Monday, May 23rd, 2022 03:37:44

Official Truth

Updated: November 26, 2011 10:05 am

India That Is Bharat


Long, long ago, when Satiricus entered journalism, a veteran sternly told him, “Remember cardinal principle no.1: Facts are sacred, comment is free.” But what are facts? What is the truth? The truth, said the veteran with a straight face, is only that which is revealed in an official press note or announced in an official press briefing. But alas, the interlocutors’ report on Kashmir is still under wraps. So what can the poor press report on the Report? It can only fall back on cardinal principle no.2: Facts are sacred, speculation is free. So for a full week after the Report was ceremonially (and pictorially) handed over to the government, Satiricus read leading newspapers like Times of India and Indian Express printing what looked like scholarly speculative assertion or astutely assertive speculation on this distinguished document. Now Satiricus does not have the formidable news-sources of these newspapers that permit their inside information to look like safe speculation, so he would rather stick to the truth. But after long years in a political world thriving on a daily diet of denials Satiricus finds that telling what is true is good, but saying it is not true is better. So here’s Satiricus’s non-report on the Report :

It is not true that the interlocutors’ report recommends autonomy for (Jammu-) Kashmir without using that popular word. (They have left it those smart enough to read (it) between the lines.) It is not true that the report represents the Government of India’s capitulation before the separatist forces running riot in the Valley. (No such report is necessary to teach the government the fine art of capitulation, in which it has become a past master over past years. Ask Pakistan. Ask China.) It is not true that the report is a balancing act between the Autonomy Report of the ruling National Conference (originally named Muslim Conference) and the Self-Rule Document of the opposition People’s Democratic Party. (A balancing act cannot be expected from unbalanced people running the government or its hirelings.) It is not true that the Report acknowledges the fact that there are still politicians in Kashmir who want the pre-1953 status to be restored. (Acknowledgement of a fact is an unnecessary repetition when knowledge of that fact is already present.) It is not true that the report talks of the erosion of Article 370. (Such talk would have been hopelessly Hindu and therefore unpardonably anti-secular for a secular government’s hirelings.) It is not true, on the other hand, that the report incorporates the PDP’s stand that nearly 50 Presidential orders relating to Kashmir should be re-examined to see how many of them can be jettisoned. (Because the presidential orders came from the wrong address, Rashtrapati Bhavan, not the right address,10, Janpath.) It is not true that the interlocutors tried for one full year to meet the Hurriyat separatists’, but every such attempt bombed. (This is doubly untrue. First, the efforts were not made for one full year, but for only 11 months; secondly, the efforts did not bomb, they were non-violently ignored.) And finally, it is not true that the Report says the Hurriyat separatists missed the bus by not meeting the interlocutors. (The Hurriyat had the bus, but they did not give a lift to the interlocutors, who, consequently, missed the bus.)


‘Pak’ Export

As a sterling secularist Satiricus was ecstatic to read in the papers that Pakistan is going to treat India as the “Most Favoured Nation” for trade. However, the very next day he was deeply disappointed to read in the same papers that Pakistan was hedging on this promise. Actually, the confusion worse confounded in what passes for Satiricus’s brain is not due to the apparent fact that Pakistan should give us a promise and then take it back, but due to the actual fact that the said promise is already being religiously acted upon. For instance, is not India Pakistan’s most favoured nation so far as the export of that commodity called terrorists is concerned? Satiricus has read in many newspapers, books and what have you that ISI, Pakistan’s export house of terror, is busy exporting this particular commodity to many countries of the world, from America at one end to China at the other. So it was by no means easy for poor Pakistan to reserve a happily huge number of this particular export item for India’s exclusive enjoyment. In other words, India has already and always been the most favoured nation for Pak’s pak export.

Of course what commodity it should export to India is a matter of detail. For India’s economy specialises in imports of anything and everything. India imports junked computers from America to be sold as scrap, India imports garbage from England, India imports Ganesh idols from China, and a few years ago Satiricus had read an article saying India imported even dead animals’ carcasses. Then what is wrong in importing pak terrorists from Pak?

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