It took me a moment to realize that Modi was actually sitting in a press conference. Every time I see him on my television, I immediately change the channel because he is usually seen either loud mouthing, rabble-rousing or accusing people and they all become incoherent to me. But yesterday he has left everyone scratching their heads. His twin flame Amit Shah was speaking and taking all the questions, while Modi was either staring at him or staring into eternity. When he spoke it was benignly in a tired, low voice and as is the practice he didn’t take any questions. Then what was he doing there?
Was it a mere coincidence that the press meet was called at the same time Rahul Gandhi was holding one of his own? Media sure seemed to be caught on the wrong foot. News channels had their screens divided to show both at the same time and alternate the sound between the two which clearly meant the Pappu of 2017 has propped himself up to the level bestowed on Modi. Rahul has built up his persona as a calm and animated speaker whereas Modi has always relished being loud, aggressive and egoistic with scant respect for everyone else. Was Modi trying to portray himself as a calm and measured leader in the press meet? If he was then it has come too late and has fallen flat on his own face.
Most importantly he looked forlorn and exhausted. His shoulders were drooping and his face looked pale and haggard. Running such a long drawn electoral campaign on a hate-filled divisive strategy can take it’s toll on anyone. He has no one to blame but himself for his plight. He had shown the country his vision in 2014 and people had voted to give him the opportunity to fulfil his manifesto.
Rather than resurrecting the country’s economy, he has destroyed it. In fact, there is nothing he hasn’t alienated and destroyed on his path. In his dictatorial egoistic gest, he has made enemies out of almost everyone, especially the formidable duo of Mamata Banerjee and Mayawati. If he was hoping that people would believe in his nationalistic agenda of being the saviour of Hinduism and forget agrarian distress, the economy in tatters, inflation, unemployment etc and still vote for him, he was abjectly wrong. Trying to unsuccessfully divert the country’s attention from his abject failures has seemingly worn him out.
He has surely repaid his corporate masters for what they invested in him in 2014. But when it comes to governance he is absolutely clueless. If we look at BJP’s 2014 manifesto it has something for everyone but is devoid of any governance strategies. Compare it to AAP government in Delhi and it has worked like a well oiled corporate enterprise. They had the short term strategy of fixing people’s urgent issues with water and electricity, two of their fundamental needs. Then they had the long term governance strategy of improving the society as a whole and they started from its roots, with education and health. It could either be the lack of such a strategy or the fact that he was focused only on his own persona and serving his election funding masters and was least bothered about governance.
I was booed and ridiculed when I tried to reason on social media that Modi is making the monumental mistake of assuming that being a leader of a state government is enough to become the leader of the whole country. The Godhra massacre and the number of allegations flying around about Amit Shah are ample proof that they presided over the governance of Gujarat in an atmosphere of fear and has made it into a police state.
In a federal government structure like ours, state governments have more power and authority when it comes to governance and administration matters which is why Modi was able to have absolute control over Gujarat. Taking this strategy to Delhi and hoping to control the most diverse country in the world is beyond lunacy. How could he have controlled the civil administration and police in each state when there are so many different parties in control of different states?
This is why Amit Shah has so desperately tried to form BJP governments in states through every possible means. They cannot unleash the army on the country so they have to get control over the police in every state. In their blind ego and scant respect for the country’s Constitution and the democratic values, they seemed to have assumed that no one would dare oppose them. The blatant assassination of Gauri Lankesh is clear proof of their dictatorial mindset. But they have only managed to make the opposition stronger by creating more enemies in people like Prakash Raj.
Modi may seem to have lived a grand and pompous life as PM but fulfilling the needs of his corporate masters along with fulfilling the agenda of the RSS of converting India into a Hindutva state while constantly being under attack, be it from Kanhaiya Kumar to AAP government to Mamata Banerjee, everything seems to have taken a heavy toll not only on himself but on BJP as a whole.
Speculation is rife on social media that his demeanour during the press conference could well mean he is on his way to BJP’s margdarshak mandal, the old age home where he had banished Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi to not so long ago.
The press conference could the best indicator yet that even if he wins Varanasi he may not become the PM again. whether the BJP manages to form the government or not.