Followers And The Leader


Some folks who were considered fairly intelligent, have fallen under the spell of a man. According to his fervent fans he is much more.He is a politician with a self-measuredfifty-six-inch chest.

Though this man has not sullied his livelihood by doing anything else except politics all his life, his ardent supporters feel that he has a highly developed intellect. They feel that he is a cultural theorist, a political and a moral theorist, and that he is a philosopher with a mind that is much more well-endowed than Chanakya, Rabindranath Tagore, S. Radhakrishnan, J. Krishnamurthy, Jawaharlal Nehru and M.K. Gandhi.

His acolytes and publicists make believe that he is equal to metaphysical theorists like Aristotle, Plato and Socrates, and his economic intelligence is much greater than Adam Smith, Amartya Sen, John Maynard Keynes, Milton Friedman, Manmohan Singh, and Raghuram Rajan combined.

To his devotees and advocates he is a greater leader than Julius Caesar, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. And as a war leader without a war, he is superior to Field Marshall Sam Maneckshaw, Winston Churchill, Alexander of Macedonia, Napoléon and Chinggis Khan. Plus, he knows more about sciencethan Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Stephen Hawking and Jagdish Chandra Bose.And of course, he has knowledge of plastic surgery.

To his followers and cohorts, he is faster than a speeding bullet train, cleverer than Daffy duck; has the powers of Superman; is more physically and intellectually able than Batman. Smarter than Roadrunner and wittier than Bugs bunny.

On top of this he is a fashionista to beat all fashionistas, as his several changes of matched apparel per day indicate, and, the perfectly made-up countenance designed to show his well-coiffed head of hair and beard and hide the inner coldness of his eyes.

This man’s non-existent experience is in everything other than politics, he has not specialised in anything else except the cunning of being a politician. He does not reproach himself of lacking perspective though he does not read anything except pamphlets of the national voluntary organisation that he belongs to. And it is well known that because he doesn’t have the patience to read,he has two-page summaries read out to him of whatever reports he needs to read.He therefore leads with political craftiness,arrogance and unfounded prejudices.

But, to his followers, thisboastful man who exudes grandiose narcissism and confidence is as a good as a minor deity. And, “A minor deity should never express doubts over his own existence” J.G. Ballard in Kingdom Come.

Why do followers need to follow … and hero worship too?

We have to follow someone. Poor devils, there’s nothing else in our lives.  Mad is bad. Bad is good.” J.G. Ballard in Kingdom Come.

This extreme, blind reverence from his devotees could be explained with the word ‘charisma’, though charisma is idiosyncratic and what is charismatic to some is not charismatic to others, for example the reviled fascists Hitler and Mussolini were charismatic,and so were the venerated Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela.

Charismatic leaders/politicians’ power is closely linked to their powers as orators with an inflammatory speaking style flashing with dramatic gestures and catch phrases” TIME – How a speech helped Hitler take Power –

Charisma and Narcissism

Charisma is the most important reason that supporters follow politicians. And this charismatic leader is a skilled communicator, and followers connect with him on a deep and emotional level and attribute special qualities (mentioned above)to him based on his appearance and the eloquence of his inflammatory speeches, the two and three word easily digestible little slogans that are repeated like magic mantras for good effect, and, the created aura that his expensive PR, publicity teams and his party, surround him with.

People love to be sheeple –Sheep-like people want to follow, they are compliant and easily led. They follow the majority in matters of taste and opinion and feel social pressure to conform to a group due to not wishing to experience the threat of social rejection. They subconsciously want to belong to a group and have ‘leader protection’.

Followers of charismatic politicians, subconsciously look for heroes who appear to protect them. They want heroes who seem to be doing things for them. Everybody wants other people to do things for them so that they are not held responsible. They look towards belief systems, celebrities and politicians for explanations and direction. They make celebrities and politicians their role models in the hope of making their lives better while they liberate themselves from thinking for themselves. These undeveloped, ill-informed followers look to fill the vacuums of their minds with the leader’s thoughts and ideas and suspend belief and reason in an authoritarian environment, and so do not see their leaders’ shortcomings.

Sheeple support charismatic leaders irrespective of whether or not the leaders possess the qualities attributed to them. So, the politician who confidently spouts fabrications and mind-boggling false promises is believed and held in great regard.

Sheeple love to have someone to hate. Having someone to hate unifies sheeple. The peoplethat have to be hated have to be outside of the flock so that there is universal support for hatred from within the flock.

     “After the war, Hitler joined a new and violently anti-Semitic group, the forerunner of the National Socialist German Workers‘ Party — Nazi for short. There, for the first time since adolescence, he found a home and friends”. TIME – How a speech helped Hitler take Power –

In an astonishingly similar story to Hitler’s, ‘this leader’joined the national volunteer organisation (RSS), as a youth, and felt more at home in it than in his own home which he left.And the RSS is built on Hindutva* a confused political philosophy of toxic religious nationalism and hatred of religious groups that the RSS feel do not belong in the country.

So, this leader leads his sheeple with verbal assaults, and he spews hatred, invective and taunts towards minorities following all the behavioural patterns of a bully -he lowers the level of political discourse by ‘name-calling’, ‘reputation-bashing’,’ridiculing and caricaturing’ his political opponents. ‘Rumour spreading’by introducing vile and fake rumours and ‘making veiled and not so veiled threats’, and abusing his political opponents, dissidents, and people who do not accept his views on nationalism.

People love violence. It stirs the blood, speeds the pulse. Violence is the best way of controlling people to make sure that things don’t get out of hand“. J.G. Ballard

So, sheeple, love a bullying, megalomaniacal leader. This leader brings out the bully in the sheeple; they feel empowered by the leader and his dramatic rhetoric and highly derisive language, and take on this ‘illusion of invulnerability’, and become bully’s themselves. And like all bully’s, they take courage from their numbers and resort to violence and unthinking mob behaviour and indulge in assault,killing, lynching and assassinations. They ‘rationalise’ and create divisions amongst their old friends who would like to disagree with them about their loyalty to their leader, but don’t, for fear of offending their (in)sensibilities and bringing on a stampede of sheeple that will trample them.

In conclusion we could say that thisleader, Prime Minister Modi,has taken his position and abused it. And his many followers,’Modi Bhakts’,have taken their position and abused it too, which has led to asocial condition in which standards and values that were previously common to society have broken down -anomie, and the opposite of utopia,a dystopia, is the prevalent atmosphere in the country today.

Pratap Antony writes on ecology and environment, social justice and pluralism, management ideas and issues, jazz and western classical music and Indian classical dance.


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