February 2, 2014, was a red-cheek day in the history of Incredible India. During an action-packed Sunday, a Congress chief minister was slapped by a ‘mentally unstable’ man, while an Aam Aadmi Party MLA got the same treatment from a mentally stable, but very angry woman.
The two slaps united the Congress and the AAP like never before, even though the respective Opposition neither claimed credit nor responsibility in both cases.
The youth who attacked the CM was reportedly depressed as he had no job, unlike those who are depressed despite having jobs. The woman who took the drastic step was upset over the prolonged water crisis in her locality. The latter made it clear that she was in her senses when she unleashed the OTS (one tight slap), proving beyond doubt Kipling’s assertion that “the female of the species is deadlier than the male.”
The slappers had different reasons for their actions, while the ‘slappees’ reacted in contrasting ways. The CM was quick to do a Jesus Christ. No, he didn’t offer the other cheek — that would’ve been politically suicidal — but he did the next best thing: forgiving the sinner for “they know not what they do.” The MLA, on the other hand, termed it a conspiracy hatched by the Opposition to humiliate him, blah blah blah. Whatever may be the truth, the good old slap reasserted itself and hit the headlines really hard.
Having completed a post-doctoral thesis on ‘The significance of the slap in modern Indian history and culture’, I have compiled a list of basic do’s and don’ts. Here they are, dear reader, free of cost:
- Never slap more than one politician in a month, even if the prices as well as corruption go through the roof like the Agni-5 missile. Delhi’s Harvinder Singh was hasty enough to target former minister Sukh Ram and serving minister Sharad Pawar within a week in November 2011. He got his 15 minutes of fame, but was then forgotten in less than five minutes. Had this anti-corruption sensationalist acted patiently and systematically, he might have been a minister in the Kejriwal government today.
- While commenting on a VIP thappad, avoid being sarcastic like Anna Hazare, who quipped, “Sirf ek?”, when told about the Pawar incident. Such sadistic wit can easily make you the next recipient of a slap.
- If you are a Congress supporter, make sure that the party symbol gets firmly imprinted on your rival’s cheek. This might help ‘the hand’ gain the upper hand in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
- If you are slapped, better return the favour on the spot instead of going for an elaborate revenge. Don’t try to imitate Karma’s Doctor Dang, who waged a war on India just because of an ORS (one resounding slap, silly, not oral rehydration salts). Take a cue from militant Jagtar Singh Hawara, who promptly thrashed the guy who tried to thrash him outside a court.
- If you swear by non-violence, keep your hands deep inside your pockets, no matter what the provocation. Resist the temptation of getting physical and let your tongue do all the lashing. Don’t forget that every slap saved is a slap earned.