Bend it like Modi

Narendra Modi is officially the new Prime Minister of India. L.K.Advani, who had expressed reservations about his candidature in public, proposed his name. He had no choice. The RSS decides these things, including portfolios.

To cut a very long story short. There is much emotion, as though it has come as a huge surprise. There is much talk about how emotional he got and how humble he was that he touched the steps of Parliament.

Modi addressed a gathering with the words:

“We are sitting here in the temple of democracy. We are not here for any positions, but to fulfill responsibilities.”

Parliament is the seat of democracy and paying obeisance means following the Constitution.

Mr Modi is, of course, quite accustomed to bowing – whether it is before the controversial boy godman Nityanand, or guns during shastra puja, irrelevant in contemporary times, or before Swami Pramukh Maharaj.

He repeated that he was the son of a poor man, and that was the strength of democracy.

“Sarkar vo ho jo gareebon ke liye soche, jo gareebon ki sune, jo gareebon ke liye jiye, nayi sarkar gareebon ke liye samarpit hai.”

Reminiscent of Indira Gandhi’s ‘Garibi Hatao’ slogan, he spoke about a government that thought about the poor, listened to the poor, lived for the poor, and dedicated themselves to the poor. It must be noted that this time’s Parliament comprises of the richest.

Meanwhile...these are not supplicants, but bureaucrats:

© Farzana Versey


  1. FV,

    1. Good to see you taking note of unexpected gestures by Narendra Modi. Your cynicism, for once, sounds natural because you, I observe, have begun to give him the privilege of being treated as just another politician with positive and negetive traits of his own and not condemned summarily like devil incarnate.

    QUOTE: "..Mr Modi is, of course, quite accustomed to bowing.."

    So is that a good thing or bad? Something in between, I guess. Reinforces that he has his weaknesses too.

    3. The parliament does have a surfeit of rich MPs. I am not sure if having an MP who does not know where his/her next meal is coming from will be a good thing for democracy. Unless the said MP is a rebellious wandering ascetic. Tell me, would you have voted for such an MP? Obvious contradictions are not always funny by themselves. Some of us do need to be explained the humour, black or otherwise.

  2. A great blog. For those of us who worry if Modi will become a dime-god, your subtle warning signs are clear.
    For those who expect much from the chai wallah ( as he is being portrayed in rags to riches stories), I remain fearful.
    Continue to keep an eye on him.
    Wonder why the U.S. State Department has him on a visa denial list.

  3. F&F:

    I have never used words like monster, devil etc. Always felt it reduces argument. Modi is like any other politician for me, and not a cult figure. 

    {QUOTE: "..Mr Modi is, of course, quite accustomed to bowing.."

    So is that a good thing or bad? Something in between, I guess. Reinforces that he has his weaknesses too.}

    It is more than weakness. Not like he was at a place of worship, which is his personal choice. Godmen and guns don't work it, and that gesture in Parliament...it was before a huge media contingent. I've said what I wanted to. 

    I was not suggesting that MPs should be ascetics; if that were so they wouldn't be MPs. There are ministers who have acquired wealth after getting into politics, and that is worrying. There are also a large number of them with criminal records. Join the dots. 

    I needn't have to restate that this is my view on MPs of every party. 

    If I knew of an MP with a criminal record, I'd not vote for her/him. There is no dark humour here. 

  4. Tacky:

    The US will grant him the visa; it cannot afford not to anymore. The are many rags-to-riches stories in Indian politics. Few capitalise on it just before the elections. 

    PS: All of us should keep an eye for "good governance"!


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