Swadeshi vs Videshi:
A whole lot of things we think of as Indian have come to us from foreign parts
Excerpts from a Blog in the Editorial Times of India newspaper
Two desh ka netas talking about the government’s decision to ban all foreign-made goods from being sold in defence and police canteens.
1st neta: A jolly good idea! We should have done it years ago.
2nd neta: Totally agree. After 73 years of Independence, it’s a shame that we still need foreign things. This canteen ban is only the first step. We should ban all foreign things all over the country.
1st neta: Well said! So what other videshi things should we ban? How about Angrezi?
2nd neta: Already done. We have long replaced it with Hindlish.
1st neta: Yeh toh bahut true hai. So what else videshi can we ban? How about cricket?
2nd neta: Great idea! From now on IPL will be renamed India Gilli-danda League. What else is bannable?
1st neta: India is one of the biggest arms importers in the world. Why should our defence services use videshi arms? Our shashtras tell us that in ancient times we had nuclear weapons like the Brahmastra and a hazaar other astras, all of which we should reinvent.
2nd neta: Good point. As a great Indian sage once said, “Astra not what yudh can do for your country, astra what your country can do for yudh.” Anything else we can ban after videshi defence equipment?
1st neta: There are a great many more things to be banned. Do you like aloo ki sabzi with lots of mirchi in it?
2nd neta: You bet I do.
1st neta: Well, you’ve got to stop eating it because both aloo and mirchi will be banned, along with tamatar, because food historians like Subodh Kerkar say that potatoes, chillis, and tomatoes were all brought to India by the Portuguese 500 years ago. So no more aloo, mirchi, or tamatar, not even rotten ones to throw at our political opponents. Indeed our entire political system is based on the Bilayati model and we should ban it too.
2nd neta: You mean we should ban ourselves?
1st neta: Exactly. Or, as we say, apni banned baj gayi …
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