June 05, 2020
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Sushilkumar Shinde

There are other kinds of terror too, like filmi terror, supernatural terror, inflation terror, Mamata terror...

Sushilkumar Shinde
Illustration by Sorit
Sushilkumar Shinde

My English may not be all that good but what I note down in my secret diary can be understood by anyone. After all, I am only an ex-cop for whom words meant less than action. Sometimes there are exceptions though. Even British PM David Cameron, with his ‘apology but not an apology’ over the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, confused both the British and the Indians. I only confused the BJP, RSS and sections of the Indian media with my ‘apology’ over the saffron varieties of terror. Look, there are quite a few other kinds of terror too, like filmi terror, supernatural terror, inflation terror, Mamata terror, but I will not bring them up.

It seems any stick is enough to beat Shinde. BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu demanded I go to hell, but would I get permission for a visit from Narendra Modi? After all, it is his domain and I don’t think he needs a home minister like me. Everyone talks of intelligence failure, but no one seems to want my intelligence reports. Mamata uses them to light her fire, Jaya feeds her pet goat with them and I can’t tell you in public how my reports are used in Modi’s Gujarat. How can we stop terror attacks if the states do not want to be intelligent?

In fact, I am getting a bit tired of it all. Whatever I touch turns to dust. In the power ministry, I had more power cuts than any additional powers. Yes, I do want to be the external affairs minister. I would love to present my credentials to the British Queen or President Obama and not bother with suicide bombers or Indian Mujahideen. All I’ll have to do to impress the Queen or Obama will be to present them with a piece of a hangman’s rope (they’ll catch on pretty quick). Talking about hangings (and the Jail Manual), if I had informed Afzal Guru’s wife about his hanging via e-mail or a telephone call and not speed post, then these very same TV anchors would have grilled me on why I wasted government money when the rules clearly mentioned speed post.

But there are compensations. A fan wrote to me saying I was India’s new Iron Man (though Coir Man would have been more appropriate). Meanwhile, I am also being labelled a Gandhi loyalist. What is wrong with that, the Gandhis are nice people, much better than the RSS which runs the BJP while calling itself a ‘cultural body’. Some culture, some body! I have come up the hard way and if the high and the mighty make fun of my police background, it only reflects their own empty-headedness. One piece of advice I got is I should speak more carefully on sensitive issues. But that advice goes for the entire nation, especially those TV anchors!

The Mumbai-based satirist is the creator of ‘Trishanku’; E-mail your secret diarist: vgangadhar70 AT gmail.com

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