Lately Satiricus has been doing some deep thinking. Not that it is his business. Rather, as a journalist, busy with the business of day-to-day developments, he has no business thinking deeply. Still, as a patriotic Indian citizen, he cannot help feeling concerned at what is happening to India. In fact, he is alarmed at the ominous, inexorable way India is becoming Bharat. For, once India becomes Bharat, how long will it be before Bharat becomes Hindusthan? This is the distinct, dire prospect that has made him think. He keeps asking himself the question of questions?if this is now probable, why did it become possible in the first place? And the answer he has found is that the ?White man'sburden? the White man stopped carrying.
British Prime Minister Blair publicly revealed his belief in the West'sinherent ?responsibility to protect (oppressed peoples)?. And of course, the British soldier in Iraq who was photographed following in the hoof-steps of American animals in degrading Iraqis was defending the invaluable Western values, no?
Gone, alas, are those olden, golden days when even the wisest among us Indians acclaimed the Gora Sahib'sraj as ?divine dispensation?. In such a serious situation, if we Indians are to be saved from Bharatiyas, and if Bharatiyas are to be saved from Hindus, there is only one way it can be done?the White man must continue carrying his burden. But is he willing to pick it up again? The wonderful news is that he is. Not that he says so in the crassly colonial terms of two hundred years ago. He now puts it in the decorous, new-age language of human rights?but unambiguous all the same. Thus British Prime Minister Blair'sforeign policy advisor, Robert Cooper had recently called upon the ?post-modern? world to take up arms against the ?pre-modern? one. Why? Because, it is necessary to establish a ?new defensive imperialism? in order to enshrine ?human rights and cosmopolitan values?. And how can this be done?
It can be done by using ?double standards… the rougher methods of an earlier era?. Now isn'tthat a refreshing reassurance that the White man is willing to again carry his old burden the same old way? This enlightened Englishman has made it clear to this dumb desi that human rights can be enshrined with the use of double standards and rough methods. And his master, the Prime Minister, has apparently agreed to be the high priest at the enshrining ceremony. For, the other day, Blair publicly revealed his belief in the West'sinherent ?responsibility to protect (oppressed peoples)? and the right to defend ?our values?. That is very good news. Now this easterner can rest in peace, for now he will be protected from himself by the wise Westerner. And of course, the British soldier in Iraq who was photographed following in the hoof-steps of American animals in degrading Iraqis was defending the invaluable Western values, no? Oh, well, 400 years ago, the first Queen Elizabeth had given a ?patent? to a courtier to ?possess….all…heathen lands not in the…possession of any Christian prince?. That patent has now been revived for the sake of human rights. Why? Because only Britishers are human, and only British rights are human rights.
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India, that is Bharat
There are books and books, said Charles Lamb. Satiricus quite agrees. Lamb said some of them are to be nibbled at, while some others are meant to be chewed and digested. So far so good, but unfortunately for book-lover Satiricus, Lamb did not explain which books he could digest and which ones might cause him indigestion. As a result, Satiricus is at a loss to know how to classify a new book about which he learnt only the other day. This book has been written by a Muslim mullah of Spain, by name Imam Muhammed Kamal Mustafa, and its subject is, believe it or not, ?how to beat up your wife without having to face legal prosecution for it?.
What did the author get for being so helpful and for this signal service to Islam?
Well, now, Satiricus has not yet read this book, but he is sure it is not meant for mere males like him. Rather, it is obviously for the pious and the faithful. For the author, obviously an authorised exponent of Islam, clearly says that for the proper discharge of his Islamic duty a husband should cane his wife, but the caning should be done on the palms of the hands and on the soles of the feet, so that even if it is a sound thrashing, no tell-tale marks would be visible, which could be misused as evidence for legal prosecution. How helpful, no? But what did the author get for being so helpful and for this signal service to Islam? He got a jail sentence for fifteen months. Satiricus is suitably shocked?but not surprised. For God said, ?woe to man, and woman was born?.
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English, the mother of languages
George Bernard Shaw once said he wrote good English because he was Irish. If that means not being English is necessary for knowing English, this dumb desi dotard should also qualify. Actually even learned lexicographers in England are now saying the more Hindi words you use, the better your English.
Do we journalists, people in a perpetual hurry, need to waste even that one hour in learning English grammar when even those on the staff of the country'sbiggest English-language newspaper are not expected to know it?
According to reports from London, the latest edition of the Oxford English Dictionary already contains a host of Hindi words, while many more are on the way in, such as angrez, badmash, achha, desi, jungli, and, of course, filmi.
Well, now, this solves a big problem for Satiricus. Now he can safely hide his poor angrezi under a Hindi hood. Nor does he have to worry much about that irritant botheration called grammar?for in this age of instant everything, a college-teacher in Mumbai has come up with instant grammar. He teaches tenses in 30 seconds, punctuations in one minute, compound/complex sentences in two minutes, figures of speech in three minutes, and the entire English grammar in less than one hour. Thank you, thank you, Mr College Teacher, but do we journalists, people in a perpetual hurry, need to waste even that one hour in learning English grammar when even those on the staff of the country'sbiggest English-language newspaper are not expected to know it? Journalism being an illiterate profession, why do we need these literary niceties? And in any case India'sEnglish-language newspapers do not write English they write American. Are not England and America divided by the same language?