Millions of Indians have two COVID-19 immunisation certificates. Each document has Narendra Modi’s signature. We must all hear that he has protected us with his compassion and plenty. Due to Ganesh Chaturthi, images of the rotund Hindu god Ganesh are proliferating. Several photographs show Modi. He’s been in the media.
He’s on sarees and book covers. He opens bridges and warships. He inaugurated projects in Bhuj, Kerala, and Mangaluru in a week. He makes all the announcements while those ministers keep quiet. They brag about his excellence when they speak. Always highlight the uniqueness. Kim Jong Un can learn from him.
Nirmala Sitharaman, India’s finance minister, chastised a district collector for not displaying a Narendra Modi flag at a ration shop. She said the federal government pays for most of the rice subsidies, thus Modi should get credit for this ‘success. She couldn’t fathom that this money came from taxpayers. She thought it showed the PM’s kindness.
Narendra Modi is sanctified. Since so many people have Aadhaar cards, he is everywhere, can do anything, and knows everything about you and your life. He’s a wise elder, master strategist, political campaigner, and international statesman who holds sincere dialogues with world leaders (giving homilies to students about examinations). He’s no longer a politician; he’s an übermensch, embodying force and wisdom.
Modi has become a Hindu deity. He’s honoured with temples, but it’s to his credit that he opposed one in Gujarat. How can believers avoid building them in their homes and hearts?
Sitharaman is a fellow devotee, therefore her attack on the collector was expected. She doesn’t care whether the Telangana Rashtra Samithi mocks her or comedians make fun of her passion. She owes her job to Modi.
For the rest of the population, broad coverage is mandatory. They’re continuously inundated with the prime minister’s speech and still and moving images. Previous presidents’ photos have been utilised in adverts previously. On every corner, posters remind voters who their local MPs are and feature the party leader as a symbol of support.
Nobody else has made picture creation so big. Modi and Indira Gandhi have been compared superficially. Even during the Emergency, when party leaders strove to please her and the ‘five-point plan’ was painted on buses, it never reached the heights — or depths? — of what we’re seeing now.
The sheer enormity of the Modi cult has been helped by live television and social media, but it wouldn’t have been feasible without the persona at the centre asking, even demanding, and his loyal followers giving all their resources to it. This is the apex of megalomania, which demands regular fulfilment or it becomes restless, driving a business to please it.
He’s not a typical dictatorial leader. He’s no longer a politician or media figure with a significant fan following; he’s a global cult leader. Dictators may create fear, but not affection. Cultists are loyal to their purpose.
This is blind faith, in which believers are impervious to any questioning of their worship. Both party spokesmen and voters will defend him, praising his triumphs and covering up his errors. Even more, seldom does their admiration require unconditional commitment, yet they often supply it. Given his position, a party operative’s behaviour is reasonable, but how can one explain the lay supporter’s unwillingness to perceive bad economic and other policy attempts? What does it signify when millions of intelligent people start smashing thalis on their leader’s orders?
Every action costs money. The BJP was founded before 1980. RSS was founded about a century ago. Narendra Modi has origins in such organisations, but he’s become much more powerful. He has little use for them as voters like him, not the BJP. His government’s Hindutva policies please him since they’ll help him at the polls.
Despite all that’s gone wrong, his memory is getting contaminated, even if he’s popular (at least according to the images). He wanted to be known for putting America on the path to greatness. High unemployment, inflation, and an economic down spiral cannot be concealed by image creation, but India is groaning beneath him. China occupies Indian territory, which is indisputable.
The Modi cult isn’t likely to change soon, but it’s showing signs of harm. West Bengal and Maharashtra voters have rejected the BJP, a big development. Nitish Kumar looks to have left the Bihar administration. The south hasn’t been taken over and won’t be.
Even the faithful are hurting from reality, and condemning interfaith couples or burning a Muslim family’s home won’t help. Unfortunately, a cult’s invincibility requires work and money. Without control, you can’t employ state resources to your advantage. The BJP is facing increasing opposition. The Modi cult will die off unless something major happens.