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Catch ’em young

Secure the nation’s future by sticking to these guidelines

‘India hasn’t achieved true freedom until its nanhe munne children have been thoroughly interrogated. At least three times,’ said the Mahatma. Or Anupam Kher. Or someone.

Anyway, it was something to that effect. But that’s not the point. The point is, even if no one said it, truer words were never spoken.

We all know that the ancient future of this glorious soon-to-be $5 trillion country rests squarely in the hands of its children. And these tiny hands, as our Vedas say, happen to be controlled by highly impressionable, easily misled minds.

So what are we to do to safeguard our future?

The Karnataka police, if you ask me, have shown us the way. Before these poor children could turn into full-fledged tukde-tukde fellows who talk of reason, science and fundamental rights, they nipped the problem right in the Nehruvian rosebud. (I could be wrong, but wasn’t it Prasoon Joshi who said ‘A rose by any other name, Bharat Mata Ki Jai, is a lotus’?)

So what does this innovative, forward-thinking step by our ever-vigilant authorities teach us? What are all the other things our schoolchildren need to be interrogated about, of course.

Here is a helpful list I have prepared. After my mandatory prayers to a photograph of Arnab Goswami waving a sheaf of blank papers (taken before the evil marak shakti spell was cast on him by Kunal Kamra).

1. Using the slide in the playground

Please question small children regarding the usage of the slide. Because the ones partial to the slide could be subtly trying to imply to the world that that’s the direction our economy is headed. As we all know, that’s patently untrue. Our economy is zooming into the stratosphere like Apollo 13. If we want the children to be genuine desh bhakts, ones who will grow up to get green cards and learn mridangam via Skype, teach them to never use the slide. They could just climb the steps and stand there. Let’s build taller slides, if that’s what it takes.

2. Eating poha

Talk to the children about what they are eating for lunch. While we have already taken abundant precautions regarding the forbidden meats, there are some toxic vegetarian items, too, mind you. Poha, for instance. We all know poha is not of Indian origin. Yes, Kuchela did offer poha to Lord Krishna, and whatever is in the Mahabharata is the absolute truth (ref: Kangana Ranaut) but that poha is old, traditional, Vedic poha of Dritharashtric origin. Today’s poha is Bangladeshi. It is a no-no.

3. Green crayons

Go through the crayon boxes of the children. Check all the crayons thoroughly. But do keep your eyes peeled for the green ones and the state they are in. If they have been used more than the other colours, ha, you know where these kids belong. Book their tickets immediately. If, on the other hand, the orange one has been used more, make that kid the class monitor.

4. Hey diddle diddle

Are any of the children partial to this rhyme? It seems harmless enough, right? Wrong. Read it:

Hey diddle diddle, the cat and the fiddle / The cow jumped over the moon

The little dog laughed to see such sport / And the dish ran away with the spoon.

Can’t you see the diabolical plot of the British empire in this poem? Can you allow a dog to laugh at our gaumata? And what do they mean, the dish ran away with the spoon? A dish and a spoon are of different faiths. How dare they?

Krishna Shastri Devulapalli is a satirist. He has written four books and edited an anthology.

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 11:42:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/catch-em-young/article30820249.ece

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