What a shocker this is - the Samajwadi Party (SP) has announced in it poll manifesto that it wants to ban computers, English, mechanised farming and stock trading among other things. This has been covered prominently on news channels like NDTV as well as in the print media.
How ridiculous, horrifying and pathetic!
Does the SP do what it preaches? There are a lot of inherent contradictions in what these people are saying.
A few pointers:
- The SP has a jazzy website, in English, yes that's right - they are using computers and the net, that too in English.
- Mulayam's supporter, Big B, a net freak who passionately blogs every day, would perhaps have to revert to his father's passion - Hindi poetry. Arrey baba, no English, vinglish!
- Aishwarya, another SP supporter, would have to stop all movies in English, stop her jaunts to Cannes and above all no western clothes - that's a logical consequence of SP's policies, right?
- Anil Ambani, another Mulayam supporter, runs a clutch of companies that invest in the markets. If the SP comes to power, would all these companies go bankrupt?
- The son of a prominent SP candidate from Mumbai would have to shut down his upmarket eatery in Bandra, because it serves Italian khaana peena, corrupting Indian minds. And his wife, a Bollywood starlet, would have to stop wearing western dresses, and no make-up, shake-up!
- Last but the least, the ever grinning Amar Singh, would have to stop all his Page 3 party hopping - that's simply not Indian culture.
If the SP is serious about what it says, shouldn't their prominent supporters do all that I have suggested above?
It is indeed stupid, if I may so, for a national party to say all this. Computers and the net are now being used by farmers to find out new techniques of cultivation. Mobiles come in handy for them to get the best price in the markets. Even rickshaw wallahs and household maids use cellphones to optimise their operations! Every small town has computer and English institutes to coach youngsters, helping them get jobs in BPOs, etc.
And now the SP wants to take us back to the middle ages. Or is it mere vote-bank politics, where politicians are mere demagogues inciting people to get to power? Perhaps they have a vested interest in keeping people backward so that continue to hold positions of prominence in society.
Sometimes I feel that India might do well with a benign dictatorship like the way Turkey had in the early part of the 20th century, when Mustafa Kemal Atatürk imposed a modernisation on the country - equality of women, separation of religion from the state, adoption of English script for the Turkish language, etc. That is something which is debatable.
For now, let's exile the SP leadership to North Korea, where they will feel at home with Kim Il Jong.