Baba’s Got Back


Baba’s Got Back

Illustration: Saachi Mehta/ Arré

Picture if you will, a land where the God fearing walk with their heads held high. Where allegiance to faith and country supersedes logic or justice. The kind of place that glorifies the hallowed past and does not put up with rubbish modern ideologies. Does this Utopia appeal to you? Well, if you need a guide into this paradise, look no further than the cover of India Today.

You’ll find a model citizen of this brave new world staring back at you from between a pair of hairy thighs. Bask in the glory of his taut calves and perfectly toned glutes and hang your head in despair at the thought of what you will look like at fifty years of age. Healthy, robust, and clearly very confident in his own skin, Baba Ramdev is the man to show you how to thrive in India in 2016.

If you think I jest, ask yourself, can you hold a candle to Baba Ramdev’s physical prowess even if you’re half his age? Those who think they can, raise your right hand. Then bring it behind your back and raise it from your under your left arm while also balancing on the tiptoes of your right foot, because you bet your entitled butt he would be able to do that faster than you. That’s why he’s allowed to moon you from the cover of the national publication, and if you know what’s good for you, you smile and take it.

When the lion marks his territory with funky smells from his little loin, the zebras aren’t allowed to complain about public urination. So I’m sure the photoshop response or witty tweet you had lined up about his cover shoot was comedy gold, but hold up, because Baba will have the last laugh. Allow me to explain to you why this is the case.

The Ramdev persona is inextricably linked with a particular concept of India. That is the India that celebrates its glorious Vedic past. Once upon a time, Hindustan was the centre of the civilised world. Thousands of years before the modern era or even recorded history, this great land was blessed with inventions and advancements like flying machines, genetic surgery, and open attitudes towards sex.

Except for that last part. I was testing you to see if you knew the real history of India. Open attitudes towards sex? Where did you think that story was set, Sodom and Gomorrah? What do you mean, “look at the temple sculptures?” That isn’t sex; those figures are merely performing yoga asanas that have been lost to modern generations with the passing of time.

Yes, yoga was also invented in ancient India, the crucible of everything good in this world. But just as the scriptures predicted, the Kalyug arrived, and much that was great about this country was lost. Outsiders crept in, bringing with them deviant pursuits like kebabs and calligraphy. The once homogenous nature of the people was gradually phased out, leading to a melting pot where everyone got along.

It was a truly frightening time. Slowly, things got even worse. Imagine, this great land that gave the modern world the concept of paan-stained walls was now lousy with such devilish agents as gay men and women in jeans. Not only did they dress and think like those immoral westerners, these new, unworthy Indians also paid tribute to their former colonial masters by adopting international standards of education and globalising their markets.

Those were bone-chilling days. But the heart of India continued to beat, under the layers of filth the modern world had heaped upon it. A group of bold, empowered men and women were working to orchestrate a return to the halcyon days of yore. Their voices rang out more clearly after the general election of 2014, when they received the mandate from the people to return India to her former glory. After all, who wants to stride into the future when the past is so damn rosy?

Ramdev is the model citizen of our illustrious nation. Such is the clout he now wields that he can call for somebody’s head to be severed from their body because they did not stand for the national anthem.

Ramdev’s was one of those voices clamouring for a return to a better yesterday. And in the Baba from Haryana, the movement found a perfect face. Here is a man whose rustic appeal garners him fans across the country. He took the noble art of yoga abroad and even enlightened those living in less fortunate nations, like Britain.

So upset was Baba with the state of affairs, that he went on a fast and incited his followers to protest the evil, corrupt central government in 2011. The laws of the land proved no barrier, as his followers disturbed law and order situations in Delhi, putting the fear of Ramdev into the authorities. In fact, black money disturbs Baba so much that he even refused to discuss its transfer and whereabouts with a member of the party he was endorsing during the 2014 election. Such is his commitment to cleaning up the nation.

Two years after the election that empowered the true Indians to take back India for themselves, Ramdev has found his groove. He is on hand to tackle all issues that might plague this great country. Homosexuals need no longer worry, as he claims to have a cure consisting of pranayama, yoga and meditation. Is the state of sex education in the country pathetic? We don’t need no education – replace it with yoga. Western clothes? Never wear them when you can wear a saffron langot. International brands giving consumers non-Indian choices? Flood shelves with Patanjali products. And you will eat those noodles even if they’ve been declared suspect by the FSSAI, because who knows when Maggi will get banned again right?

Ramdev is the model citizen of our illustrious nation. Such is the clout he now wields that he can call for somebody’s head to be severed from their body because they did not stand for the national anthem. With no backlash whatsoever. Now that’s real dedication to revisiting the glory of our ancient and medieval past. I wonder if we’ll ever bring back crushing criminals under elephants. That would be good TV. Rejoice, for our culture is the hands of such able custodians as him and soon, no one will be able to live an anti-Indian lifestyle within India.

I’ll leave you with a modified Christmas carol, which you may take as the moral of the story, if you still need one.

You better watch out
You better not shout
You better not cry
I’m tellin’ you why
Baba’s watching from between his thighs.