INDIA THAT IS BHARAT
IT IS a given that India is secular, Bharat is communal. And of course, Hindusthan is unmentionably, unforgivably, cussedly communal. This being the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the historical truth, it goes without saying that the “Indian” National Congress is secular, while the “Bharatiya” Janata Party is communal. So Satiricus is not surprised to see that this party’s Maharashtra unit has raised a hue and cry against what it imagines to be a bias against Shivaji in the CBSE history textbooks being taught in schools.
Actually, their wretched reaction makes it obvious to Satiricus that these Bharatiya boors are too bird-brained to understand that the history-writers of the CBSE, Central Bureau of Secular Education, are not anti-Shivaji but pro-secularism, and if Shivaji was anti-secular what could the poor dears do except to expose him? In fact, the fact that this man miscalled Maharaj founded a Hindu Pada Paadshahi is enough to condemn him as an abominable anti-secularist. He flew a saffron flag, and as if this was not communal enough, he even weeded out Persian words from the language of his administration and replaced them with Sanskrit words—which exposed him as a diehard communalist literally in word and deed, as Will Durant has called Sanskrit a Hindu language. To cap it all, he named his sword Bhawāni after the fierce aspect of Hindu Goddess Durga. This exposes the truth that Shivaji was not only not devoted to dossiers or committed to confidence-building measures but actually indulged in violence against the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, the shining star of CBSE history.
So when, against the backdrop of this horrid Hindu history, the BJP fellows absurdly ask why Shivaji’s rule has been dismissed by the CBSE in just a couple of paragraphs, secular Satiricus has a straight answer—because the CBSE was too generous, and the two full paragraphs it generously bestowed on Shivaji were two too many.
THE OTHER day Satiricus went to the post office to buy some stamps for a letter he had to mail. As he turned towards the row of counters he saw something startling that made him halt in his tracks—a printed notice announcing in big, bold letters for the kind information of the public: “No bribes accepted here.” Satiricus was stunned. How could that be? A post office is a government office, and is not every office of the UPA government required by rules to accept (sorry, demand) bribes?
So Satiricus timidly approached the person at one of the counters and politely inquired : “Where should I go? “ The person looked at Satiricus as Satiricus looked at the notice, then asked, “What do you mean? “ Still more timidly Satiricus replied,—”Er…. I mean….if bribes are not accepted here, where are they accepted ?” “Nowhere,” the person virtuously declared, then helpfully added—”Not for the present”.
“How come? “asked mystified Satiricus. “Well, it’s like this,” the person explained. “Our prime minister—I am talking of our read prime minister at 10 Janpath—has issued orders that no office under any ministry of his government will accept any bribe—until elections are over. Once he makes a clean sweep at the polls with a clean image and forms the UPA III government, things will be allowed to go back to normal—that is, bribe-taking will be the norm. But remember, then it will be paisa Vasul with retrospective effect.”
Defining religious belief
IS SATIRICUS a person with a religious belief? He cannot say. Why not? Because he is not sure what exactly a religious belief means. Neither does he know if a religious belief and a religiously held belief are as different as chalk is from cheese or as same as tweedledum and tweedledee. In this respect, Satiricus is admittedly a strange ignoramus. For he is a citizen of India, and India that is Bharat is blessed with as many as three religions prevailing in it—Secularism, Islamism and Hinduism, in that order of importance. Still Satiricus is relieved to see that the confusion in what passes for his intelligence is not the outcome of exclusively Indian ignorance. For according to a recent article in the British newspaper Economist, even judges in the West are struggling to define religious belief.
This piece says wearing a cross or not working on Halloween day is a Christian religious belief, and in England, ruled by the Defender of the (Christian) Faith, even the court upholds it. And now it seems a belief, to be defendable by law, does not need to be “religious” in the meaning “as pertaining to religion”. For a couple of years ago when a man asserted that his belief in man-made climate change, which led to his job being terminated, deserves legal protection, the judge agreed, and ruled in his favour.
Well, now, that is good news for Satiricus. For now he can hold religious beliefs without going to a temple. For example, if man-made climate change can be good enough for a religious belief, how about voter-made political climate change ?