The week, Modi-ism Haemorrhaging, Royal Opera Live & Democrats Homecoming

Modi-mania has hit a wall as India’s image takes a knocking around the world. It’s the Kisan Morcha, farmers’ front, gradually haemorrhaging Modi-ism. Everything was working fine for him until he decided to take ‘panga’ (mess) with a community that revels in struggles. How did it come to this?

Every few months, Prime Minister Modi gets a eureka moment and gets his zap machine to put another policy into action. It usually has to be double-quick. It is always a war-footing action on policy that he likes enforcing with surprise timing. From toilets, to money in every pocket and many more.

Some have been popular, such as Ram Mandir; others are works in progress, like a few lakhs in every pocket; and some are eccentric, such as Note Bandi, (change currency notes overnight) that economists are still baffled about. There were probably some mystic reasons for Note Bandi that have eluded the average academic. A lot of people suffered, and they did it for the greater good. Yet, no one knows yet what was that greater good was or is.

Similarly, the four-hour Covid lockdown notice that was expected to work faster than Kejriwal’s mobile office, led to much head scratching. Indian bureaucracy, not known for rocket speed at the best of times, was expected to deliver at cosmic warp time -space compression. Every Indian was to be home within 4 hours. Everyone knows what happened. The bureaucracy rushed home in cars while millions were left on the street to walk home several hundred miles for days on end.

The latest shot from the Modi’s super loaded zap machine was aimed at the North Indian farmers. Only this time, it hit a sandstorm. Nearly nine months later, it is continuing. Modi tried a bit of gentle Indian Police tactics, like lathi-charge, a couple of shots to kill, a few tortures, false cases and pressuring the ‘independent’ press to scream that India was facing its most serious threat since the 1962 Indo-China war. The world gasped in horror and began to reassess its view of India.

Now both sides in the farmer issue are engaged in a game of out blinking the other. Nothing is moving. The Punjabis have long experience on this, from the slow haemorrhaging of Abdali’s loot till he went mad, the draining of Mughal will and its slow disintegration, the five-year struggle for Gurdwara Act in 1920s, the two-year long demonstrations against Indira Gandhi’s Emergency when 80,000 Punjabis went voluntarily to jails. Nothing excites the Punjabis more than a cause to hold langar with some social comraderies, ballads of bravery, and narratives of martyrdom that brought ‘oppressors’ down. It is a community defined by struggles and it relishes such moments.

Something else happened too. Modi was the first Twitter-made leader in India. But a single tweet from popstar Rihanna blew it apart. Will Twitter bring him down as well? Made by Twitter, broken by Twitter? The social media platform has already patented its make-and-break power pack with Trump. Seems modern wars are fought and won on the social media now.

The Royal Soap

Meanwhile in good old England, the Royal soap opera has provided another knife-edge episode. The daughter-in-law has revolted and taken a future King with her to America in a sort of social exile. It’s the usual new wife and mother-in-law story. But it has divided the country and to some extent the Anglo Saxon world and its followers. Muskets are not out as most people prefer to sit by the TV or remain glued to their mobiles, sending Twitter shots against each other on whether Meghan has been wronged, victim of racism or whether she is an attention-seeking gold digger drama queen. Look around, plenty of similar stories in families. This just happens to be a State-owned and State-managed family. Henry (the VIII) might have dealt with all this slightly differently with the aid of his chief head chopper.

Even serious opinion writers have been writing psychoanalytic narratives. Some predicting irrecoverable damage to the Royals (there have been many such predictions over the years) while others pontificating the Firm (yes that’s what the Royals are called after the gangs of East London, believe it or not) will come out stronger and wiser.

Either way, the Royals may become very boring after a while and people will start asking questions such as, ‘what’s their purpose’. Particularly with the revelation that apart from cutting ribbons, the Firm doesn’t actually help anyone except itself. While Government smacks the commoners with more taxes and more ways to grab their meagre wealth, the Queen and her small family have found a way of using ‘royal’ power to protect themselves from the greedy Government. British Royals never used power to protect others, but themselves. This is leading to a new debate: What’s their purpose except protecting their wealth?

In fairness that is a silly question. Monarchs always say they rule on behalf of the people, but in reality, through history, they just build bigger and bigger palaces for themselves, buy more gold and diamonds etc. Why should the British monarch be any different? Ever heard of a King who prefers to live in a hut and say, ‘I will live here until all my subjects have a decent home?’ The last one who did, ended up walking out of the palace and starting a religion called Buddhism.

Meanwhile Meghan mela has offered a good distraction. People are no longer asking, how come Charles has immunity from his leaseholders. They can’t buy their leases like other leaseholders in the country!

Meghan has carried the soap on, with new twists, daggers and verbal gunfire and a royal husband in tow. If there was no drama, the Royals would have long passed their pass-by date usefulness in national entertainment. So, people should relax, not get too cross. Meghan has given a fresh lease to the Firm as English nationalism draws the wagons around it. Meanwhile, after this diffuses, wait for the next Netflix episode played in real life. Otherwise, the English would only have the weather to talk about. It’s a soap opera, and all soap operas thrive on drama.

Back to War

Good old democrats! No sooner did they sit on the chair in the Oval Office, the first missiles went showering in the Middle East. For all his sins, Trump’s biggest misdemeanours were that he created strife and deaths at home and left the world in peace. The most he did was say rude things like ‘rocket man’. And, of course, made the climate suit his moods. There were no sudden bombs raining from the skies on innocent families somewhere in the world, sacrifices as ‘collateral damage’ in a ‘noble’ mission.

The Left, or more precisely the liberal politicians, see war to bring lasting peace as their mission. They took over from the crusades. Wars to bring that final peace on Earth has been going on for a few thousand years. It is the liberal’s purpose in life now to change the world to what they think is perfect goodness. So, like Clinton and Nobel Prize winner Obama, Joe Biden has lost no time to get evangelic with the missiles. The bombs went out to Middle East.  

It may be the difference between the Right and the Left. The Right knows it is nasty but doesn’t have to prove it. It just knocks a few heads at home. The Left has to act as the goodies. But power is nasty, so they export the nastiness.  Wait for a few more thousand innocent, ordinary families dying in their sleep in the next four years. The democrats are home. Somebody needs to invent a sensor that ordinary families can put on their homes to assess the mood at Washington, so they can get out of the way as missiles rain down.

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