It is a well known fact that war and propaganda are intertwined. Calling out propaganda is a skill that few have, and those who can do this in a satirical manner are rare. A Chandigarh based writer has penned a hard hitting satire around the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

In his short and crisp work titled 'The Mad Mad Mad West – A Satire on Uncle Sam's War on Russia', Manu Kant has also thrown a sharp focus on India's stand regarding the war. The book makes a delightful reading, particularly for those who are in know of the geo-politics.

Manu Kant was a student at the prestigious Lomonosov Moscow State University from where he completed a course in TV journalism in 1993. He was a witness to the unravelling of the scenario that came about with the disintegration of the Soviet Union.

He terms the war as Russia's 'defensive special military invasion' of Ukraine to safeguard the integrity of its statehood against the US led drive to encircle Russia by establishing a NATO nuclear base in Ukraine. "Thus it is a US led war on Russia rather than Russia's war on the West or Ukraine," he writes in the author's note.

The satirical pieces included in the book are based on one theme: the hysterical and jocular response of the West to Vladimir Putin's defensive war in Ukraine. "That hysterical response includes not only severe economic sanctions against Russia but also a jocular and over the top Western response which includes cancelling Russian culture, language and eminent Russian cultural figures like Fyodor Dostoevsky, etc. One is hard pressed to understand as to how anyone in sane mind can boycott the heavyweights which comprise all humanity," Kant underlines.

According to Kant the West's response has been so 'illogical and crazy' that an institute in the US banned Karl Marx from its curriculum without taking into account that Marx was not Russian but German and the fact that Russia is not a communist country.

The book opens with a reference to a Western media report where Ukraine's deputy chief prosecutor David Sakvarelidze explained being emotional as he was seeing 'European people with blue eyes and blonde hair being killed everyday'. It then refers to another channel's correspondent reporting from Kyiv saying, "This is a relatively civilised, relatively European city where you wouldn't expect that or hope that it is going to happen."

This is followed by the writer saying, "A favourite song that the whites sing to each other: 'Kinna sona tainu rab ne banaya….

(God's made you so beautiful.

I can't take my eyes off you.

God's made you so cute.

Since my heart's fallen for you.

I can't take my eyes off you.)"

Then there is a note under the header 'Strictly for Satirical Purposes' with a deck saying 'Top Secret' and the tagline 'India to Cut off all Diplomatic and Trade Ties with Russia'.

The writer goes on to explain, "A highly secret joint multi-billion dollar Indo-Russia project to be launched soon; The project is to create 'Mir Jafars' (a famous Muslim ruler who with his betrayal allowed the British to establish their post in Bengal or a quisling) to be sent to America as doctors, computer experts, engineers and military experts.

The top secret mission of 'Mir Jafars' would be to undermine the United States from within. 'Mir Jafars' will infiltrate the US military, CIA, FBI, the top echelons of the US Congress etc and thereby try to effectively neutralise the proposed US world dominance as stated by Joe Biden from within."

Then the book goes on to state, "A special committee of leading American and European scientists which includes a few Indian-American scientists also will now decide what truth is and what a fact is.The truth of truth and the fact of fact will now depend if they advance the American/Western interests."

The satire hits the crescendo when it goes on to state the issues that have been decided.

1. Karl Marx and Frederick Engels did not exist. They both are a figment of imagination of the working class invented by it to undermine the capitalist class.

2. Marxism is a schizophrenic theory. Anyone acquainted with the working of the brain of a schizophrenic would know that only a mentally ill person can invent a theory which has tight logic and is unfalsifiable.

3. Lenin likewise is a figment of imagination.

4. The Great October Revolution of 1917 did not take place. Neither the USSR existed.

It goes on to explain the designs of bringing everything from universe, history to science under close scrutiny.

This should ring a bell across the spectrum as what Kant is trying to paint in context of Russia and the West is no different from what authoritative regimes, even those elected democratically, are in the process of doing at many places.

The author has taken a stinging dig on the state of affairs in India as well when he suggests satirically that a major corporate house has been instructed to turn all Indian rivers into gutters to make cheap gas and supply it to Europe.

"Till all rivers are turned into gutters, the gas would be made and supplied to Europe mainly through the river Yamuna. Plants would also be set up in all towns of India which are full of gutters. Later on, when all Indian rivers are turned into gutters then India would surpass even Russia as No.1 gas supplier of the world

"A plant each in Delhi and Agra (near Taj Mahal) through which the dirtiest part of Yamuna runs would initially be set up for gas production," he writes while pointing that by this step India would also become self reliant in gas and also earn hard currency.

According to him the ongoing war will be a major boost to Hollywood also to the virtually extinct James Bond. "Very soon we might even see a James Bond movie where Vladimir Zelensky would be in the role of James Bond.

Hollywood would again have the honour of portraying Russia and Russians in a bad light. No. Not in a bad light. That is too mild. Hollywood would portray Russians as 'barbarians'.

In Vladimir Putin Hollywood has found an excellent cinematic villain," Kant says.

The book has satirical takes on Ukraine's attitude towards Russian ballet with the author suggesting that it might replace it with belly dancing. There is also a take on Ukrainian leadership's understanding of world peace.

At one point it emphatically says under the heading 'Breaking News', "Western scientists going against the orders of Joe have named a new black hole they recently discovered as 'Ukraine'. Its one quality is that it is sucking in the entire Western civilisation along with Poland."

The book is something that one can easily finish in one go without putting it down. It is something that provides a tinge of sarcasm at the state of affairs across the globe, the functioning of the regimes and the manner in which they take the masses for a ride.

(The book has been published by Book Bazooka Publication, India)