|Courtesy The Hindu|
Many civilisations have legends or mythical stories about rulers whose immorality caused disasters such as drought in the kingdom. What such stories sought to underscore was the importance of a good ruler. A ruler (leader) who lacks the qualities that should go with his/her position is sure to bring some calamity or the other on the people.
The calamity need not assume the form of a natural disaster. In fact, it seldom does. Hitler’s concentration camps were no more natural disasters than were the mass disappearances of dissenters during Stalin’s reign. The communal riots that rocked Gujarat in 2002 were not natural reactions to the Godhra incident, much as Narendra Modi would like us to believe.
That’s why Modi’s election to BJP’s parliamentary board is a matter of serious concern. The election of one of Modi’s major accomplices, Amit Shah, as a general secretary throws much light on the direction in which the party is trundling along.
Whether Mohan Bhagwat’s call on the same day for the construction of a “glorious” Ram Mandir at Ayodhya is directly related to the election of Modi and Shah is not perhaps very obvious. But it is more likely to be related. Because a leader always inspires like minds.
If I were an astrologer I’d straightaway predict a communal riot in the country before the next Lok Sabha elections. Because leaders like Modi are destined to bestow disasters upon the land that is condemned to suffer their leadership. And communalism is the Hydra-headed virus that fills Modi’s arsenal.
Modi is acclaimed as a leader who brought development to his state. Two questions arise immediately: (i) is the development as glorious as it is projected to be? and (ii) was it not possible to bring the development without displacing, murdering and/or raping hundreds of people belonging to a particular religious community?
Why does the Modi brand of development have to reek of hatred and blood? Can India afford such riots as the one Modi’s henchmen unleashed in his state?
Another pertinent question is whether these political tricks will yield any more the results desired by the party? Historian and former professor of Jawaharlal Nehru University (Delhi), Harbans Mukhia, writes in today’s Hindu (1 April 2013) [Saffron’s diminishing returns] that the 1991 rath yatra followed by the demolition of the Babri masjid was actually counterproductive for BJP in UP, MP and Rajasthan. Will the people of India now accept the Modi brand of politics is only an elementary question.
The real question is what if Modi becomes the Prime Minister of India. Modi has no ideology. He only has an ambition. Once his ambition is fulfilled when (and if) he ascends the throne of Indraprastha, he may shake hands with the leaders of the religious communities which he let his followers displace, murder and/or rape (though he may not go to the extent of donning their headgears). The most pertinent question will be: what will be the aftertaste that he leaves in the social horizon of the country in spite of all the hypocrisy that he will be capable of displaying on public platforms? Will he be able to wash away the stench of hatred and heal the pain of bereavement? Or will all Indians be forced to wear Modi-masks?