Slander, abuse and hypocrisy: India has all democracy’s gifts now

PUBLISHED: 23:09 GMT, 5 March 2014 | UPDATED: 23:09 GMT, 5 March 2014, DailyMail

Original link is here

I have never been happier being an Indian, and never have I wanted to celebrate my Indian-ness more.

As democracy deepens, it liberates deeply. I can slander, I can abuse, I can defile and I can defame; no court system will catch me, no editor will moderate me, no news media will deny me space.

I am carefree in my abuse; I am careless in my accusations. I live in the gutter and I look down on the world. I love being an Indian.

India
“Being poor is my calling card, and poverty is my vote bank” (File picture, Kolkata)

Abuse

I can abuse the republic, I can abuse my currency, and I can abuse the founding fathers that built this nation. I can murder, plunder, kill and slaughter in broad daylight. The courts will forgive me, the executive will release me, and the country will probably celebrate me. I love being an Indian.

I don’t have to watch debates. In fact I don’t even need to allow debates. Debates are overrated. And if by chance there is some instance of a debate that overtakes me, I can either switch off the television or even better, stop the broadcast of the TV channel. I have a powerful remote control. I love being an Indian.

I embrace all religions. I use the Muslims for the votes they give me. I use the Christians for the schools they offer me. I use the Sikhs for fields of wheat they till. Minorities are manageable. Even my symbolism is selective as my incentives are effective. I love being a Hindu, a secularist, part of the overwhelming majority. I love being an Indian.

It is that thrilling season for bashing up billionaires, wealth creators and innovators. Entrepreneurs are indeed evil, corporates are the devil’s workshop and profits are the preserve of Sodom and Gomorrah. Let’s get rid of 20 years of development; let’s go back to the ’70s. I love being an Indian.

I am sympathetic to gender issues. On television, I argue for greater sensitivity, but in dark alleys, lounges and bazaars, I grope and feel my way around. In elevators I may even assault, and blame it on a right-wing conspiracy. I am thoughtful to the extent that I proscribe how the women dress and decide what they wear. I am the modern caring Indian man. I love being an Indian.

I am a global citizen. I understand the black man and the white man like no one else, and being brown allows me to be fair to both. Hence, I can describe the black man as a drug peddler and the white woman as lacking in virtue. The rule of law does not apply, as long as my bigotry is in the majority – at least within the lynch mob that always seems to follow me. I love being an Indian.

I am honest in my appraisal of diversity. I appreciate people by describing them as “chinky” or “kaaley” or “madraasi,” knowing all about their congenital group vices. I even allow them freedom and space, but outside my locality. I can thump my chest knowing that I am part of a tolerant diverse society. The world loves me and I love being an Indian.

India 2
Congress party activists celebrate the launch of the Mars Orbiter Mission (file picture)

Poverty

Being poor is my calling card and poverty is my vote bank. I love policies that make everyone poor – bringing down economic growth and raising cost of commodities has added large numbers to this tribe. Spreading misery gets me votes, and I’ve been so successful at it over these last ten years that I believe I am in contention for another ten years. I love being an Indian.

I am the new age Casanova. I can love like no one else and even romance without any need for a response from her. I can use the state apparatus to woo her. Deploy public cameras to keep her safe, request the police to track her phone and then even to drive her home. I am the new age Lothario and I love being an Indian.

I have the world’s longest written constitution. I can legislate sexuality, allow pulping of books I dislike, and the burning of paintings I find offensive. These after all, are pursuits of a bunch of small deviants. Even the courts concur with me that these handful of outliers cannot seek to be part of the grand Indian civilisation. I love being an Indian.

I show great consistency on International law. I expect other nations to respect my interpretation of global conventions in their territory, when my diplomats and citizens are under investigation. Likewise I also demand the jurisdiction of my law, when I investigate officials of other countries in my territory …and also the high seas. I am fair and predictable. I love being an Indian.

I am the world’s largest inclusive democracy and I embrace everyone – murderers, thugs and bandits – and give them a second chance at life at the temple of democracy, where the work is mostly notional. I am in attendance for 60 days out of 265 at best, and when I do sit down to work, I have a whale of a time screaming, shouting and pepper spraying.

I love my celebrity status without the indignity of a screen test. The press loves to engage with me and when I don’t know what to say – TV anchors fill in the blanks for me. I love being an Indian.

Failure

I can be a mediocre bureaucrat, a banal banker, a tired general who just couldn’t get a service extension, or the unsuccessful captain of an extinct airline, an unknown anchor or a pedantic advocate. My failings are celebrated and I can even generate a political movement fuelled by the power of failure.

I can then propagate the madness of the ‘mohallas’, prejudices of the ‘khaps’ and biases within each of us. I strike a chord, as I am generous with all that isn’t mine, and for that I am loved.

I love being an Indian.

The writer is Senior Fellow at Observer Research Foundation

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