Reality Bites: ‘Rambling’ Ram and ‘Moody’ Modi tie themselves in knots
It’s an open secret that when Modi was CM of Gujarat, Hitler was glorified in textbooks, and that spread to BJP-ruled states when he became PM
The more ideologues I listen to, the more I’m convinced that they should be called idiot logs. They’re mainly men, unbearably pompous and crashing bores to boot. A tough interviewer, however, can turn them into sparkling entertainment.
My salaam to Stephen Sackur, the not-so-genial host of BBC HARDtalk. I witnessed a miracle when he interviewed former RSS ideologue Ram Madhav—at the end of that session, Madhav’s face was as white as a pure blood Aryan’s, hallelujah—even Hitler’s critical eye wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference.
I now urge all those BJP leaders who are doing a Michael Jackson and wasting extravagant sums of money for lighter skin to spend some time on air with Sackur instead. It’s faster, RBI reserve funds are not required and better still, results are guaranteed.
Madhav now works with the RSS’s baby, the BJP. Nobody knows exactly what he does, but it involves trying to influence politicians from most parties across the world to be sweet to the BJP and overlook its treatment of minorities in India (with the clear understanding that there’s no such thing as a free lunch or free broccoli samosa, of course).
Sackur read out a list of charmingly bigoted things several RSS-BJP and other Hindutva leaders have said in the distant and the more recent past. Madhav delivered ye olde standard BJP responses, and I suspect the party has created an official multiple choice format for interviews:
a. I haven’t heard it
b. We condemn this statement and X will be punished
c. Y was misunderstood
d. Z was misquoted
Now let me use my favourite old fashioned newspaper word. No, not that giggle-inducing “moral turpitude”, but “sanguine.” Madhav was fairly sanguine till Sackur brought up the Hindutva brigade’s admiration for Hitler and the persecution of Jews, and quoted Savarkar and Golwalkar’s fantasies about doing the same to a certain community in India.
It’s an open secret that when Modi was CM of Gujarat, Hitler was glorified in textbooks, and that spread to BJP-ruled states when he became PM. It didn’t bother the BJP when the Indian media reported it, but it makes them sweat when the international media brings it up, because it doesn’t make them look like the sort of people you want to hug or even shake hands with.
Madhav tried very hard to play down his organisation’s Nazi fetish, but wasn’t convincing. Then he tried and failed to persuade Sackur that the RSS-BJP was actually “humanitarian.” Here’s a link to the interview, it’s definitely worth a watch
Meanwhile, as I type this, the border dispute with China is still on. Though India’s PM refuses to talk to the nation about it, he wept on US President Donald Trump’s shoulder who informed the world that poor dear Modi is in a “bad mood”.
Moody’s must have put Modi in a bad mood too when it downgraded India ratings to Baa3 (Bah! Bah! Bah!) and made it clear that while this downgrade was taken in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, it has not been driven by it. Oh well, so what if we’re just a step above junk, Moody Modi’s supporters will still cheer bigotry on
The good news is, the government has finally announced that it is going to do something about China. It’s (hold your breath) going to spend 10% of the Border Area Development Programme (BADP) fund on building infrastructure in parts of Ladakh, Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Sikkim that skirt China.
These projects include everything from roads and bridges to indoor stadiums, and the Chinese will be delighted to learn that they can play table tennis while on duty! There’s a small matter that bothers me, though: 784 Cr was allocated to BADP for 2020-21, and a mere 10% of that spread across five states is not going to send a strong message to China. They may have to get their own table tennis equipment along with them, and that will certainly put them in a bad mood!
Suppose, just suppose, our proud nationalist leader does a little switch for the security and territorial integrity of the nation? Give that 20,000 Cr earmarked for his grand Central Vista Project to BADP, and use their 784 Cr for his new house and offices instead?