General elections are due to be held in India in April to May 2019 to constitute 543-member 17th Lok Sabha.
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi has gathered some of his inner circle in his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to plan for the elections: BJP national president Amit Shah, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, finance minister Arun Jaitley, and Jaggi Vasudev also known as Sadhguru, a yogi and founder of the Isha Foundation, which offers yoga programs around the world.
Their favorite beverage gao mutra (cow urine) is the order of the day.
Jaggi Vasudev assures his fellow yoga enthusiast, and declares, “Our dear leader, our Pradhan Mantri (prime minister), our victory is assured. Look at the number of great statues that have been completed or are under completion in your tenure.”
Yogi Adityanath adds, “I second our Sadhguru. Let someone bark that about 60% of Mumbai’s 20 million residents live in slums… or even call it “Slumbai”… let them say that like 300,000 homeless are present there. But our great, record-breaking statues are enough to shut-up everyone.”
Jaitely joins the conversation, “Yes, I do agree with both of you. Statues are the right investment. Perceptions and promises matter in elections. We can only look next door in Pakistan. For more than thirty years, their Peoples Party has held sway with its roti, kapra, aur makan (bread, clothing, and housing) slogan. Have they given people any such thing? No. But see how their people are restless and weighing to attack the courts if Asif Zardari, or his son, or his sister is convicted [for their crimes].
“The Peoples Party is in such control over Sindh that even the country’s activist chief justice could not get much material on Zardari – they have their government there, so no one can get an incriminating evidence on the chief.”
Amit Shah offers, “Your mention of Peoples Party reminds me that we should have done what has not been done till today. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto rendered an unfathomable favor to India. He helped chop off Pakistan’s eastern wing. Now do we have to deploy that many troops at the border with Bangladesh? No! All we need to keep doing is to ensure that the [Indian collaborator] Mujib [-ur Rahman] family continues in power. They are our pet poodles.
“I propose that we erect a grand statue to Mr. Bhutto and our Modiji will inaugurate it on December 16 that will be the 48th anniversary of the destruction of Jinnah’s Pakistan. [Lifting his glass of gao mutra in toast, he continues] My friends imagine what huge punch it will be in Pakistan’s face.
“Modiji, this [prime minister] Imran Khan has found a useful idiot in [Punjab minister of tourism Navjot Singh] Sidhu, and since that Kartarpur Temple access foundation laying, they have been beating their drums, let us give them a fitting reply with this gigantic Bhutto staring at them from our side of the Wagah border.”
The prime minister, raising his glass, declares, “Amit you are more than the world’s most precious diamond! Such a punch in Pakistan’s face will shut up all our detractors once for all. Indira [Gandhi] should have done it. Bhutto had worked with her to give us this epoch-making victory. But no. It is our BJP the winner!
“I know there is bit of silliness going on with these statues. [Maratha king Chhatrapati] Shivaji Maharaj’s statue will beat the [first deputy prime minister] Sardar [Vallabh Bhai] Patel statue by full 50 meters. Our [Gujarat chief minister] Vijay Rupani is bit put off by [Maharashtra chief minister Devendra] Fadnavis declaring that Shivaji’s statue is taller.”
Adityanath quickly intervenes, “Our statue of Ram in Ayodhya will not give up its eminence. Our 735-foot Ram will stand its ground. We will also dedicate it as a place where people can pray to our lord Ram.
”Yes, I know that Shivaji is [17th century Indian] warrior king and founder of the Maratha Empire, but Ram is lord!
“Devendra is trying to imitate the American Statute of Liberty and has his Shivaji in the Arabian Sea [near the coast of Mumbai], but I am talking about the lord… Ram! He can dwarf Sardar Patel, but he cannot call his statute the tallest in the world.
“Yes, his $400 million Shivaji is twice the size of the Statue of Liberty and will dethrone China’s Spring Temple Buddha as the tallest in the world. But his Shivaji is less than the $420 million Patel statue.”
Modi intervenes again, “Dear everyone, this is election time.”
Adityanath cuts in and asks, “Modiji, you cannot allow sacrilege. My lord Ram will be the tallest.”
Modi continue, “Yes. Even the debates over height are helpful. They contribute to our aim of creating distraction from the life and death issues of poverty, corruption, injustice and inequality in India. And for that we to roar over the naysayers who are raising meaningless objections like the state can build a statute but can’t build sewage systems due to lack of funds… or that the statue budget is several times more than allocations for malnourished children.
“I would say that we should learn from Asif Zardari and his party’s kapra aur makan slogan and keep people distracted from real issues.”