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March 02, 2015

I Object!

Text by Nittal Chandarana

Talking the talk: we do it well. Here’s what happens when the country decides to outrage

It doesn’t take much to get us worked up. You could merely breathe and still manage to ruffle a few feathers. Somehow, we possess the ability to turn our biggest positives into massive weaknesses. Secularity=Clash of religions. Democracy=Criticism (No majority, when we have a majority). Right to freedom of expression=Is it something we still deserve? As a country that thrives on entertainment, we make no bones converting everything into a grand charade, be it sport, news hour or politics. Outrage has transformed into another form of entertainment and like everything else we do, we give it our 100%. Some years ago, Café Coffee Day had come up with a clever campaign that asked us to ‘sit down’ when each one was trying to outdo the other by standing up for her chosen cause. They had to pull it down because the Nirbhaya incident happened right after. And then, there’s been no looking back. Tragedies one after the other have cropped up. And some, we fashion into tragedies (remember the the time the roast-ers became the roast-ees?). Here’s what happens when India decides to outrage.

Candle Factories Enterprise The business picks up manifold as we walk towards various monuments for protest marches holding our heads high, and posters and what else, but candles.

Break the internet And then there are those who prefer to protest from the confines of their mobile/laptop screen and tweet their sorrow. You have to tip your hat to every talented person who managed to type a straight message while seething with the angst of injustice. Touchscreen devices prove to be especially unsympathetic at such times.

Not even Caesar had such fickle-minded subjects We are losing this World Cup. No firecrackers this time. I shall sell my soul if we make it to the quarters. Will we maintain our record against Pakistan though (because honestly, that would be enough). ZOMG! We have the best bowling attacks in the world. I always knew we’d make it. Didn’t I tell you? India plays for trophies.

Show solidarity in DP Display pictures are changed to show solidarity with said victim/survivor/innocent party. Remember those black dots on BBM? Bands are worn. Hashtags are used. And most times, that’s all that happens till there’s a new cause to support.

Make a movie But who can forget RGV walking into the Taj a day after the terrorist attacks. You see death? They see the potential for creative respite. Although, in his defense, this happens with every major tragedy. There are numerous books on the 9/11 attacks too. The writers and filmmakers are just a little more sensitive with their timing.

Support by merchandise High five for those who bought Being Human tees. Err, except the ones who bought them from Colaba Causeway instead of the official store.

Memory-of-a-goldfish syndrome The AIB roast led to an FIR being filed against them. Then came whole-hearted support for the caustic quartet. Aamir Khan said he was violated. Russell Peters objected and slammed the violation. Censor Board released a list of banned words. Modi’s suit was auctioned Rs. 4.31 cr. What were we speaking about?

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