By hook or by book

Devaiah Bopanna | Updated on December 28, 2018 Published on December 28, 2018

In safe hands: A 2016 image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi releasing an updated version of the Constitution of India   -  SANDEEP SAXENA

It’s the end of 2018, and time for a new Constitution. A retired (hurt) liberal gets down to the job

I am guilty. I’ve erred. And I wish to make amends. I am extending an olive branch to my right-wing brethren. Fine, a saffron branch.

It’s the end of 2018, and I almost thought that I could get away being a vocal critic of the way the country is being run. Gauri Lankesh didn’t get away with it, and who am I? So, I offer an apology to every right-winger out there. And, with it, I’m announcing my retirement as a liberal, because, even if there’s a slight chance that you might come back to power in 2019, I don’t want to be on the other side when you rewrite that Constitution — or that book which will soon to be rechristened “Terms And Conditions For Jio Subscribers”.

I shall take a leaf out of the book of the biggest artistes in the country who switched sides in the early days, rightfully predicting the ascent and supremacy of our PM. They used their craft to spread propaganda, instead of using it to critique what has gone wrong. True heroes, all of them. Take the great Amitabh Bachchan. Unlike in the movies, he humbly accepted every role the government offered him, without checking the script or narrative structure. I will be the ambassador of the Beti Bachao campaign, but not talk about the Kathua rape issue. I’ll only go to the theatre to watch future BJP MP and future Bharat Ratna awardee Akshay Kumar’s movies. I will whistle as I watch him play desh ka hero, romancing desh ka girl doing desh ka item number while selling desh ka tile.

I’ll take classes from Prasoon Joshi to rid myself of this freedom of expression nonsense. He asked us to “Be A Rebel” in 2010, and now, with a Padma Shri and a plum post as the chief of the Censor Board, he has shown us exactly how we must interview the Prime Minister, if and when we can.

Prasoon Joshi has shown us, exactly, how we must interview the Prime Minister, if and when we can   -  K BHAGYA PRAKASH


I wholeheartedly support the recent move to allow central agencies to snoop into our computers to see what we are up to. I don’t understand why these liberals are making such a big deal out of this. I mean, all they are going to find in my internet history are the keywords ‘Amisha Patel hot pics’. What can anyone do with that information other than help me find more pictures? In fact, the rest of the country would be indebted to the government if R&AW or CBI helped us in our quest.

The liberals have also unnecessarily gone on and on stating that the government does not care about the poor. It is actually a messiah to the poor. There is no greater evidence for this than the fact that it helped Anil Ambani land multi-billion dollar deals when he was broke. Gestures like these also show that the government is an advocate for equality: It treats Anil the same way it deals with elder brother Mukesh. It rightfully believes all Ambanis are born equal and have natural and inalienable rights.

I am still not to be trusted? As a proof of my loyalty, I’ll rewrite the first three lines of the preamble to the Constitution. Like any freelance writer who is trying to land a new, well-paying client, the first job is on the house. I’ll do this for exposure.

“WE, THE PEOPLE OF a place formerly known as India, having solemnly resolved to constitute Hindu Rashtra into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST DICTATORIAL REPUBLIC and to secure all its subscribers against rational thought and basic human decency.”

Oh, wait. On second thought, the national anthem seems a little too inclusive, no? Maybe I’ll rewrite that too. Will add a stanza on Nehru’s fling with Lady Mountbatten, and another on what the South Indian states will face if they don’t pick up Hindi in the next few months.

I hope I’ve proved right-wing enough for the new regime to take me under its wings. I admit that every now and then, I get a bit secular and respectful towards minorities, but give me time I’ll change that too. Happy New Year.

Devaiah Bopanna is a comedy writer

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Published on December 28, 2018
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