An Open Letter from Praveen Togadia to Bajrang Dal’s Sharan Pumpwell

Satire

An Open Letter from Praveen Togadia to Bajrang Dal’s Sharan Pumpwell

Illustration: Juergen D

D

ear Mr Sharan Kumar Pumpwell,

I know I’m no longer a part of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s Super-Exclusive, No-Sisters-Mothers-Daughters Allowed Clubhouse. I chose to leave of my own accord, even though I did have a falling out with the rest of the lads. I thought it was because, in my old age, I have softened to the idea of young love on Valentine’s Day. Yes yes, it is a Western tradition, but at least it will lead to more Hindu Kalyanam, no?

Then I realised the real issue: I’d committed the cardinal sin of criticising Modiji. He was supposed to bring us a Hindu Rashtra, but he is too busy bringing jhappis to the Swedes. For this, they treated me like a common libraandu.

But this is about none of that – I’m all for burying the hatchet. I happened to see your interview about supporting the BJP in the Karnataka elections and was very impressed. Normally, I’d never be caught dead viewing this kind of yellow journalism – I prefer good ol’ brown-nosing journalism, like any real Hindustani – only the Swarajya Mag page was temporarily down and I needed some light reading for the toilet.

In the absence of active hate-speaking opportunities since I quit the VHP, I’ve had plenty of time to catch up with my reading of late – by which I mean WhatsApp forwards. It was not enough for me to gracefully bow out – now the organisation is targeting all the half a dozen supporters I had in Gujarat. Low blow, man, but I have to admire their deep commitment to silencing any form of dissent.

They have taught you well, too. In your interview, you said that above any kind of BJP development initiative, you will only vote for those who put Hindutva ideals foremost, especially “gaumata ki raksha”, followed by “beti-behen ki raksha”. Then you brought up love jihad as being “mahilaon pe atyachar”. That was a genius move. And your explanation that beating up girls in clubs is a good way to protect them from “sex mafias” while raising awareness of sanskaar, is on point.  

Shaabaash, sir. In a few lines, you have really sent a strong message to these modern feminazi types who cry that moral policing is violence against women. These silly girls don’t understand that when we “harass them”, we actually are saving them from being harassed by other men. As long as they are our daughters and sisters, they are almost as important to us as cows. By standing up for women’s rights, which is much in vogue these days, you will surely appeal to the progressive voters of Karnataka.

Obviously, you are a young man with talent and guts, who will be an asset to the VHP for years to come. However, I think there are still a few areas where you could improve. (I hope you don’t take this the wrong way because I don’t want my house to be burned down.) They call me PR-avin for a reason: My public relations skills are better than any swayamsevak in the nation. The record numbers of FIRs filed against me speak for themselves, right? (Nineteen! I can’t wait to get my twentieth FIR for free. Will paint the town orange that day.)

It was not enough for me to gracefully bow out – now the organisation is targeting all the half a dozen supporters I had in Gujarat. Low blow, man, but I have to admire their deep commitment to silencing any form of dissent.

It’s not easy to become prolific in delivering hate speeches. But dear Sharan, you will get there, you have the talent. Just keep practising harder, it’s not easy earning those FIRs.

Enough about me. Let’s talk about what they call you. What is a Pumpwell? If I am not mistaken, your surname is Kumar? Perhaps you thought a fancy Westernised name would appeal to the youth, but let’s focus. We are here to Make Hindutva Great Again. You said, “Vote for Hindus, we need a government in Karnataka that supports Hindus.” So you also need to come across as a true Hindu, na? By being Pumpwell, you are sending mixed signals. Appeasing the minority.

Aren’t you a proud son of the Bajrang Dal? What you need is a good, strong sanskari name that brings to mind saffron-clad supermen. Think, Veer Savarkar. Or M S Golwalkar. Or Pramod Muthalik. Pumpwell will never carry the heft of a Pramod.

How else will we attain Karnataka, and the rest of the Hindu Rashtra? You know what the pollsters are saying – what Karnataka thinks today, India will think in 2019.

Your brother in bhaktitude,

Pravin Togadia

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