This morning, I conducted a one-person sociological experiment. Instead of falling out of bed and groping my way to a cup of coffee, I stood myself in front of a mirror and shouted, ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai!’
Not much happened. My eyes, hitherto closed, fluttered open an angstrom. My ears, bracing for impact, thanked the poor acoustics of my room. I coughed up a mucus plug that had spent the night in my throat. And realised that I disliked the pitch of my voice during the extended ‘kiii…..’
Nothing else happened. I did not feel more patriotic, or one with my countrymen. On branch-branch, gold bird did not sit. My country’s soil did not gold produce, produce diamonds-pearls. I did not feel like my country’s bulbul; it did not feel like my garden.
I’m not in the habit of screaming slogans at my reflection. But my country’s statesmen, cutting across party lines, deem it the most important issue of the day:
Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi said he won’t say it, even with a knife to his throat.
Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis said say it, or leave the country.
Maharashtra MLA Waris Pathan said he wouldn’t say it, was surrounded by and shouted at by his fellow MLA’s in the Vidhan Sabha, and suspended, without irony, for ‘violating parliamentary traditions’.
Yoga guru Ramdev said say it, or off with your heads! – at a Sadbhavna (goodwill) Sammelan.
UP Minister Azam Khan – who has abused an IAS officer, dared the Shiv Sena to demolish the Taj Mahal and claimed that Kargil’s peaks were won only by Muslim soldiers – said Mr Ramdev is spoiling the congenial atmosphere.
Mani Shankar Aiyar said say it, and say Jai Hind and Jai Hindustan too. Mr Aiyar is a former Minister of Natural Gas.
The Darul Uloom Deoband said don’t nobody say it, it’s un-Islamic, thus putting it in the same category as working women, Salman Rushdie, and shaving.
Omar Abdullah said Mehbooba Mufti, who said nothing in the 88 days she left Jammu & Kashmir headless, should say it.
The Shiv Sena said Ms Mufti should say it to honour deceased Kashmiri Pandits, thus proving that it isn’t just a Hindu majoritarian party. It is also a Hindu minoritarian party.
Khalistan ideologue Simranjit Singh Mann said don’t say it, Sikhs don’t worship women in any form – endangering Punjab’s position as a leader in gender equality.
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said saying it should be spontaneous, proving yet again that in Indian polit-speak, those two words are not contradictory. He also said that saying it is part of the all-round development of youth, along with bachelorhood, Aryanisation and finally, full pants.
The Hon’ble UP Governor Ram Naik said we should ignore those who oppose saying it because they are a minority, thus fulfilling his constitutional duty of being sensitive to minorities. His Excellency also said that if we don’t say it, the world won’t acknowledge it, leading us all to imagine a future where Australia se leke America, dil chaahe bas Made In India.
Himachal Pradesh CM Virbhadra Singh, whose posh Delhi flat was recently attached by the Enforcement Directorate in a disproportionate assets case, said it thrice in the state assembly and said he is a true patriot.
Party elder LK Advani said it is a meaningless controversy. No one listened to him.
Rakhi Sawant said, ‘ceiling fans haaye haaye, Bharat Mata Ki Jai!’
No she didn’t. But she will soon.
We have gone to the zoo.
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