Bharat Naughty-um! Do you know dance can be a form of protest?

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By: Dr. Aijaz A Baba
Want to shake the government? Just shake a leg, or the hip or whatever one is supposed to shake in a dance! Indeed dance is fast emerging as a potent political protest and the credit for that goes to the pert lady of BJP – Sushma Swaraj. Swaraj’s few dance steps might prove to be what Neil Armstrong claimed his small step on the moon to be; a giant leap (several giant leaps in fact!) for protesters! Now of course such hip-shaking…er…I mean earthshaking events are bound to cause heartburn. That’s why there have been catty comments like ‘BJP is borrowing ideas from the Bollywood’ (in this case the ‘item number’!). But then BJP does have a history of being influenced by the showbiz. After all it was a mythological thriller that launched BJP as a national party.
Anyway it did not take long for the ripples created by Swaraj’s dance to reach Kashmir. There was an emotional moment in the Valley when a famous son at last recognized and acknowledged a famous father’s talent in the aftermath of this event. However at the same time, considering that the Valley is what it is, the recognition of dance as a form of protest was bound to have wide ramifications. Protest being an ugly word in this part of the globe, an immediate if unofficial ban on dance has been announced. Programmes like ‘Dance India Dance’ and ‘Boogie Woogie’ have been taken off the air and to remain prepared for any eventuality reportedly five battalions of paramilitary forces specially trained in Dandiya (in which each dancer carries two sticks) have been rushed to the valley.
Meanwhile in a related development a man was arrested in Lal Chowk for dancing in broad daylight. This man suddenly broke into a frenzied dance near the Ghanta Ghar (Clock Tower). A large number of tourists gathered at the scene and clapped their hands thinking that this must be one of the programs sponsored by the state government to promote tourism. An even larger number of local youth also surrounded the dancing man. Panicked by the frenzied dance the authorities instituted immediate measures. A posse of security forces decked up in riot gear rushed to the spot and grabbed the dancing man. The brave fellow – or at least that is what he looked like under the circumstances – continued to dance valiantly. Up against a vast number of the policemen he was however overpowered within no time and to prevent further dancing protest they trussed him up like a chicken. Even with his mobility severely restricted the fellow continued to thrash about till he was removed from the scene. The assembled youth indulged in hooting and in various subversive variations of pelvic gyrations, hip hop, locking popping, etc. But they could not hold for long against the special forces trained in Dandiya (who expertly used the sticks) and were soon dispersed. All the while the tourists kept clapping their hands and shouting their appreciation for what they still thought was a cultural program arranged by the authorities.
Later in the day it transpired that the dancing fellow had not been dancing at all. During interrogation he revealed that actually a wasp had got into his pants and what had appeared to be a frenzied subversive dance had just been his normal reaction to the incursion and its painful sequel. The dancing-fellow-who-had-not-been-dancing-actually was strip-searched and his statement was found to be true. A dead wasp was indeed found stuck to his brawny red swollen-up left buttock. The matter did not end at that. It turned out that the dancing man’s wife’s cousin’s husband’s brother’s sister-in-law’s niece’s father-in-law had recently contested and won the panchayat elections. This put the whole thing in an entirely different light. An attack on the kin of an upcoming politician was seen as a clear assault on the institution of democracy. More so since it was a panchayat elect whose relative had been targeted this was an attack on the very grassroots of democracy. An eerie resemblance between this horrendous act and the 9/11 episode was clearly evident. And then again the close juxtaposition of a swollen brawny red buttock and the dead wasp was an indication that the Fidayeen were back, for this was a suicide attack if there ever was one!
Documents found on the dead wasp revealed that it was part of a hardcore group that had recently infiltrated from across the border. A red alert has been sounded to nab other members of the group. An identity card found on the wasp revealed that the wasp was one Abu Jahal and its origin was pinpointed to the very Galli in Peshawar (or some say Gujranwalan) where it was said to have come from. This dead wasp solved at least 15 cases that had long been gathering dust. These included attacks on two politicians, an attempted attack on a former militant turned renegade turned pickpocket turned one-man-NGO, a bank robbery and three kidnappings which were all attributed to the now dead wasp (on the basis of the documents found on the wasp.)
The ban on dancing continues in the valley. All eunuchs have been put under house arrest in view of their tendency to break into a dance without warning and their swaying gait, which has been identified as a subtle dance and hence potentially seditious. One Nazir ‘Nazneen’ representing the umbrella organization of various eunuch outfits has condemned this action terming it as unwarranted highhandedness on part of the authorities. In a hurriedly convened press conference he has admitted that dance is a means of protest but he was fast to add that in their case it was a protest against nature. In fact he even suggested that the government should consider the services of eunuchs as interlocutors considering their experience in the area of matchmaking, in which they have been performing miracles in terms of matching up the most mismatched of couples.
As for the rest of the country the dance fever continues. Baba Ramdev has threatened a Tandav and this is no mean threat considering that he does things with his belly that would give bellyache to the best of belly dancers. Inspired by Sushma Swaraj, Malaika Arora (of Munni badnaam hui fame), Katrina (of Sheila ki Jawani fame) and Mallika Sherawat (of even more fame) have joined hands to launch a new political party. It has been named BNP or Bharat Naughty-um Party. They have promised to put their body and soul into politics and vowed to use their dancing prowess to strengthen democracy (dance is after all an aerobic exercise, Mallika Sherawat is believed to have tweeted). There are strong rumors that the BJP is going to challenge the UPA government to a dance competition once the parliamentary session starts…
Hey I have got to conclude this write up because I have to file it before my editor leaves for his dance lesson (you see he too has political aspirations!)! (Truth is mostly unpalatable…but truth cannot be ignored! Here we serve the truth, seasoned with salt and pepper and a dash of sauce (iness!). You can record your burps, belches and indigestion, if any, at [email protected]

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