INDIA THAT IS BHARAT
SATIRICUS lives and learns. Not that he did not know the rich variety of freedoms that we currently enjoy. There is political freedom, religious freedom, freedom of thought, freedom of expression, freedom from hunger and so on. He knows that our political freedom means the freedom to elect a government that can make a magnificent mess of governance, freedom of thought means to think that this country of a billion people has produced a single solitary family that can lead the country, religious freedom means the impunity to vilely trash everything Hindu, freedom of expression is the courage of journalism with which we may flaunt our slavery to the West by praising Macaulay for making us ‘complete Indians’ with English education, and freedom from hunger means to feast every day on sumptuous slogans.
But now Satiricus learns that there is also a brand-new freedom—the freedom from decisiveness. The other day our foreign minister defined it by declaring that “we should not be slave to a decision”. Satiricus is impressed. Ignorant, illiterate journalist that he is, he was under the impression that when you take a decision you have the freedom to decide whether it should be taken, then to undertake the due process of deliberation, and finally take that decision—No, not finally. Finally you stand by that decision because it has been taken after due and collective deliberation. But this, our foreign minister has revealed, is slavery to that decision. Then what is freedom? Somebody suddenly saunters by—casually looks at the decision—and tells us your decision is nonsense. Then what do we do? Without a moment’s hesitation, we officially, publicly, trash our own decision and consign it to the waste paper basket under that somebody’s table. That is freedom.
Being a simpleton, Satiricus is given to simple thinking. He thinks to himself—who are the poor? Those who don’t have enough to eat. Why are the poor poor? Because they don’t have the money to cook or buy food. How can they get that money? By getting a job. Then why on earth don’t they get a job to escape poverty? Ah, that is precisely the point. They can’t get a job on earth to escape poverty on earth because they need the escape velocity of Jupiter to do so. If the poor cannot understand or even imagine this astronomical phenomenon, it is clear that their poverty is due to poverty of imagination.
Fortunately for them, Rahul Gandhi, who has reportedly a couple of billion dollars in his pocket, understands poverty more than those who hanker for such immaterial material things like food. He has wisely advised them to live life in the fast lane—fast enough to escape to Jupiter and become rich. But how can they do that if Rahul does not teach them how to do that? So, should he not give them a crash course in the astronomy of Arya Bhatta and Varha Mihir? Better still, why not a course in the astronomical findings of Copernicus and Galileo, who, as his Roman Catholic mom may know, were jailed and tortured by the Roman Catholic Church? So, what do you say, poor folks? Would you like to escape poverty, or, rather, escape Rahul’s astounding astronomical answer to poverty?
A PM’s Task
Satiricus recently read in the papers that schools in Mumbai had organised an essay competition for students, and the subject given was “If I were prime minister for a day”. Well, now, what if Satiricus were prime minister for a day? It would not be difficult to imagine, for he has a ready-made role model to follow. So let’s see…. On getting up from bed he would brush his teeth with Coalgate tooth-paste. (Is there some spelling error somewhere here?) Then he would go out for his workout—his daily crawl from Race Course Road to 10 Janpath and back without losing breath. At office time, he would meekly enter the PMO and take his seat—that is, the seat he has been instructed to take. As the first order of business for the day, he would call a ministers’ meeting to deliberate upon and finalise the next ordinance for certification as acceptable nonsense.
With this onerous task satisfactorily performed, Prime Minister Satiricus would attend to the minor job of signing the daily stern warning to Pakistan and the weekly humble note to China, expressing concern over this, that or the other. Then at the end of the day, Prime Minister Satiricus would inspect the diving equipment he had specially ordered. For although he had publicly declared dozens of times that he was happily looking forward to working under you know who, for safety’s sake he would want to check how deep under he could safely go.