#TheDailyToast: Proof of life

Gayatri Jayaraman
Gayatri JayaramanNov 03, 2015 | 10:51

#TheDailyToast: Proof of life

1. God exists: In Mumbai yesterday, air traffic control shut traffic down hours after the Indian Navy, which had requested air space above the Arabian Sea closed, practised shooting its deadly surface-to-surface missiles. It is not known whether ATC actually shut traffic down or just shut the computers down and went to watch a movie during that time. That no commercial airliners were shot down by our friendly indigenous ISIS with State-sanctioned powers, is just another piece of cinching evidence that God exists.

2. The Indian voter is not dumb: Sonia and Rahul Gandhi will be leading a march against intolerance this morning. Never before has India witnessed the chutzpah to lead a march against oneself: You know, intolerance to growth, progress, democratic principles, transparency and integrity in office, never mind basic common sense and the ability to stand up, even if only in opposition. Where do we buy tickets to this one? Until this one, people were starting to take the Awards Returnism seriously, thanks to poor SRK joining in the fray on his birthday. Last seen, Aamir Khan was regretting having turned down every award he had ever been offered in his career, and is so upset at having nothing to return today, that he is thinking of throwing in his towel. That the Congress has been decimated in the crucial Kalyan Dombivili Municipal Corporation polls is evidence that the Indian voter may be a sucker for Sena-style rhetoric, but he's not dumb. Not as dumb as the Congress anyway. Well, not in Mumbai at any rate.

3. Some protests matter more than others: If only someone had given Irom Sharmila an award to return. Then we could all go home. It's been 15 years, 5476 days, since Irom Sharmila began her hunger strike to repeal the AFSPA. The FTII gave up its "rotational hunger strike" (in which you go eat and someone else gets in and is hungry for a few hours. Go figure. This is the dietary equivalent of college jugaad for studying: One person studies and the rest rotate the answer sheets) in 108 days. In case you are wondering what the big deal about hunger is, try skipping lunch today. Yes, on a day when your husband won't have his life extended and won't buy you a gift for it. Ai Weiwei, dissident Chinese artist, paid tribute to her in Lego, which the company has banned him from buying in bulk to make portraits of contentious campaigners, calling them too political, making the material now as much a symbol of dissidence as the subjects of his works. That no Bollywood actor, Indian author, historian, filmmaker or otherwise State-certified intellectual has returned even a movie ticket stub to protest the alleged systemic oppression of our own citizens under the AFSPA, is evidence that all Indians are equal and some are more equal than others. One Indian national died on the Nepal border protesting the marginalisation of the Madhesis under Nepal's new constitution. But why die for a cause when you can live for one?

4. Self-criticism is the best criticism: Arun Shourie is the best thing about the BJP. Alas, no one really knows whether he is still with the BJP. The beleaguered Shatrughan Sinha was last seen checking with Subramanian Swamy. But then they got talking about whether they support the BJP and turns out, nobody knew. The RSS in the meanwhile has decided it is not the Congress, or even Pakistan, which is the real enemy, but the JNU. Not to be outdone with the march on ridiculousness, Irfan Habib has declared the RSS as the Indian ISIS. We are now awaiting a tweet from Narendra Modi wishing the ISIS on their birthday and seeking an invitation to Palmyra, but being unable to shake hands with the Shiv Sena, which is, as we all know, infinitely more difficult to get along with that anyone overseas. (Yes, yes, all packed and going to Pakistan. Next flight). Maybe if some of us do move to Pakistan and fling stones from across the border, someone will listen.

Last updated: November 03, 2015 | 11:09
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