Modi, The Victim Aka बेचारा मोदी
Modi, the ill-dressed, social media trolled, perpetual victim.
Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India and three-term Chief Minister of Gujarat – who has possibly never taken a commercial flight in the past 20 years (flying state or private jets) a man who wears bespoke suits worth lakhs; some with his name monogrammed and fancy Italian 400 ply cashmere jackets today took on his patented role – the victim.
Modi kicked off his campaign in Karnataka by going back to his basics:
1) The poor “chaiwallah” a much-pilloried but familiar role was re-embraced with elan.
2) The familiar villains in the Modi story- the Gandhi’s were attacked with a cheap personal jibe. Modi challenged Congress President, Rahul Gandhi to speak extempore without a paper in Hindi, English or his mother tongue. Similarly, the ‘Italian’ jibe was back.
Modi is under pressure. In the Gujarat Election Campaign, he had attacked and accused former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, former Vice President Hamid Ansari of conspiring with Pakistan in an incredible conspiracy to steal the Gujarat elections.
Today in an incredible volte-face Modi was all concern for his predecessor saying “we saw how the Congress treated Dr Singh. They tore off his ordinance and disrespected him”.
It was a bit rich coming from Modi who had trampled institutional propriety, attacked Dr Singh and gone to the extent of calling him an agent of an enemy nation. But, Modi who used to sneer and attack Dr Singh as “Maun Mohan” managed to deliver his lines with a straight face.
Perhaps the ultimate whopper (am afraid no other word for it) was (brace yourself) poor Modi the man in possession of a monogram suit said he was “an ordinary person who did not dress well”.
This was truly remarkable coming from a man who had once boasted that he had a “God gifted sense of fashion”. Modi is a sharp dresser and is inordinately vain – changing his clothes several times a day. Even his “good friend” former President Barack Obama during whose visit to India the infamous monogram suit got its inaugural airing had said post the Modi clothes change blitz that he stuck to wearing “black or grey suits and focused on important matters.
Modi had notched up several impressive changes of clothes during the Obama visit. The monogram Suit believed to have been woven by a British company Holland, and Sherry cost around ₹ ten lakhs, and similar vanity suites are beloved of many dictators around the world.
The Congress social media in charge Divya Spandana also tweeted a picture of a Modi wearing what she said was a “Loro Piana jacket worth 17,000 euros” (About INR 14 Lakh.
Modi while in full flight of victimhood also said that the “Congress ministers and their children are fighting elections and family politics is hurting Karnataka”.
The inconvenient truth of the elephant in the BJP camp in the shape of the eight Bellary barons the BJP had given out tickets to was conveniently forgotten by Modi. Modi’s fraught relationship with the truth has now spread to his cabinet. Under fire for his controversial transactions, Railway minister Piyush Goyal attacked Gandhi in a tweet calling him a dynast while waxing eloquent about his achievements. Goyal seemingly like Modi forgot that his father Ved Prakash Goyal was a Minister in the Atal Behari Vajpayee cabinet and like Goyal junior the powerful treasurer of the BJP.
The inconvenient truth of the elephant in the BJP camp in the shape of the eight Bellary barons the BJP had given out tickets to was conveniently forgotten by Modi.
Modi seemed to lay out the template of the big battle of 2019 in general election season. And it was the same persecution script. Modi seems to forget that he is currently all powerful and carrying out the persecution via officials in the prosecution agencies such as the caged parrot Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
While Modi has always had a rather elastic relationship with the truth with exaggerated claims and outright falsehoods being called out many times incredulity may have collapsed today when he also said during his speech “I am trolled day and night”.
Modi runs the largest and the most vicious IT cell in the country and follows half a dozen trolls who mete out daily incitement, rape threats and death threats. Even after I documented this in my investigative book “I am a troll: inside the BJP’s secret digital Army”, Modi did not unfollow a single troll. He is the only world leader to follow such handles. But, now he claims he is abused. This is similar to his claim in London when he said he “ate kilos of invectives” during his sympathetic synchronised “event” carefully choreographed with censor board chief Prasoon Joshi. A senior leader in the BJP following the interaction said to me “Prasoon should change his name to Spoon for his love fest with Modi.”
“Incredulity may have collapsed today when he also said during his speech “I am trolled day and night”
Victimhood apart the big takeaway from Modi’s Karnataka speech was-gone were all the talk of “achhe din” (good days) and “good governance” earlier a leitmotif of his speeches. He did boast about the 100 percent electrification of India which is a contested claim and attacked the Siddaramiah track record but could not showcase his governance track record of nearly four and a half years.
Clearly, the lack of a track record has ensured that we are back in the season of cheap jibes and Modi versus the rest with India invited to take the side of the poor bullied PM.Will it wash? Karnataka significantly will set the tone and give us the answers on May 15 in what will now be a very hotly contested battle.
Final word. Modi’s handpicked all powerful Bjp president Amit Shah had in an earlier speech in Karnataka compared Modi to a “tsunami” today Modi said, “I can see a Bjp wave”. Natural disasters alerts apart Modi has clearly scaled down the extent of hyperbole.