And in these times, it takes a lot to shock me, but this one did.
It was only when I sat down to think about it, that I realised that shock was not the word for it.
Of course we're secular. Tolerant. Liberal even. How could you even suggest otherwise? Not in the minority-appeasement-to-prove-it kind of way, but we're just SECULAR. IN CAPITAL LETTERS.
And Obama- well what can one say? He's thunder and lightning, a patch of blue in an overcast sky.
And we hate Bush. We hate him for what he's done in Iraq and Afghanistan.
We love the Clintons. So what if he deigned to visit our humble land at the fag end of his presidency? He's a superstar. That's why we gave him a superstar's welcome. Why he even got to see 5 tigers in our jungles!
But we hate- no - detest Bush. So what if he's the one who looked at India as a separate entity? So what if he gave us the nuclear deal? So what if he for once looked at us as separate from the Indo-Pak rhetoric?
The world hates him. We hate him.
And we love Obama.
Barack Obama, that genius of words, the striking, charismatic leader of.....uh...let me think......USA.
But we have our priorities straight. We fawn over him because he gave a 'tough' message to our neighbourly neighbours. So what if in the very next sentence he pledged them 1.5 billion dollars? He quoted from the Holy Quran for crying out loud!
So here's what we'll do: use that as an advertisement for the religious text. Bah- its not opportunistic, its not taking people for granted. We're offering FREE copies for fuck's sake!
We're not at all insulted as INDIANS that a religion of our country has to be endorsed by an American president's words. As if that justifies its existence. Its not that abhorrent.
Never mind that the always-at-your-'service' saffron brigade- who sometimes want to be butchers and chop people's hands or sometimes want to destroy places of worship, or stop highly immoral acts like girls going to pubs, have been waiting for this sort of thing to get their juices flowing (pun unintended).
Don't we all remember what a furore a Danish cartoon caused all over the world a few years ago?
Of course in the disgusting debating society we're fast becoming, right wingers claim that if there's a poster popularising Hinduism, it is deemed saffronisation, but we condone this.
Because we're liberal! And not to forget the magic word- secular. How can you deride this action of ours?
Never mind that truly liberal people are upset at this.
Chalta hai! Not a big deal...
But enough of the religious fervour. Just put your butt to the grindstone and do your job.
And let us do ours.
Monday, June 15, 2009
There's this new billboard around town.