Ahhchooo...ahchooo...ahchooo, where is that damn hankie? This is my opportunity to go down in history as the Bill Gates of the pepper spray industry but my sneezing does not stop. The Mallus think they dominate the pepper spray market (anything to do with pepper) but we the proud sons of Seemandhra have taught not only them a lesson but also the entire Indian nation. To use the pepper spray in the Tirumala temple was okay, I did this without fuss. But my pioneering effort in letting the spray do the talking in the Lok Sabha really let the cat among the pigeons. When a man’s life is in danger, why shouldn’t he use the spray to save it? Yes, my life was really in danger. I was surrounded by pro-Telangana ruffians and Telugu Desam MP Venugopala Reddy who brandished something that looked like a knife rushed towards them to rescue me. I was without weapons except the pepper spray. Like the mythical Arjuna and Krishna who used weapons like the Brahmastra only during moments of grave danger, I remembered the pepper spray and let it go! It was either me or the pro-Telangana hooligans. And it saved the brave heroes of Seemandhra from annihilation by the Telangana hordes!
Under Congress rule, life is no longer safe for peace-loving citizens like me and we have to protect ourselves. Now don’t jump to conclusions and think I acted like a woman in using the spray. Ask anyone in Parliament and Andhra Pradesh, they will tell you spine-chilling stories about my heroism. Ha, even that Raj Babbar tried to beat me up. I had to tell him this was not a filmi fight but a real one and showed him the spray. He fled! The fellow had not heard of my exploits in my home city Vijayawada where to this day mothers threaten their naughty kids with dialogues like, “Look, be quiet or we will call Lagdapati who will ‘jagda’ with you and smash you to pulp.”
It has been one adventure after another. Don’t people remember how I was under arrest yet escaped from 200 cops who guarded me while I was supposed to be using the hospital toilet! Now, I am above all this politics business. Though a Congressman, I lashed out against Sonia and her coterie. Let them understand, I am the Andhra Tiger, I am as hot as avakkai pickle. So far I have used only pepper spray, now wait for Avakkai Shower which shall play havoc with Rajya Sabha, Rashtrapati Bhavan and everything in Delhi. I can handle the AAP clowns for the Congress but they should give me a free hand on Seemandhra. Once the green light comes, I will be ready with my avakkai shower and the Telangana jokers will just fly away.
The Mumbai-based satirist is the creator of ‘Trishanku’; E-mail your secret diarist: vgangadhar70 AT gmail.com
Thank you to all those who have taken the trouble to read the article and share their thoughts. Out of the arguments made here, there are two that perhaps need answering. So here they go.
1. The first part of the article compares outcomes (relative percentages of population of the religions concerned) irrespective of the process that led to those outcomes - whether immigration, relatively faster population growth or conversions. This was for two reasons. One, to put the figure of 2.3 per cent in "numerical perspective", as the article itself explained. The second reason was that outcomes are ultimately what the crux of debate is about. The rest of the article in any case dealt with process - or conversions in this case, from both a contemporary and historical perspective.
2. Some commenters have tried to cast doubts on the reliability of Census 2001. Those who do this should bear in mind that Census 2001 was conducted by a BJP government. Considering the extreme importance that BJP gives to this issue, it would be reasonable to expect that IF it had perceived a problem with the methodology that was distorting the numbers, it would have fixed it. As the article mentioned, BJP or BJP-supported governments have been in power for 10 of the last 40 years, or about a quarter of the time, and the only reasonable conclusion one can arrive at is that any misreporting of numbers, real or perceived, would be marginal and hence, not of importance.
To all other arguments made, my answer is the following: Please read the article again, with particular focus on the quotations of Vivekananda and Monier Williams, and the history of the missionary efforts in Bengal and their outcome.
Not to defend the pepper-sprayer, but if a WOMAN had used the spray, it can be debated that the media would have found enough, and more, reasons to defend her.
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