Thursday, April 3, 2014

Madhu and Narendra’s Excellent Adventure

As the evening dawned on yet another hectic week in New Delhi, the city’s residents were in for a surprise. After the last few days spent getting a small dose of the unbearable summer that we are heading towards, a bout of torrential rain was followed by a small, relief giving hailstorm. Praise the weather lords, spring was finally here! The sweet smell of spring was perhaps most on the minds of the overworked employees of News X. The channel’s staple program of a guy sitting on a plastic chair reading out things from yesterday’s newspaper was being pre-empted for an interview with India’s current Prime Ministerial frontrunner and future eternal President, Narendra Modi. Finally, someone other than their mothers would be watching the channel.

Eternal spring was also blooming in the heart of insane asylum outpatient and the person conducting the News X interview, Madhu Kishwar. Finally, the world would get to see the Narendra Modi she saw. Not the tough but brilliant administrator the world had come to appreciate. But the man behind the man. The kind, gentle soul who wouldn’t even dream of ever hurting a fly. Unless the fly had anti-national thoughts or wore a skull-cap because then HE WOULD LITERALLY ANNIHILATE THAT FLY INTO OBLIVION. NO ONE MESSES WITH INDIA. NOT ON NARENDRA MODI’S WATCH. Through her work, people would get to see what she saw everyday. That the man is pure magic. That he had the ability to turn everything into gold. Especially the fortunes of those of us who worship him. And anyone who didn’t see that was probably a sad victim of a SONIA GANDHI LED CONSPIRACY.

* * *

Last Saturday, as the breathless social media updates from various News X anchors informed us, we were going to witness the greatest television event of the century. For the first time in his capacity as the BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi would allow someone to ask him anything! Actually, not anything. Just things he likes to talk about! And not someone, but the President of his fan club, Madhu Kishwar. Sure, that seemed suspicious to the layman’s eye. But as Madhu’s twitter feed informed us, this would be Modi at his most candid.

So everyone who managed to find News X on their set top box tuned in. It was right between the channel that told you what shows other channels are broadcasting and the channel that exclusively showed advertisements for anti-acne medicine. And as promised, we learned a lot of things about the greatest thing to happen to this country since the first movie that had songs in it. Not only does he like to use red ink, but he once gave a presentation to Atal Behari Vajpyee. Anyone looking to vote for a person who uses red pens and likes giving powerpoint presentations to powerful people, he’s your guy! 

There were other interesting things we learned about him too. Apparently, Modi was a total Rahul Gandhi when he was deputed by the party to save Gujarat from the imposing weight of the Keshubhai Patel administration. He didn’t even know which side of the file was up! He was so embarrassed that everyone called him ‘Sahib,’ that he still hasn’t told them to stop even though it’s been twelve years.

Now, some cynics will say that calling this farce an interview was like calling Pramod Muthalik a feminist. They will ask why even though there are so many voices present in Madhu Kishwar’s head, none of them showed up to ask Modi a question. They will wonder why a news channel would present such a piece of blatant propaganda as an in-depth interview.

I, for one, was shocked that a person in a news organization fudged the truth to get a lot of people to tune in to their broadcast. And, I’ll have these critics know, that the propaganda wasn’t blatant. If you ask all those who worship Mr. Modi, they will tell you that it was the best interview they have seen on Indian teevee, matched only by the Indira Gandhi video profile presented by Sanjay Gandhi for Doordarshan during the emergency years.

Though I will agree that it wasn’t really an interview. This was the first part in Madhu Kishwar’s 6,999 part seminal, probable Pulitzer prize winning series, All In with Narendra Modi. And for the record, Madhu did ask Dr. Modi a question. She asked him how badly he was hurt when the media unfairly blamed him for a preventable event that happened in his state under his watch in 2002.

We also learned that a lot of muslim groups supported Modi’s first election to the assembly in that same year. It wasn’t mentioned why he would need to specifically highlight their support, but I guess to find out we will have to watch the rest of the series! (Can’t wait for the episode in which Modi tells his kids how he met their mother!) During the post-interview panel discussion with Ms. Kishwar, she specified again that some of Modi’s best supporters are muslim. I know that some people would call this vote-bank politics, but please note that it’s vote bank politics only if Sonia Gandhi does it. Modi simply isn’t into all that shit, okay?

Now, there are some vested interests who accuse Modi of not facing tough questions. That is another lie! Modi faces tough questions everyday from someone who knows him the most: himself. He looks into the mirror every night before going to bed, and asks himself whether he did something to help someone that day. And he goes to bed only if the answer is a resounding yes. And I’ll have you know, he has never had to answer in the negative. Do you think any of his opponents have such a well thought out, fool-proof, unbiased system in place?

I don’t think so.

* * *

Madhu closed the browser window and switched off her 486 desktop computer. She couldn’t handle all the negativity that was being spewed at her on twitter. Why wouldn’t all the paid congress agents leave her alone? She saw a shadow outside the window. She ran quickly to see who it was but they had already made their escape. Maybe it was just the moonlight playing its tricks on her. Maybe Sonia Gandhi had even paid off the moon. That woman was everywhere. If she could make a jumbo 777 jet disappear, what chance did a small, lonely activist have? Should she call the police? No, they don’t take her complaints seriously anymore. They probably have been given instructions from above to ignore her anyway. She checked to see if her gun was still safely resting under her pillow. She tried to calm herself but the worry kept bubbling into her mind. NO! She wasn’t going to give in to the anti-nationals. Not when she was this close to seeing her dreams fulfilled. There was only one thing that would calm her. She took out her phone and dialled his number. He would know what to do.