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Home > 2024 > Building a Superman Image To Fool The People | J P Gadkari

Mainstream, VOL 62 No 11, March 16, 2024

Building a Superman Image To Fool The People | J P Gadkari

Friday 15 March 2024, by J P Gadkari


If one has to build his own image, he or she has to work very hard, have resources and also need to indulge in some kind of gimmicks if necessary. For an ordinary citizen it takes many years of hard labour even if he has some extraordinary talents and resources. But if you are a powerful politician and if you have total control of State power in your hands and all the resources readily available to you, it takes very little time and efforts to achieve it even if you have no talents to build up a very popular image.

Look at our Prime Minister Narendra Modi who built a most popular image for himself during a very short period of less than ten years, using all the unlimited resources and the enormous State power at his command. Ofcourse, nobody can deny that he has an extraordinary talent for very effectively and efficiently communicating and conveying his views convincingly to people. He has also the knack of twisting and manipulating the facts and make them sound true. He also has a capacity to effectively exploit the religious faiths and beliefs of people. He also displays bravado to indulge in stage-managed stunts and try to prove that he has some supernatural or divine powers which others do not possess.

Take for instance his latest, officially managed, stunt of scuba diving at the so-called site of ancient submerged city of Dwarka at the Gujarat coast that is supposed to house the last resting place of Lord Krishna and later boasting that he had the "very divine experience" after having spent moments in prayer underwater. During his "divine experiment", he was ofcourse held by Navy divers tied to a marine seat performing the feat. He also claimed "it was faith more than courage" because of which he could do it. This stunt was displayed by media that added to his divine image which is assiduously being built in recent times by his blind believers who have gone to the extreme limit of describing him as "incarnation of Lord Vishnu", the 11th Avatar.

Mr Modi is so obsessed in building his own image that at a recent event where he was addressing his own party workers, they wanted to put a huge garland around him. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and party president Mr J P Nadda were both standing by his side. When the big garland was brought, the workers first tried to cover all three into the garland but suddenly on a sign from somewhere, both Singh and Nadda were asked to move aside and the garland was put around Mr Modi only.. All this was seen on live TV coverage. Mr Modi could have allowed the other two important leaders to be inside the garland but he allowed them to be moved out and then came forward to be seen alone in the garland.

Even more obvious and brazen was the spectacular show at the recent consecration ceremony at the Ram temple on 22nd January 2024 in Ayodhya. For practically during the entire more than one-hour ceremony the camera was focused only on Mr Modi. With a long walk on the red carpet with the sacred offerings held in his hands, dressed in silk dhoti and kurta, to the steps of the newly half-built mandir and again a long walk to the ’Garbha Griha’ where Ram Lalla’s black stone image was installed, it was only Modi, Modi and Modi again all the way. Even at the entire pooja ceremony the camera was hovering on Modi alone and occasionally on Ram Lalla image or RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, U P Chief Minister Yogi Aditya Nath or the UP Governor who were present there along with Mr Modi.

It is understood that a last-minute directive was given from PMO that none of the Cabinet Ministers of the Modi Govt should be present at the ceremony in Ayodhya including Home Minister Amit Shah or Party President J P Nadda though earlier the plan was that the entire Govt Ministers were to be present there. The reason behind this decision was obvious, to concentrate on Modi alone. The farce of inviting the BJP stalwarts L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi and then telling them not to come on "health" grounds is already well known to be repeated here.

This massive public spectacle was the culmination of this image-building exercise as probably Mr Modi himself felt that the efforts made so far are not enough and something more effective will have to be added. As he is a master strategist, Modi chose the perfect timing for the Ram Temple inauguration ceremony so maximum advantage of the euphoria created by the opening of the temple could be taken coinciding with the announcement of the schedule of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

As the elections are drawing nearer, this unabashed effort to boost Modi’s image by his party, PMO and by himself are growing by leaps and bounds. Many exaggerations, manipulated statistics, historical untruths, disinformation, false promises and outright lies are systematically being spread through the mainstream media which has already been completely bought over and at a great cost by spending huge amounts of public money through social media and through advertisements by spending thousand of crores of Govt money day in and day out.

The latest in the manipulated statistics is the claim that 25 crores of people have been pulled out of the Below Poverty Line (BPL) category without explaining the logic behind the distribution of five kg of free ration per month being distributed to 80 crores of people in the country. There are many other such samples and the solution for every future or present problem is MODI KI GUARANTEE, as if Modi or his SARKAR is going to be eternally there! And the most shameless of all is that most of them are being mouthed by innocent children in these scripts written by the advertisers.

All this is of course being done with an eye on promoting the prospects of the ruling BJP winning the forthcoming elections and annoiting Modi as Prime Minister for the third term. There is a definite strategy behind the slogan "Aab ki bar Char sou par" which has been reframed by Mr Modi by splitting it into "BJP 370 and rest to NDA Parties". Though ’BJP 370’ is being used to compare it with the now abrogated Article 370 in J & K, in reality, it is being voiced to enable the BJP to replace the present Constitution. The BJP requires a majority of its own of minimum 362 Members in Lok Sabha to do it. So it’s a political camouflage of 370 seats for BJP in order to hide the real intention.

Mr Modi has undertaken this mission of systematic image building based on these falsehoods, misinformation, manipulations and total lies to emerge as one of the most popular and unchallenged leaders in contemporary politics and it must be admitted that he has succeeded to a great extent in his endeavour to fool a majority of the people. He succeeded in this because of the utter failure of the Opposition to pose a formidable challenge to him. Apart from this, Modi has used every dirty trick in politics to break the back of the Opposition including using enormous money power which was provided to him by his monopoly capitalist friends, the Adanis and Ambanis, who actually rule the roost in today’s governance structure.

The Lok Sabha elections of 2024 probably provide the last opportunity to tear off this divine mask of Modi and expose the real ugly face behind it before it is too late.

February 28, 2024

(Author: J P Gadkari is a veteran Indian journalist)

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