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   Yesterday, I was visiting a friend who... (August 10, 1996)

Yesterday, I was visiting a friend who is a very big member in the BJP. He was siting in his favourite chair, having tea, and looking glum. "What's the matter?" I asked. "Why are you looking so sad when the BJP is about to score in UP?"

"I am worried about our younger generation. What is happening to our yourth! They are being ruined by this cultural invasion," he said.

"You mean this Channel (V)." I said. "Yes, I am also concerned about it, some of the programmes are bordering on the vulgar, nothing like our Bharat Natyam."

"Never mind channel (V)," said my BJP friend. "Youth will be youth, if they want a little fast music, we can't stop them. I am worried about where they are spending their time these days."

"Oh, the pubs, yes, I know," I said. "Nobody under 18 should be allowed in pubs, in fact, nobody of any age should be allowed. Mr. Navalkar was telling me he is going to stop all the pubs. I wish him luck."

"Forget Navalkar, he is doing some good work to preserve out culture, but I am not talking about pubs. If our children want to hang around pubs, let them, in any case, those who go to pubs never drink, so it does not matter. I am talking about the Jehangir Art Gallery. My son spends all his time there."

"Oh, the Jehangir Art Gallery, he must be going to the Samover," I said. "When I was young, I also used to spend all my afternoons sitting at the Samovar and eating Mrs. Khanna's muli parathas."

"I wish it was Samovar, but my son and his friends are going into the art galleries and looking at the paintings," my friend said. "And you know how obscene those paintings are, burting people's religious feelings."

"Yes, some of the paintings, may be," I said.

"When was the last time you went to the Jehangir Art Gallery," the BJP member said. "You should go and take a look, you will be scandalised. That Husain is exhibiting his paintings there all the time, he should stick to Pundole Gallery."

"I must congess I have not seen a Husain painting lately," I said. "Have his standards gone down?"

"Forget his standards, he is not an artist," the BJP member said. "Our sentiments have been deeply hurt by his paintings. The police commissioner should arrest him immediately and get his paintings burnt."

"I know most of his paintings are now worth a fraction of the prices he gets for them, but I did not know they were so bad," I said. "Surprising, because he claims that he learnt to paint from Kajurao."

"Who is this Rao," the BJP member said. "Give me his bio-data, we will have him banned also."

 
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