FOCUSED AGENDA: CRONYISM AND HINDUTVAby Satyabrata Ghosh June 11 2023, 12:00 am Estimated Reading Time: 7 mins, 33 secs
Satyabrata Ghosh surmises the 9-year-old government from the point of view of the citizens yet to experience the fruits of the development that an enslaved media is constantly feeding to them.
In his seminal book, Herbert Marcuse of Frankfurt School described a ‘one-dimensional man’ as someone who is subjected to a new kind of totalitarianism in the form of consumerist and technological capitalism. Back in 1964, amid a different social reality Marcuse coined the words with a sharp comment on an emerging consumerist society where citizens behave “almost like ‘blissful slaves’ willingly obeying a system which is distractedly entertained and numbingly sated.” He argued man is ‘one-dimensional’ as he bears “no trace of conflicts which make him multidimensional and capable of change.”
Almost 60 years later, we witness the tyranny unleashed by a regime, which thrives on ‘enslaving us softly as the economy of our country is fundamentally dictated by crony capitalism. As Narendra Modi’s totalitarian approach of helming India becomes a sorry experience for his voters as well as his opponents, it will be interesting to go back and recount how the man with a singular agenda could capture all imaginations transcending the borders of religion – Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian and the Dalits.
We have not forgotten that Modi began his political journey with the high-voltage movement of Hindutva that Lal Krishna Advani led during the last decade of the twentieth century. We are aware that it was the late Promod Mahajan who drew the roadmap of Advani’s Ram Rathyatra. But what we have overlooked is the fact that it was Narendra Modi, a young member of RSS then who took charge of executing the devastating march from Somnath to Ayodhya.
Though Advani came down from the uncouth van-turned-chariot, Narendra Modi is yet to alight from its heightened seat. He realized, at that point, this would pave his path for glory and it did. Since then, the man had focused on himself and widened his horizon with a saffron lens.
He promised development for his state and then for his country and he knew for sure that the pledges of development would not ensure his place higher up as the master of the ‘blissful slaves’ – the voters. To uplift these voters, he would need to work harder - it was never there in his plan of things. As a petty businessman, his motto was simple – to profit from every venture, by hook or by crook. For him, voters turned ‘blissful slaves’ are only numbers, which either add up or are subtracted. So, instead of their welfare, he devised divisibility of the numbers in terms of religion.
As he was throned as Gujarat’s Chief Minister, his vision of saffronizing the demography was often obstructed by the government protocols that he had to abide by. For him, these were nothing but a hindrance to establishing a totalitarian regime. He learnt to eschew the administrative principles, the history of people in the true sense and the status quo policy of standard operating procedures. All he kept in mind is the sorry fact that the memory of his ‘blissful slaves’ is too short to come in between his indomitable march to attain absolute supremacy. During his tenure as the Chief Minister of Gujarat, he also took a lesson, which he follows assiduously till now. Instead of executing works of progress, it is more sensible to publicize that he is dedicated to making progress happen.
Following his single-point agenda reinforced by his plan of divisibility and decoy in the name of Hinduism, he became the Prime Minister of India in 1914. As he kept stepping up the ladder to acquire maximum power, he never stopped telling his blissful slaves that they all deserve a lot and they have been deprived time and again. None other than he can give them everything they have deserved for so long. Remember his ‘Acche Din’ slogan against the silent and yet dignified campaigns of UPA in 2014?
The beguiling campaign of Modi won the hearts of ‘blissful slaves’ who then believed Modi’s promise of delivering to them a life of dignity. But he knew that he couldn’t be instrumental in changing the social and financial status of his ‘blissful slaves’. Therefore in the past nine years, he concentrated on what he could achieve for the mentor organization, himself and crony traders with whom he is most comfortable since they chant the same words again and again: ‘profit by any means’. It was normal for him to ignore the possibility of a financial debacle and thus declare all of a sudden, the demonetization. This was his attempt to gauge how much of his spell would work on the minds of his ‘blissful slaves’.
In between his entry into New Vista with the ‘Sengol’ in hand, surrounded by the high priests of 21 adheenams from Tamil Nadu, and demonetization, he managed to catapult his ‘blissful slaves’ three times. By abdicating Article 370 in J&K first. Furthermore, he ensured (as things are revealing) a Pakistani attack on the Indian Army’s armoury convoy at Pulwama, so that he could secure his seat by evoking among his ‘blissful slaves’ an adrenalin-strained call for nationalism in 2019! Last, but not the least, we saw his right-hand Shah elaborating a ‘chronology’, which was about to go haywire, when, especially the mothers, daughters and sisters in the country erupted and enraged, garrisoned Shaheen Bagh in Delhi and at almost every corner of India.
COVID-19 came as a blessing for Modi and his profiteering friends. To snub off the anti-agitation movement against CAA and NRC, he took less than a few hours to announce a country-wide lockdown following the anti-China movement in Hongkong. We still await quantitative research to have an idea about how the lockdown saved mankind from the pandemic. However, as the lockdown period was prolonged, we were dazed to see Adani take over the major airports in the country. The vaccine tale, with which the ‘blissful slaves’ keep harping day in and out now, awaits revelation while Modi unhesitatingly leads the bandwagon as the ‘Vishwaguru’.
From the career arc that he has drawn – from Advani’s trusted lieutenant (whom he drove away later from politicking) to his shameful serene adherence to ritualistic practices while inaugurating the New Vista, one thing becomes clear about Modi’s sole perception of ‘democracy’ - he knows the pulse of his ‘blissful slaves’ keenly. He can segregate the sceptics among them who feel embarrassed to claim that he is loyal and still hopes the Vishwaguru will do a miracle to uplift his standard of living. Such sceptics voted for him in 2019, when he aroused nationalism and made them think he needed more time to be in power to do good.
And his sense of doing good defeats these sceptics when we see the abusive BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh comments to the camera, “What’s the point in floating away the medals - they only cost 15-20 rupees. Ask them to dip the money in the water, only then we will understand their plight.”
Makers of such insensibility and moronic remarks are the breeds that Modi has nurtured in his backyard. Putting Shri Ram alone as the ‘commandant’, without Sita or Laxman beside him, helps him assert Hinduism with muscle power rather than a tinge of spirituality. It tries to dominate all affairs without him taking onus. Sakshi Malik and Vinesh Phogat only add to the long list of women. It might have begun with Bilkis Bano, who was gang-raped during the Gujrat Riots and the accused are now scot-free thanks to their ‘good conduct’.
But the big takeaway from the Amar Chitra Katha spectacle-like humdrum emanating from the New Vista on 28th May is a glaring fact. Modi has miserably failed in paving a path for India’s development. When he initialized demonetization he made it clear that he had no idea about economics. His failure to rein in inflation, rate of unemployment and mismanagement during the lockdown period amply proves that he is not interested in the country’s administration. His instrumentality in chucking Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, Mendeleev’s Periodic Table and the history of the Mughal Empire from the Secondary School syllabus also points out that his ‘blissful slaves’ were only happier with his ‘enlightening’ white elephant called ‘Mann ki Baat’.
Though it was apparent earlier, lately the citizens of India are realizing, the hard way, that a megalomaniac can only steer them to doom, which ‘Sanatana’ Hinduism calls ’narak’, or hell.