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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2042

Sycophancy Is God’s Gift To India

By Atul Cowshish - Syndicate Features

If ever there was any doubt that sycophancy trumps everything else in Indian politics, it should have been removed when one of the top leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, Venkaiah Naidu, repeated what he had first said in August last year: The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, is a ‘God’s gift to India’. For good measure Naidu, a former BJP president, had added that the 21st century ‘God’s gift to India’ was also a ‘Messiah’.

One does not know if the Congress party is upset or relieved that Naidu’s description of Modi will relegate the statement attributed to late Dev Kant Barooah—‘Indira is India and India is Indira’—to a lesser position. But the Grand Old Party (GOP) may not have much to worry really because the humourists continue to enjoy lampooning the mother and the son duo at the helm of the party. The two will have to live with the fact that as ‘foreigners’ they cannot be bracketed with the pantheon of the Indian divinity.

The good man that Naidu is, he had also declared that the external affairs minister, Sushma Swaraj, is our ‘national asset’. He has not amended his statement he had made last August but perhaps he just might because since that time his government has shown more interest in declaring the cow as the foremost ‘national asset’.

To ensure its higher status it might be more appropriate to call the cow the Rashtra Mata (mother of the nation), instead of the traditional ‘Gow Mata’ (Mother Cow). By eliminating the word ‘Mata’ (regarded as synonym for Goddess), the ruling party might be able to receive acceptance from the minorities.

Soon, Naidu should be declaring that blessed with a combination of a ‘God’s gift’ and a ‘Messiah’ the embarrassing wait for the promised ‘Achche Din’ in India is about to end. Surely, it will be quickly followed by a retraction from the current BJP president, Amit Shah, who had described ‘Achche Din’ as a ‘Jumla’ (catch phrase) used during the last Lok Sabha poll.

Remember Naidu’s reiteration of Modi as a ‘God’s gift’ came close on the heels of a claim by a BJP minister, Kiren Rijiju, that the ascent of Modi to power was predicted by the famous French seer Nostradamus way back in 1555 who also said nearly 500 years ago that the Modi era will last till 2026. This quote from Nostradamus, however, may not go down well with the army of Modi followers who believe that he is here to rule the country for life, which surely means much beyond 2016.

One does not know if Nostradamus had indeed foreseen the rise of Modi in India, but one of his more famous forecasts, the end of the world, seems to have gone wrong. Since the present-set of rulers and the legion of ‘Modi Bhakts’ (followers) are either ignorant or not comfortable quoting foreign soothsayers and scholars when they can draw from a rich indigenous crop by delving into mythologies and epics, it is better to forget Nostradamus and his crystal gazing which Rijiju had unveiled. As any BJP leader worth his salt will tell you it is a ‘non-issue’. That is true because Modi said nothing about it on his Twitter account.

‘Good governance’ and ‘development’ are handy slogans for the masters of our destiny and they are indispensable at the time of poll campaigns. These slogans get noticed in bold headlines and eulogizing pieces in the media but somehow fail to be noticed by the more patriotic and nationalistic elements, who are doing their best to put a religious stamp on the agenda of the present ruling dispensation. God may forgive them for they know not that they are thus actually diverting attention from the mission of the Messiah.

If singing paeans to their leaders is an ancient Indian tradition it has received a fresh impetus now. It has become almost ubiquitous in our politics. It comes in different forms with catchy phrases and physical gestures of lying prostrate at the feet of their leader in full public view.

An MLA of a regional political party, All India Anna DMK, (AIADMK), was sacked the other day when he said that carrying the picture of the leader in shirt pockets and lying prostrate before the photograph of the leader was the only work expected of the members of the party.

Venkaiah Naidu has, however, raised the bar of ‘praise’ for the party leader by hailing Modi as a gift from God to the people of India. Till now we had to be content with Modi’s elevation as a national leader of the same class as Gandhi and Patel. Nehru’s name was kept out because in Modi’s India we are being told that he was India’s biggest curse who steered India to baleful ideas like rationality, cultivating the scientific spirit and liberal thinking.

Atheists and critics will do well to remember Naidu’s words for where will India be heading without a divine gift to the nation. This gift to Indians has a lot of catching up though to restore the ‘Hindu Rashtra’, to its ancient glory—the land of milk and honey. Of utmost priority is the job of making full-throated shouts of ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ mandatory for all citizens. It will be enforced more strictly than the rule that requires citizens to stand to attention when the national anthem is sung. This is not withstanding the advisory from Mohan Bhagwat, the RSS Saranghchalak, “Don’t force anyone to say ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ slogan”.

Of course there is a raider that the faithful may not like to ignore. “We have to create so great an India that people will themselves say Bharat Mata ki Jai”, he was quoted as saying in a statement issued after he addressed a closed door meeting of Sangh affiliates in Lucknow on Mar 28.

Bhagwat-Speak is another assurance, if we want one more, that under Modi’s rule, India will become a superpower. The ‘anti-nationals’, particularly the youth, who are in the habit of creating hurdles in the way of the country’s march will be facing more stringent laws that will define patriotism and sedition. The new textbooks under print will tell our youth that India slipped into backwardness not only because of rule by ‘Malechchs’, the Muslim and Christian rulers, but also the succession of ‘pseudo-secular’ leaders who followed in the wake of partition of the country.

As a result we lost the arts and science heritage of this ancient land and instead wasted our time on the likes of Aristotle, Newton and Shakespeare not even knowing the names—till today—of the ancient pioneers in such varied fields as plastic surgery and aviation.

- Asian Tribune -

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