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As a satirist, I have been following Modi’s every word and action for the past 1 year. And how many opportunities did he give me to earn my livelihood? Precisely three. The first one was when he was sitting on those Sadbhavana fasts. Even there I think Rahul Gandhi’s Sadbhavana feasts at other people’s houses were more interesting. The second opportunity he provided was when he chased a hapless Sanjay Joshi out of the BJP. And the third instance was when he said that Gujarat’s high rate of malnutrition was due to vegetarianism and figure-consciousness of the people. Just three opportunities from a man purported to become the Prime Minister of India? Even Robert Vadra gave me more opportunities though he holds no public office.
And now that we are on the topic of malnutrition, Modi’s elevation to the top job is sure to lead to starvation and malnourishment for the satirists. Modi claims he can get rid of corruption and provide an efficient administration. As a person who depends on writing satire for two square meals a day, this makes me shudder. No scams, no bungling son, no silent PM, no son-in-law who converts 50 Lakh to 300 Crore in 3 years; there goes my dessert. If the entire bureaucracy and the government machinery start working smoothly, a satirist is out of work. Modi’s efficient transport infrastructure may make all the Kajus and badams of Arabia (cashews and almonds) available in Indian markets but what good is it to a satirist if he can no longer draw the income to afford 2 meals a day?
I was travelling in a Delhi city bus recently. Sitting beside me were two gentlemen, an entrepreneur and a stock broker. I asked them what their thoughts on the next PM candidate are. The entrepreneur said we need a PM like Modi who could usher in secular economic growth. The stock broker responded saying that only Modi could trigger a secular bull run. I asked them what kind of growth is it that would push a satirist into poverty. At this they took offence but did not get up as there was no place even to stand in the bus. They then told me that satirists need to be put in place as they nowadays cross all limits of satire.
I agree with those two gentlemen though. It is improper on the part of satirists to mock such a learned person like Sage Markandeya . It is through great penance and meditation that he got enlightened to the fact that 90% of Indians are idiots and then went on to write Markendeya Puran for their benefit. Such great sages pontificate not for their narrow temporal interests but for the benefit of society.
Satirists are accused of ridiculing the existing problem without giving alternate solutions. Hence, satire dharma states that we provide alternate options to the people so that they can continue to make the same mistake they have been making for the last 60 years. Indian tradition puts a great value on humility. So we will not tolerate a leader who goes everywhere bragging about development. Our leader should come from an establishment which does not brag but is humble about its leaders. So obviously, our leader has to come from an establishment which has downplayed and been rather apologetic of its best performing leaders namely Lal Bahadur Shastri and P. V. Narsimha Rao.
Within this establishment, we need to look no further than Robert Vadra’s candidature for out next PM. Being married into the Nehru dynasty, he obviously fits the most import criteria for becoming the PM of India. With his toned up body, he and he alone can challenge opponents with 56 inch chests. Development means leading by tangible and measurable examples which cannot be challenged by learned judges, like converting 50 Lakh to 300 Crore in 3 years. And he lost 20 Kg in 5 years without looking malnourished. What more do you want from a PM of India?
(The writer is the Chairman of the Satirist Council of India. Please keep this in mind before taking things seriously and commenting.)