I wanted to do something good to someone and I am misunderstood. Take the most recent case, Narendra Modi and his teaboy background where I offered generous tips to him to serve tea at the Congress office. Mind you, I had in mind not Sri Lankan, Darjeeling or Chinese tea but brands closer to his heart, from his own ‘developed state’, like Especial, Masala, Badshah, Ukalo and so on. The Congress office will be generous with supplies of crockery, two or three saucers with each cuppa, six or seven with every large cup of Badshah tea. When I made that statement, I was thinking of Marlon Brando playing a Japanese servant-cum-teaboy in the famous book-cum-play-cum-movie Tea House of the August Moon. Didn’t I put Modi in such elevated company like Brando? Why should BJP stalwarts like Rajnath Singh or Arun Jaitley get upset?
In fact, I should have broadened my statement and added that Modi should serve tea in the BJP and aam aadmi offices too. Can you visualise delicate tea drinking ceremonies at the BJP office hosted by charming, kimono-clad Meenakshi, Nirmala, Smriti, Kiron with some help from Shaina N.C. who is yet to decide if she belongs to fashion shows, five-star parties or the TV shows where she screams “Rajdeep, Rajdeep!”, getting her throat dry in the process. Shaina could also design extra large kimonos for Meenakshi. NaMo’s Especial tea would help her. After all, it will be “Tea! Thou soft, thou sober, sage and venerable liquid...from female tongue-running, smile- soothing, heart-opening, wink-tippling cordial....”
NaMo’s tea will be different in other ways. It will not be ‘tea and sympathy’ but will be substituted by ‘tea and anger’, ‘tea and contempt’, ‘tea and abuse’ and the incomparable Sardar tea, enriched with development. The NaMo chai will tickle the palate....
Our galaxy of stars would enjoy such tea. The new recruit Salman Khan would remove his shirt and snarl famous Hindi film dialogues (“Don’t angry me”) at those who hold Modi responsible for the Godhra riots. In another corner, Kiran Bedi will announce that if NaMo continued to serve such heavenly tea, she would do a rethink on whether she would vote only for Modi but not the BJP. While promoting ‘NaMo tea’ at the Fat Cat jamboree at Davos, columnist Tavleen Singh would predict such a tea would boost the Indian economy and make Modi an international figure. With so much at stake, why should the BJP stalwarts be upset with me for my suggestion? I will do my little bit, organising a Modi tea club at my own coffee drinking constituency, Mayiladuthurai!
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.
The most indecent comment of this third rated politician with no political base of his own denigrating the leader of opposition who commands support of half a billion people asking him to serve tea to feudal lords attracts no condemnation in the secular land.. the communist class warriors in The Hindu also found only a satire column to address this issue and the main pitch of that allegedly satire article - Modi is not qualified to be a tea boy becauses tea shops are secular and Modi was communal .
NaMo is only fit to be a tea vendor.
We at Outlookindia.com welcome feedback and your comments, including scathing criticism
1. Scathing, passionate, even angry critiques are welcome, but please do not indulge in abuse and invective. Our Primary concern is to keep the debate civil. We urge our users to try and express their disagreements without being disagreeable. Personal attacks are not welcome. No ad hominem please.
2. Please do not post the same message again and again in the same or different threads
3. Please keep your responses confined to the subject matter of the article you are responding to. Please note that our comments section is not a general free-for-all but for feedback to articles/blogs posted on the site
4. Our endeavour is to keep these forums unmoderated and unexpurgated. But if any of the above three conditions are violated, we reserve the right to delete any comment that we deem objectionable and also to withdraw posting privileges from the abuser. Please also note that hate-speech is punishable by law and in extreme circumstances, we may be forced to take legal action by tracing the IP addresses of the poster.
5. If someone is being abusive or personal, or generally being a troll or a flame-baiter, please do not descend to their level. The best response to such posters is to ignore them and send us a message at Mail AT outlookindia DOT com with the subject header COMPLAINT
6. Please do not copy and paste copyrighted material. If you do think that an article elsewhere has relevance to the point you wish to make, please only quote what is considered fair-use and provide a link to the article under question.
7. There is no particular outlookindia.com line on any subject. The views expressed in our opinion section are those of the author concerned and not that of all of outlookindia.com or all its authors.
8. Please also note that you are solely responsible for the comments posted by you on the site. The comments could be deleted or edited entirely at our discretion if we find them objectionable. However, the mere fact of their existence on our site does not mean that we necessarily approve of their contents. In short, the onus of responsibility for the comments remains solely with the authors thereof. Outlookindia.com or any of its group publications, may, however, retains the right to publish any of these comments, with or without editing, in any medium whatsoever. It is therefore in your own interest to be careful before posting.
9.Outlookindia.com is not responsible in any manner whatsoever for how any search engine -- such as Google, Bing etc -- caches or displays these comments. Please note that you are solely responsible for posting these comments and it is a privilege being granted to our registered users which can be withdrawn in case of abuse. To reiterate:
a. Comments once posted can only be deleted at the discretion of outlookindia.com
b. The comments reflect the views of the authors and not of outlookindia.com
c. outlookindia.com is not responsible in any manner whatsoever for the way search engines cache or display these comments
d. Please therefore take due caution before you post any comments as your words could potentially be used against you
10. We have an online thread for our comments policy:
You are welcome to post your suggestions here or in case you have a specific issue, to directly email us at Mail AT outlookindia DOT com with the subject header COMPLAINT