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A memo from Modi

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi performs yoga on International Yoga Day in Lucknow, India June 21, 2017.

REUTERS/Pawan Kumar

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi is feeling more confident than ever. Despite bungling the initial COVID response, his Hindu nationalist BJP-led government is firmly entrenched in parliament, and India’s role in the global economy is growing stronger. But out on the streets — and in mosques and churches and newsrooms — a revisionist, sometimes violent Hindu majoritarianism, backed by a complicit government, threatens minorities and civil society.

In short, Indian democracy is backsliding, as the country’s famously secular 72-year-old constitution is threatened by its non-secular 72-year-old hardline PM. With organized attacks against Muslims morphing into a wider, jingoist campaign against Christians, dissenters, journalists and others, we uncover a top-secret (and, OK, maybe fictional) draft press release from Modi's office that helps us see what's really on his mind for 2022.


From: The Office of the Prime Minister of India

Dear brothers and sisters (if you’re a transgender “they” or “them”, kindly consult your human rights advocate, and good luck finding a vaccine)...

From Narendra Damodardas Modi Ji’s Yoga Cave, Namaste!

The PM hates frivolous press conferences. He prefers to speak directly to the 1.2 billion people of India (1.4 billion if you count those troublesome Muslim infiltrators). For the rest of you, especially the 40 million Christians whose safety has recently been the subject of unnecessary conjecture, the PM has an important message for 2022.

Let’s begin with priorities.

First, Santa Claus is real. And sadly, he’s a threat to India’s national security — a menace we are managing urgently. Much like those Muslims, who have cunningly seduced our daughters, this Saint Nick fellow is luring the most vulnerable in society into wickedness and diluting the identity of our great nation.

In this election year, we must be strong and righteous.

Like we’ve been in Kashmir. After effectively annexing them and rolling back their autonomy, we must now manage separatist Kashmiris with some brilliant, census-defying electoral remapping. But Santa’s blatant proselytization is simply unacceptable to us — and even though our Constitution guarantees religious freedom — it’s finally time for some reformative religious laws that ensure the inevitable return of our people from the falsehood of non-Hindu faiths.

Thus, as we consolidate our political hold, our message is simple: diversity is overrated. It’s a leftover from colonial times. Don’t change your beliefs — unless you intend to revert to your original faith, Hinduism, the oldest religion on Earth.

Now for some updates from the holidays. We are proud to report that to keep these crusaders under control, dedicated members of our ranks didn’t take any time off and took care of important business: they embarked upon a spree to burn Santa, smashed his pal Jesus’s statue, and even set aflame the Bible, while calling for decisive action against those who have strayed from the right path.

Also, in keeping with the holiday spirit, we sidelined another so-called saint: that overrated Mother Teresa’s charity has been punished for its unrelenting subversion of our state. And other foreign-funded NGOs with liberal tendencies have also been reined in.

There are no saints in India, only sickular souls, as our party likes to refer to them. We’ve already taken care of the bleeding hearts with some high-tech snooping. Now, we are coming for the presstitutes too.

Alas, many of you say you are troubled by these measures. But modernization is not westernization. That is why one of our first moves when elected was to introduce Hindu text books for schools. So what if we allowed the “N-word” to be printed in them? So what if other faiths were not mentioned? Secularism smells of failed Gandhian idealism! It’s time for India to move on.

Let's be true to our national cause and destiny. The days of understated dog-whistling are over. Our momentum must continue. Our message has global appeal! It’s time to teach those liberal Santa fans, agrarian parasites, journalists, comedians, and treacherous cricket fans a lesson.

This will be a year of building and growth. Even though we lost just over five million brothers and sisters to COVID, the highest number in the world, we are confident that omicron won’t be as bad as delta. That’s why super-spreader events, like our election rallies, are going to be just fine.

Finally, our economy is back on track, despite what the naysayers say. Our international hugging campaign is paying off. The Americans, desperate to take on China, are pining for an alliance with us. With Afghanistan and Myanmar blowing up, and Hong Kong and Taiwan edgy, those cowboys need us more than we need them!

Why do you think that even as the Russians lavish us with weapons, and as the whole world is on to our strategy of hedging, Washington doesn’t bother to trigger sanctions? Instead, it adds us to their alliances.

And, let's not forget: their last leader, my good friend Trump, said that he “is a big fan of Hindu”before he said he was a fan of India! Imagine what can happen if he returns in 2024!

Thus, accept the truth. There is no term limit in India. The opposition is in the doldrums. And we are predicted to win upcoming and all-important state elections.

So, even as the weak among you might want to seek asylum and leave, but much like the wealth gap, the vaccination rate, and the caste system, we’re not going anywhere.
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