Lord Vishnu the Saviour was resting in his Sheshashayee mudra when he heard the obsequious “Narayan, Narayan” that heralded the entry of the sage Narada.
“Prabhu, Victory to You, greetings from your humble servant.”
“Come Narada. What troubles have brought you here?”
“No troubles Oh Lord! I am on my way to Kailas and thought I would take your blessings”
“Narada, my good wishes are always with you. Tell me how are things with my favourite people of Jambudvipa?”
“Why are you testing me Lord? You are omnipotent and omniscient. I am just a wanderer.”
“No my friend, you are also my eyes and ears. Tell me.”
A thoughtful expression crossed Narada’s face and then clearing his throat he said, “Your beloved people are not doing well Lord. The majority are becoming poorer by the day and they are also breeding more and more. But there is no cause for worry, the poorer they get the more religious they become and supplicate to you. As for the wicked, the richer they get the more they donate for temples. Heaven is safe with lots of followers and lots of money.”
“They do have a Government, don’t they Narada?”
“Yes Milord, they do. But it is filled with scammers and self-serving rascals.”
“Then in a democracy the solution is very simple. Throw them out in the next election. “
“It is easier said than done Milord. Throwing the present rascals out is only one part of the solution. They have to elect others, and for the last so many elections they are doing it too. Sadly the replacements have been as rapacious as their predecessors, leaving the people disillusioned and disheartened.”
The Lord of the Universe grew pensive. It was evident that the plight of his followers was troubling him. An idea struck him and he said, “Shall I use the ‘Brahmastra’ and kill all the evildoers?”
“It would be great Milord, but if you kill all of them at once there will be a power vacuum and that will create chaos. There will be collateral damage too and even the almighty Americans are facing problems because of this.”
“I must do something Narada. Think harder.”
“Almighty I have an idea.”
“Do tell my friend.”
“Jambudvipa will be having Parliamentary elections soon. Why don’t you participate?”
“You think it is a good idea?”
“Oh yes Prabhu. Who will vote against God? You would be a winner hands down and then Ramrajya will prevail. By Shiva, I have coined a slogan too. How does this sound to you ‘Back to Ramrajya’!”
The Lord thought for a long moment and finally said “You know Narada humans are my trickiest creation. Some of them even have the temerity to say that I am their creation. But the poor really need me. Alright then I will contest the next election.”
Laxmi, who was watching all this with a smile thought it was time for her to say something. “Swami you know I have never interfered in your business. Go to Jambudvipa and take part in the elections. Just promise me this”
“What my love?”
“Promise me you will not perform any miracles or kill anyone in anger.”
“That situation will not arise beloved. I am sure. Narada, here is how we will make the announcement….
Sunday evening found Sheila watching her favourite ‘Saas-bahu’ soap while her husband and son were in the living room going crazy at the heroics of their pyjama clad T20 cricket warriors. Most households of the country were similarly engrossed in their respective television entertainment when the TV screens flickered and went blank. If ever there was a collective howl of petulant protest in the history of Jambudvipa this was it. Its waves even reached heaven where Laxmi was rudely awakened from her beauty sleep. The mouths opened in protest remained open in amazement as Lord Vihnu appeared in every household.
“My beloved faithful, I have been watching your suffering for too long and I have also seen the shabby treatment meted by different governments. Enough is enough. None of the present set of politicians deserves to be in power and must be thrown out. I am here to give you an alternative and have decided to contest the elections myself. We will provide you the government and the governance you crave for. I am sure you have read the Ramayan and know how well I ruled in the Avatar of King Rama. I promise you those days again. Back to Ramrajya.” The TV screens resumed their inane telecasts.
Sheila came out of her trance and immediately opened her smartphone to tweet about what she had just seen. She also made a mental note to write about it on her Facebook page ahead of any of her friends especially that irritating female Devi. The thought of sharing the moment with her husband and son did not occur to her at all. These worthies, to their credit, were engrossed in texting on their respective smartphones. The whole country was abuzz with this news and for the moment silly soaps and meaningless cricket matches were forgotten. Every TV channel was broadcasting this ‘breaking news’ irrespective of the fact whether they were news channels or not. The newspapers took out special editions depicting the moment. Only one topic dominated conversations from North to South, East to West and Bars to brothels, Ramrajya.
Preeti Dhawad, field reporter for Jambu24 was covering an accident when her phone rang. It was her boss Kalyan. “Hey you are our nearest unit to the PM’s residence. I want you there immediately.”
They reached their destination only to find it already crowded and the Prime Minister about to hold a press conference. She was surprised at the alacrity with which the conference was scheduled. “Wow did they get approval from the high command?” she wondered. Her curiosity was sated when the ‘High Command’ seated herself besides the PM. There was the usual rush for questions and the PM raised his hands to quieten the crowd and started reading a prepared statement. “My dear countrymen, today we have witnessed an unprecedented occurrence. We believe that this is a conspiracy of the Saffron party and foreign forces. We have decided to appoint an all party committee to look into how this joke was perpetrated on the people of India. No further comment till their report is received. Thank you.” The whole delegation left the room disregarding the questions and protests of reporters.
A similar crowd had gathered in the office of Saffron Party, the main opposition. The Party spokesman was reading out their reaction. “This is an Italian Job and a joke played upon the religious feelings of the great people of India by the Government and its Italian collaborators. We demand the resignation of the Government immediately, and we have also called for a nationwide ‘bandh’ in protest.” Contrary to the PM, he was ready to take in as many questions as the media could ask but his answer was always the same, ‘it was a government conspiracy with the Italians and the PM should resign.’
Lord Vishnu was watching the television with great interest. “Narada, what do you think of all this?”
“It is only the first day Almighty. We must give them more time to digest it all.”
“Oh yes that we should. We have announced our intentions, but we need 500 plus candidates for the elections.”
“Almighty that is the easiest thing for you. You just have to clone yourself” Then with a wry smile Narada said “you might consider giving yourself local flavour for the states. I hear in land of the Andhras they like to see you in the form of one actor by the name NTR, and in the land of Tamils as MGR.”
The next seven days were very heady and euphoric, both for Lord Vishnu and the people of India. Every poll showed that if elections were held just now God and his party would sweep their way to power. But wait, there were some that were not happy at all. Obviously the political class did not take kindly to God’s intervention.
The PM decided to invite top leaders of all parties to a secret enclave at the exclusive Swami Somdev Ayurvedic Treatment Spa. However he found out that most of them were incarcerated in Tihar Jail for various crimes. Therefore they decided to hold the meeting in Tihar itself. As the agenda was not declared a lot of suspicious looks and ginger handshakes were exchanged. One or two did not come at all fearing this was a Government ploy to get them into prison.
They gathered in a secluded spot where cell phones and electronic equipment were disallowed. The PM began “My dear friends, I have called you all to find a solution to this extraordinary problem. God has announced his candidature and this is a calamity for all of us. If we let things go on the way they are very soon we will all be unemployed. Let us forget our differences and come together for the sake of our people.” There were nods and murmurs of approval.
The leader of the Saffron Party rose to spoke. “Friends, the PM is right for the first time in his life. Politics is our profession and ruling the people is our right. Not even God can deny us, but we have to be careful about this. We cannot oppose God directly but we also have to ensure that He withdraws from the elections.” The other leaders too continued in the same vein and finally a plan was formulated.
The managing editor of Jambu24 was having her morning coffee when her phone rang. She hated being disturbed while enjoying her favourite morning drink but the number the number flashing on the screen was too important to reject.
“Good morning Mr Muckraker Khichdiwala, how are you?”
“I am fine Miss Supercilious Butt. How are you?”
The civility in their greetings was admirable considering that they had almost ripped each other’s clothes during a debate on her program.
“You have been unusually quiet Mr Khichdiwala. What happened? Have you run out of muck?”
“Not at all Miss Butt, in fact now I have material on the biggest of them all, God”.
“Oh my God! God? Did you have Irish coffee so early in the morning?”
“Well you can take it or leave it. Ah hold on a minute please, I have an incoming call from Nina”
At the mention of her hated rival, Ms Butt grimaced and interjected “oh no, no Mr Khichdiwala you are on Prime time today.”
The whole Friday the viewers of Jambu24 were bombarded with the news that Muckraker Khichdiwala was going to expose God. At exactly 7:00 PM Lord Vishnu asked Narada who was watching ‘Real Wives of Beverly Hills’ with great interest to change channels. Reluctantly Narada flicked on Jambu24. “Welcome to Prime Time” the anchor said with a wide smile and introduced Muckraker to the viewers. Muckraker smiled arrogantly at the camera and settled in his seat. “It is indeed a very brave and sensational step that you are taking. God has never been accused by a mere mortal…” The show’s anchor was ready to go on but was apparently cut short by the producer.
“I am only doing my duty Preetiji. God is one of the most corrupt persons in this universe.” Everyone in the audience gasped in horror.
“Mr Muckraker how can you that? Do you have any proof?”
“The proof is there for all to see. Since the birth of humankind we have to pay bribes in one form or the other to appease God or to seek his blessings. The more urgent our demand the more exorbitant is his demand. There are many instances in our scriptures where even human life was demanded as a bribe. In fact God is the very source of corruption in our world because bribing began with him. Our temples are not monuments of faith but of corruption. We may be rich or we may be poor, we HAVE to pay to God through his minions who go by the name of Priests. Temples are built on invaluable land given free of cost and with unaccounted donations from crooks seeking salvation. Huge amounts of gold looted from the people of this country are donated to these temples where they lie forgotten and useless.”
God had joined politics and the professional politicians had set their favourite game of character assassination in motion through their puppets. Every day new allegations were made. Rallies were organised by women who opposed Ramrajya because of the horrid treatment meted out to Sita. The ‘raslila’ of Lord Krishna was portrayed as decadence and orgies by one section of society. Even Lord Shiva was dragged into and accused of killing innocents when he had opened his third eye to kill demons. His pleas of collateral damage were not entertained.
The leftists saw their chance and jumped into the fray accusing God of being a bad administrator and keeping the majority wallowing in poverty. Why accuse the present politicians of doing nothing after just 75 years in power when God had done nothing for the poor and needy for thousands of years.
The fringe elements of the Saffron party accused God of being partial to the Muslims. When asked to substantiate their claim they said that God had given all the petroleum bounty to the Muslims and rewarded the devout Hindus with poor grade coal. The list of accusations piled up and the popularity ratings slipped. There were many instances when Lord Vishnu wished to use his Sudarashan Chakra but was held back by the promise given to Laxmi.
The last straw came when a poll was conducted in the country on a statement made by the PM (drafted by the High Command) that everything had its place and God’s was either in the temples or in Heaven and not in dirty politics. Eighty per cent people voted in favour of that. The dream of Ramrajya was dead. Instead of chanting ‘Back to Ramrajya’ people began saying ‘Our backs to Ramrajya’. Lord Vishnu had learned the hard way “Democracy is dangerous, even for God!”