Demonetisation, National Anthem, ‘love jihad’: The news has stopped making sense

Things are changing and even entertainment news has lost its sting.

Written by Anuradha Varma | New Delhi | Updated: December 1, 2016 1:46 pm
Express Photo/Prem Nath Pandey Express Photo/Prem Nath Pandey

In the era of demonetisation, bad news follows bad news. I checked my news app (yes, the same kind Alia Bhatt has) and I can see that government plans to ease visa rules to encourage tourism. Duh! Are they then planning to declare April Fool when the hapless tourists land in our great land, with just Rs. 5,000 a week sanctioned to get by.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court, usually stinging in its remarks, has decided that we must stand when the national anthem plays…and there must be no dramatization when it is sung (what does that mean, exactly?). One thought we were supposed to stand out of respect (read voluntarily). This is just more ammunition in the hands of the oh-so self-righteous. Refer to the incident where writer and disability rights activist Salil Chaturvedi was thrashed by a couple since he didn’t, and couldn’t, stand up. The couple apparently weren’t aware of his disability, but that didn’t make it okay; but, maybe now it will, since they’re only doing their duty, you know?

WATCH VIDEO: Petrol Pumps, Air Ticket Counters Will Not Accept Old Rs 500 Notes After December 2

While on demonetisation, I don’t remember feeling this strapped for cash, since the days when I received pocket money (and even then, one figured out “other sources”, like mom or a little brother who could be coaxed to part with his!). When the news broke, I had Rs 10 in my wallet, a flight to catch and last-minute plans to visit the ATM, when I realised that if the machine dispensed old currency, there would be no takers after midnight, and no more ATMs open either! So, as the independent woman that I was, I woke up my father for some Rs 100 notes. As the many Facebook posts tell me, that was the case with many debit-card wielding, ‘Paytm Karo’-ing New Age middle-aged kids.

Back to the app… a right-wing group has decided to oppose the wedding plans of two IAS toppers, citing ‘love jihad’. This, when we have bigger issues like an attack on an Army base, with lives of worthy officers being lost for a cause.

A few months ago, Aamir Khan got into a lot of trouble for confessing that his wife Kiran Rao contemplated moving out of the country. So, would she have a list of potential countries she could share…just in case I’m trolled by a ‘Bhakt’ (you know…!) or dragged out of a cinema by my hair if I’m late in standing up?

Things are changing and even entertainment news has lost its sting. I clicked on a headline that promised to reveal Katrina Kaif’s response to ex-boyfriend Ranbir Kapoor’s remarks about her on Koffee With Karan. A few paras later, a source revealed that the actress was “nonchalant”!

Kiran Rao, I’m waiting!

Varma is an editorial consultant and is also co-founder, The Goodwill Project. She tweets @anuvee

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First Published on: December 1, 2016 12:46 pm
  1. J
    Jay Smith
    Dec 4, 2016 at 10:58 am
    Nobody's perfect . No nation is perfect . Here in the west people stab soldiers returning from Iraq in the name of religion, they kill people for being Polish.Scare small children for being east European. Rape and murder is not an uncommon occurance. I tolerance - look at Brexit, Trump.... And you are unhappy . Maybe you need to rethink your priorities. Sometimes journalism should reflect the truth not opinion.
    Reply
    1. G
      GandhiSpeaks
      Dec 2, 2016 at 2:22 am
      Ms. Varma, you forgot to mention Mr.Kejriwal whom Delhi voted. He is such a waste..wish you had shared some frustrations for that. lt;br/gt;And as far as demonetization, while everyone agrees of inconveniences more than 90% believe that is a good move. The Supreme Court dictate on national anthem in cinema halls seems a bit overboard. And to think that everyone will stand up and have a surge of patriotism when they go to watch a movie is naive. Supreme Court should rather set an example by punishing the corrupt politicians and not let them go free on bail.
      Reply
      1. J
        Jim
        Dec 4, 2016 at 8:50 am
        He merely called spade a spade - you AAptard
        Reply
        1. A
          Achin sharma
          Dec 5, 2016 at 2:38 am
          Height of stupidity!
          Reply
          1. D
            Dash
            Dec 1, 2016 at 1:42 pm
            koi katwa tere behen ko jab utha lega,uss tjme pata chalega love johaf ke baare me.
            Reply
            1. D
              Deepak Angelo
              Dec 1, 2016 at 8:11 am
              Pride is happening @bollywoodpataka #Salutelt;br/gt;#SupremeCourt orders #NationalAnthem 2 play in cinemas bfr filmlt;br/gt;Check Reportgt; BOLLYWOODPATAKA
              Reply
              1. R
                rsju
                Dec 1, 2016 at 7:29 am
                फक ऑफ!
                Reply
                1. I
                  Iskvaku
                  Dec 1, 2016 at 7:37 am
                  Kya bakwas hai, even if the news doesn't make any sense, still you guys are posting it. Why even consider writing this article.
                  Reply
                  1. L
                    LS
                    Dec 4, 2016 at 12:37 pm
                    Not everything needs a protest. Do you really thing "Singing National Anthem" needs a protest? A protest just for the sake of protest isn't productive at all. She should read the Chapter on FUNDAMENTAL DUTIES in Indian Consution. It asks every citizen to respect the Flag and the National Anthem.. She is protesting what is expected of the citizen as a Fundamental Duty? Nice.. lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;-------lt;br/gt;PART IVAlt;br/gt;FUNDAMENTAL DUTIESlt;br/gt;51A. It shall be the duty of every citizen of India—lt;br/gt;(a) to abide by the Consution and respect itslt;br/gt;ideals and insutions, the National Flag and thelt;br/gt;National Anthem;
                    Reply
                    1. M
                      madhav
                      Dec 2, 2016 at 3:07 pm
                      This bhakt could not find out another place to earn his pittance from his masters, hence dragging Mr. Kejriwal in it. Read the article and comment on it.
                      Reply
                      1. M
                        manjit
                        Dec 4, 2016 at 2:49 pm
                        Seem like everybody is prejudgemental.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Anytime somebody write his or her mind people start judging right away that he or she is with india or against india.everybody has their own financial,imotional and physical problems so please do not think that everybody non bjp person is either stupid or non patriotic.lt;br/gt;They have every right to say anything like you have.lt;br/gt;If you not agree that is good but do not say that go to different country because that is none of your business.lt;br/gt;Respect others views also may be there is a problem.
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                        1. M
                          manjit
                          Dec 4, 2016 at 3:17 pm
                          There will be no stop to curruption,blackmoney,hawala,drugs or terrorism.unless and untill they change the system in country.lt;br/gt;Change the system in all govt office lt;br/gt;Change the police system how they treat people and solve crimes.lt;br/gt;Change the court system where it takes years for small pe theft cases.lt;br/gt;Change the system in hospitals how to handle patients and treat them.lt;br/gt;Change education system where education is not only for rich people.lt;br/gt;Educate the country about the laws of country and impliment them without discrimination.lt;br/gt;These are only few things and there are lot more to fix and changing currency was not the priority.lt;br/gt;This was bjp priority because by doing this they solve there two main problems.lt;br/gt;One finish opposition so no strong opposition means no strong contestant for long time,lt;br/gt;Second break the back bone of oppostion means hurt all previous rich people and industrialist who may help oppostion financially.lt;br/gt;Now it is one man show and w new set of money man and industrialists which will be supporting bjp .lt;br/gt;That is truth .may be you do not like it.
                          Reply
                          1. A
                            Akash Amber
                            Dec 1, 2016 at 3:03 pm
                            Spoken like a typical leftist libtard. The country is changing. The giant just got rebooted and its stepping into digital era like no one envisioned. For Ms. Varma who got so used to reading news of 1984 Sikh genocide, the coal scam, 2G/3G scams, illegal land grabs, listless governance,... the new era would naturally come as precipitous. Get used to it or be left behind. The country is marching to the future and your "love jihad" barbs are just that - barbs.
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                              murty
                              Dec 6, 2016 at 6:29 pm
                              Why air tickets to be bought by notes.they can buy by card.Stupidity of black money usage support by useless author.These are all lived lavishly with support of black money now feeling the pinch.No author has given concrete suggestion for reducing hard ships of common man but write nonsense for sensation and TRP.
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                                comet
                                Dec 1, 2016 at 7:35 am
                                modi is hero of bollwod now. har har modi
                                Reply
                                1. R
                                  Rahul
                                  Dec 2, 2016 at 8:15 am
                                  India is treating you too badly. Please head to some wonderful places like saudi arabia, Afghanistan or stan. Since your movement will be restricted to the availability of male chaperons, your voice will be restricted as female laughter, opinion and just loud talk is considered ungodly and your vision will be limited by the hijab...there will be much less to complain about. Hope you enjoy :)
                                  Reply
                                  1. R
                                    Rajat Khanna
                                    Dec 1, 2016 at 6:59 pm
                                    Wow you getting trolledlt;br/gt;Cool - that means you wrote the truthlt;br/gt;Just keep the count more trolls more success ha
                                    Reply
                                    1. R
                                      rohit
                                      Dec 1, 2016 at 12:05 pm
                                      Ok
                                      Reply
                                      1. R
                                        Raju
                                        Dec 1, 2016 at 6:00 pm
                                        Everything's alright. You (writer) don't need to worry about nation.
                                        Reply
                                        1. S
                                          shivananda nayak
                                          Dec 4, 2016 at 6:27 am
                                          Do Some creative constructive work using your capability and potential. Do not waste your energy for negatives be a PAIN.
                                          Reply
                                          1. u
                                            us_a
                                            Dec 3, 2016 at 1:15 am
                                            Very high standards are being set, anything that gets trolled must be gospel truth!!!!
                                            Reply
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