“Is Boris taking a tuk-tuk this time?”… Comedian recalls Johnson’s last fun trip to India | Comedy

In 2012, he rode a small bike around Mumbai, baffled by everyone but the Indian elite, who love the hip, clumsy Brits. Can this new visit compare the prime minister to Beyoncé?
If you google Boris Johnson while surfing the internet in India, you will see a brilliant YouTube video showing him doing dizzying things on a very small bike on the India Portal in Mumbai. Built during the British Empire to welcome King George V into the country in 1911, it is now a tourist attraction that gathers young lovers, the homeless, pickpockets and photographers trying to scam foreigners. The video was filmed in 2012 when Johnson was mayor of London. The Wanderer watched, bewildered by the suit-clad Brit and pursued by the photographers, who eventually gave up.
It’s a strange way of promoting Anglo-Indian trade, like the Prime Minister of India sitting on a wild elephant in the middle of the Royal Albert Hall and telling the world that India is open for business. The goal is to increase “bilateral deals”. A term no one understands is often accompanied by photographs of British and Indian diplomats sitting at long colonial tables with leather folders and tea, smiling like extras in films from the Raj era. The British seemed to be looking forward to the end of the meeting so they could go and buy tailor-made suits at half price, while the Indians were relieved, probably because whatever they were trying to negotiate was at least independence.
At some point, someone decided that these travels in India should look more interesting. In 2013, former Prime Minister David Cameron played cricket in Mumbai dressed in black as the subject of the Versace biopic. He had some great covers before he was beaten clean by a young woman. In 2016, former Prime Minister Theresa May made headlines when she visited a temple in Bangalore for wearing a traditional sari and performing all her Hindu prayers correctly. In 2017, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan threw a party with Indian billionaires and Bollywood stars, two demographics that are its main constituents as they probably have more central London than Londoners.
When he’s not on his bike, Johnson has enough jokes, charisma and return calls to make visiting him a chore. However, his trading target was more controversial, prompting a Guardian headline: “Boris Johnson continues to confuse when he visits India.”
As an Indian comedian who has spent quite a bit of time in the UK, I know that a significant portion of the British despise Johnson, his name makes them spit, freeze and even faint. This is not how he fails in India. Frequently speaking with the Indian business elite, and this will be re-emphasized on this new visit, he confirms the notion that some older Indians know Brits from the classic BBC comedy: a mix of Yes Mr. Bean’s Basil Fawlty and Jim Hacker. , a prime minister with a proper degree of Oxbridge erudition, sounds reasonable, but far from it. The elite Indian audience loves it: wit, flashy accents, ostentatious vulnerability and compliments disguised as messages.
In 2012 he was very successful. But 10 years is a long time. India now has its own very popular leader, Narendra Modi, a world star with a knack for crowd control in the stadium. From Wembley to New York’s Madison Square Garden, Modi has performed to frenzied crowds. The media analyzed how Modi’s show differs from Beyoncé’s as if it were a serious comparison.
We need more than Mumbai bikes if Johnson wants to keep his footing. Of course there is also our version of Strictly called Dance India Dance. He can ride a tuk tuk (now renamed Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya) around the Prince of Wales Museum in Mumbai. Or he could give an oral presentation at the Taj Mahal about the drunkenness of a Mughal king in the midnight moonlight. The potential is endless.
Mistakes have happened to other world leaders as well. US President Donald Trump mispronounces the name of India’s greatest cricketer, Sachin Tendulkar, when calling him “Suchin” during a speech at a large stadium in the state of Gujarat. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau landed in such a gorgeous Indian outfit that local media thought he was best man at a Punjabi wedding.
Johnson knows India too well to make such mistakes. He had read enough of Kipling’s books to know that it was no longer fashionable to stop reading Kipling. The problem, however, is that India no longer sees the UK as a great trading partner, but as one of many options. If anything, the UAE, Russia, Israel and the US are closer, probably because they have cash and not bike clips. India has advanced even though its politicians are still sitting in British-built buildings to make policy. Meanwhile, Britan feels like a distraught ex-husband who does not understand how it all ended.
Anuvab Pal’s new Empire special will hit Amazon Prime UK on May 6th as part of Soho Theater Live.

Post time: Sep-26-2022