Twinkle Khanna AKA Mrs Funnybones' newspaper column has been ever entertaining. In her newest, the actor-turned-author talks about how the BJP emerged victorious in the face of the liberals who demand just a little bit more than caste-politics. All this while her husband, Akshay Kumar's citizenship is much debated considering his very patriotic-but-not-political interview with PM Narendra Modi where instead of asking hard-hitting questions (like the ever-growing unemployment in the country and mob-lynchings of the minorities), he asked if the PM enjoys mangoes.
Khanna started off with a Bollywood analogy, one that is quite accurate and hilarious to distinguish a liberal from a bhakt. "I would say that the difference between bhakts and liberals is the same as between Aamir and Salman Khan fans. One lot will carefully evaluate the merit of the movie and read reviews before booking tickets, whereas the other is like the Modi fan who will throng the cinema just on the basis of the trailer."
Mrs Funnybones then went on to establish a global connection to a local one and how one party took a basic requirement and turned it into a scheme. "For instance, their precious mobile phone running on cheap data wasn’t seen as a byproduct of global modernisation but of the government’s Digital India scheme. They also linked the construction of toilets to schemes like Swachh Bharat. This is something that the opposition found difficult to understand, let alone build a campaign around."
Satirical as it is, the Pyjamas are Forgiving author then shred the notion of a liberal, stating how they stand unified but divided. "The literal definition of a liberal is someone open to another’s opinions, an inclusive club. But being a liberal these days is akin to wanting to be part of the Green Lantern corps . . . you must also prove that you have always been woke, even from the time when the word woke was just a variable antonym of sleep. Heated discussions must be circumvented, about which causes are more important and who is worth supporting. There are also other conundrums that must be dealt with, looking up words like conundrum, for example, and crafting well-formulated, grammatically impeccable opinions. God forbid, if there is a spelling error hidden, then members of the same tribe will turn into grammar nazis and tear one of their own to shreds. This usually results in a bunch of intelligent, earnest and well-meaning people, committing to becoming the Green Lanterns of their individual sectors, instead of coming together as a formidable group. This victory is not just based on the cleverness of the chowkidars or the work they put in, but partly on the fact that they presented a completely united front unlike the liberals."
Eventually, Khanna went on to dissect the victory of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the anatomy of a Bhakt. "The Chowkidar clubhouse, on the other hand, has no entry fee. Add the prefix to your name, wear the T-shirt and you are a beloved member. You may hear of various accusations like fake liberal within one side, but I have yet to see the right-wing accuse each other of being a fake bhakt. The term simply does not exist. They don’t care. They don’t care about your past. They don’t care if you will switch sides in the future. One could almost say that they live by the words of philosopher Alan Watts “I have realised that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is. They just clasp hands, marching on, where banging heads against one means taking them all on. This has been one of the right wing’s greatest strength all over the world.
Mrs Funnybones tells it like she sees it - have a mango at that.
(Fasten your seatbelts for Bharat 2.0 by Twinkle Khanna originally appeared on the Times of India from where the excerpts have been taken.)Read More