Our gora sahib Willy was having his afternoon siesta, following his colonial habits. He was suddenly disturbed by a desperate call from Barfa bee. He picked up the call with an irritated scowl, “Was it so urgent that you chose to break my afternoon siesta?”
“Yes, sahib, trust me or else I wouldn’t dare disturb you!” assured an upset Barfa.
“What happened? Why do you sound so nervous, Barfa?”
“Sir, these upstart Hindutva Sanghans were able to get their book on Urban riots published!”

“Well, I can’t control your bloody entire desi publishing industry?”
“Sir, that exactly is the problem! … you know beneficiaries of your magnificent talents in white washing and air brushing the Mughals, Gooseberry publishers? They have published it! It seems they find this book a big money spinner.”

“What the bull, bigger than me?”
“Oh no sahib, what are you saying! That would be preposterous! But, this is not the first time they have done this. They have been indiscreet enough to provide platform to many of fascist communal bigots to publish their writings since last few years and obviously they are laughing all the way to their banks. You did not pay attention to this, perhaps. The quality of their work was so good that we couldn’t even do
much except attack them vaguely and abuse them…. but sir, this time they have crossed the limits.”

“What the heck!” sighed Willy, willy nilly.
“Sahib, they picked up our wonderful fiction on anti-CAA drama, but they also picked up Sanghans’ book. That would put us in such a bad light! We would not just be exposed, but people would see through their fact and our fiction. This must be stopped, sahib! The comparison between our works will make us a laughing stock, ….well perhaps, except in your western empire.”

“Huh… let me work it out. I am at it”, said the irritated Sahib, who believed that the unwashed natives still need to be taught history lessons. He slammed the phone down.
Just then, his friend, Faqeer gives a ring. “Now what? Isn’t he in US? Why is he up so early?

He murmursand picks up the call, “Yo, Taqeer!” “What yo, Willy! Didn’t you hear about our friends in India?”
“You mean those Sanghans?” “Yes, the same ones. You must do something man”, Faqeer was almost in twisting in his pants. “Its ok, Faqeer. I am at it. Will settle it for good. Don’t worry. Go back to sleep.”
And disconnects.

Willy murmurs to himself, “… Sigh… to carry White man’s burden even now after 73 years! These few natives are raising their heads and writing history from their own knowledge banks!

Really? That’s unthinkable. Weren’t our Brit historians enough to clean out their brains and tell them, they bloody well stay in their servile universe? And now this riots business! See, how Barfa and ..what’s her name .. and that guy … what’s his name.. follow us, whites, so obediently to the F.

Even, those old Commies parrot our British lines so well. I think, we should have burnt down any books left like my dear Mughals when we left. Alas, but they have too much still in their backyards and folk memories. Sigh…. But we must soldier on.”

Willy picked up his monocle and called up his agent in Gooseberry Europe. “What the heck!” Willy bellowed at the agent. Smith, the poor agent, jumped up in his chair, hearing angry almighty Willy. After all, Willy sahib was a big source of income for his company.

Quaking weakly, he asked, “Sir, you seem to be upset.”
“Why not!” asked Willy. “Can’t you control your Indian Gooseberry, they have almost cooked the goose of my disciples in India, … almost made a mince-meat of their entire efforts from the Maheen Bagh days!”

“Well sir, they work on their own. Honestly. They are supposed to make profits from their Indian operations. But, they won’t cross the limits, I can assure you, sir. What happened?”
“Listen, Smith, they have dared to publish two books together – one about facts of Urban riots and other about fiction of anti-CAA Maheen Bagh protests. It’s not taken well, dear. Understand? This must stop. Can’t see our efforts at white washing Mughals and showing us Brits in soft focus simply be washed away by a few ladies who are not supposed to think!

Think and write? That’s unthinkable! These natives… I tell you….Whatever… See stop this foolhardy game immediately. Or I will withdraw from your publication. Understand this clearly.”
“But, sir, this may ruin our Indian friends who run our show there. Those poor guys are doing pretty well!” reasoned a cowering Smith.
“As if I give a damn! One must be ready for a few sacrifices for the supreme interest of Left-Islamist friendship with us Western Liberals. Learn from me. See how I ruined ULF by keeping native thinkers out of the show? I didn’t mind sacrificing that Fest, after-all some other natives were financing it..(chuckles)”

“Got your point sir”, sighed Smith. He would need to talk to the board. It would be a tough call to sacrifice a hen laying golden eggs.
By the evening, everything is put back in order. Off goes the native’s story, faithful colonialists win this round. But, who knew these natives are not going to back out now. They have found spine and mind of their own.

By night the entire Social Media is agog, fiery arguments on both the sides. The colonialists taunt natives how they have been shown their place, not realizing that they have actually dug their own grave deeper.
Many Indian publishers jump in the fray. The story of Willy the nilly is out. Game gets complicated.

The book finds a fresh publisher. Advance orders cross 20000 within 12 hours. Gooseberry may be sacrificial lamb in this game played by the supremacists. By the time Willy wakes up in the morning, he finds that natives are up in rebellion, no amount of shaming works on them. They have put 1857, 1920 and 1946-47 behind them, and are ready for the fight back. Holding his head in his palms, he remembers
how Attlee had to pull back from India. He wonders, whether his time is up too.

This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to living or dead characters or places is purely coincidental.

Image Credit – Google

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