BJP has made a clean sweep of the Chandigarh municipal elections by winning 20 of the 26 seats. Amit Shah has already declared the victory as the people’s approval of the demonetisation. We should not disregard Shah’s declaration as the Hanuman’s natural devotion to his god. In fact, BJP’s sweeping victory is an indication of things to come. The party may end up winning many more elections in the coming months. As many as seven states are going to assembly elections in 2017.
“An economic measure should be, and normally is, judged on the basis of how it benefits the people, and any measure that brings distress to the people is derided for that reason. What we find in the present case however is just the opposite: the more demonetization brings distress to the people, the more it is applauded for its wisdom and courage.” Prof Prabhat Patnaik wrote recently in The Citizen. [emphasis retained from the original]
There is nothing surprising about people accepting their distress voluntarily. They may even ask for more suffering. Provided there is a religious touch to it all.
|Modi as the idol in a temple|
in Gujarat last year
Mr Modi has carefully crafted an image for himself, an image which is that of a Messiah. He is the Messiah in contemporary India for exterminating evil and upholding righteousness. Millions of Indians see Mr Modi as the contemporary avatar of the eternal terminator of evil. Once religion comes in, distress becomes necessary self-sacrifice, a sacred ritual. You can’t get to the Paradise without accepting the self-sacrifice of jihad in Islam. Christianity is explicit about the road to heaven being paved with thorns and pains. Hindu pilgrimages aren’t devoid of suffering and sacrifices.
Sacrifice is accepted as a religious doctrine and necessity when Paradise is the goal. That is why Indians have fallen in love with their distresses spawned by demonetisation. That is also why Mr Modi is likely to remain a hero for many more years.
We should remember how an equation has been created between the suffering of the ordinary citizens with that of the soldiers at the border. Yes, it’s a glorious war we are fighting. That’s the message passed directly into the hearts of the people who are always willing to suffer anything provided there is a Messiah who assures them of the final victory. And in this glorious war against a demoniac enemy, we have to embrace sacrifices such as standing in long queues before ATMs or enduring hunger for days.
When you transmogrify a people into an army of devotees fighting for a god, your victory is assured. People love their gods and the gods' Messiahs.