The prime master of propaganda, Mr Narendra Modi survives all ordeals of Indian politics with the help of media myth making and diversionary strategies. It gives Modi an immediate edge over other political opponents. The organisational network of RSS and BJP provide the ideological framework on which Modi pursues his politics of otherness. In short run, Modi and his ideological mentors in RSS will destroy the founding principles of India as a republic. The social and religious harmony, secular political culture and economic progress are three immediate casualties of Modi led BJP government in India. Such a disastrous trajectory bound to fail in long run due to ignorance and arrogance of leadership.
The leadership in politics is not only about winning elections by hook or crook. It is about creative application of available ideas and resources for the greater good of the society. Creative politics is the heart of social, economic and cultural transformation which upholds democratic values, individual freedom and liberty and collective wellbeing at the top priority in everyday governance of the state and government. Such creative ideals transform a political leader into statesman or stateswoman who engages with issues of the present and fortifies a sustainable future for generations. Mr Narendra Modi does not care. His mission and vision are clearly shaped by myopic RSS, which derives its ideological inspiration from European fascism and Nazism. Such ideological framework is pushing Indian society into indefinite darkness of hate, hunger and homelessness.
Mr Narendra Modi lacks creative qualities as a leader. The propaganda can hide the failures and entice the population to vote for a while. But propaganda cannot change the ground realities of lives and livelihoods of people. Creativity in political leadership demands to step back and reflect on everyday realities of the masses and their future. The monumental blunders of demonetisation, failure of Goods and Service Tax (GST), mismanagement of economy, catastrophic pandemic of Coronavirus, and centralisation of decision making and foreign policy failures show that Mr Narendra Modi lacks qualities to reflect as a leader. A leader learns from his or her own mistakes or learns from people but Modi has failed to learn from his own experiences or from other’s experiences. The top down and dictatorial approach to politics takes a leader to the dustbin of history. Modi is going to be another name in the list of many other fascists, who destroyed peace and prosperity for a long time.
A nationalist leader inspires confidence and taps ideas from diverse sources and encourages collaboration between different people to deliver public welfare. India’s recent border conflict with China shows that Hindutva nationalism is a sham. It does not inspire confidence on national security. The BJP led by Modi does not believe in diverse perspectives. He is neither a team player nor a team builder. Mr Narendra Modi prefers one-man show in front of the camera. There is no attempt by Modi to develop collaborative culture to overcome the crisis in India. Diversity is an asset in the making of nation states but it is an anathema to Modi as a leader. He promotes the RSS led unhealthy culture of competitive bigotry in India. The authoritarian outlooks and fascist tendencies in Modi are the products of RSS ideological training. Good leaders are transparent about their strengths and weaknesses. By being open and liberal, leaders enhance innovation and diversity of decision making. Modi is neither transparent about his life, wife, degree and decision making. Modi moves secretly under the cloud theory of stealth and invisible courage. His vindictive actions against political opponents show his cowardice as a leader.
A successful leadership follows the historical legacies of a society and celebrates its past to share the present and future. Mr Narendra Modi and his brethren in RSS and BJP are making every effort to destroy Indian history by rewriting it and replacing it mythology. The destruction of history is important to promote rootless neoliberal capitalism and its consumer culture in India. Capitalism only grows by destroying the society and its historical experiences. Modi helps in accelerating the wealth of his capitalist cronies by spreading miseries for many in India. Modi destroys all institutions of governance that stops his reckless policies and politics. It also helps in the centralisation of power that is concomitant with the requirements of capitalist accumulation of profit at the cost of people and environment in India.
An efficient and creative leader flames motivation and allows people to follow their passion in life but Modi follows people in social media, who give rape threats. Modi patronises social media trolls, who are violent and hate mongering invisible profiles. The people behind these invisible profiles are trained by RSS and BJP. The Modi government has reduced expenditure on health and education. The students and young people do not have any opportunities to follow their passion. The Hindutva forces impose their medieval mindset on students and youths of India by asking them; what to wear, whom to love and marry, what to eat and whom to pray. These private and personal individual choices of everyday lives are restricted in the name of Indian culture and Hindu way of life in India. These reflects Talibanization of Indian society by the Hindutva forces led by Narendra Modi.
A committed leader stands with people during crisis and shows the path to recover from the crisis. The empathy and sympathy are twin characters of a committed leadership but Modi gives shock therapy to people and put them in indefinite crisis. It is easier to control people in crisis than people in prosperity. The myopic Modi has little exposer to history of radical resistance movements in world history. Like all religious and right-wing forces, the Hindutva forces have very little exposer to historical knowledge, science, social and political history. These forces are the life and blood of capitalist classes in India. Everything that is wrong with Mr Narendra Modi as a leader reflects the narrow and ruinous worldview of RSS and BJP as bigoted political entities.
The safety and survival of India as a modern, liberal and constitutional democracy and the future of Indians depend on defeating the fascist ideology of RSS and BJP, which produces fake and failed leaders like Mr Narendra Modi. The propaganda has limited time span. Nothing can stop the fall of commercial capitalism led Hindutva forces in India. It is a matter of time before people will rise up against such medieval forces. These forces have no place in a modern and democratic society. The good leadership is a product of political struggles. It is time to pull together all liberal, progressive, nationalist, patriotic, and democratic forces to fight and defeat Hindutva fascism in India.
Bhabani Shankar Nayak, Coventry University, UK