Lord Rama replaces Amitabh Bachchan

Move over, Mr. B. The competition is now really stiff. Nothing compared to the ambassadorship of Uttar Pradesh. In the gubernatorial stakes, the good lord has got mythology, religion and culture all backing him.

Lord Rama is now the official ambassador of Gujarat. According to legend, Hanuman was born in that state. And then these people complain about an Italian being the Congress chief only because she married an Indian. Such proxy glory and relationships are fine to further ends…

Next time you visit Gujarat, even if it is only to meet your favourite trader, eat undhiyo, drink masala chhaas, and then make a quick trip to buy some nice bandhni sarees and souvenir torans, please do the ‘Rama Trail’. These are essentially places important to Hanuman. Read the following carefully:

“It is believed that when Hanuman was flying to Lanka with a mountain from the Himalayan ranges with the Sanjeevani booti to save Laxman, a piece of it fell in Gujarat’s Dangs district at Anjani Parbat,” said State tourism minister Jay Narayan Vyas.

Officials said the Sri Lankan tourism delegation was all set to join hands with Gujarat government to develop a ‘Rama trail’ on the lines of the one existing in Sri Lanka.

Think Tamils 2009. Think Gujarat 2002.

Anything for god, though. So, it is not surprising that the two have got together. Gujarat has added Mahatma Gandhi, for his “mass appeal”, as another ambassador. They will play up his “Hey Rama” last words. What else?

Now, I look forward to a ‘Modi Trail’. Tourists will be taken to various ‘ruins’ and finally end up in a room full of dusty files. The guide will announce, “Ane aa Gujarati asmita chhe”. And this is the self-esteem of Gujarat. Sure.

It is so easy to pass of the danda as a dandiya stick and make it seem like tradition.


  1. I was reading an article in IIMB alumni magazine about branding and a prof from Kellogs pointed out that "MultiBrand" format is similar to Hinduism. there is a God for everything.Supermarkets have Multiple brands to suit a wide range of Customers. Religion Marketing is a very complex Brand Management exercise and religious Leaders are Brand Managers.

    Baba Ramdev doesnt point to Rama or Shiva or Krishna, he points to Yoga.Asa Ram points to Rama and Sree Sree points to Art of Living....

    In Hinduism, Every State , every caste and every sect of people follow different God....and now even more aggresive Brand Managers and .......Brand Ambassadors ...

    Religion is the Next IT for India ...we need to sell what we sell best...If swiss have Choclates and Watches ...we Have Babas and Software Programmers :)

  2. Modi is using this to get ahead.UP should also have Ayodhya tour,we can get all gods from different states to help!!

  3. Hello Farzana,
    I was trying to think how to place you as a thinker.Other than your personality i think i would define you as an Indian critic of India Who is well versed in internet and communications. Besides you are interested in many subjects.

    I only comment on your blog. my views expressed are just comments on your postings.I am not always commenting on that post so you may wonder relevance of my statements.
    I sure love blogging and instant feedback it provides.
    I am re-reading Gandhi's bigraphy and am impressed how he kept in touch with everybody while traveling India.
    In your posts I find that you often criticise hinduism for its flaws and god know it has many.
    India in its search for relevance in the world has to bring education first and foremost to exploding Population.
    America ,even with its many flaws offers a role model to multicultural,multiethnic and multi religious nation of INDIA.
    kul bhushan

  4. Manish:

    Of course, religion is the hottest selling item and our Babas are great at marketing it. Many ashrams run like large corporate houses.

    But a god as an tourist ambassador?


    Oh, Ayodhya is now heritage space, to be protected. But I can imagine how this plan starts to work. Modi has taken away the most important deity...at least in political terms.

  5. Thanks Kul Bhushan:

    It is sheer co-incidence that I put up the new blog which examines 'how I think'. I cannot be put into a stratified area, I am afraid. If at all, then I am an Indian critical of certain issues in my country, as I am of religion - any religion, what passes for morality, what passes for family values, the media...I do not think critiquing is bad, and if it is, then I guess I am that bad.

    As an Indian and a human being I do nto see the United States as a role model at all. There are good aspects in that society, and perhaps the American people, but most certainly not its political policies and vision. And I don't see why we, an older civilisation, needs role models. We need to understand history and grow from that perspective.

    Education and population control are issues we have to deal with. The US cannot teach us that. We need to realise where we are wrong, and unless we keep religion in the personal domain it won't work.

    Am glad you accept that a dialogue is possible...even with disagreements.

  6. Farzana,
    Having lived and studied the America and its systems.One has to admire its constitution.Free and universal education till grade 12.By the way average expenses of this education is ten thousand dollars per year.Education and laws to protect and give opportunities to handy capped people.

    System which takes care of its problems.While Khaddafi and Fidel are still in power America has had 10 president in the meantime.Wisdom of its systems makes up for individual drawbacks while even Russia finds it tough to retire Putin.

    World has many things to learn from older societies but America the experiment in democracy is a wonderful experiment still being explored.Newer democracies can learn from this experiment without doing all the mistakes.Two things come to mind Forming a upper house on similar basis as senate in US.Restricting candidates to represent their residency with local residency requirement.This will eliminate some people running from more than one constituency.

    The US constitution prohibits government to make any laws regrading religion.US government has no power to ban a book.When you read that a book was banned somewhere in America.It is individual library chose to ban it it without any real effect.
    Many times we have not treated our own citizens fairly but all those faults still leaves me hopeful.Finally it is truly an international nation.

    According to Tocqueville In 1835 USA and Russia were similar countries and it is the freedoms of America and character of its people(Not race) is responsible for making a breed of autonomous people.

    kul bhushan


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