Whew! Saved by a whisker! Thank God the authorities had the sense not to allow Priya Pillai, the Greenpeace activist, to board the flight to London. The home ministry has graciously explained the reasons. According to the affidavit they filed in court, Ms Pillai’s dastardly plan was to talk to British parliamentarians about the rights of tribal folks being supposedly trampled on by our kind-hearted corporations. That doesn’t sound very alarming, considering that our well-connected, deep-pocketed companies could easily counter such baseless propaganda.
But then, thankfully, the home ministry alerted us to the extraordinary superpowers Ms Pillai and others of her ilk possess. They said these parliamentarians and other conspirators in the UK, Europe and the US bring out biased reports on human rights abuses that have been “used very recently against Iran, Russia and North Korea, all of which have had serious impact on the growth rates, well-being and happiness of the citizens of these countries”.
Consider North Korea. Here was this blissful workers’ paradise, trying to enhance the well-being of its people by quietly bumping off any busybody who questioned the benevolent rule of Kim Jong Un, when some anti-national dissidents had the temerity to allege human rights abuses there.
Anybody, including our own home minister, who took one look at Kim Jong Un’s pudgy figure and his cute haircut, knew instantly here was a lovable chap incapable of saying boo to a goose. But did the wicked Western powers listen? No sir, they imposed sanctions on the country, based on those cooked-up reports. We can all see the consequences. North Korea now reels under famine, its people are scared and depressed and poor Kim Jong Un has cracked under the strain, which is why he keeps shooting missiles and people alternately. Who’s to blame? The activists, of course, and my sources tell me one of them was Priya Pillai’s relative, called, I believe, Priyang Pillaiyong. Who, I ask you, is behind the steep fall in the price of crude oil that has put the gentle, compassionate ruler of Russia in such a tight spot? You’re absolutely right, it was indeed Priyakovna Pillaiyeva.
Imagine what would have happened if Ms Pillai had been allowed to travel to London. She, with her forked tongue, would have easily convinced the British MPs about all kinds of imaginary problems in our country, such as injustices against Dalits and tribals, female foeticide, exploitation of women and children, child malnutrition, lack of health care, uprooting the poor from their land and other such rubbish. That would have led, as the home ministry has argued, to sanctions against our country. Development would suffer, economic growth would plummet, people would be thrown out of work, the Sensex would plunge, civil strife would follow, brother would turn against brother, enemies would tear our country apart and the nation would descend into chaos, barbarism and nuclear war. As well as lose the cricket World Cup. And all because of one arch-evil-mutant-villainess-with-super-powers.
What a relief they didn’t let her go!
Manas Chakravarty is Consulting Editor, Mint
The views expressed by the author are personal