Who’s afraid of Rihanna, we have Kangana!

Jaishankar deemed it fit to issue a Twitter demarche to the global celeb activists himself. The post-Trump world order can wait. So can the Chinese headache
amit bandre
amit bandre

Sorry, I disagree. Bigly. Who is Rihanna? Okay, 100 million followers on Twitter! That’s tough (we need that grimacing emoji here). Amitabh Bachchan has only 40 million, even our PM has only 65 million, but hey, what’s a hundred million for a country of a thousand million, with another forty as loose cash? Okay, so she’s from Barbados. The only Barbadian we know without a Google search is Sir Garfield Sobers, the first cricketer to have hit six sixes in a row, in a single over. Our only connect with that sphere of the globe is cricket, and that’s a dirty bequest of British colonialism. Down with cricket! Sorry, Rihanna. Who is she to attempt a Twitter sixer against India? With a simple flipper, our foreign minister had her caught at silly point. Did she even do a Google search on where Punjab and Haryana are? What does she know about Indian farming? Beyond that VatiCNN story? Has she seen Manoj Kumar’s films? We certainly googled her three generations, and thoroughly agree with her on only one point. She indeed is a ‘Good girl gone bad...’ 

S Jaishankar led the bowling attack with such aplomb. Such utterly ‘motivated campaigns’ won’t work on ‘this India’, he said. (Our Foreign Office must forthwith issue a non-paper to explain that phrase. If this is ‘this India’, where is ‘that India’? Aren’t we a civilisational state with a continuity traceable back to the dawn of humanity and human thought?) Those internal debates apart, Rihanna, without being named, got a Twitterful. Or was it Kamala Harris’s niece, Meena Harris, who raised our foreign minister’s erudite hackles with a similarly hashtagged solidarity tweet? Anyway, he deemed it fit to issue a Twitter demarche to the global celeb activist Twitterati himself, leaving aside the more weighty, pressing issues of diplomacy. The swiftly changing, post-Trump world order can wait. So can the Chinese headache, which no tiger balm is able to take away anyway, and the sudden offer of coexistence by the Pakistan army chief (it has to be a Trojan horse of some sort, never trust these Pakistanis). Oh yes, his office managed to issue a cautionary note on the latest Myanmar coup and Aung San Suu Kyi’s incarceration, and also remind Sri Lanka of devolution of power. So a little diversion from mundane duty could be allowed. This was a higher calling. So he did not even wait for the text of #IndiaStandsUnited to be sent to our Bharat Ratnas—from Tendulkar to Mangeshkar—and a few Akshay Kumars and Karan Johars thrown in for good measure. Soon, an avalanche of tweets flowed in consonance, safeguarding India’s sovereignty. And that’s not counting Kangana Ranaut, whose favourite pastime is to insult and inflict acid tweets on whoever she chooses (Mahatma Gandhi too was not spared, for being on the wrong side of Godse.) With our Praetorian Guard taking guard, who do we have to fear?

The biggest culprit among those out to defame India, a teen called Greta Thunberg, has been rightly booked for criminal conspiracy against the Indian state. She was trying to drum up global support for the agitating Indian farmers. The Google document she was caught circulating through her Twitter handle gives the game away—indeed, an international left-wing conspiracy. Maybe that unicorn called Chrislamocommia actually lives. For, who walked in as the next batsman? Joe Biden himself! Cynics will say, “Look, even America has issued a statement.” But look at the statement. “We encourage dialogue.” Even Joe Biden batted so carefully. It must be Jaishankar’s guileful spin bowling. Wait, all Indian movements—from the one for Independence to the one against Emergency, and later the anti-corruption agitation—have relied on international opinion and backing was always sought from solidarity groups. But it must have been in ‘that India’, thank god. ‘This India’ is a very image-conscious, no-nonsense type. It does not brook global nonsense peddlers. Nor did Indira Gandhi. Strong leaders with mass appeal believe in strong responses.

The Delhi Police, therefore, has planted strips of horrific-looking spikes around the borders at Tikri, Ghazipur and Singhu, to stop the Indian farmers from ploughing through our strong polity. Now even local SHOs know all about the global conspiracy behind the farmer protests. If India has her way, Thunberg must forget about winning the Peace Nobel or any such thing. Better still, she could just forget all about this ethical hacktivism baloney. Barbadian pop stars and Swedish teenagers won’t write the India story. Not while the ‘new’ New Delhi is around. It’s a global power now. Whoever is in the White House—whether it’s that Boogaloo Boi with wavy blond hair we wanted to continue, or Amtrak Joe—is our friend. The errant farmers must be pulled up for putting us through all this trauma. See how they made Delhi look like a police state, all concrete barricades and concertina wires and hitherto unseen spikes laid out like a red carpet. It’s Ghazipur, for god’s sake, not Gaza! All that the farmers had to do was accept the government’s offer that the laws would be kept in abeyance, or that individual states would decide if they want the three farm laws or not. Not try to turn into super-legislators. Then we would have been saved all this hungama, from Stockholm to Singhu, from Barbados to Baghpat.

Santwana Bhattacharya (santwana@newindianexpress.com)
Resident Editor, Karnataka, The New Indian Express

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