Turns out the Narendra Modi government met Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leaders some time last week. And boy was this meeting fruitful.
In what seems to be a previously overlooked interpretation of the 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan', the famously right-wing group, along with the Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma and HRD Minister Smriti Irani pledged to remove 'all traces of western culture in India by launching a nationwide movement', The Telegraph reports.
Yes, all traces.
The culture and HRD ministries will propose independent road maps for the culture 'cleansing' procedure, starting with school curricula, moving to art and cinema, science and technology and later, good old libraries, claims the report.
"We will cleanse every area of public discourse that has been westernised and where Indian culture and civilisation need to be restored - be it the history we read or our cultural heritage or our institutes that have been polluted over years," Union culture minister Mahesh Sharma said.
Very well, Mr Sharma. Your noble statement got us thinking of an idyllic India, "virgin", "pure" and completely pollution-free - not from toxic waste or too much CO2, because who cares - but from 'western culture'. Here are some future predictions (completely vetted by a renowned jyotshi).
Since the anti-pollution drive begins here, let's start with abolishing English in schools, shall we?
Disclaimer: The author is deeply sorry for the language in which this is written, but paapi pet ka sawaal.
A for Amrood, B for Balla, C for Cheeku, D for Danda. No wait, we can't teach them A-Z. Scratch that. India doesn't need a fairly universal language that keeps it afloat. If it does, then we can launch plan B - force Hindi on everyone.
If my friends in Chennai and Bengaluru didn't cringe at the Hindi in the disclaimer, they will at this suggestion. But what choice do we have? It's the Prime Minister's chosen tongue and as wonderful as it sounds in Dubai stadiums or at Madison, it is not what most of India speaks. Hell, the PM himself admitted he never knew Hindi before selling chai a couple of days ago.
Language aside, how else does one weed out 'western culture' from the Indian syllabus? One solution would be to remove all those phonies like Edison and Newton from our science texts. Gravity, pooh, we don't need no apples to fall to know about things.
2. Art and Cinema
This is a tricky one. What is original Indian art? Is it the naked, extremely agile, sexual form on that Khajurao wall? Or the deep groves marked by hasty destruction of many such sculptures across India, in order to bring about a certain cultural decorum?
Too deep. Rewind. Before we get into that debate, let's consider the obvious target - Bollywood. Karan Johar must be crying, wondering how Ekta Kapoor (read: Smriti Irani) finally won. For KJo's films, like almost all of Bollywood is shot outside India. Too. Much. Western. Influence.
Short skirts apart, Bollywood is a superb example for what might offend our Ghostbusters Irani, Sharma and the RSS. Get off that plane to Switzerland dear film crew, take a toy train to Shimla.
Quick question: Mr Modi, would this extend to you? *angel face*
3. Science and Technology
Right, so this picks up from we left off at not needing the likes of Newton in our lives anymore. Earlier in January, the 102nd Indian Science Congress had taken place. And boy, did it educate us about what avoiding western influence means.
Dr Harsha Vardhan, the incumbent Minister of Science and Technology, had uttered these words at the Science Congress: "Our scientists discovered the Pythagoras theorem but we very sophisticatedly gave its credit to the Greeks."
But more than Dr Vardhan, our science teachers know best. Mr Kiran Naik, who teaches at the International Indian University in Gujarat, famously said at the meet: "In the Mahabharata, two kings were fighting on Mars when the helmet of one of them fell off. Now, if we Google `Helmet on Mars', you will get a full description with photographic evidence, published by NASA."
So clearly, we have been learning our science and tech all wrong? Entire generations need to re-learn the genius behind Indian discoveries. While we are at it though, I'd like to put it on record that my grand uncle was the real genius behind Apple.
British Council Library No More.
The American Library Goes Back Home Crying.
Just some headlines on the Internet in the future. Western influencers like these (and they organise exchange programmes! How unholy!) will cease to exist.
As for that rare dilapidated college library of yours, expect to not find any literature apart from what Indians have written. Also, maybe NRIs because India pride and serious money?
Students of English Literature, give up. Take up something more relevant. Sanskrit Honours, perhaps?