As a BJP member of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation, I did hesitate before starting a secret diary. I had heard that only filmstars and other VVIPs do it. But my colleagues in the BJP and Shiv Sena pointed out that my fame had spread far and wide and this is the result. And it’s all due to my ‘Marathi manoos’ sensibilities, which tell me unerringly that scantily clad mannequins create bad feelings among bad men, which in turn could lead to some bad rapes and some bad molestations. Of course, I am still to approach a scantily-clad girl (Mumbai is full of them) and caution her on the consequences of her actions. And, yes, I do believe in democratic values. But I also represent the mindset of a majority of Mumbai women who also think like me. Though I did not directly approach these scantily-clad girls, I did enter some of the fashion shops and lecture the mannequins on how they should dress more decently, particularly those fronting the lingerie department. But the mannequins were strangely silent.
That said, I am happy my movement is catching on. The BMC unanimously passed my resolution on decently dressing up the mannequins before putting them up on display. But I am sorry that some of the male members showed a vested interest in the matter. They demanded the removal of the mannequins and suggested they would advise female customers behind closed doors on what kind of lingerie they should wear. They got so excited I nipped this proposal in the bud.
The mayor of Mumbai is a busy man but he too has taken a keen interest in the matter, even taking it up with the CM who, I hope, understands the sentiments of the people. Very soon, we can expect some positive moves, like the appointment of a special MLLC (Mannequin Lingerie Licensing Committee) or even a judicial inquiry into the matter. Many retired high court and Supreme Court judges, I understand, have volunteered for the job (even without payment). That is Mannequin Lingerie Power for you! My party colleague Shaina N.C. who calls herself a fashion designer tried to dissuade me in this effort because she has, in the past, organised and judged lingerie contests. But nothing doing, I told her off.
Indeed, the mannequin issue has really caught on. In the past, I had broken up gambling dens but no one bothered. Now, after this, I have been featured in 241 media interviews, TV discussions and what not. The only problem was with the BBCwallahs. Since I was not fluent in English, they suggested I demonstrate what I thought was wrong with the mannequin culture. Oh no, I could not indulge in such explicit gestures and finally the interview was done in Hindi.
Mind you, this is an election year and moral policing has a captive vote-bank. I intend approaching all parties, persuade Anna Hazare to fast, ask that Kejriwal bhai to take the issue to the ‘aam aadmi’ and also humbly request Rakhi Sawant and Mallika Sherawat to lead us.
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.
At last ( after two months? ) the author has found a FEMALE to spit his venom on - but even that, for supposedly doing damage to the sisterhood's cause!
Very appropriate. The most iconic movie was Mannequin on the run, and the song 'nothing's gonna stop us now', by Starship, was beautiful. Seeing 'Back to the future' made people not want to visit the U. S., but watch movies.
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