So I was checking social media, having just returned home after buying milk, and cheering on the men working at breakneck speed to finish the Durga Puja pandal on time outside my apartment complex, and I found someone had posted this small PTI copy run by websites. Old news, in terms of hours, but I saw it just now.
Anyway, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, it seems, wanted to play a part in Ramlila at Muzaffarnagar – – just another small town in the badlands of western UP (where I live) – – and which has had to be cancelled after some members of a group protested. The top police officer from the area is quoted saying members of the group were not comfortable with Nawazuddin playing a role in Ramlila.
No, let us not get overtly dramatic. Nothing within me died reading that report. It is expected. All of it. If I was a conspiracy theorist I would have “smelled” something. Would have perhaps said it’s all going as per a script. And what not.
I am too old, too jaded and too realistic to fall for all that.
So all I say is: Congratulations. This is a nanostep to wherever it is that we want to go, right? I am sure our brave undertakers of culture, tradition and whatnot will lead us there, too. So come out of that closet, I say, and say it aloud. Say it with cheers. Added for taste with jeers.
Better still, take this. Here, a printout of your Idea of India (who cares, hah, it’s Nehruvian anyway; an idea that has done it’s share of timekeeping. We are on to bigger, better ones now). Now what are you waiting for? You there. That’s a completely harmless printout, that. It’s sedition-proof, too. Harmless idea of India. Hah. Now now, roll it, light that match, and burn it.
Oh, also, here is your social fabric. Cut to pieces. You can use it for dusting. No no. Take it. Please, I insist. You will need it. There’s so much dust that has gathered on that life, times and vision of yours. So much, in fact, that everything you see your vision says you are looking at Bivishan.
How dare Nawazuddin Siddiqui want to act in Ramlila. Yes, let me say it anyway, now that I’m on a roll. How dare he? Have all our good souls died? Let him play his part in Multan, if he wants to. Muzaffarnagar abhi baaki hai.