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Sunday, August 05, 2007

The return of Gandhi

As India celebrates 60 years of independence this month, things are so similar to pre-independence days of India. We have got back our Gandhi. Sanjay Dutt’s incarceration has energized the nation just as Gandhi’s used to do sixty years back. Just as thousands accompanied Gandhi during the Dandi March, thousands also accompanied Dutt’s vehicle while he was being transported from a Mumbai jail to a Pune one and guess what; this is the same jail where Gandhi had also spent time. Just as Gandhi so magnificently developed a concoction of Hindu religiosity and patriotism to garner support against the British colonizers, the Sanjay Dutt episode has been able to drive millions to temples and mosques to pray for his well being. And just as Gandhi’s charkha became a symbol of self-reliance, the vada paos churned out by Sanjay Dutt through his compulsory labor in prison will be the symbol of the new resurgent India.

Just as Gandhi’s favorite song “Raghupathi Raghava Rajaram” helped remove (some say foment) religious tensions, Dutt’s rain song with Nagma, “Aakhir tumhe aana hai”, will spread the message of love among India’s excitable citizens. And just as Gandhi’s calling the Dalits as Harijans uplifted them (did it?), Dutt’s calling the street urchins as “Maamu” has led to their emancipation.

Just as the homegrown newspapers fervently supported Gandhi’s movement, our news media today have so righteously supported Sanjay Dutt by airing sympathetic messages from his Bollywood colleagues and fans. And as Gandhi had a very capable band of supporters in Nehru, Patel, Kalam etc., Dutt has also received fervent support from an equally eminent group of people: Mahesh Bhatt, Suneil Shetty, Preity Zinta, Fardeen Khan, Govinda etc.

Skeptics will say that I have got things muddled in my mind as have the millions in India who have re-affirmed their faith in Dutt and his ideology of Gandhigiri. But aren’t Gandhi’s experiments with truth comparable to Dutt’s experiments with AK-56 rifles?

Given the incidents last week, the colonial powers are understandably nervous that a task left unfinished by Gandhi will be eventually completed now. Their biggest fear is that in the next WTO talks, these rich countries will be forced to remove the atrocious subsidies they provide to their farmers. George Bush is apprehensive that the Dutt episode will force him to sign the Kyoto protocol just as Atlee had to sign the dotted letters granting India independence. And as for the next messiah, Barrack Obama, his speechwriters are surely writing this delicious one-liner for his next grandiloquence, “After we have elegantly danced with the dictators and attacked Pakistan, our glorious marines will free Sanjay Dutt from jail to remove the blot of Guantanamo from America’s glorious history”.


Anonymous said...

Excellent parody.Especially the Harijans part...

Anonymous said...

well written post.. nice read.