[Cross-posted from 3 Quarks Daily. The following essay is intended as a satire.]
Dear Chief Minister Modi,
You don’t know me, but I’ll spare you a Google search: I am one of your loyal subjects! I’m a proud Indian --technically Indian American, but never mind that. I may have been born in America but at heart I am a true Indian.
Respected Chachaji Modi, I heard the story about how you got invited to speak at a conference called the Indian Economic Forum at the Wharton School of Business, only to have the invitation get cancelled this week because of Marxist Professors who were acting as the Sepoys for the Whites (as Mr. Rajiv Malhotra has written in a). Quite shocking! Disrespectful behavior!
Chachaji, I have heard many of our friends, referred to by pseudosecularists and their ilk as “Internet Hindus,” complaining about this incident as a problem of freedom of speech. The pseudosecularists, for their part, say we have to remember the past. But like you I am a man of the future! I think it is time to put the past behind us. We have to think of India’s development, not the immediate past!
However, there are a couple of things bothering me about the recent past that I was hoping you could explain to me. I have been wondering about some things people say you did a few years ago. The word “riot” is so dull, it doesn’t really explain what happened does it?
Anyway, no one is saying you caused the riots – or whatever they were – but… There is some talk, Chacha, that you told your Bajrangi goonda acquaintances they could do whatever they wanted for three days. Is that true? Some hack journalist at Tehelka taped a bunch of thug types saying things like that in 2007. I never heard you say it didn’t happen, or explain why all these guys would say this when they thought they were speaking in confidence, among friends.
Also is it true what they say about your refusal to send help to Ehsan Jafri? That you said something about him “firing” at the mob to Sanjiv Bhatt? The number of people who were killed at the Gulburg Society alone makes me a little hairaan – 179 people, was it? I wonder why you didn’t respond to his direct call to you, or even to L.K. Advani who called you from Delhi specifically to find out what you were doing to protect him?
Chachoo, do you ever feel just a little bit bad about what happened to those 179 people, or the other 800 who were killed in those riots (or whatever they were)? Do you ever lose sleep about this happening in Our New India? I do, which is strange, because I didn’t even have anything to do with it.
I know, I know, Jafri was a Muslim and all. But he was also a Member of Parliament! One of the “good” ones! Loyal, maybe even... (And I say this as a Sikh who only wanted a Sikh nation to secede from India for a little while… when I was about 12 years old. I didn’t like the way my family was threatened in 1984.)
Oh right, 1984! Modi-saab, I knew you would want to talk about that somehow. Yes, some Congress bad guys were behind it, and only a couple of the thugs were ever tried for it (go figure: some of those guys remained in elected office for years and years – kind of like you though, isn’t it?). Most of the people who organized the mobs in 1984 got off scot-free! What is wrong with the Indian judiciary? And don’t get me started on that thug Rajiv Gandhi! (Really, don’t. He was bad on so many levels, it would get quite dull to read.) It still bugs me, but you see, Uncleji, I can’t help but think talking about it is a bit of a distraction from the question of what you did not 30 years ago but 11 years ago.
Another thing that bugs me is this whole thing about Haren Pandya. Did you or didn’t you have anything to do with him getting assassinated? He was one of your guys, a BJP/RSS guy to the core. I’ve always wondered how he managed to get killed just around the time he decided to testify about the things that happened in February of 2002.
I know, Chachoo, your Indian American nephew sure seems to have a lot of questions! But the thing is, you have tried very hard not to answer these types of questions for the past few years. I know what it is—you want everyone to forget. You are a man of the future! But you see, the longer you go on without answering these questions, the more they build up. Like a dam.
By the way, I like development! I like Tata Nano and Ipod Nano, both. I like big dams and little dams too. I am not one of those Marxist Gandhian ban-Monsanto-farmer-suicide types. I say forget Gandhi and Gandhis! I know you agree with me on this.
And I like freedom of speech! And I am very angry that the wicked pseudosecular sepoy Marxists at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business revoked their invitation to you to speak by teleconference.
And just one more thing. All of your friends say you are “incorruptible,” which means a lot these days in India, truly the country home to the maximum amount of dirty money. But I wonder why you have resisted efforts to open an accountability and anti-corruption office in the State of Gujarat? Are you worried that all of your famous business deals with multinational corporations who have opened shiny new offices in your state in the past 10 years may not have always been entirely straight? Chachoo, please tell me – was there any black money involved in the Gujarat “miracle”?
So those are my questions, Chachaji. If you would be so kind as to answer them publicly I would strongly consider telling those pseudosecularist hypocrites at the University of Pennsylvania to shove it. They say you should go to jail. Also shocking, and absurd since you have been duly elected by the people of Gujarat three times and cleared by the Indian judiciary, which is always right! Still, all I am seeking are some answers to these few questions, so my heart, the heart of a true Indian, will beat at peace.
Your Favorite Pseudo-Colonialist Post-Secular Nephew