Let us get this straight. What gets Indian youth excited these days is free data, bobs and vagene, and Akhand Bharat. It has never been about access to health services or clean water. The most acceptable index to judge a nation’s success is how big it looks on a map. The British empire may have been built on tea, opium and the British accent, but it was always drawn on a map.
Now, mobilising all our military might towards war for the joy of drawing a country’s shape on paper may sound ludicrous, and that is because it is. But you need to stop thinking of it solely as an act of shameful indulgence.
Akhand Bharat is the only feasible way to avoid the agony of a potential loss at the hands of the Bangladeshi cricket team. An Akhand Bharat cricket team would be unbeatable. They would probably even defeat the Akhand Bharat Kabaddi team in a game of Kabaddi. The Akhand Bharat Kabaddi team would still be content because they found someone to play with. Although the number of Olympic medals might roughly remain the same.
Loosely defined as a bundle of neighbouring territories such as Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and South Bombay, Akhand Bharat is the captivating climax in nostalgia Olympics. Below you shall find a country-by-country plan to realise this dream.
Nepal: Peak plan
Let us start with Nepal. Nepal is a Hindu Rashtra. We want to sleep with a Hindu Rashtra. (My friend tells me a Venn diagram would look great). So this is what we do.
A confident Indian cow would be let loose into Nepalese territory from Bihar. This would be in spirit of the Ashvamedha Yagna, as choreographed by some great and many mediocre rulers in our ancient past. Ancient sources (such as RS Sharma in India’s Ancient Past) talk about how soldiers following the Ashvamedha horse would often guide the jumpy creature into areas that were desired by the ruler so as to lay territorial claims over those areas in the name of the divine.
Hence, excessively armed Indian attack helicopters could lift an unsuspecting yet confident cow and place it on top of some of Nepal’s highest peaks, overlooking China. This will allow India to effectively claim that territory. Once we establish that we are serious about what we are trying to do, we can negotiate with them over whether we would like a Soviet-style alliance or let them join us as a full-fledged union territory.
South Bombay: An aunty invasion
Modern India has grown into the burgeoning suburb of South Bombay. When South Bombay needed a state, all Marathi-speaking people were assembled around South Bombay, a boundary was drawn around the assemblage with a pointed stick, and the land mass was hurriedly named Maharashtra.
The city of Bombay gained its independence from South Bombay on the exact date your old uncle starts every sentence with. Since then, Bombay residents have carried multiple surgical strikes of irritable behaviour deep into South Bombay territory, sparking horror-laden cocktail conversations in South Bombay.
An unsettled land boundary, rival claims over small islands off the coast and repeated attempts by South Bombay to secede from India citing their Los Angeles accent has only made matters worse.
While the threats of imposing an embargo on lifestyle products being shipped from the western world into South Bombay has checked its sovereign ambitions, a long-term solution necessarily involves Israel-inspired forced settlements of Punjabi aunties in cheetah pants all across South Bombay, forcing its residents to take refuge on cruise ships to Goa or any other state whose capital they can name.
Bangladesh: Via Sikkim
This is the most obvious piece for the jigsaw puzzle that is Akhand Bharat. Bangladesh won the status of a sovereign nation after eliminating India from the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies. From its humble origins as a cricket team with a country, Bangladesh has come a long way as the world’s second largest exporter of apparel for western fashion brands and the most cited word in western philanthropy.
To realise the vision of Akhand Bharat, sometime in the near to somewhat near future, India will simply need to begin pretending as if Bangladesh has always been an extension of Sikkim. We shall get Sikkim to update its relationship status as “engaged to the ‘Bae of Bengal’”. The chief minister of Sikkim will start bragging about the state’s long shoreline as geographic dividend, and the most mischievous toddlers in Sikkim shall sing tales of their shared heritage with southern Sikkim. Needless to say, the cricketer Shakib-al-Hasan will be awarded a Bharat Ratna with retrospective effect.
The sincerity of our make-believe would make Bangladeshis fall for this alternative truth in no time. The Bangladeshi Armed Forces shall be used to implement Aadhaar in our newly-acquired territory.
Sri Lanka: Hook and line
All people from Tamil Nadu and Kerala will converge in Kanyakumari and perform a brisk and intimidating Surya Namaskar while reluctantly facing the sun. Further, all those gathered will project a single fishing rod with a sturdy hook towards the South, reaching the northernmost tip of Sri Lanka. Once the hook latches on to the island, we pull till we make contact.
Pakistan: Taimur vs Ramdev
As the motto of Pakistan Tourism goes, “If you want to have a blast, it shall be your last”. Those unfazed with the previous sentence may start conquering Pakistan by snorting the Line of Control.
The loud and servile news media has weaponised pictures of Taimur to distract the electorate from the one issue that our founding uncles cared about the most: Akhand Bharat. Unless we get Baba Ramdev to personally launch an Akhand Bharat-themed beauty products line, the most powerful pornographic image drawn on a physical map of South Asia might soon lose its arousal value to a gif of Taimur singing “Dus Bahane Kar ke le gaye dil” at Virat Kohli’s wedding.