Today the great Indian democracy celebrates its 66th Republic Day. In the years since independence, we are now older, more mature, with streaks of grey beginning to show in the receding hairline. We’ve seen wars, we’ve seen elections, we’ve seen political fiefdoms, we’ve seen the Hindu rate of growth, and we’ve seen a presumably ‘Hindu’ government finally in power and leading the way.
For a nation of India’s size and diversity, it often seems like a miracle that we haven’t managed to collapse around our own contradictions and conflicts. It is to our credit as a nation that we have held on and done fairly well, rising to an exclusive club among the top economic powers in the world, despite being as diverse in our languages, religions, beliefs and behavior as we are. (I guess the one consistent thing we do all over the country is to drive like jerks. Perhaps our pathetic driving is holding us together.)
As is the wont with a country of this size and complexity, we do have our issues. Our politicians are corrupt and most of them seem to have only one ideology – winning, whatever it takes. Friendships are formed and broken as a matter of convenience where it comes to getting to the elusive seat of power.
Our journalists are often accused of being in bed with the powers-to-be, with allegations of being on payrolls of their benefactor parties. Paid or not, journalism today seems to have become way too commercialized and biased, with shrill anchors shouting at the top of their voices on panel discussions, guests who are not immune to rude behavior against the anchor or their co-panelists, newspapers that revel in sleazy imagery to sell more copies, and so on.
Religion has become a dirty business, what with assorted religious leaders looking to build their fiefdoms. A number of such leaders have been in the news of late, some for sexually assaulting their followers, some for amassing far too much property, or some for building armies to stave off the law and order machinery.
Industrialists are not too far behind, often accused of being the financial muscle powering our political parties and religious leaders, and getting disproportionate benefits in lieu. We’ve all heard allegations from a certain Aam Aadmi leader of how a certain industrialist used to keep the then PM and the now PM in his pocket!
In this light, what happens when a common man gets caught in an unfortunate turn of events and comes in the path of the complex power play between politicians, rich industrialists, powerful journalists and their crony religious babas?
It gives me great pleasure to announce my new novel Democrazy which is a spoof on this interplay between politicians, journalists, religious babas and powerful industrialists. Yippee!!!
*does a series of somersaults*
The book is available for pre-order already and should be in stores in a week or so. You can order it here.
Here’s an excerpt from the book:
“His phone rang as they reached the library. He answered it with a gruff ‘hello’ and frowned. ‘No I don’t want to sell my microwave.’ He gazed at the phone for a few seconds and kept it back in his pocket. They entered the library and he exclaimed, ‘The Hindu? Madam, how can you make your students read such a non-secular newspaper?’
Before Madam could respond, his phone rang. He answered it impatiently, heard the person on the other end, and got infuriated. ‘How big is my microwave? You will know when I push it up your butt, you stupid idiot.’
He didn’t eat any of the snacks offered by Madam. ‘What is this? Dhokla? Samosa?’ he said with a disgusted look on his face. He refused the glass of water as well. ‘Just get me some mineral water. Do you want to kill me by giving me tap water? You must be agents of that stupid Orchid party.’
His secretary whispered in the ear of the arts teacher who was overlooking the catering. ‘Sir is pure non-vegetarian. He sticks to it very religiously.”
Hope you’ll enjoy the book.
PS: No politicians were hurt in the writing of this book.