ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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medieval royalty. The thrill our people derive from such exhibitions of royal pomp is supposed to constitute the binding cement of national integrity; it is not a vicarious pleasure which they receive from noticing their prime minister and his' family being engaged in living it up, it is much more than that, it is a total identification and merging of sensory perceptions, they feel as if they themselves are living it up. The genre of experience is not qualitatively any different from what stems from the make-believe world of Bombay films: the Bachchans and the Khannas and the Chakravartys are not extraterrestrial beings, they are flesh of our lumpen proletariat's flesh, they represent the summum bonum of achievement the lumpen proletariat always aspire to, the suspension of belief during the two hours the film is exhibited is for them the cosummation of dizziest impulses. A prime minister flaunting the banality of luxury serves an identical function; the display of vulgar pomp and reckless expenditure brings the nation together, it is as if each of us is a part of that luxury, the prime minister and his family are the make-believe sustaining the nation, almost like the security blanket in the Charlie Brown comic strip. The various inconveniences the public are subjected to under the alibi of protecting the nation's more important persons, we will be assured, are of little consequence: deep down, people do not mind the incivilities, they are being imposed upon for the cause of the greater glory of the nation, the important persons represent them; they may be unimportant; but those who represent them are not, the security arrangements are the clincher, and please do not talk like desiccated accountants, costs do not matter at moments when the nation discovers a sense of fulfilment.

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