Oh please, stop the piety!

Devyani Khorbade using a Dalit card or Kejriwal hiding behind gods and goddesses is so deliberate an effort to pander to a certain lot that it offends one’s sensibilities

bikram

Bikram Vohra | January 16, 2014



I am all for the underdog but the pious get my goat. Like I was leaning on the side of Indian diplomat Devyani Khorbade vs. the nasty government of the US until I saw her pictures in the paper this morning paying tribute to Dr. Ambedkar, the leader and advocate for the Dalit caste or what was once the throng at the bottom of the Indian social rung.

I had found it mildly amusing when they made a noise about it weeks ago when Devyani was arrested in Washington DC and Mayawati had indicted both governments for treating her badly because she was a Dalit. That was such a lot of crock. No American cop would know a Dalit from a dragon.

Now, using this gambit is insulting to any intelligence.

If she had done this little exercise in respect on her own and gone about things in silence good for her but to ensure the media was there makes it uh oh in my book. There she is at the Chaitra Bhoomi memorial for Dr Ambedkar, hands folded, wearing a raggedy sari grandstanding to the masses, playing the caste card for all it is worth.

The tribute that you pay is private, lady, keep it private. How many times have you made this pilgrimage, girl? Did you go there before taking up your posting? Bet you were busy shopping that time. All we need now is the maid Sandra in church with a photo of the crucifixion in the background and we will all be suitably served.

This has to stop because it is unfair and exploitative. Even her rather insufferably aggrieved father is now playacting and that family is losing my sympathy pretty fast.

Arvind Kejriwal, the little David of Delhi who slew all the Goliaths started off by having the picture of the entire Hindu sacred pantheon in the background. Whenever he came on TV, one of our gods or goddesses was strategically placed in the background. I imagine he has reduced the dependence on that backdrop and will keep his promises without divine intervention.

The moment these guys get either famous or controversial they seek the shelter of religion. And they fling that association visually at the public. It is so deliberate as to offend one’s sensibilities. By all means be religious but keep a curtain on it, your piety, like charity, is indecent when it shows.

I know there are people out there who see no harm in it but I suspect that if you are smart enough to PR package yourself through this prism then you are smart enough to not be as simple and straightforward as you project. I rest my case but piety and politics don’t mix…or do they?

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