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Saving Indian Culture

If there’s a Bharatiya Janata Party government in power anywhere in India, you can be sure that the race to protect Indian Culture will follow. Indian Culture at conservative estimates several thousands of years old and by Murli Manohar Joshi’s reckoning some 700,000 years old is extremely vulnerable to attack and can crumble at any second.

As the Shiv Sena demonstrated in Mumbai and Maharashtra and then through like-minded friends across the nation some years ago, Valentine’s Day was a massive threat to Indian culture. It cowered and shivered when confronted with hideous plastic heart-shaped balloons and stuffed teddy bears. I sympathise.

Shiv Sena demonstrated in Mumbai and Maharashtra and across the nation some years ago that Valentine’s Day was a massive threat to Indian culture. It cowered and shivered when confronted with hideous plastic heart-shaped balloons and stuffed teddy bears. File pic
Shiv Sena demonstrated in Mumbai and Maharashtra and across the nation some years ago that Valentine’s Day was a massive threat to Indian culture. It cowered and shivered when confronted with hideous plastic heart-shaped balloons and stuffed teddy bears. File pic

Even I cower at such sights. But unlike Indian Culture I remain intact. Intriguingly, the late American pop singer with a most unique cultural lifestyle, Michael Jackson, found favour with the Thackerays of the Shiv Sena. Indian Culture brought to its knees by a stuffed toy but embraced Billie Jean who is not my lover...

Perhaps the Sena was right. Crotch-grabbing Michael Jackson was in sync with Indian culture: Did he learn it from the Hindi films or did they learn it from him? But be very afraid. A minister in Goa is worried that girls going to pubs in short skirts are going to ruin Goan Culture.

I am including Goan Culture in Indian Culture for argument’s sake and also because Goa has been part of India since, what, 1960? Goan Culture is about to be torn to shreds by these young girls in their short skirts. You can understand now why mullahs and khap panchayats are so much happier when women are bundled up when they leave home or never leave home at all and are only allowed to use a mobile phone after they turn 40.

We’ve just been through one more round of arguments about how English is destroying Indian Culture. This is an insidious threat and has been lurking around finishing us off mispronounced syllable by mispronounced syllable. You must at this stage ignore those Western Culture Worshippers who argue that in fact it is Indian Culture which is destroying English. They should be whipped or... excuse me for a few minutes while I organise my son’s education in a UK University... or worse. What? I’m just sending him so he can spread Indian Culture far and wide.

Like garba, bhangra and Bollywood Dance performances on Republic Day, Independence Day, Hrithik Roshan’s Birthday, Shah Rukh Khan’s Birthday, Katrina Kaif’s Birthday, Ranbir Kapoor’s Birthday, Deepika Padukone’s Birthday and other such days of Indian Cultural Importance.

Meanwhile, we are now searching for the inevitable: how every scientific invention and discovery in the world had its origins in India. India is Science and Science is India. You are not just against Indian Culture but against India if you think otherwise. Space exploration, you may have discovered just this Monday, only happened because of India.

Only devotees of Western culture (only a small ‘c’ for the undeserving) and Communists believe anything else. If you cannot be bothered to read the Ramayana, at least pick up a comic book version. You will learn a lot about Indian Culture. Two comic books and you can even become a minister in the Central Government. Maybe I mean just comic without the book for the minister part.

And then, there’s sex. It has to be whispered but you must know that s-e-x is the exact opposite of Indian Culture. No sex will be tolerated. And sex education is even worse, an abomination that will lead slowly, inexorably to the complete collapse of all our glory. It was a police commissioner of Mumbai who pointed this out and now he is a BJP MP.

And our Union Health Minister, also a BJP MP and a doctor, has similarly discovered the dangers of sex and education. All those who start thinking Khajuraho temples and stuff like that, wash your mouth out with some Indian soap, cover your eyes and stand in a dark corner until you are set free. It’s going to be a long, long time.

Ranjona Banerji is a senior journalist. You can follow her on twitter @ranjona

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