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February 23, 2012

Porngate: From pleasing Gods to reinventing porn, BJP's unique contribution to democratic writ!

From my column Obviously Opaque in the UTS VOICE
, Feb16-29 2012 ]

How does one feel when people, ministers and legislators in this case, are caught watching porn inside assembly, that too when a session is in progress? How does one react to the fact that the phenomenon comes to be known as ‘porngate’ in the popular culture, right from news channels to the envied lands of twittereti?

Proud, I am sure, would be the answer for the ones belonging to the army of Lord Rama aka Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP). The party might actually be planning, albeit secretly, to honour them for the achievement, giving a hoot to the lesser mortals who can choose to feel whatever, from being disgusted to being amused.

After all, it has lagged behind those with far more unflattering claims on Indian history despite its near miraculous capacity of inventing one when there was none. Just think of this, the same party which could produce a temple out of a mosque, a terrorist out of a citizen and a cow more human than Dalits out of nowhere, did not have a gate worth its salt all this while. Shame, it did not have a gate in a country where everyone else had quite a few!

In fact, the obsessions with erecting a gate has been so deeply entrenched in the Indian psyche that one would find a gate even where there would be no roads leading to it. The ancients had their own, few of which have survived to our times. The obsession reached its zenith during the Moghul era. Suddenly, Hindustan, as India was known in those days, started having gates erected by them everywhere. Every Hindustani city worth its salt got a handful of these Darwajas, as gates were called then. Agra had a number of them, Delhi even more.

Better even, the gate culture was quite reciprocal. So if Delhi had a Lahore darwaja, Lahore returned the favour by having a Delhi darwaja. Similar was the case with Ajmer.The party with a difference must have been ashamed of itself for not having one Darwaja, or a gate, of its own when even Moghuls have! That too when it claimed to be the sole caretaker of Hindus, and asserting that its Hindus differed from those who lived in the Hindustan ruled by the Moghuls!

Then came the British and bingo, they too were caught by the bug. All that changed was the name. Darawajas, now known as Gates, sprang up in Bombay (sorry folks, would definitely have called it Mumbai if that goon was not thrusting the new name down our throats), Delhi and many other cities, big and small. Urban India of the times, however small it was, so hugely dominated by these gates that one could not avoid engaging with them, whether they segregated the colonial from the native or served as picnic spots for the nascent middle classes as was the case with Gateway of India in Bombay or India gate in Delhi. They were the entry points to the idea of India, ironically, even for the terrorists who ransacked Bombay almost a century later. I am not sure, though, if they would have had any time to stop and marvel both at the history and grandiose these gates incorporated within themselves.

Now, the party with a difference had always had an interesting relationship with the colonials. It was always at ease with them whether while abusing them along the idea of national shame or hobnobbing with them right from the days of Savarkar to Atal Bihari Vajpayee. They collaborated with them, gave evidences against the nationalists fighting them, turned approvers and yet, could talk of their ‘nationalist’ credentials. In fact, when they came to the power through an alliance called National Democratic Alliance (NDA), they created a new ministry named as Ministry for Disinvestment whose primary task was selling Indian resources out to the companies based in foreign shores. Now I understand the source of only unease they had against them, that unlike the British they had no gates of their own.

Faced with a dogged resistance offered by the nationalists (not one of which came from the ranks and files of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), or the fountainhead from which BJP and its ilk emanate from), the British had to leave. They could not take their ‘gates’ with them though.

So the gates remained where they were. The situation made Indian National Congress (INC) the party that led, largely, the anti-colonial movement, very uncomfortable. It had to deal with the gates, the relics of the colonial era day in and day out. Yet, demolishing them was not much of an option for the gates also served as reminders of the sacrifices the newly independent nation had made to achieve freedom.(Also, the art of demolition, as a political tool, was later to be specialized by the BJP and its cohorts).

The Congress, therefore, chose the second best option available. It went on a spree of erecting gates and started calling them Dwars (the Sanskrit word for the gates). Further, they took the obsession to unimaginable levels. The Gates have started, now, encroaching into the countryside. Almost all Indian towns, big and small, urban and mofussil were flooded with gates bearing the names of Mahatma Gandhi, Pt Nehru and almost all other members of the dynasty, the political dynasty I mean. A few of them, like many other things named after the scions of the line, flummox logic out of our ordinary brains.

Just for an example, what contribution did late Sanjay Gandhi make to Indian polity or social life for deserving gates after gates, roads after roads and institutions after institutions getting named after him? He was instrumental in getting internal emergency imposed, the only rupture in otherwise functional, if deficient, democratic life of the country. But then, hardly anyone in his senses would consider that as a contribution!

Or maybe one can, for some people really believe that but for the terrible experiences of emergency, India could very well have gone Pakistan’s way of democracy and not dictatorship an aberration in the political life of the nation. Similar was the case with many others making one wonder if being the Prime Minister was a contribution in itself! Then came adorable Manmohan Singh and the debate was finally put to rest for the earlier ones used to make decisions and speak even if occasionally, proof enough for the fact that they did make contributions!

BJP tried but had none of that. Like their history, they had no gates of their own. In a situation like this the only way to redemption passed through a Gate, one that would not be corrupted by either the plurality or democratic ideals that define the aspirations of our people. They found one, finally, even if it was little unflatteringly named as Porngate! Have your India Gates, we have a Porngate of our own seemed to be the message that betrayed the grins BJP leadership found hard to conceal.

Only thing that the BJP leaders could have found as disturbing, though, was the source of the desperation of its legislators that made them watch it in the assembly hall and not administering it in streets on some hapless victims. They have had all the expertise, ranging from getting rigorous training in RSS Shakhas to put the training to use in Gujarat. They have had a dry run in Karnataka as well when an offshoot of theirs’ called Sri Ram Sene attacked pub-going women for corrupting Indian culture.

They were at fault then, but only in as much as that they had forgotten to tell the women beforehand that they could have come to the assembly and enjoy the same ‘privileges’ as these legislators! Also, the women seemed to have been enjoying drinks that were not compatible with the ethos of Indian culture unlike, apparently, the porn-deeply-entrenched-in-and-sensitive-to Indian culture these legislators were watching. Instead of getting commended for their loyalty to Indian culture they were, unfortunately, bombarded with pink panties getting sent to their homes under the umbrella of a pink chaddhi (panties) campaign! What shame!

The desperation might have seeped into the psyche of the legislators from another root as well. Those who know RSS closely know how it works and, in the process, torture its members. Just think of the plight of those in khaki knickers compelled to sit on the mats in front of ageing, balding and pot-bellied leaders in khaki knickers sitting on chairs.

Every single time one on the chair shifts, crosses his legs or even shift positions, the ones on the mat are subjected to ugliest kind of views, writing about which may not be unparliamentary but will certainly be disgusting. Those who have been subjected to such cruelty their entire adult lives, even if out of their own volition, would definitely be psychologically vulnerable to the lures of porn. You send pink panties to such desperate, sexually frustrated people and then find fault with them watching porn.

Instead of finding fault, therefore, with them one should empathize with them for surviving, or at least successfully concealing, the urge for this long. One could as well commend them, for when they did fall they chose to do it in the assembly and thus saving their homes from getting corrupted. The fault, in fact, lays with the media who violated their privacy and flashed their ‘private act’ on the television all over the country, so unbecoming of media ethics. Those responsible must immediately be booked with charges dealing with invasion of privacy, maybe even under the clauses of the official secret act, and be punished for at least demoralising further the privileges of the house.

Meanwhile, the legislators should be publicly facilitated for inventing culturally-acceptable pornography and thus saving our youth from falling prey to the West, Middle East (read in religious terms) and where not. Also, Shri Ram Sene can change its name to Shri Porn Sene, and establish outlets selling their brand of porn to the ‘needy’.Till then, let the BJP bask in the newfound glory of having its own gate.

1 comment :

  1. Have been waiting for this...always enlightening to read you. Wish you more and more success (Inshallah!)

    ReplyDelete