By Karan Mujoo Sep. 28, 2016
The Doves of Peace are outraged, as India talks tough with Pakistan. Why can’t we simply deescalate the tension over a free phirni?
The escalating tension between Indian and Pakistan has made it a good week for the Great Indian Patriot. The Great Indian Patriot, a species that comes with a genetic strain of hyper-nationalism and dreams only of the machismo and bravado with which its great nation will destroy Pakistan and all things Pakistani, is quieter this week. Modiji has refused to press the nuclear button. If that wasn’t bad enough, he even refused to cancel the Indus Waters Treaty. The dreams of the Great Indian Patriot have been shattered, and for now, he has stopped twittering.
Now is the season for the Doves of Peace. These exotic birds are most likely to be found in high-altitude areas like air-conditioned high-rises and art galleries, holding a glass of wine, while elegantly flapping their wings, and daintily nibbling at the vegan canapé.
Cocooned in the safety of their nests, cut off from reality, they cannot fathom the reason for the Indian Army’s presence in Kashmir and all this talk of war. They recoil at the very thought of violence, as if it is some contagious Third World disease. They look at Indian soldiers as brainwashed zombies, unfortunate pawns in the game between the politicians of the two countries. Their idea of protest against terror attacks is limited to putting on starch white kurtis and leading a candlelight march toward India Gate.
Between the Great Indian Patriot and the Doves of Peace, it is difficult to choose who will feature in the next Dumb and Dumber.
The Doves don’t war with Pakistan because that would mean missing the next season of Coke Studio. The male Indian Doves will especially miss the seductive presence and voice of Meesha Shafi. And the female Indian Doves? God save them, because war with Pakistan will mean they will have to give up Fawad Khan and go back to drooling over Tusshar Kapoor and Riteish Deshmukh.
“They are just like us” is the favourite swan song of the Doves, which is followed almost immediately by a song of reminiscence about their last trip to Karachi, most of which was spent in the confines of a five-star or at a lit fest. The song narrates a story of bubbling brotherhood and bonhomie, and reaches a tearful crescendo when the shopkeeper serving phirni doesn’t take a single rupee from them. They come back to India with
the “phirni ke paise bhi nahi liye,” story and on basis of those six words rewrite the 68-year-old history of the two rival nations.
The phirni story has been on loop since the Uri attack. A book on it is probably a work in progress. With tolerance levels that will give even the Dalai Lama a complex, the Doves call for truce with our neighbours with impossible-to-implement solutions like making borders irrelevant.
India’s latest move to pull out of the SAARC Summit has outraged both the Great Indian Patriot and the Doves of Peace. For the Patriot, this is the equivalent of poking Pakistan on Facebook. And for the Doves, this move is so aggressive that they want to send peaceniks across the border with a box of laddoos and a Maine Pyaar Kiya friendship topi.
Between the Great Indian Patriot and the Doves of Peace, it is difficult to choose who will feature in the next Dumb and Dumber. Both species love oversimplification and have a penchant for listening to their own song. For both of them, the war is like an Indo-Pak cricket match – an event to be commented on with gusto and a large helping of salted peanuts. They see no difference in the two. All they see is an opportunity to begin twittering loudly and drown out the twitter of the other.
It is imperative we give them a cricket tournament or Salman Rushdie book or “Pakistani bahu” Sania Mirza to chirp about. It’s vital that we distract them from giving their two-bit on national interests and geo-political strategy. Because the last time a nation listened to a couple of birdbrains to make a good judgment call was never.
Karan Mujoo is a writer currently living in New Delhi.