From Bhajpa to Mojpa! A Four Year Journey
PM Modi is the first and last word in the party
The most interesting comment on the functioning of Narendra Modi’s government in last four years was made last week. If we keep the personality of that gentleman who made this terse comment in mind, this observation will appear interesting and tragic as well.
A few days ago in Indore, journalists asked Murli Manohar Joshi, former union minister and currently a member of ‘Margdarshak Mandal’ of the BJP, “How many marks would you give to Narendra Modi’s government on the basis of its functioning in last four years?”
Pat came the reply, “Marks can be given only when something is written in the answer-sheet.” This reply by Joshi said a lot and left the journalist dumbfounded.
Those who are known as “bhakts” these days will obviously reject this reply as a frustration of an ageing Joshi as they have been rejecting the criticisms by Yashwant Sinha all these years. The mob of bhakts is really the achievement of PM Modi. A leader and even a celebrity, has supporters (and blind supporters too), but not everyone is so fortunate to have such supporters (“bhakts”) who are ready to confront aggressively not only the opponents of their “hero” but even their own family members too.
Modi feels proud of his destiny, his fortune. During the last assembly elections in Delhi, he gave credit to his this for lower prices of petrol. He sought votes on the basis of this, asking why people of Delhi should elect a less fortunate person, if the most fortunate alternative was there. It’s another matter that the voters of Delhi cast their vote without bothering about a less or more fortunate alternative. But it’s really very hard to ignore Modi’s fortune.
This fortune is cultivated. Not only professional advertising agencies have immensely contributed to the image building of Narendra Modi,even larger section of electronic and print media too have acted as an advertising agency in his favour. Instead of posing questions to the government, in this Modi age, the Indian media is engaged in answering questions on behalf of the government. All this devotion is not for the government, it’s for one man – Prime Minister Modi.
If it’s not Modi’s fortune, then why are very few people in the media asking questions even when he is committing such blunders which even a child wouldn’t like to make. He is free to say that Nehru insulted Cariappa and Thimayya, he didn’t visit Bhagat Singh in jail. But instead of raising questions on these baseless allegations, Indian media have spread these falsehoods with utmost loyalty and sincerity. Not only the graduates of the WhatsApp university, even ‘renowned journalists’ felt in awe when Modi started “explaining” the meaning of strength, that too on the basis of a wrong spelling, during the summit with Chinese president Xi Jinping.
Interestingly, some ‘subaltern’ historians, who were earlier advisors of Mayawati and then Rahul Gandhi, compiling the history of Dalit movements and were biographers of Mayawati, too are now impressed with oratory skills of Narendra Modi. They happily say, “Listen to Narendra Modi’s speeches, you will find the idioms of Mahabharata and echo of local languages in them. Mixing with these cultural enunciations, the dreams of new India provide him immense popularity.”
If it’s not PM Modi’s fortune, then why are the “revolutionaries” of identity politics glorifying the fake popularity that has been created by advertising agencies and corporates. The kind of cultural enunciations Narendra Modi’s speeches create, its examples come to fore every now and then. Sometimes he takes Alexander the Great to Bihar and dispatches Shyama Prasad Mukherjee to London to take his last breath.
But there many more fortunes for him. His government has completed four years in office, but the promise of two million jobs every year has now converted into an advice of selling pakodas; 15 lakhs rupees in every citizen’s account has now become a jumla; and smart cities have become a proof of smartness of the governments. The rhetoric of Swadeshi has become an invitation for Walmart, the price of dollar is now competing with the ages of the members of Margdarshak Mandal. The news of mob – lynching now appears as normal. Those, who put their act of a murder on social media, are now treated as “hero”. Still, there are many supporters who are not ready to budge.
Narendra Modi is special also because he is credited to change the character of the BJP. Whatever be the politics of the BJP, its image was of a cadre – based party where an individual was not allowed to grow larger than the organistion. The RSS, controlling authority of the BJP, never differentiated between its leaders to teach them a lesson that no individual is bigger than the organisation. It’s true for the right from Balraj Madhok to Atal Bihari Vajpayee to Uma Bharti and Kalyan Singh.
The supporters (or “Bhakts”) of Narendra Modi can give whatever reaction they like, but the reality is that even the RSS, who propped up Narendra Modi to the hilt, now seems to depend heavily on him. Understanding the restlessness and uneasiness of the likes of Advani, Yashwant Sinha and Murli Manohar Joshi doesn’t mean that a clean chit is being given to them. But this restlessness is very important, not only for the RSS but for the whole political system too. An individual has become larger than the organisation, even the government. He bothers about his corporates friends only. This is really a cause of concern.
Four years ago, during TV debates, I occasionally used to mock the BJP as Mojpa (Modi Janata Party), instead of Bhajpa. It wasof course for the BJP spokesmen to deny it on camera, but some of them used to express their concerns about it outside the studios of TV channels.
Indeed, there are several achievements of Modi’s four years regime and some of them have been explained above. But one of the big achievements of last four years is that the BJP is fast sliding to become Mojpa.