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Atrangi Bhaiya Ji of Uttar Pradesh

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Anant Chetan
Anant Chetan
An aficionado blogger and an engineer by profession. By qualifications, a Masters in Embedded System Design.

[Disclaimer: This is a satire on the current state of electoral politics/campaigns in UP and not a movie review. Spoiler Alert!]

I recently watched a Hindi movie Atrangi Re. Twenty five minutes into the movie, I realized that there are uncanny similarities between Rinku Suryavanshi, a character played by Sara Ali Khan, in the movie and Bhaiya Ji in his real life. Bhaiya Ji in his real life has been behaving exactly the same way Rinku was behaving in the movie. The more I paid attention to the movie, the more I would find instances where Bhaiya Ji said or did something similar to what Rinku was doing.

Rinku was too young when the biggest tragedy of her life hit her, she saw her parents burn to ashes right in front of her eyes. She kept clapping thinking it was Sajjad(a character played by Akshay Kumar) doing a magic trick as usual. Once she realized what actually happened, it was too late, she couldn’t do anything to stop it from happening. But later to cope with that trauma, she never let Sajjad die in her mind. He lived in her memories. Bhaiya ji had a very similar experience. He was in power when the biggest tragedy of his life hit him, he literally saw all his capital turn into pieces of useless paper when PM Modi announced Demonetization. He kept saying that black money is good for economy, it helps in the time of recession or Modi government should allow at least a week’s time before the rule is applied instead of just four hours. What else could he have said at that moment? He would never say, “let me take care of my cash, I need some time, without cash contesting UP elections in 2017 would be a waste of time.” Would he? Or for that matter would anyone else say he has crores of cash stacked up in his house? He couldn’t do anything to stop DeMo from happening but to cope with this trauma, he never let go power away from him in his mind.

PM Modi inaugurates Kashi Vishwanath Temple Corridor, Bhaiya Ji says it was Samajwadi who did the work and should inaugurate. PM Modi inaugurates Purvanchal Express or Bundelkhand Express, Bhaiya Ji says it was Samajwadi who worked on these and should get the credit. PM Modi inaugurates Kanpur Metro, Bhaiya Ji says the same thing. Ram Temple, Bhaiya ji, the same thing. Bhaiya ji still believes that Samajwadi is still in power in UP, his Sajjad still lives and is as real as Rinku’s.

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In the movie Sajjad magically appears whenever Rinku wants and disappears as easily whenever she wants. Bhaiya ji’s case is also the same. When it is time to inaugurate something, Bhaiya ji’s Samajwadi magically appears but when two thousand meters of Agra-Lucknow Expressway (built between 2015 and 2017) collapses because of the corrupt practices, Bhaiya ji’s Smajawadi disappears, then it is BJPs doing. When government institutions raid black money hoarders, Bhaiya Ji’s Samajwadi magically appears as a political victim, but when the authorities actually find crores and crores of cash, gold and property papers, Samajwadi very conveniently disappears, then P. Jain is BJP. When there is a crisis in the state like Covid, Bhaiya ji’s Samajwadi is no where to be found, but when there is an election, does not matter if it is a local body election or a state election, Bhaiya ji’s Samajwadi magically appears and claim they were the ones who were helping people all that time. There are countless number of such instances in Bhaiya ji’s life, if you just pay attention, you could find them yourself.

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The one difference between Rinku’s life events after her trauma and Bhaiya ji’s life event after his trauma is that Rinku was fortunate to meet some people who actually helped her overcome her trauma. S. Venkatesh Vishwanath Iyer aka Vishu (a character played by Dhanush) and his friend Madhusudhan aka MS (a character played by Ashish Verma) actually tried to fix Rinku’s mental state with all the compassion and medication. However, unfortunately, Bhaiya Ji is still looked at as a laughing stock. No body is willing to understand what he has gone through. Instead of helping him, people are making memes. They say he inaugurated Taj Mahal or he is Toti De Gama who found India; ‘Toti‘ or water tap because he stripped taps, tiles and other things from the walls when he was asked to evict his government bungalow. No body is willing to give him a benefit of doubt that he is not some small time thug who would steal just water taps or wall tiles.

Is this the way to treat somebody who is suffering? Where is your compassion people?

This kind of response is actually making his condition from bad to worse. He has been making weird statements all along. “Google maps can help see how the car was overturned”, “BJP removed one of the two pilot seats from the Rafale Jet”, “PM Modi promoted pakoda because he wanted to promote Dalda/refined oil owned by his friends”, “its a BJP vaccine” as if BJP is a research institute or a pharmaceutical company, or “Piyush Jain was raided by mistake” raided by mistake? A dozen other places were raided along with Piyush Jain; all by mistake? I mean this is the very limit. The man is saying anything. Of course, after all these meaningful, sensible, educated, knowledgeable, well researched, statements the EVM will be hacked in 2022. That would also make logical sense.

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More, importantly, remember, time and tide wait for none and nothing is permanent. As Asaduddin Owaisi very aptly articulated, Yogi and Modi are not going to live for ever, what will you do then? He is actually right, they are not immortal or eternal beings that will live for centuries. Would you like memes be made on your condition then? Just imagine.. my bad, no need to imagine, just remember the times before 2017.

Do I need to write everything here? Don’t you guys read AmarUjala or Dainik Jagran? Just remember how government and the authorities used to make real time memes on your life.

Thank you for reading the article, I hope you liked it, let me know what you think via comments. Please do follow my blog and share it with your friends and family.

By the way, I found the movie Atrangi Re quite interesting. I found it both hilarious and emotional. The comic punches would actually make you laugh. Have a look at the trailer here:

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Anant Chetan
Anant Chetan
An aficionado blogger and an engineer by profession. By qualifications, a Masters in Embedded System Design.
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