Dear 31%, Congratulations for Getting Robbed : An Open Letter To Those Who Voted For Modi


Dear 31%,

Congratulations! So, you have been able to teach those few people celebrating Valentine’s Day a lesson. After all, it has been a practice with you to create mayhem, and this year was no different. Watching your goons go around with saffron bandanas and mufflers, with lathis in their hands chasing after teenagers in love was another feather in your long list of awe-inspiring accomplishments.

Your roll of honour covers myriad, yet diverse, achievements.

Over the last few years, you have got maybe a dozen Muslims killed in full public glare, and possibly another couple of hundred on the quiet. Killing dalits has been just business as usual, you doing your sacred dharma. It is after all religion, according to you.

There have been many tyrants who have decided where people should live, what they should wear, what they should work at or who they should marry. You, probably, are the first worthies who have had a say in what people put on their plates.

You have ensured that many canteens in government and private offices, even hostels, don’t serve non-vegetarian food. You have decided – for others – that they should not eat beef. Even in the privacy of their homes, they have to do it in secrecy and in fear. Bravo. You have fulfilled the campaign promise of your Supreme Leader: neither shall we eat, nor shall we let you eat – beef. At least, he did not say: we shall drink this, and so shall you: cow’s urine. Thank god for that.

You have made sure that, even in this day and age, at least some people are not able to marry who they love. This is the kind of shit that modern India had gradually left behind, over the last half century. Inter-caste marriages and inter-faith marriages had become possible, even acceptable. You have more or less succeeded in pushing us back into pre-history, that you and your kind inhabit. Congratulations!

You have vandalised public buildings, burned down public property and threatened film makers. You garnered cheap publicity for yourselves and extorted money (hafta) for your goons. You have made all of this normal, everyday affairs.

You have bowdlerized history and science books. Look up the word in a dictionary. Okay, ask someone what a dictionary is. Yes, yes, ask one of us. Yes, we will tell you – it is in our interest to educate you.

You have erased the lines between history, science and fairy tales. You don’t care that you have condemned your children to lives of ignorance. You could not give a damn about education, for yourselves or anyone else, even your own children. Maybe, I should feel sorry for your children. But I wont. Ignorance, after all, is your creed. You will kill for it. You will kill anyone who wants an education, that is. You are right, of course. Why should you worry about your children getting educated? You will teach them to live in this world with brute force – the only thing that your Neanderthal minds can understand. Yes, that word is also there in that thing called dictionary.

Yes, dear 31%, your achievements have been numerous, varied and, in some senses, far reaching. It does look like we – who value decency and intelligence – have lost. You have succeeded in accomplishing something truly monumental.

Over the last few years, you have created an atmosphere of discord, of fear, of distrust. We have begun to censor our own speech, we watch our own backs and we are wary of strangers. It does take that wee bit extra time for us to trust anyone and in that raising of our eyebrow, we have lost the battle against you..

Congratulations are really in order. Truly, well deserved.

But hey, what have you won?

Like Javed Akhtar said in one of his poems: they did not even know what they lost. When you won, you lost. This is what is called a pyrrhic victory. Again, for god’s sake, find out what a dictionary is.

So you think you have won? No not really. I don’t think so. You began with a grand agenda of wanting to make India great. Isn’t that exactly what you set out to do? Now, take a good look around. Let us begin with education because that is where you began – with rewriting the syllabus. Today, the education institutions are in shambles, basic education is either exorbitantly expensive in private schools or non-existent in government schools; higher education is a joke, research and innovation continues to be a pipe dream and creating jobs has become synonymous with setting up pakoda stalls. Mumbo-jumbo is considered science; body contortion and levitation is presented as healthcare. The armed forces are demoralised and the banks are showing a loss for the first time in two decades. I could go on and on and on, but I will spare myself the trouble.

But don’t you worry. It is okay. After all you had set out to prove a point in 2014, isnt it? And to prove it again, you will go ahead and do the same thing in 2019. Frankly, 31% it is your call and it would not make things worse than they already are. Yeah, a few more people will die, some more people’s lives and livelihoods will be destroyed. Public property worth a few more crores will be vandalised and a few more goondas will collect protection money by threatening writers, artists and film makers. But so what? You point, whatever that is, will be made, the costs to the country be damned.

So yeah, good luck with that, too.

Then, why am I writing to you today?

Just to check out how you are doing with the loss of Rs 11000 crores that you just gifted away to a scamster to make your silly point. Were you even aware that you were being robbed blind, in broad daylight while you were busy looking up at the sky cheering the hot air balloon that you have set afloat? I would like to believe that you weren’t. And that even YOU are not that stupid to let yourselves be mugged, just because you don’t want to admit that you have made a mistake.

I know I must not be sympathizing with you. But somehow, I do. So, dear 31%, my sympathies on your getting robbed yesterday.

Yours sincerely,


Asma is a once-upon-a-time journalist, a sometimes writer, a constant fighter, and a disobedient dreamer.

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