[Picture courtesy DNA]
Now that the Narendra Modi will never become prime minister in the multicultural cauldron that is India and there is no Modi wave cards have been conclusively trumped, it is but inevitable that the Modi rule will end India will be turned face-up onto the deck. In that vein, I have been reading, with more than a slight bit of amusement, the slew of “open letters” and predictions of dystopia from our intellectuals, otherwise normally so against the concept of fear-mongering (being a most fascist trait, or so are told). While one respectfully appreciates their point of view (not doing so would be most fascist, or so we are told), one does feel the need to lay down a few niyams, in the manner of Bill Maher’s famous “New Rules” segment in Real Time With Bill Maher.
New Niyam: You have got to stop using Hitler as the metaphor.
I have written before on how logically well-founded the whole “Modi is a fascist” banshee shriek is and so I won’t go into it again for, let’s accept it, no one likes to repeat rules. But if you are going to equate him to a Fascist dictator, then you have to start using names other than Hitler, like Mussolini or Franco. And if we move beyond fascism as an European political philosophy and embrace a wider meaning of the word i.e. “genocidal dictator who enforces absolute obedience” may I suggest Stalin, Idi Amin or Pol Pot, all of whom I can assure you are sufficiently terrifying. But Hitler? Come on. That’s such a cliche that they have a Mithun Chakroborty movie by that name.
New Niyam: You have got to stop using spurious logic to cast doubt on Modi’s legitimacy as India’s Prime Minister.
When you use per-centage maths to show that Modi somehow does not represent popular will, what you are doing is not expressing an opinion. No. You are talking horse-shit and I am being polite. Here is a detailed analysis of why but the point is when you try to question the legitimacy of Modi’s rule by essentially questioning the first-past-the-post-system that you were entirely fine with when your favorite candidates were winning, you not only call your intellect to question but reveal yourself, if that can be done, to be an even more petulant sore-loser than you already are.
And if you are going to do that whole per-centage thing, here is a suggestion for another alarming statistic.
Modi claims to be a leader of the future. The children are our future. And Modi’s vote-share between zero to eighteen is a shocking 0%.
How can Modi’s spinmeisters not talk about this? How can they?
New Niyam: You have got to stop making demands you would not make to any other politician.
In a open letter written by Gopal Gandhi, who I suppose is the other Gandhi trying to leverage his last name for relevance, and published in Hindu, he says:
When you reconstitute the Minorities Commission, ask the Opposition to give you all the names and accept them without change. And do the same for the panels on Scheduled Castes and Tribes, and Linguistic Minorities.
There is a Bangla phrase for this. Mamabarir abdaar. A loose English translation would be “The kind of demand you can make at your uncle’s house”.
No intellectuals. You cannot make unreasonable demands like asking Coke to sell 2 cans of Pepsi with each crate, and then when it is not accepted, cry “fascism” and “dictatorial”. If you never expected the UPA government to have Opposition decide on their committees, then you have no friggin right to expect it from the BJP one.
In the same open letter, Gopal Gandhi says:
Mr. Modi, there is a southern deficit in your India calculus. The Hindi-belt image of your victory should not tighten itself into a North-South divide. Please appoint a deputy prime minister from the South, who is not a politician at all, but an expert social scientist, ecologist, economist or a demographer.
Well one needs to ask Gopal Gandhi why he is not concerned about the eastern deficit? Or the North-Eastern deficit? Or where the “South” starts? Not to pick on the revered Gopal Gandhi here, but there are other such demands. For example it seems Modi has to appoint 50 per cent of ministers as women. Has such a demand made to the UPA? Ever? I don’t think so. Of course no one expects 50% of his cabinet will be women because his set of MPs is not 50 per cent women. But yet this demand is made, knowing fully well the inevitability of it not being met, just so that the “intellectuals” can beat their chest and say “See Modi is a patriarchal Hindu despot”.
New Niyam: You have to understand the notion of freedom of speech
You make a Facebook post calling Modi a Nazi. It’s the exercise of your freedom of speech. But then realize that people can comment on your Facebook post and oppose what you said, given that they too, strangely enough, should have freedom of speech. It is not “fascist suppression of your rights and a foreshadow of things to come under Modi’s rule” unless that protest includes threats of physical violence or actual acts of it.
New Niyam: Be honest
Just say that you are throwing a hissy fit cause your guy didn’t win. Now if making unrealistic demands, and casting doubts on the legitimacy on Modi’s victory, or having a virtual pity party with like-minded Facebook Likers about impending gas chambers for minorities and the end of India as you know it helps you cope, I am all for it.
No one likes to see the other guy win and as a lifetime Kolkata Knight Riders supporter, I know exactly how losing feels.
But please be honest about your true motivations and then others will gladly let you wallow in your sadness.
Not that you need to for there is always in Indian politics a next time. And that always comes quicker than you thought it would.