The Modi Wave is Ebbing Away. Is He Heading for A Fall?

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Alarmingly for Modi, the foreign admirer is now utterly disenchanted with him. At home the gross unfitness in dealing with the Covid menace, the lies, the sluggish economy and the first signs of a divided opposition coming together have caused tremors in the Modi camp.

A G NOORANI

IT is not a solitary executive act, a legislative measure or an oratorical performance that matters. What really matters is the wave a leader can create and let loose, a zamane ki hawa (wave of the times). B.G. Tilak created a wave in Maharashtra which was a blend of religion and politics. Freedom is my birthright, he declared. But he also initiated a religious movement — Ganapati. The Ali brothers started the Khilafat movement which Gandhi joined. The harm it did was colossal.

Later, L.K. Advani began the Hindutva movement with the demolition of the Babri Masjid at its core. A massive wave began. Narendra Modi, once a general secretary of the BJP, capitalised on it. He became prime minister and put Advani on the shelf where he sits still. He was even refused a party ticket for election to the Lok Sabha. Like revolutions, political waves also devour their own children. Modi takes no notice of poor Advani today.

Narendra Modi is all powerful. No sooner did he become prime minister in 2014 than he installed his henchman of Gujarat days, Amit Shah, as president of the BJP. The party lost its independence. Old-timers are ignored. Modi hates Jawaharlal Nehru but secretly admires and covets Nehru’s massive popularity, especially his international popularity. He also hates Indira Gandhi but admires her political techniques of popularity cult, control over party and, most of all, her authoritarian tactics which made her so invincible.

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