Hasan Minhaj literally gave PM Modi his report card, with remarks in the latest installment of his Netflix show ‘The Patriot Act’ titled ‘Indian Elections’.
The episode starts with people asking him not to talk of politics, something anyone with a political opinion is told, out of the fear of politicians.
The one big issue that the episode addressed (finally someone did it), was the fact that every Indian Muslim is now automatically seen as a Pakistani spy.
While being funny, he depicted people’s common reactions to Muslims having a political opinion. He called himself ‘ye Muslim ladka’, ‘a Pakistani agent’, then he said he was paid by Qatar and then by Iran.
In fact, what I feel is, if any Indian with liberal/ pseudo-liberal political stance speaks these days, (s)he may be asked to go back to Pakistan.
Much to my delight, Hasan Minhaj addressed a bunch of burning topics:
- Pulwama attack, its retaliation and how the Indian media handled the issue.
- How Kashmir issue is seen as a litmus test to check patriotism.
- Rise of Hindu Nationalism, cow vigilantism, mob lynching and a culture of (Hindu) crowd intimidation.
- Vulnerable minorities (especially Muslims and Dalits).
- RSS and our PM’s affiliation to it.
- He also took a dig at RSS manifesto ‘A Bunch of Thoughts’, which is anti secular to its core.
- Celebration of Indian diversity.
- The fact that PM Modi did not hold a single press conference in his tenure.
- Comparison between Modi and Trump.
- Election manifesto given before elections 2014 and how most of them turned into unfulfilled promises.
- Failure of demonetisation and its effect on farmers.
- UP and its CM, Yogi Adityanath, a Hindu monk.
- Modi’s silence during the Gujarat riots of 2002.
- Modi vs. Rahul Gandhi and the latter hugging the former.
- BJP vs. Congress
- Indian politicians and their criminal records.
- Ailing democracy and its institutions round the world.
What was beautiful was the fact that even after dealing with such grim political issues, the episode wasn’t boring, nor did it seem to be a lecture on political science or current affairs; it was simply funny and refreshing.
I say refreshing because I am tired of Indian media and its rhetoric. We can see which media house is backed by which political party. They show half truths and are politically motivated.
Minhaj attacked BJP for hurting the secular fabric of India and raised issue of hiding economic figures (like revised GDP and unemployment rate) while he also accused the corruption infamous Congress of their 2G scam.
Unlike our newsroom warriors, Minhaj’s view was completely balanced. He was unbiased even after Congresses’ MP, Mr. Shashi Tharoor gave him an interview (I am dying to see the complete interview) and the BJP didn’t even respond to him.
Minhaj also called cricket the nuclear battle between India and Pakistan and showed his dilemma as to which side to take. Something that is completely alright provided our mixed cultural heritage and loyalties.
He rightly pointed that it is indeed the Britishers who are winning by this warfare as they never wanted the Indian subcontinent to be united or powerful, so they left so many unresolved issues for us to fight (like border, territory).
They left the place with a much cleaner image. This is why every time India and Pakistan fights, no one even mentions the Britishers, when they started the mess on the first place.
To sum up, the episode was a wholesome treat. Minhaj talked of all the political issues related to India, with a basic background. So any voter, who was under a rock for the past 5 years, or more, can go through this video to decide whom to vote.
It was better than Trevor Noah’s show because the latter takes a jibe on India out of the blue, without going down the details or giving his viewers a background check.
People might laugh on his jokes on India because of ethnocentrism; because what do they know about us anyway, apart from henna tattoo and goat yoga?
On Hasan Minhaj’s part, the episode shows how deeply he is connected with India, even after living miles away from it. Though he is American by citizenship, all the issues India is facing right now were addressed by him.
I loved how he said ‘we’ every time he referred to the Indians. He seems to be more vigilant than the average Indian citizen right now.
Hasan Mihaj might be trolled and loved by people alike for his bold, patriotic act; but remember, Hasan means nice in Arabic.
Image Credits: Google Images
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