Home > Archives (2006 on) > 2008 > January 26, 2008 > Modiphobia to Modiphoria

Mainstream, Vol XLVI No 6

Modiphobia to Modiphoria

Saturday 26 January 2008, by Som Benegal

What transformations politics and public life can bring about! And in democracies particularly. Leaders once reviled, jeered at and abused become heroes and icons. Leaders once hero-worshipped end up defamed, defiled and denigrated. Some rare souls have the privilege of being a pendulum swinging from one side to another, and getting away with it!

We have many examples in world history and in our own. Quick-change artists have, of course, met with ridicule for their opportunism and even unprincipled behaviour and melted into obscurity. Others have risen from the dumps.

In the past few weeks we have witnessed the remarkable conversion or change-over not by the regeneration or transfiguration of a person but by the overwhelming popular appreciation of an unhindered, free and fair expression, preceded by a stick-at-nothing campaign reaching to pretty low depths of conduct and speech. And that person was Narendra Modi who wore a coat of many colours—a ruthless communalist who carried out pogroms, a caring democrat who took his people through pride towards a paradise of prosperity. It all depended on how you looked at him.

And now Modiphobia has turned to Modiphoria—an incredible euphoria, from horror to honour. Well might he now swagger but being what he is, expect him to show unexpected humility. “I will be CM and only CM forever!” The broad hint was that he had no ambition higher—not, for instance, to be PM. Well, our history in recent times shows us that a self-proclaimed “poor farmer” has become Prime Minister, a minor Raja has become PM, a small time “Turk” has become PM. Surely Modi stands head and shoulders above them!

But there is a thing called “hubris”—a false sense of self-confidence and assumption that one is indestructible that leads from hubris to debris—the garbage dump. Time alone will tell, what the future is going to be. Modi as PM or only CM.

(Courtesy: Neighbourhood Flash)

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