Nowhere Man Narendra Modi
Narendra Modi is a textbook strongman. He rose to power, seemingly out of nowhere, from the BJP’s fundamentalist fringe in literally seismic circumstances. His USP: being a strong man called to rescue a state in crisis. The year was 2001 and the Bhuj Earthquake at 7.7 on the Richter scale made its devastating impact, killing 20,023, injuring 167,000 and destroying 4 lakh homes. To bolster confidence, BJP quickly replaced their serving CM Keshubhai Patel who was widely considered inept and corrupt. The former RSS Pracharak, and his controversial but regimented Sangh volunteers were in demand in the disaster rescue and rehabilitation effort, catapulting Nowhere Man Narendra Modi into the epicentre of power. However, the economy flagged, and his unimpressive efforts to rebuild were nowhere at the pace required. Hesitant to return to the periphery, Narendra resorted to the time-tested trick of reframing scarcity as rivalry between Ahmedabad’s marginalised and ghettoised Dalit and Muslim communities. A high human price was paid for Modi’s play-acting as the Hindu Hriday Samrat for continued political relevance. The three month 2002 Gujarat Massacre made him persona non grata and resulted in multiple travel bans by foreign governments.
Determined to continue ruling, rehabilitate his image and fire rapid but inequitable growth, Modi invented the Gujarat Model of Development. His government held distress sales of strategic public land and resources for every big corporate willing to open shop in Gujarat, abandoning the free market for crony capitalism. Creating billionaire oligarchs over night by dispossessing Gujaratis, Modi cultivated a collusive coterie of polltime patrons. Voters began to wise up to his Jumla Model of Development. This was first time Modi traded Gujarat’s ailing Vikas (development) for Gaurav (pride).
Again, macro-political conditions were suitably seismic. In an act of political courage, Congress-led UPA 2 became the enactors and willing first casualties of the Right to Information and the increased reportage of corruption by coalition partners that accompanied it for the sake of stemming public sector pilferage. Buoyed by public anger, the rag-tag AAP political startup which grew out of the India Against Corruption movement was upstaged by the better organised BJP in what their PR dubbed the Modi Wave.
Modi’s backers, the beneficiaries of Jumla Jumble Sale of public assets, backed their controversial investment to the hilt. At stake was not just a “Capture the Flag” game to transplant the tricolour’s pluralism with with communalism, but scaling up the Gujarat Model to a nation-wide Clean Out India Campaign. Under paper-thin market-friendliness, the Modi Sarkar has systematically allowed BJP’s bedfellows in Big Business to sieze the private and public sectors.
Changing self-promotion strategies as quickly as his ostentatious clothing, the Pretender immediately picked Benaras over Baroda. Modi discarded the mantle of Gauravshali Gujarati for more expeditious electoral times. To appear the Hindu Hriday Samrat his crimes against humanity will never let him be, Modi declared while Gujarat was his home, Varanasi was his heart and he’d serve as MP of Hinduism’s holiest city.
In reality, Nowhere Man Narendra Modi serves neither his constituency nor country as MP or PM. Despite Varanasi being a mere 800 kilometers by road from 7 Lok Kalyan Marg or a one hour flight away, he has only been to his constituency 13 times, averaging just 3 visits a year. Peaceful protests at Benaras Hindu University took place at Benaras Hindu University on September 21, the day before the Prime Minister’s two day visit, against administrative inaction after a woman student was sexually assaulted. Protestors were brutalised by the police for simply wanting to meet the Modi Sarkar RSS Vice Chancellor appointee Tripathi. The BHU VC was notably a proposer for the PM’s candidature at Varanasi and had unleashed a spate of moral policing against women students. On campus their MP was nowhere to be seen, despite the shocking crackdown making national news. The Beti Bachao Beti Padhao champion’s route was changed citing security. This ensured his commute to more pressing engagements in the city (like inaugurating a handicraft emporium, temple visits, a microfinance bank opening, toilet-building and a visit to an animal fair) did not pass by the university gates into which thousands of lathi-wielding policemen were let through to assault women in their hostels. Narendra Modi MP’s blatant refusal to take action has meant the molesters remain at large. Instead stories of violence and arson have been cooked up to justify the saffronised administration’s encouragement of police violence against their charges, resulting in 1000 peacefully protesting students having FIRs filed against them.
Having kissed Parliament’s steps, the Judas of Democracy appointed all but 4 (Lt.)Governors in India’s 29 states and 7 UTs via preterm resignations and removals, invoked President’s Rule 6 times in non-NDA states and formed 6 minority state governments using allurements. Modi has a negligible parliamentary attendance rate which the House and think tanks do not have the temerity to track citing his exemption as a Minister. PM Modi bypasses legislative processes and has unilaterally passed 31 ordinances on matters not meriting emergency enactment outside session-time. Modi Sarkar-created disasters like demonetisation and punishing GST rates slowing quarterly growth to 3.7% (as per the old scale) seem designed to disrupt livelihoods and maximize human suffering. The Great Leader refuses to rescind these for the sake of driving through facile ideas of the “Greater Good,” which have brought India’s dynamic economy to a dead end.
Iconic Lennon and McCartney’s lyrics aptly describe India’s Tyrannical Trustee:
He’s a real nowhere man
Sitting in his nowhere land
Making all his nowhere plans for nobody