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?

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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