Will the real Narendra Modi please stand up?
I am making this clarion call because things have been pretty fuzzy lately. Everything just gets washed away like footprints in the sand. Even our honourable PM seems to be taking a beach holiday and all his footprints, which were once set in stone, are getting washed away.
Consider this:“I need 50 days of your hard earned time. I am turning your money into Humpty Dumpty. And after that, what the king’s horses and men could not do, I will: put Humpty Dumpty together again.”
Now, did Narendra Modi put Humpty Dumpty together again? Nobody really knows,but for the most part Humpty Dumpty (aka the economy)is a sunny side down fried egg that is all over the place with no cook on the job. But our PM is a smart man. So, he did the next best thing:he said he should not be judged on demonetisation alone.
GST, the PM’s good and simple tax, was next in line. After it turned into a piece of gargantuan complexity,messed up even more by its myopic implementation, the honourable PM said you should not judge him on that either. What the PM seems to have forgotten is that even the longest rope ends.
Now the question is what do we judge him on? Two of his biggest policy decisions have come a cropper because he just does not seem to have a team that has the patience to understand that India is not yet Akhand Bharat. There are as many differences as there are people, and many of these people live in dingy tenements without a WiFi network. This should have been reason enough for the PM to reconsider his valiant fight against black money, which of course turned into a fight against terrorism, which then turned into a fight for a cashless society and which again turned into a fight for a less-cash society. If you indulge me, this is a clear case of quantum politics, where the uncertainty principle plays its part and, hence, you can never correctly measure the PM’s position ever.
Since the time I started paying attention to Modi’s meteoric rise, I have noticed that you cannot be sure of what he really thinks. For instance, he was vehemently against Aadhar and now he wants to link it to everything, including funerals. The Ganges is still dirty and the 15 lakhs are yet to come into our accounts. When he said “nakhaunganakhanedunga”, he clearly did not think of people like Ambani, Adani and Amit Shah’s little boy. You could also throw in stuff like FDI in multi-brand retail, which Modi had once opposed with sincere-sounding rhetoric. Well, that too has been compromised.
Consider MNREGA, which Modi left untouched because he wanted to remind the Congress, in a rather perverse way, of its monumental failure. The funny thing is, it is still delivering the goods.Which means it is no longer a reminder of failure, but a measure of success. Isn’t this inconsistent as well? If he were worth his words, he should have shelved MNREGA as it is now a reminderof the Congress’ success. Clearly, Modi prefers to fly when it comes to stands.
Without getting into the more complex issue of religion (for eg, mandirwahibanayengepar abhitakbanayanahi), it is still safe to ask this question: “Will the real Narendra Modi please stand up?” We might not get an answer because Modi can even put Manmohan Singh to shame when it comes to being silent.
A parameter to judge Modi
I was thinking that maybe the best yardstick to judge Modi would be his ministers and minions. If you use Satyapal Singh (a minister who used to be a police commissioner) to judge Modi, you could safely say that the honourable PM won’t get more than half a star. Here’s the thing: before you walk with your dirty feet into Charles Darwin’s mind, you need to do some work, like in-depth scientific research. You can’t use the anecdotes of your great grandparents and your line of ancestors to counter the observations in the Origin of Species, which is very often mistaken for Oranges and Peaches by those who think science is a fable.
The running joke, after Satyapal Singh said that Darwin is wrong, was this: We have not seen apes turn into humans but we have definitely seen humans turn into apes that the existing apes would be ashamed of. Some even went on to say that finally they have seen humans turn into donkeys.
If Darwin can be pushed over the saffron cliff with such ease, you can broadly judge Modi to be a man of no letters. That is not surprising since Modi himself dissed climate change using an anecdote about grandparents who “feel colder as age catches up”.
So, here is my judgment: the real Modi cannot stand because he is doing yoga all the time,using the people’s emotions as a yoga mat.
(Santanu Borah writes, paints and procrastinates at leisure. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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