Jab an Alleged Journalist met an Alleged Terrorist


India Today screengrab

I stopped watching news channels months ago, and I’m pleased to report that my frown lines have vanished (I look ten years younger) and my blood pressure has dipped to normal.

In case some of you brave people still watch news channels and have seen the infamous India Today interview with alleged terrorist Pragya Thakur (currently out on bail and running for elections on a BJP ticket), I have to tell you firmly that no, I did not take her advice and stroke a cow’s back to get my blood pressure to behave itself!

There was a huge outcry on Twitter after that interview, in which the alleged terrorist also said that she’s living proof that cow urine and panchgavya can cure cancer. In case you’re wondering what on earth panchgavya is, it’s sort of a bhelpuri with five exotic ingredients thrown in: fresh dung, urine, milk, ghee and curd (all cow products). Which perhaps explains why when some folks open their mouths to speak, all you hear is bullshit. Well, cow dung, to be precise. It goes without saying that it was completely irresponsible of India Today to air that part of the interview. I hope cancer patients don’t take her ridiculous advice.

The outrage by rational Indians led India Today to do a show many days later with doctors and oncologists. The panel rubbished the alleged terrorist’s medical claims. RSS spokesperson Desh Ratan Nigam was on the panel too of course (like God, he’s everywhere these days) and as expected, he whined ceaselessly about how mean people are to trash ancient Indian scientific theories. When the doctors told him in no uncertain terms that there is absolutely no research in the world to prove that consumption of cow urine and dung can cure cancer, he whined some more and said that the RSS is working on the research.

After that hue and cry, I decided to watch the interview with the alleged terrorist. I’m kicking myself now for being stupid enough to bother! I saw Pragya Thakur surrounded by many placid cows, but the India Today interviewer, Rahul Kanwal’s bovine placidity beat theirs.

The alleged terrorist and the alleged journalist did many charming things together: they prayed, drank Ganga jal, petted cows, had a cosy chat about how it’s so not fair to call Hindus who deliberately plant bombs and kill people terrorists, marveled at how bovine pee and poo were miraculous cures for every ailment under the sun, sipped tender coconut water and gazed at the sunset like a happy and contented couple.

I was terribly disappointed to note, however, that the alleged terrorist and the alleged journalist did not clink glasses of cow urine and lustily cheer, ‘To your health!’ It would have been so gratifying for viewers to see Kanwal imbibe of the finest in the RSS-BJP cow shed.

Journalists who have no moral compass should make tea on stinky gas extracted from drains and fry pakodas for a living instead, wouldn’t you agree? This would earn Kanwal even more brownie points from the Prime Chowkidar, who thinks frying snacks is the best way to fix India’s unemployment crisis.

And so what if fried food is unhealthy—wash it down with cow urine and all will be well in our universe, no?

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