(This post originally appeared in the Sunday Guardian)
Famous rustic movie set and the country’s #1 exporter of dacoits, Uttar Pradesh, is holding elections this week. You can tell because all the news pundits can’t stop talking about it. They swoop in every five years, talk to the owner of the dhabha where they lunch at and then go back to New Delhi to do the rounds of every news studio to provide their opinion about the ‘situation on the ground.’ Every report will be peppered with useless trivia (there are more people in UP than the number of people in the world getting Brazilian waxes!) and will use patronizingly simplified descriptions for the chaos of this mammoth exercise. It’s a dance! It’s a carnival! It’s like a wedding in a Yashraj movie! It’s how your brain feels after you smoke that epic shit from Thailand! It’s like the opening ceremony of a cricket tournament organized by Lalit Modi!
Every party’s manifesto was trying to outdo the other in stupidity and distribution of freebies. The BSP manifesto says “It doesn’t matter what we do as long as it’s done by someone from the same caste as you.” The BJP manifesto says “It doesn’t matter what we do as long as we turn everything we touch into a revered symbol of Hinduism.” and the Congress manifesto says “Please vote for us. We’ll do anything you want. You want money, you can have money. You want laptops? Tablets? Memory Cards? Shower curtains? Gold plated washbasins? Do you want the local taluka leader to come to your house every weekend and give you a blow job? Just tell us what you want, goddammit!”
Like a one trick pony, the BJP is back to prominently featuring the Ayodhya issue in its campaign. Each side in this dispute is like a petulant ten year old. “This is my toy . . . No, this is my toy . . No! I am rubber and you are glue!” The best solution to this problem is to build something on that land which pisses off the high priests of all religions. Either a gay bar or something to do with women. Because nothing terrifies a religious nutjob more than a woman who is happy without a husband and a man who is happy with one. Maybe we can combine the two and build an S&M-themed bar for Lesbians. Think of the tourism revenue it will generate! Incredible India, indeed.
‘Desi Qaddafi’ Behen Mayawati is temporarily mellowing. To prove her dedication to eradicating corruption, she has suspended so many people from her party that it seems in a few weeks she’ll be the only one left. Mayawati even gave interviews to the same English news channels that she accuses of being a cog in the wheel of the vast brahmanical conspiracy against her. Other participants in this conspiracy include but are not limited to Julian Assange, the election commission and the pigeons that refuse to stop treating her statues as a communal commode.
Meanwhile, Mulayam Singh Yadav is busy trying to get endorsements from every two-bit cleric he can find so that he can project his old ‘Mr. Minorities’ image again whilst pretending that his alliance with Kalyan Singh–that fizzled out faster than a Kardashian wedding–never happened. Yadav has also promised that if elected, he will clamp down on the criminal activities that are now part of everyday life in UP. That is like an obese person promising himself to eat only ‘one more piece’ of the cake.
From the morally bankrupt to the actually bankrupt. Our national airline and ministerial taxi service, Air India, has lost all its money again. Air India has gone bankrupt more times than Arnab Goswami has interrupted guests on his show. Air India is like that son-in-law who keeps borrowing money from his wife’s father to finance his gambling habit. Even for a country which has made bad governance its hallmark, Air India is poorly run. And just because it has lost billions of rupees does not mean that they’re going to shut down the airline. How else will they get their alleged mistresses airlifted from remote parts of the country? Or take a cut of every purchase, you know, allegedly. Our ministers are so incompetent, if they'd started a ministry of corruption they would somehow end up not taking bribes.
If only someone in the government knew something about economics.