokesperson Raj Babbar says, in Mumbai I can have a full meal for Rs. 12, Congress leader Rasheed Masood says in Delhi you can get a meal for Rs. 5, and Central Minister Farooq Abdullah says one can even eat for Re. 1, if one wants to.
Well, now, is that not such a desirable situation? What, however, is slightly less desirable for dimwits like Satiricus is that the Congress has a time-honoured tradition of one Congress leader saying something and another Congress leader saying something to contradict the earlier something. In meticulously keeping with this tradition a Congress general secretary said, “We do not agree with the Re. 1 and Rs. 5 statements of some leaders.”
What does that mean? It means quite a few interesting things. Firstly, it means Congress spokespersons do not speak for the Congress. Secondly, it means Congress leaders always offer Congress followers a choice—they can follow one leader one way or another leader another way. Thirdly, it means Congress leaders always agree to disagree. This again gives another convenient choice to Congress followers—they can agree with the leader who agrees or they can disagree with the leader who disagrees—that is, agree to disagree with him.
So far as Satiricus is concerned, he does not have to worry about his meal. He can feed on the peanuts he gets for this column. Or else, there is always ample food for thought to feast upon.
A feast for a fiver apart, there are many magnificent signs showing Satiricus that we Indians never had it so good. Recently, for instance, big advertisements in a journal directed his “Eyes on Luxury” and even invited him to join “the company of those who define unbridled luxury”. They reeled off names like “Louis Vitton, Fendi, Hermes, Gucci,” and asked him, “Is your Birkin better than your Gucci chain bag? Are the French better creators of luxury than Italians?” What can Satiricus say in reply? He is dumbstruck. He certainly would like nothing better than to wallow in unbridled luxury, but the question is, does he qualify for it when he has not even heard of Vitton, Fendi and Hermes? As if this abominable ignorance is not enough, can he distinguish between a Gucci bag and a Birkin bag and accurately assess the degrees or inches or litres by which their levels of luxury differ? To add to his ignominious inadequacy, can Satiricus compare Italian imagination with French fancy to ascertain who, between the two, can create the luxury that can meet India’s luxurious standards?
Satiricus cannot. But should he not? If he does not have a rich enough imagination even after splurging 12 rupees on a banquet, does it not show that something is seriously wrong with his state of mind which suffers from the delusion that he is not really rich but possibly poor? For after all, poverty is a state of the mind. Have we not heard Rahul Gandhi saying that just the other day? It is as simple as that. We are not poor, we just think we are poor. We only need a rich imagination to be rich. Isn’t that wonderful? Have not the Gandhis led us from hungry hell to sumptuous swarga? Just look at the progression—Indira Gandhi began with “Garibi hatao”, from there Rajiv Gandhi progressed to “Garibi mitao,” and now Rahul Gandhi has achieved the ideal of “Garibi mindset mitao”. So from now on Satiricus does not need his daily dal-roti for his stupid stomach. Whenever he feels hungry he has just to think—and hey, prestok There, before him, is a fabulous feast of food for thought.
Satiricus is sad to see that birds are getting more and more bird-brained. Why else would they get more and more involved in the murkey politics of human beings? In particular, Satiricus’s secular sensibilities are really hurt to learn that Israeli birds are being communal enough to work as spies in country after Islamic country. Look at their regrettable record. First they were said to have spied in Iran. Then they have reportedly repeated it in Turkey. Clearly some bird-brain-washing is called for to save the secular situation. So Satiricus suggests a direct flight from Israel to India.