Ranjona Banerji: The Ungrateful Cheetahs

26 May,2023

By Ranjona Banerji


Ranjona BanerjiO yaay! The King Emperor brought in so many cheetahs from Namibia and South Africa. India is blessed! Look, look, he’s waving at the cheetahs. Look, look, the cheetahs are so lucky, because Narendra Modi has brought them to us.

Er, six cheetahs have died since they were brought here.

Shhh. If we in the media are going to mention this at all, we must say that the prime minister “ill-advised”. He never would have done it if he was well-advised. Because we in the media we know that the dearest Prime Minister only follows good advice.

Besides, how dare these ungrateful cheetahs die like this?

After all, how else did he introduce the pink Rs 2000 note and then withdraw it seven years later. He followed the best advice possible – his own. Thus the demonetisation of 86 per cent of Indian currency and introduction of the Rs 2000 note ended corruption, black money, counterfeit currency and terrorism in 1916 according to the Indian mainstream media. Not to forget those nano-chips that could track all the notes so Modi ji knew who was buying what. And now, in 2023, the removal of the Rs2000 note means that corruption, black money and terrorism will end one day. Everywhere such fabulous advice.

Like the esteemed “gold standard” media magnate informed us, Modi has collected threads and connected dots well before the rest of have even distinguished between threads and dots and the spelling differences between collect and connect. Exactly what these threads and dots are the media never tells you. It could be how to wave at a boat or a train. Or it could be how to buy and sell members of some elected body. Collectively, if you connect all these, the media would call them masterstrokes and normal thinking people would call them manipulation.

The extent of the manipulation is undoubtedly masterly. Weeks after violence broke out in Manipur and was masterfully ignored by the media and the Union Government because the Union Government was busy fighting an assembly election in Karnataka, the media now informs us that the estimable Union Minister will visit Manipur on May 29. Shah feels that Manipur “should maintain peace”. A noble sentiment indeed, reminiscent of a Modi aphorism.



What is actually happening in Manipur is in fact what is actually happening with the cheetahs – death and pain because of bad government decisions and actions – but it is grossly unfair to expect the media to discuss that.

The Gesture being louder than the Reality – due apologies to TS Eliot – the current focus is on the inauguration of Parliament and the Sengol which will be presented to the King Emperor on May 28. This is a recreation of the presentation of a Sengol which was made to Jawaharlal Nehru – yes, him, responsible for all India’s woes including the death of all these cheetahs.

What is this ancient sceptre which no one has heard of? The jury’s out on this one. TV is breathlessly hysterical, obviously: religion, pomp, costumes, everything that King Emperor loves.

The Times of India has given us one version, all rah-rah and straight from Modi’s personal advice to himself:


And a completely different version from The Hindu, which is from unmentional sources like history, documents, academia:



The consensus of the clever is that the Union Government, sorry I mean the BJP, is wooing Tamils, who didn’t vote for them.

Sound advice from the sound advisor to the PM, the PM himself, if you believe the media.


Ranjona Banerji is a senior journalist and commentator. She writes on MxMIndia on Tuesdays and Fridays. Her views here are personal.


Post a Comment 
Today's Top Stories