ooking at the elections ahead, the political campaign has begun in a unique way. On Dhanteras, gold and silver bars with the picture of Prime Minister Narendra Modi embossed in it, were being sold at a jewellery shop in Gujarat. The gold bars have already attracted hundreds of customers, claimed the jeweller.
Generally, as per our traditions, Lord Lakshmi and Ganesha are worshipped on every Diwali and Prime Minister Modi is also like God to us, said some of his worshippers. In this bizarre move, the Hindu Gods are replaced with Modi on the occasion of Dhanteras. It is our religious belief that on the day of Dhantrayodashi, Goddess Lakshmi came out from the ocean of milk during the churning of the Sea. Hence, Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped on the day of Trayodashi. According to a popular legend, when the Devas and the Asuras performed the Samudra Manthan (churning of the ocean) for Amrita (the divine nectar of immortality), Dhanvantari (the physician of the Gods and an incarnation of Vishnu) emerged carrying a jar of the elixir on the day of Dhanteras. But that was a story of past, now Modi emerged as the new God for his Bhakts (worshippers).
There is a unique relation between the Bhakts (devotees) and the Bhagwan (God). A Bhakt always pleads to his Bhagwan, “Please ignore my flaws” and the God absolves him of all his sins and wrongdoings. In return, the Bhakt makes an unconditional surrender before his God. He is never supposed to doubt His existence or to question His wisdom. Not only the good things, even if something bad happens by him which is not in the interest of society and the nation at large, he is supposed to accept it as the God’s grace. This is the beauty of the relation between God and his Bhakt. Now, if Interest rate on your savings decreases, if your hard-earned PF is taxed, if global reduction of fuel prices are not passed on to you, if IIT fees are doubled or if bank loans to big corporates are written off, we, the stupid sinners and unholy people start complaining and brooding and fail to see the government’s intent of our welfare hidden in these measures. The Bhakts, on the other hand, who are equally affected as others by such harsh measures, never allow their faith to be shaken or weakened by such issues and continue to believe in the larger scheme of things of their Gods.
There are slurs for supporters of other political parties or political ideologies as well and almost all of them are used by (most) the Modi supporters in debates — the examples include AAPtards, Sickular, Commies, Libtard, Presstitutes, anti-national, and what not. Most of the slurs are in bad taste. For example, take the word “presstitutes”. It somehow seems to imply that being a prostitute is morally wrong. But the slur “Bhakt” is not in bad taste at all.
These Bhakts or the blind followers of Modi are ready to adopt, believe and buy anything to everything in the name of their leader lord. They easily believe BJP IT-cell propaganda without questioning: The so-called ‘bhakts’ easily fall for fake propaganda propagated by the BJP IT cell which is most of the times, diametrically opposite to facts. The propaganda includes fake development claims with fake numbers, showing opposition leaders in a bad light by generating fake news, presenting distorted history by projecting the Hindus as victims, faking nobility in Modi’s character again by distorted facts, exaggeration of the success of the government policies etc. Most of the Modi supporters fall prey to the propaganda and accept it as a fact without questioning or cross-checking. Bhakts, as they are referred to on social media, constitute a wide spectrum of right-wing supporters, who relentlessly champion the cause of their leader, Modi. They have grown into a cult. A cult that doesn’t question their supreme leader and doesn’t allow anyone else to question his deeds, if questioned, then one must be ready to die their death.
An upper middle class, right-wing, social media savvy, educated Hindu disgruntled with systemic failures of successive governments and who believes that India should become a theocratic state like Pakistan, now believes that only their supreme leader can deliver riches to the country. While there are many groups of people that share similar ideas, some of the traits of Bhakts make them unique and funny. Bhakts get agitated and lose their cool very often as they cannot stand criticism of their leader. Sometimes they don’t understand even the praises heaped upon their leader. Bhakts defend their supreme leader tooth and nail and in this process make some very provocative and anti-national statements which bring out their actual intentions. Very often, Bhakts get into verbal duels and end up slinging mud on others. Any individual opposed to their thoughts or views are stereotyped as paid followers of Congress or the Left. They can’t stand the idea that the society is made up of a spectrum of colours and everyone is entitled to their own views. Anyone not agreeing with the ideas of their supreme leader is stereotyped as Presstitute, Pappu etc., some of the terms coined by the veteran Bhakts. They indulge in systematic character assassination of some of the well-respected individuals in the society. Thus, they want to propagate their culture of hatred and push forward the right-wing agenda.
The paradox of their existence is that they are destroying the great Indian story of tolerance and amalgamation of thoughts/ideas while claiming that they represent the same. The Bhakts claim to be nationalists, the definition of which is narrowed down to suit the right-wing needs.
There are people who support Modi for his actions. They do praise him for his good decisions and criticise him when he is wrong. Many of them support his actions and not the political ideology, which he follows. They have no issue when someone has a different viewpoint. They are supporters but not Bhakts. Bhakts are those who replaced Modi with deities and the old-fashioned terms like Rama, Lakshmi as the Gods are forgotten — now it’s only Modi.
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(This is the first part of the Editorial and the latter part will continue tomorrow.)