I had never imagined that this would ever happen in India.But life is full of improbabilities and we are becoming wiser with every new revelation.
I am talking about the personality cult that is being created around Narenda Modi in India, a land as full of diversities as of contradictions and thoughts.
Eve since Modi secured a majority for the Bharatiya Janata Party in the 2014 elections to the Lok Sabha (incidentally this is not the biggest majority for a single party in Lok Sabha) he appears the man for all seasons. Whether it is his Swatchta Abhiyan in India or his visits to the US or Japan, Modi has the last word.As if no one before or after him was capable of doing what he has achieved single handedly.
Building one’ s own line longer to show the other down is a positive development which should be encouraged and welcomed. Initially every one including his political opponents,and there are many, thought that a new Modi had emerged on the horizon,secure and capable of taking every section of people along with his magnanimity and statesmanship.
This was widening his circle of admirers from RSS pracharaks and his ministers to the common man on the street.Secretly his political opponents had started wondering how they would be effectively able to challenge his hegemony which was only going from strength to strength after the conquest of Haryana and Maharashtra.
But some of his recent decisions have showed up chinks of insecurity in his seemingly invincible armour. In particular,his behaviour towards the legacy of the Nehru family has started irking a large section of the population of the country which had been fed up on the charms of the family whose contribution can never be wiped out from their memory.
Many of us who have seen the emergency thought that India would never see a personality cult again after watching the ‘Indira is India’ slogan turned out to the biggest joke of our times.Even she had learnt her lessons after the intoxication of unfettered and unlimited power during the emergency led to her downfall.
Today Modi and his supporters are trying to create a cult around Modi that reminds old-timers of the revolution that brought Mao in China.Some traits of this were visible immediately after he took oath.His ministers, including the former party president Rajnath Singh were not allowed to appoint their own secretaries and his council of ministers was instructed to avoid the media.That order has not been amended so far.
The latest is appeal of Arvind Kejriwal, who threatened to defeat him in Varanasi only five months back, to Modi to constitute an SIT to investigate the 1984 riots!
Once his rivals in BJP and outside had been shown their place Modi started systematically decimating his perceived enemies by rewriting history-something that had never been done by the Congress so ruthlessly.
The toning down of the contribution of Nehru was only the beginning.Ignoring the death anniversary of Indira Gandhi who was hailed by the first NDA Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee as Durga in 1971 proves that Modi will never be able to match his statesmanship.
As a commentator wrote,Modi’s deliberate belittling of the contribution of Indira Gandhi,who was known as the only man in a cabinet of women for her bold methods of governance shows a streak of jealousy and a secret wish that history would remember him in the same way that it did her memory.
But their is a huge difference between the two. Indira Gandhi depended on her own instincts for survival to fight back her political opponents. Unfortunately, we cannot say the same for Modi who is totally dependent on the RSS to fight his political battles!
By: Amitabh Srivastava