Wednesday, February 8th, 2023 16:55:32

Insecular Sensibilities

Updated: March 30, 2013 2:39 pm



Satiricus has bad news to give. It seems secularism khatre mein hai in the world at large. Not in India, of course. It is impossible for India to be indecently anti-secular so long as we have an Italian Christian at the helm of affairs and even our Islamic terrorists patriotically call themselves Indian Mujahideen. This makes Satiricus doubly sure that secularism is secure in India. But what is alarming for Satiricus’s secular sensibilities is what is happening in the world outside—including pak Pakistan. For the other day he read in the papers the believe-it-or-not news that some Pakistani women have taken to applying sindoor, wearing chooda and even mangal-sutra, coolly calling it a fashion statement. Unfortunately and unforgivably, some Indian Muslim women are also reportedly following this foul fashion of na-pak women. So firstly, they must be dealt with. For this pious purpose Satiricus suggests that a joint tribunal of the powers that be in Delhi and Deoband be immediately set up. As for the Pakistani women flaunting communal-cum-Hindu symbols, even if as a fashion, our Prime Minister must sternly warn the Pakistani government—that is, Zardari on the throne and Kayani behind—that as a cement-concrete confidence building measure they must club all such women with Pakistan’s female ambassador to the US for prosecuting for blasphemy.

Having thus prevented heinous Hinduism from rearing its head in pak Pakistan the secular government of our Roman Catholic leader must tackle another, rather curious, case of Hindu communalism that goes back right up to the Ramayana days of 6000 years ago. According to Ramayana, Kaikeyi, one of Dashrath’s queens, was furious with him for thinking of proclaiming Rama, son of another queen, as the heir apparent. So what did she do to express her anger? She shut herself up in the kopabhavan, the designated ‘rage room’ in the palace! When Satiricus read this, he thought only ancient, outdated Hindus could come up with such an out-and-out ridiculous idea but he now learns that two men in the European country of Serbia have recently done exactly the same thing—set up a ‘rage room’ for angry people to vent their anger for a fee. So a certain angry man by name Savo went to this latter-day kopabhavan for a clinical cure for his terrible temper, paid the fee, and went inside. There he took up a baseball bat made up of metal and wrecked everything in sight—chair, table, shelf, bed—until there was nothing left to wreck. Then he admired the debris he had created and happily declared, “This feels so good!”

And of course what these Europeans are now doing the Americans were already doing. So the Serbians who thought up this cool idea for a hot temper admitted that their inspiration came from a similar set-up already in place in a town in Texas. Sothen, what do our secularists think of this American-European imitation of ancient Indians? Surely they must be angry. They may be even enraged. Why, they might be outright outraged. But alas, is there a room for them either at the PMO or at 10, Janpath? Rama jāné or maybe Kaikeyi.

Two Healthy Reasons

Satiricus is looking forward to a long and healthy life. There is a reason for this. In fact, there are two reasons, one good, the other better. The good reason is that he does not watch TV. The better reason is that he is a pessimist. Satiricus is not joking. The other day he read in the papers that according to some researchers in Australia, for every hour you watch TV you are shortening your life by 22 minutes. On the other hand, according to some other researchers, this time in Germany, pessimists are more likely than optimists to live longer and remain healthier. They have even warned that if you are “overly optimistic in predicting a better future” for yourself, you are at a greater risk of death within a decade.

Well, now, Satiricus is safe on both counts. Firstly, because the Australian study of TV was based on an average six hours viewing per day, and six unending hours of watching unending Saas-Bahu wrangles on how to save Ghar ki ijjat would be a torture Satiricus would not wish even for his enemies (read readers). And secondly, Satiricus is quite pessimistic about his country becoming a better place for his countrymen in the near future that is, after the elections next year, which would be fiercely fought by a united alliance of termites on the one side and a close coalition of scorpions and snakes on the other.

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