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(This user-submitted post was edited before publication to avoid glaring spelling and grammatical errors like ‘Spygel u Third class persun even third class of no aporpopriate for u’. The many exclamation marks that succeeded every instance of the words ‘we are not poor’ and the angry-face emojis that preceded it were also removed.)

Hello Mr Spiegel,

This is with reference to your alleged statement calling India and Spain poor countries. I would like to preface my eloquent assertion with two deeply significant questions:
1. Who do you think you are?
2. What’s your problem, man?

The Spanish might be too busy having fun dancing and throwing tomatoes at each other, but that doesn’t mean that their national identity has not been affected by your statement.

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I was in my BMW, ignoring the shabbily dressed lady knocking on the window as my parents taught me to, busy reading an article titled ‘7 Reasons why Honey Singh is the next Bob Dylan’, when I received a notification from Twitter. I don’t know about you Mr Spiegel, but I am a busy man. I don’t have time for facts if they are longer than 140 characters. Twitter is convenient because not only do I get news, I also get immediate validation for my initial reaction to the news, but I digress. I was just crossing Dharavi when I read the tweet that clearly stated that you called me and my country, India, poor. How dare you?

How can you call my India, the country that gave zero to the world, poor? We could’ve kept all the zeroes for ourselves; instead we let everyone put a few in their GDP. How dare you use our zeroes against us?

How dare you call India, a nation under the British imperial rule for two centuries, poor? How dare you call us poor when we literally dumped Rs 3,600 crore in the Arabian Sea to make the exact opposite statement?  Yes, we sacrificed that trifling sum to show China who’s boss in the competitive world of needlessly tall statues. Even Hollywood is grateful to us for announcing the statue, because we gave them their opening shot for Slumdog Millionaire 2.

How naive of you to call India poor! We’re the country that got rid of two denominations of currency overnight and never looked back. We didn’t even question it because it would be unpatriotic to do so. We could have done away with the tax on sanitary napkins too; instead they remain a luxury. If branding a necessity a luxury doesn’t illustrate our affluence, I don’t know what does. We are not poor, Mr Spiegel; if anything, we have too much wealth. Our leaders have become so accustomed to flying business class that they lose their minds and chappals when forced to fly economy with their electorate.

Furthermore, allow me to remind you that our land is blessed with enormous richness of natural resources. We are proud to have the largest reserves of Helium, Polonium, Chromium and Silicon, or HePoCrSi for short.

Lastly, our rich heritage is an unquestionable source of pride and superiority. Even for the sake of argument, if we were poor, you can’t forget the glory of our yesteryears because we’ll keep reminding you. My nation truly exemplifies ‘Unity in Diversity’. We are home to many religions, languages and castes. You might not know about our many castes but you should know that we accommodate all of them, no matter how grudgingly. People complain about discrimination while searching for houses in Mumbai, but I, a Hindu vegetarian straight male, have never experienced any such issue.

That’s why Mr Spiegel, when I finally reached home and was connected to Wi-Fi, I opened the App Store (that’s right, I have an iPhone) and, even though I don’t use Snapdeal myself, I felt patriotic when I purchased your free app only to leave a bad rating. And people made fun of me for deleting Snapdeal? Hello, this is patriotism! There is no room for facts. In fact, I persuaded my domestic help to do the same if she wanted to continue working for me. She didn’t have a cell phone but she assured me that she would do it the day she bought one.

You see, Mr Spiegel, I can’t join politics because our current government is already doing a great job and I don’t go for any drives or campaigns because of my dust allergy; but when it comes to the Internet, I will always be watching you.

Yours sincerely,
Patriotic Indian who protects the honour of his nation anytime, anywhere, provided there’s free Wi-Fi.

Image Credit: Nikhil Mudaliar

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