Leaked memo: Army upset Paresh Rawal mistook Arundhati Roy for human shield

THE CYNICMay 23, 2017 | 16:58

Leaked memo: Army upset Paresh Rawal mistook Arundhati Roy for human shield

In the wake of the recent incidents of civil disobedience across the country, police departments in several states have allegedly been asked to compile a top secret list. The list would have names of people who could come in handy in controlling law and order unrest in society. The people on the list, allegedly codenamed — The Halter List — would have their necks on line when trouble erupted.


Photo: Indiatoday.in

According to an alleged home ministry source, the idea of the Halter List came up after a suggestion from the Ministry of Defence. The idea is simple — names and addresses of recognisable local people would be on the list and the moment any civil disturbance occurred, in the locality, the police would tie the person/s on the list to the front of a police vehicle and drive around the disturbed area.

The benefits of this action, according to an alleged internal memo circulating amongst right-minded government officers, are two-fold. The primary benefit is that the local trouble makers protesting systemic apathy or misrule, would be forced to down their lethal arms — like stones, pebbles, sticks and dung. They would refrain from hurling the said projectiles at the police, for fear of hurting the local personality ceremoniously tied to the bonnet of a police vehicle.

The secondary and longer lasting benefit, as per the alleged internal memo, is to remind the public that they are power-less when confronted by the power-full majesty of the mighty state. Once this idea has been conveyed to the people and people have had occasion to internalise it then there would be no cause for unrest and trouble. Once peace has been established and the rule of the mighty law is no longer challenged, the person who had been tied to the bonnet should be commended for contribution to the cause of peace. Such a self-less person, tied to the nation's conscience is sometimes called a Dar in Kashmir.


A police force, of a western state, has allegedly proposed the instituting of two national-level awards to motivate policemen to adopt the Halter List as SOP — standard operating procedure. The first, of the allegedly proposed awards,the "Good Officer" of the Government of India or the GO GOI Award would be given to police personnel below and equivalent to the rank of an Army major.

The second and higher proposed award is the "Resourceful and Willing Service", or the "RAWAT SERVICE Award" to be given as a lifetime achievement award to the senior most police or para-military general under whom the maximum number of people were tied to police vehicles to quell civic unrest.

(There is one alleged caveat to the awards — chief ministers of states, however, supportive of the idea of tying up civilians to army jeeps will not be eligible for any of the awards even if their rank is below that of a major.)

The home ministry in its internally alleged memo also circulated the idea amongst well known right-minded citizens, asking their feedback as to the type of social media support that they could promise when the alleged "Tie the Civilian Movement" gets adopted across the country.


Photo: PTI

In an unexpected twist, member of Parliament and noted actor Paresh Rawal, one of the alleged celebrities asked to give feedback, possibly misunderstood the motive of the alleged memo. It allegedly seems that to prove his "right-mindedness", he tweeted that Arundhati Roy should be tied to the front of an Army Jeep in Kashmir.

There has been uproar ever since the innocently patriotic tweet but full credit to the Army that it did not tweet back — the Indian Army does not practice tying up anti-nationals or social activists to moving vehicles in Kashmir or elsewhere. It seems that the Army under General Rawat has been asked to speak the truth and nothing, but the truth, so in the case of Paresh Rawal versus Arundhati Roy it chose to say nothing.

Arundhati Roy allegedly is not very unhappy with the move by the celebrated, but not necessarily cerebral crowd proposing her intimate tie up with an Army Jeep in Kashmir. Firstly — she is not in Kashmir and the Jeep in question is, so the laws of physics guarantee that Ms Roy can not be tied to the Jeep in any physical sense. Secondly, Roy's second novel after a gap of 20 years is about to come out — so any publicity is good publicity.

Whose alleged idea was it to get Rawal to tweet Roy back into limelight — was it the publisher — Hamish Hamilton's idea or was it Roy's, or is there some other alleged Rawal-Roy-Hamish connection that is being missed here?


Last updated: May 23, 2017 | 16:58
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