Romancing Modi

Amit Sengupta

Narendrabhai has Arjuna-like clarity of vision. Narendrabhai literally is the lord of men, a leader among leaders and the king among kings. Let me attempt to paint another picture: October 2, 1869, Porbandar, Gujarat — the birth of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the father of the nation; October 31, 1875, Nariyal, Gujarat — the birth of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, India’s man of steel; December 28, 1932, Chorwad, Gujarat — the birth of Dhirubhai Ambani, India’s greatest entrepreneur; and September 17, 1950, Vadnagar, Gujarat — the birth of Narendra Modi.

—Anil Ambani, January 11, Gandhinagar, Gujarat. 

On March 2, Narendra Modi was supposed to address another high profile business meeting in Delhi, the annual conference of the printing industry: ‘Romancing Print 2013’. It turned out to be quite unromantic for the New Great Messiah of the Fat Cats in India. It ran into controversy after some participants pulled out protesting against an invite to Modi, though a Gujarat government official said that Modi had not accepted the invitation to be the chief guest and a keynote speaker at the conference.  

Indeed, there was a major campaign and serious objections. Earlier, several members of the All India Federation of Master Printers, which organised the event, withdrew from it to protest the participation of Modi as the chief guest. Two of the media partners for the event — Mumbai-based Printweek India and Delhi-based Indian Printer and Publisher (IPP) — had withdrawn their support to the event, according o sources. Some distinguished publishers too joined in their resilient note of dissent. 

Modi might be pampering and subsidising the corporates in Gujarat, and as the conspiracy theorist will tell you, in turn, the corporates might be returning the favour in a big manner, perhaps by oiling and pampering the corporate media, especially sundry TV channels; but it is not all red roses on his bloody red carpet, even as he so desperately wants to become what he wants to become in this diabolical game of manufactured consent. As Manik Sarkar’s victory in Tripura has proved, even sections of the ‘sold out’ media have to recognise an honest man’s continuous victories with 93 per cent polling, many times more than Modi, even as they seem to forget the multiple victories in state elections of (late) Jyoti Basu, Sheila Dixit or Virbhadra Singh, in states where there have been no State-sponsored communal genocide under their tenure. (This, surely, does not absolve the Congress of the State-sponsored genocide of Sikhs in November 1984.) 

It is not all red roses on his bloody red carpet, even as he so desperately wants to become what he wants to become in this diabolical game of manufactured consent

Have you ever seen these CMs being showcased ‘live’ every time they spoke, even as Modi gets away with exaggerated lies, ‘live’ on TV, every time he opens his megalomaniac mouth. So much so, even if he speaks in a college function in Delhi addressing ‘slavish’ under-grads (where some of the finest economists refused to speak in protest against the showcasing of Modi), celebrating a bloated and false success story of Gujarat, he is shown ‘live’ on certain TV channels. Indeed, this ‘business’ is fishy and it stinks. And it is all much too transparent. 

Reminds us yet again how big business in Germany and Europe, including the richest Jews, backed Hitler’s killing machine till the end, driven by no morality other than their insatiable profit motive, even while millions were killed and raped in the gas chambers of the holocaust, or compelled to starve to death and labour in the concentration camps. Proves yet again that sections of the super rich in India have neither soul nor humanity nor an iota of ethics. Also proves that you can preside over a carnage of chopped bodies, burnt torsos and raped women, including many thrown alive into fires, as in Gujarat 2002, but it does not matter as long as ‘he’ can deepen your deep pockets. So, capitalism has no conscience, is it? 

However, there is always a catch in this concocted ‘Romancing Modi’ story. One, as Justice Markandya Katju has proved, and we too have reported (‘Myth of the Modi Miracle’,  http://www.hardnewsmedia.com/2012/07/5434), this is nothing but Goebbelsian propaganda and the propping up of a Frankenstein Monster as the new Superman in a country where the moral fibre of the ruling class is in tatters. And two, as the printers’ protest has proved, or, as the volcanic protests in Delhi University against Modi made evident, the secular voices of reason, sanity, humanity and ethics, have still not been buried in the bowels of big business opportunism.

(Also see ‘Superman of the Holocaust’, http://www.hardnewsmedia.com/2012/06/5258)

This story is from the print issue of Hardnews: MARCH 2013