As predicted, the RSS/BJP Government is going for a massive public campaign to display the achievements of the Government after three years. The campaign will be run from a control room in New Delhi and the programs called “MODIfest” are arranged all over India. MODI stands for “Making Of Developed India”. Modi is also the surname of the Prime Minister. We do not know what the achievements of the Government in last 3 years are, but we know that it is a campaign for the elections.
They are planning ahead. If the RSS/BJP is not careful, the bubble of Modi might just burst, like the previous NSA government that went with the campaign on “India Shining”. Modi must deliver before he goes for the festival, else it will be an exercise in jest. To the credit of Government, it has been innovative in making up the acronyms. For example, like UDAN (Udega Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) etc. But it has a dearth of heroes to name the schemes after and therefore all the schemes are named after “Deen Dayal Upadhyay”: an obscure brahmin figure who went to found the BJP. If the schemes do not find suitable prefixes they are prefixed with “Pradhanmantri XXXXX Scheme”. Adityanath is following the trends with “Mukhyamantri XXXXX Schemes”.
In the worst imitation of “Big Brother” in Orwell’s famous political satire 1984, the face of Modi is visible everywhere and all over. Step out of railway station, Modi meets your eyes. Go to the airport, Modi greets you. Use the public toilets, Modi thanks you. He is everywhere and all over. He is the presiding deity on all the political altars. He would surely have a temple devoted to him soon. But his omnipresence on the placards, state-sponsored publicity banners, and TV, and worst the social media is an assault on the senses. How much can we take of him? We cannot.
Before the last Lok Sabha elections, he was not even a national leader, but suddenly the media was bought to project him as the only “messiah” of the people. He lied to the nation on many counts. But we can accept this in the post-Truth era where the facts do not matter, what matters is an appeal to emotions and crowds. If the crowd is convinced that something is true, even when it is not factually true, that is it. The crowd-vetted beliefs are turned into the truths. And we live in the era where the lies are called the “alternative facts”. So even if Modi had not “lied”, he is stating “alternative facts”. When the crowd in India is fed with beliefs and they believe the beliefs to be true. In India, the beliefs are fungible into truths. Babasaheb Ambedkar remarkably said something similar about Hinduism which I will paraphrase for dramatic reasons: “Repeat a lie for 99 times and bingo, on hundredth reiteration it becomes the truth”.
Repeat now, “Developed India” 99 times and Swaha!! On the 100th utterance, India is “Developed Country”!! Actually, MODI stands for “Making of Deaf India” under Modi. No one listens to the cries of the people lynched. No one listens to cries of Akhlaq. No one listen to the warnings of Rohith Vemula. No one listens the suffering of farmers. We are slowly petrifying and it is terrifying. The silence in India is terrifying. Democracy is about voices. It is about many voices heard and listened. It is about bringing many voices, many interests, and many aspirations together.
In the era of RSS/BJP, the alternative facts will be produced from the point of view of RSS/BJP and will be passed on to the citizens through the network of TV, Radio, and social media. The citizens will be told lies 99 times and MODIfest will be successful media propaganda campaign, but slowly the deity of democracy will laugh at the deafness of the citizens will fail to hear suffering voices drowned under the nagging media loudspeakers.
Author- Mangesh Dahiwale, Human Rights Activist