June 12, 2021
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Jaayein Toh Jaayein Kahaan?

Jaayein Toh Jaayein Kahaan?
Jaayein Toh Jaayein Kahaan?

So Aamir Khan said that his wife wondered if the family should leave the country amidst rising intolerance and a spurt in communal incidents in India. Desh-bhakts (and other bhakts) pounced on him for uttering such heresy reprimanding him for all the badnaami he is causing the country by claiming it is inhospitable. Then there were the modern-day swatantrata senaanis who asked him to stick by his motherland like a true son of the soil and fight for it instead of fleeing a difficult situation like a coward. Last but not the least were the mascots of Pakistani tourism on Indian soil who want to pack all detractors — anyone who dares differ ideologically — off to the neighbour's house. 

In this hullabaloo, however, no one ever asked Aamir Khan which country he would pick if he were to leave India. See, now that's an interesting turn for the conversation to take. 

Right before the Lok Sabha Elections of 2014, a lot of people — which included the likes of Amartya Sen and Amitav Ghosh, Kannada author U R Ananthamurthy — said that they would not want to live in India if Narendra Modi became the prime minister.

In June, 2014, soon after Modi assumed the prime ministership, Outlook carried a piece by Satish Padmanabhan where he discussed the options people fleeing the country have. Or rather the options they don't have. 

But where can they go? Not to the United States as that country has this draconian law that you have to pay your household help. Besides, look how they have treated one of our luminaries, Rajat Gupta, who was once such an insider. Not to Russia either because their leader is already stronger, more autocratic and annexation-happy.

Germany is no option because what it was once is exactly what they fear India will become now. Italy? Its marines just might shoot at them. In Switzerland, you can't go laughing all the way to the bank. China has to be ruled out because Times Now there is in Mandarin. How will they keep up with how Modi is ravaging their motherland? Also, they won't get gobi Manchurian there. Japan could have been a possibility but then Shinzo Abe is Modi's idol. Greece is tragic, Spain is a lot of bull now, Holland is stoned, Sweden suicidal, Iceland freezing. In Greenland, the blizzards may kill them, in Canada, boredom will.

And if that doesn't help you make up your mind, then let yourself be lulled into despondency by this Sahir Ludhianvi-S D Burman-Talat Mahmood classic.

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