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Why the Opposition can’t figure out Modi

A paradox of chronology is that how personalities see themselves is not how all the world perceives them.

Published: 19th December 2021 05:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th December 2021 05:34 PM   |  A+A-

Oppositon MPs protest on RS Chairman rejecting revocation of the suspension of 12 Opposition MPs.

Oppositon MPs protest on RS Chairman rejecting revocation of the suspension of 12 Opposition MPs. (Photo | ANI)

A paradox of chronology is that how personalities see themselves is not how all the world perceives them. Hitler projected himself as the redeemer of the Aryan race while the world recognised him as a monster and mass murderer. Churchill saw himself as the defender of democracy while for Indians he was a racist who let millions perish in a famine. In Gandhi’s own eyes, he was the supreme warrior of dharma, 
while for Godse he was a betrayer. Indira Gandhi was a mother—both Durga and Gandhi—while the Emergency exposed the tyrant in her.

And Narendra Modi, what about him?
Nobody has shaped India in their form like Modi, who tapped into its deepest cultural fears to become the avenger of Hindu victimhood. Ram Mandir and the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor are more than vote catchers though they do serve the purpose. After Modi won in 2019 after a vicious, gruelling campaign, he retreated into the Rudra caves near Kedarnath to meditate; a Hindu Prester John who guards an ancient, forgotten morality. Modi sees himself as the manumitter of Hindu revival while for a large section of people he is a ruthless authoritarian who stays mum when Muslims are persecuted on his watch, a dictator who muzzles the media, arm-twists industry and dissenters. This demonisation has brought him international media and political denigration. But does Modi care? He does not, because how he sees himself is not how his antagonists define him.

Modi knows that the people of India have never seen anyone or anything like him. He is a force of Nature that sweeps aside everything standing in its way. A nemesis to foes and a benefactor to followers, he exists in singular solitude, a political metaverse that crafts the reality of the times. The transition from Vikas Purush to Hindu Hriday Samrat is poignant with contradictions—the first mandate was for the former while the second for the latter. In one of his first interviews, Modi defined himself as a Hindu nationalist, the first prime minister to shrug away the flawed secularism of modern India.

Because India has never been secular. It was a martyr of invasions, a caste-ridden salmagundi of religious hostility and cultural confusion, governed by its Westernised elite who lament the end of an era of conscience. Modi is not a patient man. He is in a hurry to outpace history—the Sardar Patel statue, the Central Vista and grand temples are testaments to his will. He and he alone can dominate television screens and newspaper photographs, because he is driving the agenda of Bharat’s renaissance.

He is contemptuous of critics for not understanding his sense of destiny as the next Chandragupta or Rajendra Chola, all of whom erected great temples, palaces, statues and edifices for posterity. Modi has metamorphosed from just ‘samrat’ into the father of a modern Hindu nation. Arch-enemy Rahul Gandhi admitted as much in Jaipur saying that India “is a country of Hindus, not Hindutvadis.” One wonders where this leaves other faiths in the Congress ecosystem.

The road to glory is full of the corpses of dead dreams, deposed rulers, exiled courtiers and devastated populations. Only great monuments are remembered, not the price of their construction. Narendra Modi is the godson of history, anointed by the Hindu gestalt as India’s god-king. The reason his opponents cannot match his mass velocity is that they cannot understand the fact that he sees himself exactly as the majority sees him.

Ravi Shankar

ravi@newindianexpress.com

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Comments(4)

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  • adarsha badrinath

    Pathetic article written with full prejudice. The author sees only the Hindu aspect of Modi. He does not see or does not want to see that Modi has taken up and often successfully pushed through decades old issues which all parties conveniently pushed under the carpet. Examples are OROP
    27 days ago reply
  • G Harindra Kumar

    I simply
    28 days ago reply
  • Rajendran

    Articles is injustice to Modi and shows prejudice & flawed perceptions of the author.
    28 days ago reply
  • G YAGNESWARAN

    After a long time a great article by the author.
    29 days ago reply
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