Beware of the day after the Ides of May (May 16) many intellectuals are suddenly screaming. All the alarm bells have started ringing and it seems Doomsday is imminent! For that is the day that a Fascist may take over India and turn our democracy into a dictatorship!
May 16. Prime Minister Narendra Modi? Shudder! Shudder!
As if regular signed appeals by “secular” “democratic” Indians appearing in a Left-wing Indian newspaper were not enough, then it’s time for the Guardian of the UK to get into the act.
An appeal by prominent personalities begins by saying “Without questioning the validity of India's democratic election process” and it ends up doing exactly that,finishing with, “Were he (Modi) to be elected prime minister, it would bode ill for India's future as a country.”
Their message is: We, a handful of armchair Modi critics sitting in faraway England,can see more clearly than the crores of “Fascist” voters who are reeling under the Congress incompetence, corruption and lack of governance and may put India’s future in jeopardy by merely pressing the button that has the lotus next to it.
Signatories include Salman Rushdie, the man most hated by many “secular” Muslim leaders of India, the same lot who are being wooed by all politicians to vote against Modi to secure the future of India. Of course there’s no contradiction in all of this.
Rushdie will probably write a sequel to Shame and write (How Modi Shook) The Ground Beneath My Feet after May 16. They can be turned into movies easily for director Deepa Mehta is also on that list.
Lata Mangeshkar was short of her 18th birthday when she saw Jawaharlal Nehru become Prime Minister in 1947 and has seen all of India’s PMs after that. She calls for Modi to be PM and a Congress leader demands that she be stripped of the Bharat Ratna.
That Amitabh Bachchan is an admirer of Modi is old news and he has already been shunned by the Congress for that. But the Three Khans of Bollywood try to keep their distance to avoid any controversy even though Salman does fly kites with Modi and his father Salim Khan launches Modi’s Urdu site.
A host of other Bollywood celebrities led by superstars Akshay Kumar and Ajay Devgan endorse Modi. Film stars like Hema Malini and Paresh Rawal have already become BJP candidates.
However a section of Bollywood is aghast that their industry has suddenly turned communal and they fight back.
It is the season of signed letters and now 60+ Bollywood personalities, none of whom match up to the likes of Lata and Amitabh, shoot off one of their own appeals. Unlike the Guardian bunch, these dudes are too timid to name Modi directly.
It has vague gems like “The need of the hour is to protect our country’s secular foundation” and “We appeal to you to vote for the secular party which is most likely to win in your constituency.” Now that’s ironic because maximum riots have occurred under Congress rule and every party woos the Muslim votes shamelessly.
The sad fact of life is that each and every party in India is communal.
Therefore they are in fact asking voters to press the NOTA button!
Signatories include Zoya Akhtar, who’ll probably direct Secular Zindagi Na Milegi Doobara and Imtiaz Ali who may also direct Jab We Met Fascism. Dhoom 3 director Krishna Acharya lends his name and will probably make Doom 4 with Modi as the villain. (The villain does get away in all Dhoom movies, doesn’t he?Just like Modi and Godhra!)
You could be excused for thinking that Modi is on the verge of winning 543 out of 543 seats in the Lok Sabha election.
To roundly even off things in this Theatre of the Absurd, Congress President Sonia Gandhi appeals on TV, that “Their (BJP’s) vision, clouded with hatred and falsehood, their ideology, divisive and autocratic, will drive us to ... ruination.”
What is the Congress vision? Dynasty!
Who has the most hatred of Modi right now? Congress!
Which spokespersons have spoken the maximum falsehoods in defence of scams? Congress!
Which political party has a divisive ideology in India? OK, you could ask, who hasn’t?
And autocratic? Think Indira Gandhi. Think even the way Sonia runs the Congress.
Finally ruination? I think most Indians would today describe Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s rule that way.
And the appeal to “Bharatiyata” is the icing on the cake for even Modi’s critics would accept that Modi is more Bharatiya than Sonia.
The fact that a National Democratic Alliance government (already consisting of 24 parties, albeit smaller ones) is likely to come to power is lost on them. Since 1984, it’s impossible for any party to get a dictatorial mandate.
But all these great intellectuals would rather have a UPA3 under Rahul Gandhi or a Third Front under Mamata Banerjee.
And that would save India? LOL!