|#Feku is the hashtag his critics commonly use on SM to refer to Modi|
While the message and the meme up above is on a lighter note, it about sums up this man's message to his cult devotees (sometimes referred to as 'Modi Bhakts' which roughly translates to Modi devotees).
I don't know whether it is sheer naivete or mindless fascism which leads 'Modi Bhakts' to believe (or pretend to believe) and to try & sell the country the idea that a single individual can change for the better and set right whatever may be wrong with the country in a jiffy.
It is even more perplexing when you think that such faith is reposed in an individual who continues to be under a severe cloud for his role in the Gujarat riots despite some pointless temporary reprieve he may have earned from some terrified magistrate in a lower court in his home state. Devotees want everyone else to turn a blind eye to the rather overwhelming clues & links to the contrary, much of it considerably researched & documented. If you really want to get to grips with the bloody details, I recommend reading +Siddharth Varadarajan's well-researched 'Gujarat: The Making of a Tragedy' to start with.
Are we to turn a blind eye to the fact that while he has done some good things in his home state by way of attracting investments & executing some infrastructure projects, there is much that is needed to be done there, as is evident from several indices and the recent RBI reports re: statewise developments. While Gujarat as a state has always been ahead of the curve, this serial fibber (hence the moniker Feku), with the help of some high-powered PR agencies, together with a sustained misinformation campaign, aided & abetted by a compromised, bought-off & paid media has been tom-tomming his 'achievements' for years now to the unsuspecting masses, some of whom are apparently willing to 'buy' anything hardsold to them and are believers in magic wands wielded by cult leaders.
[ Read the recent RBI report assessing development of various Indian states, including Gujarat which blows wide open Modi's carefully crafted hype & untruths about his 'achievements ]
So extensive is the extent of brainwashing of the cult-leader's devotees (Modi Bhakts) that 'minor blips' like some of his closest associates serving long sentences or struggling to extricate themselves legally from their nefarious roles in the Gujarat riots are blithely overlooked. So are outrageous claims like having taken 'Amul' to new heights or having provided security to young, attractive & unsuspecting ladies by snooping & prying on them without so much as a by-your-leave, perhaps because of his obsession with the young lady in question (Modi is said to have abandoned his wife in the early years of his marriage and the lady currently ekes out a living in a village without either expecting or getting any financial assistance from the cult leader, ever. Check out more details here ).
Modi's cabinet has several sheeters and he has strenuously opposed the appointment of a Lokayukta in his home state for years. In his final rush to somehow get to the hot seat any which way, he has been taking in totally tainted people like Yeddyurappa in Bangalore, Karnataka, whom his party leaders were once forced to shun. Recently, one of his party's seniormost leaders came out with a public statement stating that the induction of a certain tainted individual was despite her strong opposition to the very idea.The cracks in the top echelons of the party are already beginning to show.
Corruption continues to thrive in Gujarat and this is borne out not only by independent observers but by several first-hand feedbacks from friends & individuals in the know. Modi would have you believe though that he is 'uncorruptable' apparently as per an endorsement from Wikileaks Julian Assange which Assange completely dismissed recently. Check out the clip below.
Typical of the fakery indulged in by this man, his social media pages / accounts, apparently teeming with millions of followers, have been found to have nearly 95% fakes / inactives by independent data analysis. Also, while social media is all about credible engagements & believable interactions, Modi is not one to engage or interact with anyone. He virtually wets his pants & runs away halfway from interviews or refuses to turn up altogether. His performances during public meetings during which in a nasal singsong tone, he fiercely attacks his political adversaries and boasts about his achievements in Gujarat, come across like some rustic vaudeville show. Check out the clip below to view the interview he walked out of, halfway.
It is not that his chicanery and lies have recently come to light. Almost a year back, I had compiled many of them in a blog piece which can be seen here. Yet, typical of cult devotees, 'Modi Bhakts' tend to go around in circles before possibly lying down and baying wistfully at his image pinned up on their walls.
Without a doubt the last few years have fallen considerably short of the heady growth that India had experienced after the turn of the century. It is also a fact that no leader with national stature and the needed charisma has quite emerged during this period. On the flip side, several regional leaders have grown in stature and have carved out their own niches and areas of strength. In a coalition setup, some of these leaders wield the kind of influence nationally that is not necessarily borne out by the number of M.P.s they have in Parliament.
India is a fledgling democracy which is a long way from coming of age. The standards of politicians have been on a steady downward slide since independence. There are a large number of M.P.s with criminal records in Parliament and despite occasional murmurings about this, nothing much has changed. BJP, the party Modi belongs to, has just announced its nominations for the forthcoming General Elections and the first two lists of candidates announced showed that as many as 40% of the people nominated had criminal charges or records against their names. Some of the regional parties show much higher percentages in this regard. Many cult followers dismiss this offhand because, to them, the cult leader will ascend the throne & wave his magic wand and make all this disappear. Or maybe since the cult leader is widely suspected of having triggered a genocide of sorts, criminal records or charges against one's name are the new normal in India's political scenario.
|A poster showing Modi, Rahul Gandhi & Arvind Kejriwal. The text, read top down, translates to I, We & You.|
India's democracy, creaking at the seams for sometime now, is threatening to split asunder unless a sea change is brought about quickly in the way politics is done in India. The good news though is that this has already taken root and the first twigs and leaves are beginning to spring up and become visible. It would be fascinating to observe whether the people of India nurture this trend & let the sapling grow into a large banyan tree which provides them the shade they so badly desire or whether rabid and fundamentalist cult leaders, together with their singleminded devotees, manage to overturn India's frail democracy and complete its transition to Asia's largest banana republic.
Note: While I find politics generally distasteful, it is also a fact that most Indians are at their most animated and voluble when politics comes up. Much of this piece is due to interactions on Social Media networks with a host of people. I would particularly like to acknowledge several interesting & informative interchanges with the following persons which have helped shape this piece.