Dear Milind Soman,
In the epic words of the great prophet/school bunker Greta Thunberg, “HOW DARE YOU?”
It’s not like our hearts aren’t being ripped apart at every single moment. From being dead-named by gender-insensitive cops for holding up indecipherable signs about the CAA to sedition charges for saying Pakistan Zindabad, it’s been a trying and testing time.
Right-wing ideology is spreading faster than the coronavirus or stupidity, and meanwhile everyone we back – from Bernie Sanders to Jeremy Corbyn to Rahul Gandhi – always fails spectacularly, even though they announce their pronouns.
Just when we were dealing with the loss of a Maharaja to the ‘fascist’ BJP, you had to rub further salt into our wounds by *checks notes* announcing you were a Sanghi at the age of 10!
Well we are sorry to say that we – the High Council of Woke Secular Allies Battling the CIS-HETERO-PATRIARCHY – cannot abide. Thereby, we inform you with great sorrow that you are hereby CANCELLED.
I mean how can you be sanghi?
Sanghi men are supposed to be potbellied short-wearers who have trouble breathing, carrying a stick and walking at the same time.
How can a guy, who probably runs from Mumbai to Pune for fun - without even stopping for a meal at the McDonald’s at Panvel - be sanghi?
We should’ve guessed it earlier when you featured in a video called Made in India. You were propagating Modi’s Make in India in 1995. If that’s not breaking the space-time continuum to promote a 'fascist', we don’t know what is?
We should’ve known you were an agent of the patriarchy when you happily participated in events called Iron Man.
Do you know how submissive the term ‘man’ is, pushing your heteronormative binary nomenclature on us?
We should’ve seen it earlier too when you posed with a snake, it takes one to know one!
We knew you were a propagator of child marriage, admitting that your child bride even called you ‘Papaji’.
The saffron flags were there for all to see but we were blinded by your chiselled abs and salt-and-pepper beard.
We don’t want to CANCEL you but we will. How dare a 10-year-old go swimming at the local RSS Shakha? Don’t you know that swimming is a preserve of the elite class who lecture the benefits of socialism before retiring to their high citadels?
Why didn’t you argue with your parents before being made part of this subversive paramilitary fascist organisation?
In fact, to add insult to injury, you further wrote: “When I read today all the subversive, communal propaganda the media attributes to RSS shakhas, I am frankly baffled. My memories of what happened at our shakha between 6 and 7 p.m. each weekday evening are completely different—we marched about in our khaki shorts, did some yoga, worked out in a traditional outdoor gymnasium with no fancy equipment, sang songs and chanted Sanskrit verses that we did not understand the meanings of, played games and had a bunch of fun with our fellows.”
You tried a quality save, saying you didn’t get the point of being a ‘proud Hindu’ and wrote: “My dad had been part of the RSS himself and was a proud Hindu. I didn’t see what there was to be proud about, but on the other hand, I didn’t see that there was much to complain about either. It just was. I don’t know what my shakha leaders felt about being Hindu—they didn’t really air their views on it to us, as far as I remember. Even if they had, I would not have paid attention—it would have made them sound too much like my dad.”
But that’s not enough Milind. We cannot hope to beat the 'fascists' if you willingly whitewash their crimes.
Haven’t you read the Dante quote about being neutral during times of moral turpitude?
Just because you can run a lot, doesn’t mean you are allowed to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds.
We will only revoke your CANCELLATION if
1) You manage to make a time machine and go stop your 10-year-old from swimming with Sanghis
2) Write a 10,000 word soul-crushing piece being ashamed of your actions
3) Participate in your next IRONPERSON contest wearing a 'Mudi iz Fascist' T-shirt. Unless you are willing to do so, you are hereby CANCELLED.
(Pronouns: Ze/They/Royal Majesty)
Nirmalya Dutta is Web Editor of The Free Press Journal.
He tweets at @nirmalyadutta23.