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Mainstream, VOL LIII No 27 New Delhi June 27, 2015

The Empire Peddles Back

Monday 29 June 2015, by Badri Raina

When you came Bible-peddling,
I was not numero uno;
Now that I am, take back with
Interest wages for that meddling,
As a hundred and seventy nations
Back my awesome, acrobatic show.
Watch the thrusting of my leg,
Chest inflated, arms akimbo,
Fire in my eye, beard aflame,
Heart raging with dream
Of conquest, mind intent on
Weeding out all such element
That questions my abhiyan,
Kicking up an anti-national row.
Espy these legions of health,
Backed by bushel-fulls of wealth,
Retreat, and never again dare
Come anywhere near Delhi,
Lucknow, Jhansi, Agra,
For Nagpur now insures Bharat
With a prowess that will
Not spare your imperial belly.
Be warned: as I gyrate, twist, unwind,
There is nothing spiritual on my mind.
Our grand army of NRI Ninjas
Is enough to subdue your cool
To contortions you never knew.
And political dividends better follow,
Such as your rotten dollar and Euro
Without let, hindrance, delays
To fuel my smart-city-make-in-India craze.
Should you do that without demur,
We will not break another church door.
Anti-Hindu carpers at home
Will no doubt carry on their moan.
But worry not, take a hint
From what the discarded patriarch
Has said: if need be, we will enforce
Our right to Emergency. In fact
Are we not already there,
Wilthout declaration or fanfare?
Note that when our patriarch
Be unduly grim, we do listen to him.
We may jail even those who fail
Us internationally, given that our
Vikas rate now self-evidently shames
Many a so-called advanced state. As
To poverty and the poor, we
Will leave that bother to those who
Better undertake such chore;
After all, what are the Congress
And the Left parties for? As we
Yog to golden blasts of growth,
Poverty gives them something to do.
Thus wily old Disraeli’s two nations
Remain distinct, disparate, true.
So, let Yog be the thin end of
The wedge that makes the white
Macaulay brown, and yields
Many a manufacturing town,
That teaches the swaggering Brit
To quit his tainted English for
The profound beauties of Sanskrit—
Minus, of course, the naughty things
Therein, which apocryphal incursions
Owe to the conquering Saracen.
Such embarrassments as Kama Sutra,
Kumar Sambhava, Mrichhikatakam, or
Mudra Rakhshasa, and other things
Of that ilk, mere evidences of hacking
Long before the computer was a-making.
We mean the Sanskrit of the gods
Alone, not of men who actually
Used their human penchant, quill, or pen.
All that of course, our learned ones
Shall impart with a fee, as Bharat
Will rise and the west go under
The sea. Such is the meaning
Of Yog, such is our ineluctable fantasy.
Now gyrate, gyrate, do not miss
The bus; even Wall Street knows
The twentyfirst century belongs to us.
So do thine Yog without snooty fuss.