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The Gujarat chief minister surrounded by supporters. Photo: AFP
The Gujarat chief minister surrounded by supporters. Photo: AFP

Why Narendra Modi’s apotheosis is a boring affair

A look at all the things that will be different when Narendra Modi takes charge

St Paul preached that faith alone was necessary, and your deeds were irrelevant to entering heaven. You did not even have to attempt to be good. As long as you believed a higher power would deliver you, you would be delivered.

I think a lot of Indians feel this way about the abilities of Narendra Modi and their part in his kingdom-to-come.

They will not need to do anything to transform the condition of India (they will be surprised to be told that they need to change anything about themselves). It is he, the messiah of our time, who will do the transforming for them.

Perhaps they are right, and this piece is especially written for them. Let’s have a look at all the things that will be different when Modi takes charge.

1. Corruption and nepotism will go. Modi has personal integrity and no intention of promoting his family. This is so unlike Manmohan Singh. Modi will eliminate corruption from India as he has from Gujarat. Bureaucrats and policemen will no longer be open to being bribed. More importantly, the citizenry will no longer offer bribes because of their love for Modi.

2. Bengalis and Oriyas will be transformed into businessmen. The problem with India’s economy is not that it has a dearth of talent because it is hidebound in caste traditions. It is weak because there is nobody decisive in New Delhi on matters of policy and implementation. Modi will bring his sound knowledge of economic theory to make India an advanced nation before 2020.

3. Jats and Patels will cease butchering their daughters. The former do it to punish their girls for falling in love and the latter murder them because they are crude peasants with a longing for sons. Modi will stop this, as he surely must have in Gujarat. The Patel heartland of Charotar, between Ahmedabad and Vadodara, had the worst sex ratio in India the last time I checked.

4. Traffic will behave and littering will end. Aam Aadmi Party’s Arvind Kejriwal’s theory is that Indians behave abroad because they are policed firmly and so all that is needed is to police them firmly here. The only way that 1.2 billion people will behave themselves is if the right person comes along. Who’s better to do this than the strongman from the Bharatiya Janata Party? If civic sense can be generated among Indians with the lathi, Modi is the man for the job.

5. Pakistan and China will know their place and end our troubles at the respective borders. What has been missing from India’s foreign policy is firmness. Once Modi shows his thick fist to Beijing and Rawalpindi, their mischief will end forthwith. We are a nuclear power and they should know that we have a man who will not, on the evidence of his words, hesitate to go to war.

6. Doctors, nurses and teachers will come to work. One of the things that tells you Indians are a truly third-rate people is the manner in which those entrusted by the state with the highest responsibility—educating the young and caring for the ill—perform. What has been missing here? Modi’s charisma. He will persuade them to look at themselves, express regret and begin the task of really doing their jobs.

7. Indians will become fit. A full 60% of the world’s heart disease patients are Indians. Mostly the middle class, mind you: us. The poor are not chubby. Modi, who has a 56-inch chest (and if I remember his hugs, a 40-inch waist), is the man to drill us into shape.

8. While on the subject, this nation of losers (at the Olympics) will become a world sporting power in the next Olympics of 2016.

9. All the things that politicians and government are responsible for, too many to list here but you know what these are, will improve magically.

10. Indians will become a caste-free, division-free, mercantile, traditionalist society that worships its gods, respects its elders, eats vegetarian and does not drink.

Oh, it will be a wonderful thing. For those who believe.

St Paul got his vision as an epiphany, when he fell off his ass on the road to Damascus.

That was only a moment. For those of us going into this with our eyes open, sadly, the apotheosis of Modi is a long, boring affair.

Also Read | Aakar’s previous Lounge columns

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