The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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- Let Godse, Modi and Togadia hang next to Savarkar in Parliament
Hang them all

Every time something really outrageous occurs in society or politics, it brings to mind a reaction which is commonly associated — at least among Indian students of English literature — with the 18th-century Irish satirist, Jonathan Swift. It was Swift’s view that one effective way of combating political scandals was not so much to provide the obvious arguments against them, but rather, via proposing something even more inflatedly ridiculous in the same vein, to elicit the public’s outrage against the original sin. Using this technique, Gulliver’s Travels contains some memorably absurd satire on contemporaneous British politics, but it gets even better in A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland from being a Burden to their Parents or Country (1729).

This is a shorter work in which Swift, using the humble phraseology of a petition with exquisite mock-inoffensiveness, argues the advantages of cooking and eating human infants to solve the otherwise insoluble problems of poverty and beggary: “It is a melancholy object to those who walk through this great town [Dublin] or travel in the country, when they see the streets...crowded with beggars of the female sex...therefore, whoever could find out a fair, cheap, and easy method of making these children sound, useful members of the commonwealth, would deserve so well of the public as to have his statue set up for a preserver of the nation...I shall now therefore humbly propose my own thoughts, which I hope will not be liable to the least objection...I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled...I do therefore humbly offer it to public consideration that...A child will make two dishes at an entertainment for friends; and when the family dines alone, the fore or hind quarter will make a reasonable dish, and seasoned with a little pepper or salt will be very good boiled on the fourth day, especially in winter.”

Now that Veer Savarkar’s portrait hangs in our parliament, it seems reasonable, to the present author of this humble column, to humbly put forward another modest proposal to the President of his country;and to frame this above-mentioned proposal in the form of the following petition, which he takes care to begin with the very words made luminous by Shri Nathuram Godse in his famous book, titled May It Please Hour Honour (or “Why I Assassinated Gandhi”), and which the present author humbly hopes will thus make his already renowned name, “Advani”, even more famous by ancient association with his personal hero, Shri Nathuram Godse, whose footsteps he hopes to follow, even as he sees full well that the paths of glory lead but to the noose; and keeping in mind all the above he begins his modest proposal as follows:

“May it Please Your Honour, that we, a nation of Hindus, have been hitherto guilty of the gravest injustice to the memory of the bravest of our tribe, namely the above-mentioned Shri Nathuram Godse, and therefore would it surely seem befitting to the present author of this modest proposal, and in keeping with the changed tenor of our time, for us to persist no longer in this historic offence — for by persisting in the offence, do we augment the offence; and for this reason do I humbly beseech Your Honour, and hope that It May Please Your Honour, to hang a portrait of Shri Nathuram Godse beside those of (the alleged Mahatma) M.K. Gandhi and Shri Veer Savarkar, in order to, as it were, Compleat the Picture in our halls of Parliament; and moreover because, firstly, the present petitioner begs to assure Your Honour, our President, of the following: that by doing this act of unshameful hanging You may be certain that no Hindu will consider You a Rubber Stamp, for the restitution of Shri Nathuram Godse in our Parliament House, apart from being many years overdue, shall only happen after it has been duly approved by a Standing Committee, a Sitting Committee, and most certainly by a Lying Committee; and secondly, and moreover, as all of these committees shall include Shri Somnath Chatterjee, & Shri Pranab Mukherjee, & other honourable parliamentary members of the honourable opposition (for “they are all, all honourable men”—as Shri Mark Antony says of certain assassins in Julius Caesar — who will be given every opportunity to apologize later in the day, should the need arise); and even for this reason, Your Honour need have no fear that You are proceeding thoughtlessly, nor under the sole pressure of those who have, despite your religious affiliation and commitment to secularism, placed You in Rashtrapati Bhavan as a pure token of Hindutva’s generosity of spirit to all those who contribute to and accept Hindutva’s (nuclear) supremacy; for thirdly, the righting of historical wrongs, as our Hindu-born Nobel laureate, Shri Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul (who misguidedly anglicizes himself and his name to V.S.Naipaul, but we beg to refer You to his full Hindu name), has authoritatively pointed out, is a very necessary act for the restoration of Hindu pride; and such restoration, Your Honour will be pleased to note, has happened in the following manner: first by breaking down a most barb’rous structure known as the Babri Structure; and then by the demolition of all Gandhian structures in the state of Gujarat (which Your Honour will have noticed during Your visit to that example of a true Hindutva state — nay, a shining example for the rest of the states of Your Honour’s Hindu nation-in-the-making); and now by instituting Shri Veer Savarkar’s portrait as the icon of our great Hindutva nation over which You Preside (and in which we magnanimously allow even Muslims to play in our national cricket team); and fourthly because — as Your Honour may be pleased to see from this new and revolutionary Hindu Rate of Growth of Violence — if the wrong-spirited German-British Jew, Karl Marx, had predicted the inevitable defeat of secularism at the hands of Hindutva instead of bourgeois society at the hands of the proletariat, this Marx himself would have admitted that to hang the portrait of Shri Nathuram Godse in our Parliament would have turned the Gandhian wheel on its head, in a manner of speaking, and assured the inevitable victory not of the proletariat nor of the Dalit but of the Hindutva, for which our Nathuram Godse committed his act of noble heroism, and for which he has hitherto been misguidedly denounced by pseudo-secularists and Congress-lovers; and finally, before I rest the case of my modest proposal, May it Please Your Honour to also consider hanging two other portraits in the halls of our Parliament after You have unveiled Nathuram Godse there: and if I may make so bold, and so it please Your Honour, these other two Pictures being the portraits of Shri Narendra Modi and Shri Praveen Togadia, who, as Your Honour will agree, have done almost as much as the late Nathuram Godse to eliminate all weak-kneed Hindus and Others, and of those who should form no part of our Hindustan; and in the firm hope of seeing his petition reach fruition, May it Please Your Honour, the present petitioner humbly rests his case in the fond hope that this, his Modest Proposal, May Well Please Your Honour.”

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