Disclaimer: This is a political satire piece. Those with an inability to take humour in good spirit should refrain from reading it. Janhit me jaari!
According to some sections of the Indian media, RaGa, i.e., Rahul Gandhi, is a struggling politician. Now the leader of the opposition of the largest democracy has been deemed unfit to take responsibility for national affairs. Indeed, the leader has made some questionable statements and played into the highly exclusionary, casteist, and religious nature of Indian politics. For instance, his consistent effort to be recognised as a Brahmin, flaunting his sacred thread, mixing religion with politics carelessly while differentiating Hinduism and Hindutva, and calling India a land of Hindus are glaring examples. (Un)conditional silence on the conditions of Muslims in the country, his brand of ‘Soft Hindutva’ has raised eyebrows and concerns equally. That he does raise important questions in Parliament is of no major significance in the dance of democracy, but his dance in the nightclub is much of national significance and worthy of the media attention it is getting.
Of course, one will rile up with anger, for he has again, according to some Indian news media, possibly corroborated with anti-India forces by attending a wedding. To a regular reader, this will seem like a petty reason to call anyone a national threat or a careless politician. However, this is no easy business! The ‘Indian Politician’ is a representative of the largest democracy in the world and the Indian reader is an extremely sensitive citizen of this democracy. The news media must join the dots for them. Of course! One should be riling up with anger, “How could an elected representative, leader of the Indian Congress, go to a friend’s wedding in Nepal?” The Congress’s threat is only widened in the country when its prime leader is off partying like any other man in India or possibly the world; late at night with “drinks??”
This callousness is certainly worthy of national media attention after the big gala wedding of Kapoor and Bhatt! Of course! One should be riling up with anger, “How could the media not show someone’s personal life on prime time when there are actual public issues to be covered and discussed ?” The nation wants to know, nay, the nation has to know!
My television is screaming with debates, and I am confused. Who should I listen to? Who should I be looking at on the screen? The viral video of Rahul Gandhi dancing in the club on loop or the BJP spokesperson demanding attention over how big a security threat this Congress leader has caused by simply attending a wedding! Of course, the nation should be riling up with anger. For, this is not ‘Sharma ji ka ladka’ going to a wedding but a ‘Gandhi ka ladka’ going to a wedding that too of a woman designated as an anti-India force! Of course, both the kinds of sons would have caste privilege. Now, the bride, in this case, is not a harmless mega-movie star dancing to the tunes but Sumnima Udas, a journalist.
Apparently, RaGa went to a wedding of a friend who, by some media outlets, has been alleged to be against India’s territorial integrity, which is fragile enough! So much so that the constitutional contour of a ‘united India’ will break with the strength of a few individuals, who mind you are very much the citizens of this country.
Udas has also supported the anti-CAA protests. But how has support for a protest movement been ever considered anti-national? Interestingly, Udas has reported on gender issues, especially covering the Nirbhaya Movement, and has even won the “Journalist of the year” award for the same. The protests were then openly by the BJP. (But now, the rules of the game have changed.) The media is correct in exposing this in front of the public on primetime the way it has fed so many glaring truths to the extremely aware and sensitive viewers of this country.
Further, Udas complained that India faced a vaccine crisis due to ‘PM’s mind-boggling reluctance to buy vaccines.’ The Time also has alleged that India did not buy enough Vaccines! Now, criticizing the PM is totally obnoxious! A Prime Minister is not an indirectly elected public servant but someone unaffected by the contaminants of politics! This is unacceptable to the very sensitive Indian public, who had no complications before or during the vaccination drives and had no significant concerns during the COVID 19 Pandemic! After all, the country’s public health relies on the people themselves- they are atma nirbhar, after all!
Also read: Satire Hai Yaar | How (Not) To Handle Protests
The country was once busy discussing RaGa’s temple runs to eagerly prove his “devotion” to the people of this nation. Today it is busy highlighting his dance over his questions on the country’s dipping economy. Of course, this act of insincerity on the part of a national leader demands media attention of the magnitude that it has already.
The trouble once was clarifying the boundaries of truth and fake news, which is now muddled. The new terrains of information regarding the seriousness and urgency of matters in the country are now confusing a common observer. The distraction game is on!
Are the anti-encroachment drives in New Delhi bull-dozing the lives of the poor? Sky-rocketing mehangai, unemployment, and the significant fact that the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) initial public offering (IPO) – has opened to primary markets are the distraction one must keep away from. Who wishes to see a sinking rupee anyway when you can see the very quality of Indian politics taking a nice dip! Some would say that thinking is numbed by repetitive, noisy, and distracting news every day on loop for weeks! But the author believes that the innocence of dear sensitive Indian viewers should not be doubted. After all, they get angry on issues too! They are smarter than they think and are so focused on the real issues rather than getting distracted by shining oil prices and glamorous unemployment. So, get your popcorn tadka marke in coconut/mustard/sesame or any other oil, with due respect to the “oil”-diversity of the country. (Enough proof of Indian-ness if not your kaagaz!) to watch the big political business unfolding on television and not on this country’s truly ‘swachh’ streets! Plugin your media sources and enjoy the loud-speaking journalism in this “dance” of democracy!
P.S. My contention is not the righteousness of the actions of involved individuals but rather if all of this is worth the media coverage it is getting. For security reasons, Bharat Mata ki Jai!
Sanjana is a Research Scholar at the Centre for Political Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University. She has a keen interest in studying political mobilization in India, and she hopes to understand and explore themes of gender and mental health. You can spot her singing, writing poetry, doodling randomly, and dancing to keep her sanity intact. She can be found on Facebook and Instagram.