The Telegraph
| Sunday, June 25, 2017 |


Nation Building
And YogHurt



Thank god another Yoga Day is behind us. More than the asanas, the visuals from the day threw us off balance. Ramdev’s bare torso with patchy vegetation like the savannahs after a forest fire. The Chatur Baniya, seismic with laughter — possibly imagining the mass hurry-scurry to follow once the GST missile is fired. It was good to see Yoga Aditya... sorry, Yogi Aditya-nath twisting on the mat. Then there was Mohanlal, upside down in itsy-bitsy shorts. The PM was traumatised too. He has his hands over his eyes in most photographs from that day. Yoga pro that he is, he has his own brand of pet asanas; aesthetics assured.


In his three years at the helm, he has shown us how it is done. The Sangh unleashed its ghar wapsi programme. The PM was silent. Dadri lynching. Silence. HRD interference in the workings of universities. Silence. On the circumstan-ces that led to Rohith Vemula’s suicide. Kanhaiya Kumar’s arrest. Harassment of Gurmehar Kaur. Silence, silence, silence. On the attacks on African students. Silence. On atrocities against Dalits. On the rabid cow vigilantism across India. On Saharanpur, Una, Ballabhgarh. SILENCE.


For best results, it seems, the maunasana must be practised in conjunction with the andhasana. A natural predisposition helps. Take DeMo. After dropping the sutli bomb, the PM left for Japan. ATM deaths, RBI U-turns. The whole country writhed in agony. Farmers bled. The economy haemorrh-aeged. The PM, of course, saw no evil. Kashmir has been crying for serious attention. A man trussed up in front of an army jeep. A J&K cop beaten to death in Srinagar. But the PM is off again. Portugal, US, Netherlands. And when the full import of Aadhar is revealed? You haven’t yet heard about the Mars Tujhe Salaam campaign?


But that doesn’t mean the PM does not speak at all. He has a talkative mann. Going by, in the last three years there have been 32 Mann ki Baats. Each available in 21 languages. Swachh Bharat, nature conservation, need for “agri-identity”... But he found time for a chit chat with Quantico Chopra. The handle @narendramodi has nearly 16,000 tweets. If the PM has led by example, we, the people have also followed in exemplary fashion all three asanas. Now, who’s got fitter by far is another question.

Upala Sen