By what by-paths and indirect crook’d ways
I met this crown; and I myself know well
How troublesome it sat upon my head (William Shakespeare Henry IV Part 2)
Phew what a relief. Finally a brief halt to high decibel campaigning. How I love to course through the streets in a vehicle that appears to float in a field of marigolds. Saffron hues surge beyond the marigolds in the form of caps, scarves and dupattas. I get an adrenaline rush from addressing those oceans of voters. They are infinitely gullible. Like the song of the Sirens my oratory casts a spell over the multitudes. I can make them do my bidding in a trice. I even hoodwinked them into believing that their post demonetisation loss of livelihood and other hardships were nothing compared to the sufferings of the fat cats and tax dodgers. What pushovers! Little do they realise that only 5-6% of black income is held in the form of cash. Or that the wealthy found ways and means of laundering their undisclosed cash holdings. By the end of December 2016 96% of the withdrawn currency was deposited in bank accounts. So easy to dupe the masses. All the same I feel drained. Incredibly thrilling though it is to pull off an elaborate deception it is exhausting to spend a huge amount of time manipulating voters day in and day out in the full glare of a blazing sun.
The UP campaign was far from being an easy ride. Ever since Bihar rejected the politics of hatred I have been worried I had lost my brahmastra. I knew I had an inbuilt advantage in the UP contest. Anti-incumbency sentiment went against the Samajwadi Party. As for Behenji’s party I was confident Chanakya Amit Shah had taken full advantage of the divisions within the Bahujan Samaj. Consequently we could count on receiving a large number of non-Jadav votes. So maybe it was not absolutely necessary to stir up anti-Muslim sentiments in order to consolidate the Hindu vote and maximize my vote share. What if UP voters like Bihar 2015 repudiated old-fashioned RSS style anti-Muslim vitriol? For a long time I wondered if it would be best to stick with my tried and tested “sabka saath, sabka vikas” slogan from 2014.
Internally I was seething with fury. The restriction on hate speech is difficult to stomach. Must a Prime Minister suppress his cherished and deeply entrenched beliefs? As is well known to Google I loathe and despise Muslims. In the good old days when I ruled Gujarat I could speak my mind without fear or favor. I called the relief camps baby producing factories and raised the “hum paanch, hamare pachees” slogan to great effect. These days I have to conceal my anti-Muslim bigotry or use coded language. The people in my government are not subject to the same restrictions. Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti my Minister of State for Food Processing Industries says openly that Muslims are haramzade. Sakshi Maharaj and Yogi Adityanath make inflammatory statements all the time. So do many others. The burden of maintaining the decorum of the Prime Minister’s office falls on me. I envy Trump bhai. He gets to luxuriate openly in bigotry and hate speech.
To polarise or not polarise was the question before me in the weeks prior to the Assembly election. After much cogitation I decided to disregard the lesson of Bihar 2015. Accordingly I went ahead and used my brahmastra or communal card for the purpose of turning non-Yadav OBCs of all stripes against their Muslim brethren. The Hindutva based appeals that I made are of course well known thanks to the sickular media, the presstitutes and libtards. All I said was–Gaon mein agar kabristan banta hai, to gaon mein shamshaan bhi banana chahiye. Agar Ramzan mein bijli milti hai, to Diwali mein bhi milni chahiye. Agar Holi mein bijli milti hai, to Eid par bhi bijli milni chahiye. Bhedbhav nahin hona chahiye (If a village gets a graveyard, it should get a cremation ground too. If there is electricity during Ramzan, there should be electricity during Diwali too. If there is electricity during Holi, there should be electricity during Eid too. There should not be any discrimination). I was of course implicitly accusing the SP of giving Muslims preferential treatment. Just a new trope for the old Muslim-appeasement canard. I am very confident that hardly anyone will bother to look up the findings of the Rajinder Sachar committee on the deep-seated social and economic disadvantages faced by Indian Muslims. Just as in 2014 I succeeded in harnessing anti-Muslim animosities for electoral benefits. And lo and behold. The tactic yielded royal rewards by way of consolidating the Hindu vote. Even more than in 2014 the results have been spectacular. I romped home in a landslide victory by bagging 312 seats in a 403 member Assembly. The saffron tide sweeping across India in the wake of Assembly elections 2017 has relegated the Muslim voter to insignificance.
I have achieved all this by strictly legal and democratic means. With great power comes great responsibility. Because of the exalted nature of his office the Prime Minister of India must give expression to lofty and principled sentiments. He must set an example to the people whom he represents and on whose behalf he governs. Not enough merely to kiss the steps of Parliament. Both in word and in deed the Prime Minister must uphold the Constitution of India whose preamble states as follows:
WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN, SOCIALIST, SECULAR, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens:
JUSTICE, social, economic and political;
LIBERTY of thought , expression, belief, faith and worship;
EQUALITY of status and of opportunity; and to promote among them all
FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation…
I was very restrained in the recent round of campaigning in Uttar Pradesh. In my capacity of Prime Minister of India I was mindful of duties mandated by the Constitution and refrained from making statements of an overtly inflammatory nature.
Indeed it is a relief to relax momentarily after the hectic campaigning of elections 2017. All the same much work lies ahead if I am to forge the new India of my dreams. The Bharat that I envision is one in which dissent, debate and the capacity for critical and independent thinking have been nullified. Our institutions of higher education must be transformed into training shops and skill-building factories. I have made a start by planting acquiescent Vice-Chancellors in some of the leading centrally funded universities–Jawaharlal Nehru University and Hyderabad University to name but two. Sangh Parivar affiliated storm troopers in student organisations have been delegated with the work of stamping out all resistance on campus to the ideology of hypernationalism and Hindu supremacism. Student opposition will be crushed by violent means. The police will be instructed to look the other way as mercenaries and student goondas tackle ideas and reasoned argument with stones and bludgeons. Hypernationalist goondagardi will flourish on campuses across India. The servile sections of the media will air doctored tapes and broadcast falsehoods. May a thousand news anchors such as Arnab Goswami bloom. May lynch mobs run amok in urban and rural India and terrorise the minorities.
Yes I can. Take for instance that misguided bachchi Gurmehar Kaur. She seemed to think that it is in the national interest to resolve the conflict with Pakistan by diplomatic means. Little does she realise that the Sangh Parivar draws dividends from maintaining a state of permanent belligerence toward Pakistan. I too need to stage a surgical strike from time to time in order to blow my trumpet and retain the image of a strong and decisive leader. When Gurmehar Kaur spoke up my minister Kiren Rijiju and my social media trolls reacted swiftly and silenced her. Some ill-natured mimicry and some online rape threats were all it took. That easy! Eventually all the young people of India without exception will be transformed into rabid jingoists. They will be infected with the virus of mindless and frenzied hypernationalism. They will be brainwashed into chanting Bharat Mata ki Jai or Har Har Modi at the least opportunity. They will scream Death to Anti-nationalists or Go to Pakistan if a dissenting voice is raised. Not a Anirban Bhattacharya, Kanhaiya Kumar, Shehla Rashid or Umar Khalid will be left standing. Thankfully Rohith Vemula has already been neutralised by my campus vigilantes and my pliant Vice-Chancellor.
I have a dream. Ambanis and Adanis shall inherit the land. A little wizardry will overcome all pressing issues–economic fallout of demonetisation, jobless growth, twin balance sheet problem and unchecked proliferation of black wealth. The unemployed, the hungry, the landless and the dispossessed will receive the opium of hatred, hypernationalism and Hindutva. The uprising in Kashmir will be ruthlessly crushed. The mass blindings of 2016 will be the template for future crackdowns. I will never admit that legitimate political grievances underlie Kashmir’s aspirations for self-determination or that the people of Kashmir have been denied their civil and political rights for decades. In this I will follow the example of my predecessors.
No more pogroms. I say no more pogroms. Even after reaching this summit I am bogged down with exorcising the ghosts of Gujarat 2002. Teesta Setalvad is confident evidence gathered by her organisation in connection with riot cases of 2002 proves that I was complicit in the massacres. I must crack the whip over the CBI and intensify the harrassment. Another turn of the screw and her life will become unlivable. Not for nothing has the BBC called Teesta Setalvad India’s most hounded activist. Rana Ayyub too has been after me over the massacres of Gujarat 2002 and encounter killings that were perpetrated on my watch. Teesta Setalvad, Rana Ayyub–will no one rid me of these troublesome women? Indeed there is much truth in the saying “Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.”
Enough of these negative thinking. I have a 56″ chest. I am Indian Idol. I am unstoppable. If needed I can follow the example of Erdogan bhai. Right now with sufficient hype, spin and perception management I can overcome the odds and continue advancing from pinnacle to pinnacle.
Har Har Modi. Jai Moditva.
Radha Surya is a freelance writer. Her articles have appeared on Znet and Countercurrents.