The Monk Who Had the Last Laugh


The Monk Who Had the Last Laugh

Illustration: Akshita Monga

Anude monk graced the Haryana Assembly and the Twitterati had a field day. Every left liberal worth 300 RTs, dropped his work and focused his energy on going after the Haryana government for allowing a naked Jain monk into their assembly. Now, the left liberals are a group of people I normally identify myself with. Our group goes by a variety of monikers – libtard, adarsh liberal, traitor, Aaptard, Aapturd, and my favourite of them all, Pakistani. Mostly, I’m in agreement with the issues that bother my comrades aka “Naxals”, and we go out there together and bravely fight online wars and take on dangerously patriotic fake accounts run by Shah and the gang for the love of our freedom of speech and freedom of expression. Yet, we outraged against a man because of his religious and sartorial affiliation.

Truth be told, the Jain monk, Tarun Sagar, should be our hero. He walked into the House that is presided by a conservative and regressive BJP regime, stark naked. That’s literally sticking it in, in the headquarters of “uncorrupt Indian values”. I don’t think the following sentence will ever have a positive connotation but here goes: It was a dick move that we can all be proud of.

Tarun (I’ll refer to him by his first name because I’m Pakistani like that) is a smart bloke. He used his nudity as a red herring to take away attention from all the stupid things he said while addressing the Haryana Assembly. His video reminded me of a Salman Khan film. “Idar plot point weak hai. Bhai ka shirt utaar do, sab story ke baare mein bhool jayenge.”

Vishal Dadlani, who is otherwise at the top of his social-media game, too fell for it. One of his tweets read, “That dude has the same education, as he has clothes on. None. I’ve no problem with nudity. I have a problem with religion in governance.”

Firstly, if Dadlani had no problem with nudity, then why did most of his tweets have the words, “naked” and “nude” in them? If I, for one, had a problem with Dadlani’s pancreas, I would mention it every single time I tweeted or wrote anything against him. “Dadlani’s latest Bollywood compositions are just like his pancreas. Can do without them.” But I have no problems with his pancreas, so my tweet should ideally read, “Most of Vishal’s Bollywood music lately is a suxx.”

Tarun Sagar has shrugged off Dadlani’s comments with the grace of an enlightened master, knowing that a man can do more harm to himself than anyone else can do to him.

What’s funny is that Dadlani would have tweeted the monk’s pictures, if he had found it in the archives of Woodstock ’69 and he would even hashtag them with YOLO. Except, Tarun would’ve disagreed with the YOLO bit, Jainism after all strongly believes in reincarnation.

Secondly, why would a guy like Dadlani bring up the whole education issue? Seriously, what does education have to do with a man’s intelligence or thought process or even our politicians, whom the monk was addressing? In fact, it would be terribly dumb on my part to judge Dadlani’s incredibly amazing Pentagram music based on the fact that he doesn’t have a degree in music. “Oh that bald guy has the same number of music degrees as Vinod Kambli’s friends. None. I don’t have a problem with balding. I have a problem with bald people who don’t have long hair to headbang in mosh pits.”

You know what deserved a stone-cold slamming? Tarun’s idea of a woman of the 21st century. Instead, the whole country just got carried away by an old man flashing. He spoke against female foeticide and then progressed to saying things like “a woman’s dharma is to serve her husband”, which perhaps made female foeticide look like a better option.

Tarun also wants to make it mandatory for anyone wanting a ticket to fight elections to have a daughter. Look bro, a lot of things can decide if you can get a ticket to contest the elections – your “social work”, the number of criminal cases against you, your family name, how much money you are willing to pay to the party, but certainly not semen. To borrow from Dadlani’s style, “That dude has the same amount of fab ideas as his clothes. None.”

Tarun Sagar may be a sainted Digambar monk, who sold his Ferrari and his clothes, and one who prides himself on being calm, devoid of wrath, pride, wickedness, and greed (in other words everything that I am not), but his SRK-style hamming and shade on Pakistan was pretty far from saintliness. With such full tosses being bowled, Dadlani’s tweet is like complaining about the grass on the wicket.

The problem today is that we just react to pictures and tweets with more photoshopped pictures and tweets. We see a naked guy on the floor of the assembly and we lose our collective shit and quickly scramble to make it to ScoopWhoop’s list of “Here’s how Twitter reacted to a naked monk who was invited to the Haryana Assembly”.

Tarun Sagar has shrugged off Dadlani’s comments with the grace of an enlightened master, knowing that a man can do more harm to himself than anyone else can do to him. Dadlani is currently out of AAP, in apology mode, and may be in jail soon. Tarun Sagar, I’m sure, is laughing the gentle laugh of saintly monks, wondering if he should head next to the Delhi Assembly and use his red-herring move to bring sati back. We won’t notice. We’ll still be delighting over the dick.