Modi is probably not a fan of Shakespeare plays. But that doesn’t stop him from taking the Bard’s “The world is a stage” to historic height in politics. The Hindutva leader’s tool of trade is “make believe”.
For decades, Bollywood movies have brought tremendous joy to hundreds of millions of viewers in India. The flicks have also made them forget temporarily daily deprivations such as a life without toilets, and constant fears of their young daughters and sisters getting brutally gang-raped.
Instead of actors and actresses, Modi has a jingoistic national press and a cyberarmy dubbed ModiMob to troll the social media. They swarm the Twitter and Facebook pages of political parties, groups and printed media, local and foreign, critical of Modi’s policies. Their antagonistic and vile remarks routinely set off cyber battles between keyboard warriors.
The jingoistic press in India, more than its counterpart in any other country, is afflicted by collective delusion and hysteria. They are capable of seeing victory in defeat, weaknesses as virtues, black as white. They declared victory upon withdrawal from the border standoff with China, BRICS naming Pakistan terror groups as triumph over both China and Pakistan, the disastrous demonetisation as unmitigated success…
The same make-believe affects the top army commanders. India’s defence chief repeated the army’s readiness to fight wars on two fronts with China and Pakistan, even before the ink is dry on the BRICS Declaration issued days earlier. Fact is the Indian forces would have their nose bloodied fighting just the Chinese army PLA, let alone a two-front war with Pakistan as well.
Chinese leader Xi Jinping, in his meeting with Modi on the sidelines of BRICS Summit last week, saw fit to reiterate the need for peaceful co-existence and non-aggression. Judging by the Indian defence chief’s two-front war rhetoric, Modi seemed not to have taken Xi’s friendly reminder to heart. There’s this uneasy feeling by observers that India is begging for war. That would turn a Trojan horse, as India is widely regarded as one in BRICS and Shanghai Cooperation Forum, into cannon fodder on the battlefield as well.
On the international front, his embrace of America sets India up as a proxy in regional conflicts. His counting on the empire and its minions like Japan to come to the aid of New Delhi in hours of need is likely to be a wet dream turned nightmare. That would be all too late for him and India. Like the first Indian premier Jawaharlal Nehru, who died a broken man shortly after India’s ignominious defeat in the war with China in 1962, Modi would be lucky if he didn’t get lynched by a disappointed and disillusioned ModiMob of his own creation.