Off with his head, the sequel

News item:

The Shiv Sena on Thursday attacked MIM president Asaduddin Owaisi for his refusal to say `Bharat Mata Ki Jai` and said he should be “legally beheaded”.

Taking umbrage at Owaisi`s utterances in Latur last week that he would not say `Bharat Mata Ki Jai` even if he was threatened with a knife, the Sena said, “Why should anybody do this? He should be legally beheaded.”

How do you even put “legally” and “beheaded” in the same sentence? And what can you even say about this game of patriotic oneupmanship, where a BJP MP offers a one crore reward for someone’s tongue and the Shiv Sena ups the ante and demands the whole head?

There is this much to be said, though — the Shiv Sena understands that patriotism is its own reward — notice that no reward is being offered?


WTF, Inc.

It must be the heat. I can think of no other reason for this outbreak of mass lunacy in the country.

Item: In Gujarat, six persons are hospitalised after attempting suicide. Their demand: that the cow be officially declared “mother of the nation”. (At which point, I presume, Bharat Mata will become the nation’s official grandmother?)

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“Off with his head”

The Queen had only one way of settling all difficulties, great or small. ‘Off with his head!’ she said, without even looking round.

The BJP’s lunatic fringe is Queen-lite — it is the tongue they want, not the whole head.

“‘Humko lagta hai woh desh ka gaddar hai aur iss tarah se Bharat mei reh ke, ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ bolne se iss tarah se usko parhej hai toh humko nai lagta unko Bharat mei rehne ka adhikaar hai. Humara yahi kehna hai jiss jibhwa se iss tarah ka woh bayanbaji karte hai, usko kaat ke lane wale ko 1 crore rupaye inaam dunga’. (I believe he is a traitor and if he has any objection in saying ‘Bharat Mata ki jai’ then he does not deserve to stay in the country. His tongue should be cut and anyone who does will be rewarded with Rs 1 crore),” said Dwivedi.

You must give them this, though — they understand we live in inflationary times. That rewards of a few thousand rupees, or even Rs 5 lakh, doesn’t cut it any more. That’s the merely kind of money that a Pran would have gotten excited about back in the Seventies: “Poore paanch lakh ka maal anewala hai“. One crore is more like it — not there yet, but getting there.

And to think that all this is being done while hiding behind the skirts of the Bharat Mata these lumpen purport to venerate.


The art of the smear

I saw the photo first, me in a bloody wash of red with “RACIST” pulsing over my face. A couple of clicks brought me to this:

“In the darkest shadow of Bloomberg’s glossy office building in Manhattan, you may find a woman by the name of Dune Lawrence—a ‘journalist’ who has built a career on writing salacious articles about China.”

That was my introduction to TheBlot, a website I hope you’ve never heard of. The article went on and on: I’d been kicked out of China for poor job performance and eked out a living on minimum wage. My appearance was ravaged by “years of consuming hormone-packed fried chicken and stressing over money.” Now, I’d found a way to save my sinking career by writing negative articles about China and taking kickbacks from short sellers. In a cinematic scene set at Kentucky Fried Chicken, this Internet version of me laid out a strategy: “ ‘Bashing the Chinese could be a profitable niche for me,’ Lawrence said to a source while biting off a juicy chicken leg quarter at KFC. ‘The Chinese don’t vote, the Chinese don’t sue people, they just sit there taking the s—. How much better can it get? I am making a living out of it!’ ”

It was difficult for me to keep reading. In addition to all the lies, the story was laced with creepy sexual imagery: I’d had my “panties ripped off” and was like “a dog wagging her tail trying to attract a mating partner.” I felt overwhelmed; it was as if something heavy were pressing into my forehead. I wanted to fight back, and I also wanted to hide. I haven’t been able to do either.

Read this Bloomberg piece by Dune Lawrence, on how online trolls destroy lives and careers, now.

ATM thieves aka “terrorists”

The story received breathless play in the media: Pakistan’s NSA tipped off his Indian counterpart about 10 terrorists who had infiltrated into India. Manhunt launched. TV channels quote top officials to say three of the terrorists killed. Manhunt continues for the other seven. And so on. Turns out they were ATM thieves.

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