At the height of Beatlemania in March 1966 John Lennon was quoted as saying the Beatles were “more popular than Jesus”. This was enough to cause a world-wide Christian outrage. Beatles’ concerts were threatened, their records burned in southern US, Mexico, South Africa, Spain. Later, Lennon did express regret to pacify the Christians. Lennon had only responded to a question on the decline of Christianity which was being widely discussed at that time. His actual statement was: “Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue about that; I'm right and I'll be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first—rock 'n' roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me”. Factually, Lennon was right; Beatles were popular in every corner of the world (beyond Christians) and had more influence on kids and youth. The Pope even chose to forgive Lennon years after he was killed as if anybody gave a damn. Frankly, the Vatican has more to apologise for than Lennon, as later events have shown. Lennon didn’t really ‘abuse’ Jesus in any way for so much outrage. Can you imagine Hindus outraging like that? Lennon did have the choicest words to frequently describe the “establishment cronies” and even returned the MBE awarded by the Queen in protest of some war.
I have lost count of the number of times I’ve said there are two Rajdeep Sardesais. One is the guy on TV and the other is off it. On TV is the man driven by compulsions of business and the ‘agenda’. Off TV the man is often thoughtful in his writings and quite introspective when he tweets. So on November 10 when he tweeted seeking to understand how to make up with Twitterati it was amazing to see someone seeking vicarious pleasure in hunting down certain people and informing their workplace. Haha! I’m surprised why this bitchy woman didn’t go a step further and seek to write a complaint to moms and dads of some Tweeple. I honestly didn’t know much about Priya Ramani before but I learn that she runs something called Mint-Lounge, a section of Mint, a paper that Hindustan Trolls tries to sell. Now what exactly is Mint Lounge? It’s one of those extras for women with money and nothing to do. It shows them the philosophical way of ‘baking a Pizza’ at home or how SRK doesn’t want to be a lover-boy, art of the grotesque and so on.
What does strike me is not that Ramani wants to hunt down these “persnarltees”. She figured in an earlier post of mine (From my inbox to Fiberals) on her mindless rant against NitiCentral and the 499 crores of Rajesh Jain. In that post I had shared how some journalists feel about their work. It makes me wonder how the people working around Ramani really feel. Forget the persnarltees on Twitter or SM, those around Ramani may be on constant surveillance for every word and sentence they utter everywhere. Ramani probably spies on all her co-workers and employees of Lounge to make sure they’re behaving. I wonder if she reports every silly tweet of her co-workers to their parents or their spouses. Who knows, she might even add a note on how to spank such people. I wonder if online behaviour is a factor for salary hikes or cuts at Lounge or Mint itself. Come to think of it they might even have an annexure to the appraisal form where an employee's good and bad behaviour instances are listed. Like, you know, number of accolades for Ramani might get +10 each, and number of times the employee calls her a bitch gets a -20. Damn! This woman could truly revolutionise behaviour assessment in media outlets.
We’ll get back to Ramani’s extraordinary brilliance but in the meantime I would like you to find out what Balvenie is. I’ve often said that certain TV channels and magazines are meant only for those with a ‘Mini-bar’ at home. You can pronounce Balvenie as ‘Bal-when-ee’ or ‘Bal-ween-ee’. Both are acceptable. See? I’m learning, why don’t you start too?
More Mint! On November 8 Madhu Trehan was at a debate at the World Economic Forum hosted on NDTV. She was battling ‘Nothing’! I mean she was battling Kapil Sibal over Internet freedom, hooliganism and stuff like that. Doing a running commentary, Mint put out these two tweets attributing statements to Madhu. Turns out both statements were absolute LIES. It sounds like the Mint editor, Suku, was playing Sudoku. So he quietly deletes the tweets and privately apologises to Madhu. Mint value system: Tar in public and apologise in private. Most companies have that in reverse, don’t they? The tweets were to public at large and there was no apology to readers for misleading them. Many tweeple were not very kind to Madhu after reading the Livemint tweets. Worse, Mint stupidly deletes those tweets hoping the crime will disappear. I guess they are yet to learn that not even Kapil Sibal can wipe the footprints off the internet.
Then there are other writers at Mint. There is one Aakar Patel who writes mostly about nothing but Narendra Modi. This one is not sure whether he’s in love with Modi or not. Er. somewhat like those “he loves me, he loves me not” games with clover leaves. Modi has been called a lot of names but it’s only Aakar Patel who finds him a “sex symbol”. Some call it an obsession and some call it infatuation with Modi. One hopes AakTel will someday make a confession. Then there’s Samar Halarnkar (actually with Hindustan Trolls) and he is accused of plagiarising the works of Frances Moore Lappé in his articles on fighting hunger and food shortages. Ah, I think that had something to do with Brazil. I guess guy doesn’t know even Wiki has an entry on him to that effect. It’s a long story that will take up too much space. What’s the short story? Samar is also reportedly the husband of Priya Ramani. Yeah, the one that wants to hunt down people. In all the posts so far I’ve never found the need to use any expletives. I think I can be bad enough without the use of those. I once used the ‘f’ word but that was an actual tweet of Rajdeep I quoted. This Ramani takes it further than hatred can possibly take anyone. She calls Lord Ram a loser. Her friend calls him a “C***” and typically, like the American woman she is, she corrects him: It’s “D***”. Ramani is not alone. She has a sister-in-arms in Sagarika Ghose who frequently abuses Ram and Hinduism.
Where does such hatred and loathing of a Hindu icon come from? That too with no particular provocation! Ah, for that we’ll have to go back two years to an article Ramani wrote in the same Mint. That was called: “I may not be an Indian” (June 2010). Yeah.. you leave us in no doubt about that. She hates being Indian, she hates Ram for being a loser; in short she hates everything about herself. Technically, for all her stupid utterances Ramani could well be charged with sections 294, 295 and 295A for deliberately insulting religious sentiments under the Indian Penal Code. A glimpse of her self-hate can be seen in the image from her article. She hates Diwali, she thinks Holi is a time for ‘molestation’.
I believe it would be easier to make a list of things she doesn’t hate about India or Indians. That would probably equal to ‘Sibal’. And then, this stupid moron claims she is a victim of abuse on Twitter. Who in his right mind would want to abuse her when she abuses herself so much? She is probably one of those failed journalists or writers who couldn’t make it to the top like Chetan Bhagat. She probably wonders why she had to be born Indian. I have lived abroad for a short while and have seen western culture too. I love many of their good practices but don’t hate them for what could be called bad practices. We are here because India isn’t perfect. Some people take that imperfection as a chance to correct our faults. Some people simply choose to hate the country and her people. Ramani leaves us in no doubt which category she belongs to. But hey, sure as hell, she can probably tell you how to bake a cake with her magazine. And you can guess her favourite drink: Balvenie! The single-malt Scotch whiskey which probably inspires her writings and tweets!
There are many interpretations to Lord Ram’s response to the utterances of a washer-man. That is not even important here. Ram could have slashed the man’s head, imprisoned him, maybe he put his people above family. It can go on and on. What do you know, if Ram were with us today all he would have to do is send an email to Kapil Sibal and the washer-man would be in prison under 66A in a flash. But it would most certainly take an extreme moron to call him a loser or a D*** or C***.
Some wonder what would happen if Ramani were to make similar statements about Islam or Islamic icons. Not just her, the entire bunch of media morons wouldn’t dare. I’ve no doubt the swords would be out, her family would be dead and her house burned to the ground. But that’s hardly the issue here. Even Christians outraged over Lennon’s largely innocuous remark. My answer to this particular moron who passes as Priya Ramani is this: You didn’t become who you are all by yourself. The self-hate and loathing didn’t come to you all by yourself. No one said it better than John Adams: “Our individuality we so, so revere is not entirely our own… We ARE, who we WERE”. So I’m in no doubt those with such extreme hatred didn’t get it all by themselves. They are, who they were. Their forefathers, ancestors, friends, family and co-workers probably invested in them with such hatred. Hindus will no doubt be angered but they’re definitely not going to draw swords.
Most of us “Are who we Were”. Most Hindus are brought up with some spiritual principles and tolerance. That is the foundation of this country. I have travelled to the smallest corners of India. In many rural towns life is terrible. In a bus for 22 they usually pack a 100 and even add another 50 sacks of vegetables and grains. While I did find it alarming and discomforting, I don’t regret living the lives of those people and with them for a while. They didn’t choose that life and live in hope things will change for their children. The uncouth, uncivilised aren’t the ones who only spit or litter. The Ramanis can sip their Balvenie and keep hating Ram and India. John Lennon said to an audience once: “Will the people in the cheaper seats clap your hands? All the rest of you, if you'll just rattle your jewellery”. So why do I have write about these idiots at Mint? That’s a good question. Let me again quote the last verse from a song Lennon-McCartney wrote many years ago (A day in the life – One can find it easily on Youtube):
“I read the news today oh boy
Four thousand holes in Blackburn, Lancashire
And though the holes were rather small
They had to count them all
Now they know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall.
I'd love to turn you on” ....
Well, the song was banned for radio play because the British establishment thought the phrase “turn you on” alluded to drugs. But they totally missed something else. It is known that the 4000 holes refer to the potholes in Blackburn’s streets with relevance to a council election. But what’s the reference to those holes filling the Royal Albert Hall? There are many interpretations and one of them is of decaying flesh and another is assholes in the system. That’s the reason I had to count all the morons at Mint. Now we know how many holes there are in the Mint.