Baba Ramdev Wants Third Children Stripped of Rights, Neglected Middle Children Celebrate

Satire

Baba Ramdev Wants Third Children Stripped of Rights, Neglected Middle Children Celebrate

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

Baba Ramdev has, until now, been best known as India’s most humble billionaire and PM Modi’s favourite yogi after UP CM Adityanath. But lately, the revered godman has been hitting the headlines for a lot more than your standard chyawanprash launch. Ramdev has decided to step into the thorny world of politics, and today suggested an innovative scheme to curb population growth.

To further the maxim of “hum do, humare do,” Ramdev says that the third child should not be given voting rights, or be allowed to enter politics. By making them second-class citizens, he believes, couples will be forced to stop at two.

Some have argued that this bold statement is a way for Ramdev to publicly break up with PM Modi, who is himself a third child. Others claim that Ramdev is trying to promote his upcoming line of Patanjali all-natural baby prevention lube. But none of that matters to the All-India Coalition of Middle Children, who are celebrating Ramdev’s words today with a jubilant members’ meeting in Delhi.

“Today, thanks to Baba Ramdev’s wisdom, we will have the last laugh on the last child!”

Dr Guruswamy, a PhD in middle-child literature, who is speaking at the meeting, points to the enduring stigma against the second-born. “Look at this ‘Which Sibling Are You’ quiz,” she says, waving a 2004 edition of Teen Vogue at us. “Mostly Bs is a middle child. And you see, they call us resentful, jealous, and overdramatic!” She flings the magazine to the ground and grinds it under her fair-trade jooti.

Before Dr Guruswamy can finish explaining how “middle-child syndrome” has been used as a tool of psychological oppression, Gurgaon resident and noted Facebook contrarian Anand Advani steps in. “Does the world know that Bill Gates is a middle child?” he cries. “Why does the biased media not report this?”

A murmur of agreement passes through the meeting. It’s time for everyone to gather for a vote, announces Middle Child-in-Chief Sakshi Dasgupta from the dais. But there is hardly any need, as the verdict is unanimous: Baba Ramdev has been named the patron saint of middle children.

“Today, thanks to Baba Ramdev’s wisdom, we will have the last laugh on the last child!”

“It’s a great day for us,” says Ms Dasgupta, a 42-year-old homemaker and birth order rights activist. Her face is flush with excitement. “We are hoping that Babaji himself will pay us devotees a visit, and together we will spread the word against the third child, who is the true source of evil in society.”

What if it works, we ask, and couples have only two children? Won’t that mean the end of the middle child for good?

A look of dawning comprehension creeps across Ms Dasgupta’s face. She sprints back to the dais to inform her fellow middle children of the peril that threatens them — but we can’t stick around long enough to see what happens next. The National Third Child Committee is holding a protest just down the street.

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