Sunday, May 19, 2024

The Enemy Within



By Dilip Bobb


War has been declared. Not by the government, but by the next closest thing—hyperventilating prime time TV anchors. They have decided that until the enemy, the Pakistan army, decides to make itself available in television studios for surgical removal or surrender, there is a convenient substitute at hand—the anti-national. Each night at 9 pm, these fifth, sixth and seventh columnists are being exposed, screamed at and condemned for life. They include the following:

Chief Ministers: Arvind Kejriwal’s tweet, saying that the government needed to counter Pakistan propaganda by showing evidence of the military action, sent some TV anchors viral. Once BJP spokesmen followed suit, AK was public enemy number one, along with all members of AAP and their supporters.

Former Prime Ministers: All the war hysteria and chest-thumping by the general junta, reinforced by quivering walrus moustaches, has condemned earlier governments for not having conducted similar strikes. The softest target is former PM Manmohan Singh, whose dignified silence is being construed as admittance of guilt. Along with him, anyone connected to the UPA is being branded anti-national for not having taken the country to war.

Pigeons and Balloons: Also on the anti-national list after they were found to have crossed the border with evil intent. Two pigeons have been arrested and denied bail.

Bollywood: Almost everyone, from Salman Khan to Om Puri and those maintaining a discreet silence, have been portrayed as anti nationals for not objecting to Pakistani artistes acting in Indian films. To avoid such security lapses, all future visa applications will be approved by Raj Thackeray.

The Opposition: The Left is seen as soft on terror, which equates with anti-nationalism, after Sitaram Yechury of the CPI (M) said that India should engage Pakistan in talks. The Congress has also been called anti-national for demanding proof of strikes and/or electing Manmohan Singh as leader, while Rahul Gandhi’s surgical strike on Narendra Modi turned out to be a botched operation.

JNU students, Patels, Adivasis, Dalits, Intellectuals, Activists, NGOs, Presstitutes: All guilty under various sections of the Anti-National Act, according to those who are always right.

Silent Majority: Anti-national for being silent.

Conclusion:  Bertrand Russell’s quote comes to mind—War does not determine who is right, only who is left.

Lead Illustration: UdayShankar


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