Monday, February 9, 2015

Rajendrakumar Misra - Verbal Gymnastics and Modi’s ‘Sonia’ Moment

A beautiful hypothesis  is often slain by an ugly fact.The hypothesis:All great triumph of propaganda are accomplished by repeated articulation of untruths.The ugly fact:It is actually achieved by refraining from doing so.

All most all the exit polls had predicted an Aam Admi Party(AAP) lead,ahead of it’s lumberjack rival,the BJP. The results are out, putting things  in proper perspective. Reality has entered the ‘exit’ way, the people have spoken decisively. It is a complete BJP whitewash and a total Congress meltdown. Both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and  his party chief  and loyal shadow, Amit Shah  have  a battery of  questions  to answer, ranging from the sordid to the morbid. These would oscillate from the countrywide, military-like mobilization of  castes,cadres and even their kin to the  failure of their trademark strategy of  communal polarization. In the preceding months,what  Modi had won on the ‘curves’, he has lost on the ‘straights’. This happens in political athletics when you want a part of every race- from the long haul to the short dash ones.A steamroller invariably meets a bulldozer at some point of turn. The immediate impact of the results is that Modi’s image will take a beating while Kiran Bedi is headed for  the doghouse and  Shah for the boot camp. Interesting, as the analysis of the Delhi polls outcome lends itself to, here we seek to throw light on the literary finesse of political figures  and the display of  verbal gymnastics mounted  for the benefit of the people in their quest for votes.The results reflect it.

The one to take the cake in this poll has been Prime Minister Narendra Modi. There was an element of megalomania when the Prime Minister of India in the course of  campaigning  stated”If because of my good luck,prices of petrol and diesel get reduced and the common man saves more,than what is the need for bringing in someone who is unlucky?” Would the honourable Prime Minister, who is committed to a quantum jump in scientific temper for the country,have us believe that it is his luck which is ensuring  the global fall in  petroleum prices?. Does it behove the  administrative head of  a sovereign nation  to be speaking in such distasteful manner even  if it is  during poll campaigning? This  use of language  deserves to get the same level of disdain as did  Rajiv Gandhi’s  famous “Nani yaad dila denge” remark while referring to a neighbouring country which was roundly ridiculed as uncalled for  verbal profligacy.It was in the same vein that he sought to trash opinion polls using the word ‘baazaru’.Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh ,or for that matter,most who were there before him can not be faulted on this count.

For  those of us journalists who have covered Gujarat,this is nothing new. Modi who was chief minister of Gujarat for  over twelve years is unarguably one of the most gifted  political orator in the country today.His fluency in both Gujarati and Hindi  and his forceful ,earthy style helps him to  establish a connect with the masses.Coupled with  his masterful self-marketing,this oratory has played no mean a role in catapulting him to the position he holds today. There  are many witnesses to  his innuendo-filled  oratorially aggressive  forays meant to mock and pull down political rivals.During an election rally in Gujarat  he had referred to  Sonia Gandhi-Rahul Gandhi as  the  ‘gai-bachhda’(cow-calf /mother-son duo). Similar condescending language has been used in relation to other political rivals as well. A master craftsman of subtle coinages which convey the meaning and the sarcasm without  a hint of self –implication,he is remembered for his ‘Mian Musharaf” and ‘hum paanch hamare pacchis’ (we five and our twenty five) statements ,all in disdainful reference to the minority community, during his famous Gujarat wide Gaurav Yatra that followed the 2002 communal riots in the aftermath of the Godhra train carnage.

Notwithstanding,all his lampooning of  his political rivals which principally included  his own party men who had rebelled against  him when he was the chief minister as well as the constant attack  on the  Manmohan Singh led UPA government, Modi  was irked when Sonia Gandhi during an elections campaign had termed him as the ‘Maut ka Saudagar’. Modi had promptly   turned the remark   into an election  issue and  an insult to Gujarat.He  milked it to the  full in the Assembly polls  and reaped rich  dividends. He once quoted basic science after the 2002 ethnic conflict in Gujarat  to make the point that every action has an  opposite reaction, literature too has it’s parables. If you sow the wind ,you end up reaping the whirlwind. The verbal calisthenics with  the  lucky-unlucky-badnaseeb-bazaru  combination of remarks  has proved Modi’s “Sonia moment”. Truth is great but still greater is silence about it, more so when you occupy high positions. The  old(BJP) may know the rules,but the young (AAP) know the exceptions!