Is Narendra Modi being ‘fast’-tracked?

Last Updated: Thu, Sep 15, 2011 05:05 hrs

“I can’t wait for this weekend.”

“Why, is there something special on TV?”

“In a manner of speaking. Modiji’s beginning his fast. So we’ll have 24/7 coverage of that. And I love his rhetoric.”

“Yeah, I love that speech about SEZs. S for spirituality, E for entrepreneurship...”

“...Ejed for jeal.”

“But why is he on a fast, exactly?”

“Well, he wants peace, unity, and harmony in his state.”

“Hasn’t he been saying those are already prevalent in his state?”

“Maybe he wants to make a fashion statement. Fasts are in now, right? Since Anna’s dharna, Irom Sharmila Chanu’s been getting more press than she did in the past decade. So, Modi’s announced a Sadbhavana mission.”

“But Advani just announced a rath yatra, and Anna Hazare said he wouldn’t support it. is Modi banking on Anna’s praise?”

“Oh, Anna withdrew the praise too, remember? But people see this as an image makeover. He’s prepping to be BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate.”

“So we’ll have the whole country divided into SEZs without protests, huh? Boy, Mamata would be miffed. But Modi as Prime you really think that’s a good idea?”

“What other options do we have? You think Sushma Swaraj could dance her way to the top?”

“Well, I always felt Advani should have had a turn.”

“But he’s kinda like the former future Prime Minister, isn’t he? Though I liked those pictures of his from the gym.”

“How about Anna Hazare?”

“He’s said often enough that he doesn’t have political ambitions, and even if he supports someone, he would never lead.”

“Doesn’t that sound like something Rajiv Gandhi said?”

“Nevertheless, I honestly don’t see him becoming Prime Minister, or heading a party.”

“How about one of his core team members, then? Like, maybe Kiran Bedi?”

“Uhhh, after that gag she did about politicians, I’m not sure she’s going to want to ask for votes.”

“Then, what are the other options? Baba Ramdev’s been wanting to start a political outfit for a while, right?”

“I think he wanted to start an army.”

“Maybe he’ll convert that into a political party. Or stage a military coup.”

“A guerrilla coup?”

“Would you call a bunch of sitting ducks guerrillas?”

“Can you imagine Baba Ramdev at a world summit?”

“I’m having an image of a bunch of leaders at the G20 trying to get into the lotus position right now. Nope, don’t see that working in favour of India. Unless we want to focus on yoga tourism.”

“We could call it spiritual tourism. It has enough takers already, anyway. You should see the number of tourists in pilgrimage sites. Well, anyway, there was talk of Mayawati having a shot at Prime Ministership last time round.”

“Oh, no! Imagine a Statue of Liberty replica over the Yamuna, only with her face and salwar!”

“And don’t forget the handbag in place of a torch.”

“You think Subramanian Swamy would do a good job as Prime Minister?”

“Uhhh, do you think his party could win majority? I mean, strength does lie in numbers at times, you know.”

“Anyway, going back to this theory that Modi’s fast is a sign that he’s ready for Prime Ministerial exactly does it work? I don’t see how fasting for unity, peace, and harmony in his own state is doing his leadership skills any favours. I mean, if Manmohan Singh were to fast against corruption...”

“You’re still looking for logic in politics?! Anyway, it’s a three-day fast. More like a detox diet.”

“That’s even worse, dude! How does a detox diet prove that you’re ready to be Prime Minister?”

“I think it’s got something to do with the Supreme Court order. The detox is something of a purification ritual. Remember, Nithyananda did something along the same lines?”

“Oh, yes, with the smoke effects and all. I wonder whether Modiji plans to use special effects.”

“His speeches are special effect enough. But I hope he won’t sit quiet through the fast. That would be such a disappointment.”

“I like the fact that he has a deadline too. So he goes right back to business on Tuesday?”

“Well, I suppose there will be a five-minute delay, when a bunch of kids of politically correct birth offer him lime juice or coconut milk or something. That’s the custom these days.”

“You know who’d be most chagrined if this actually works? Pranabda. If only he’d known it was this easy to become Prime Ministerial candidate.”

Also by Nandini Krishnan:

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Ramlila Maidan: Are Indians addicted to drama?

A tale of two ministers...and a magic wand

Temple treasure: Does God owe us money?

Why everyone should take a leaf out of Kalmadi's book 

How do you solve a problem like the Lokpal Bill?

The author is a writer based in Chennai. She blogs at

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