In a new episode of his web series The Desh Bhakt, YouTuber Akash Banerjee lists all the bizarre incidents that took place over February. The month went by in a flash, the satirist says, adding that it seemed like it was on ‘Piyush Goyal mode’, referring to when the Union Minister for Railways posted a speeded-up video of a train.
Here is what the satirist says stood out the most.
“Comedians started talking sense, while television news anchors became comedians.”
In the wake of the February 14 Pulwama attack, Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu asked if an “entire nation can be blamed for the actions of a handful of people”. The comment drew widespread criticism, leading to demands for his removal from the television comedy show, The Kapil Sharma Show. The host of the show Kapil Sharma came to Sidhu’s defence, saying that if his removal from a television show could solve the India-Pakistan crisis, Sidhu would have done it long ago.
Meanwhile, the anchors of some television news channels demanded India go to war with Pakistan, suggesting that there could be no other way to curb terrorism.
‘Kangana Ranaut flashed her nationalism at every available opportunity, but it turned out to be as fake as the horse she rode in ‘Manikarnika’”
A video of Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut riding a dummy horse during the shooting of her movie Manikarnika made the rounds in the wake of her hypernationalistic remarks after the Pulwama attack. Kangana had, on multiple occasions, made remarks against Pakistan, once calling for “its destruction”. At the India Today Conclave 2019, she even said that after the Pulwama attack, she “wanted to go to the border, snatch someone’s gun and do the deed”. During this mayhem, Ranaut’s movie Manikarnika continued running in theatres in Pakistan.
“Anchor Suresh Chavhanke and retired Army professional Major General GD Bakshi were seen destroying Pakistan by exhaling fire from their mouths.”
The promotional animation for Sudarshan News was shared widely on Twitter, with many social media users pointing to it as an example of the extent that some Indian television channels will go to for viewership.
“Congress government in Madhya Pradesh slapped National Security Act on three people allegedly involved in cow slaughter.”
Although the Congress managed to wrest power in the state from the Bharatiya Janata Party in December after 15 years, there seems to have been little difference in the style of functioning of the two parties, including the persecution of minorities in the name of cow slaughter.
“After Priyanka Gandhi joined Congress, her husband Robert Vadra too hinted at a future in politics.”
In a Facebook post, Robert Vadra wrote, “All these years of experience and learning cannot be just wasted and should be put to better use...once all these accusations and allegations are over, I feel I should dedicate a larger role in serving the people.”
“Nirmala Sitharaman was said to be the first woman to hold the office of the defence minister of India.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, at a rally in Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu, said that India’s first woman Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is from the state. However, Indira Gandhi held the defence portfolio when she was the prime minister of the country.
“Subramanian Swamy claimed that some news channels run their news according to BJP’s wishes.”
Speaking at an event in Mumbai, BJP minister Swamy commented that some TV news channels in the country run updates according to the BJP’s wishes, adding that the party has “sycophants” in the media.
“Media outlet Cobrapost claimed some Bollywood celebrities had agreed to promote political parties on their social media accounts by charging a fee.”
According to the report, actors including Vivek Oberoi, Ameesha Patel, Sunny Leone, Mahima Chaudhary, and Jackie Shroff agreed while others like Raza Murad, Soumya Tandon, and Arshad Warsi rejected the offer.