Isn’t that awesome? You say something and when it boomerangs you pooh pooh it by announcing it was just a throwaway remark. As compared to what… a caught-behind-the-wicket comment. Shashi Tharoor’s comparative study between Bhagat Singh (yes, the Bhagat Singh) and some leftist JNU students was laughable and utterly inane.
Talk about chalk and cheese and he would have won the week’s award for political nonsense if it wasn’t for BJP leader and Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu’s herculean effort in taking servile sycophancy to a new level. He described Prime Minister Narendra Modi as “God’s gift for India” and a “messiah of the poor” in what can only be called a granite chunk of embarrassment.
If Modi has some sense he will chastise the man for harming his credibility because that is what such lavish and sticky praise does. Sycophancy and slavishness are integral to our psyche.
From the office lickspittle to the class snitch (teacher’s favourite), from the political lackey to the fawning disciples of a trending guru we have blended ass-kissing into an art and science. For enough of us it is the best qualification for success and we crawl down that path with graceless enthusiasm.
Take Mr Naidu’s astute observation. If we assume for the sake of logical argument that there must be something of worth in the man that propelled him to high office then what epiphany occurred in his mind to utter such rubbish?
Did he actually think that this sort of toadying up would make Modi a happy man, that there would be reward for this public display of obsequiousness?
He did not stop to ponder that he would set himself and his Prime Minister to ridicule. That is the worrying part... A man of this stature (ref position he holds) thinks it fit to grovel and snivel for his boss in such an unedifying fashion.
Equally a matter of concern is that if he gets away with this blatant display of unctuousness what should we think of his capabilities and, more importantly, do our leaders actually encourage this demi-god status for themselves — sort of secretly wallowing in the heaped praise.
We have seen it over the years. The Gandhis love it, so did the Hindi belters, The Thackerays enjoyed it. Jayalalitha takes it to a mega high and we have volunteers who commit suicide to show their love though it is a moot point how killing yourself achieves this aim. Others have rolled on the ground, bled through self mutilation to display loyalty and eaten rice and dal off the dust to prove their humility in the presence of greatness.
Turning puny humans into gods and goddesses is another sport and even Modi was once depicted as Lord Krishnan. In MP (according to a report) CM Vasundhara Raje was Goddess Annapoorna.
Advani, Rajnath Singh and Vajpayee were presented in vivid colour as Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, respectively, in a poster. We have a vast Hindu pantheon to choose from.
The list of celestial celebrities in political drag is long and the odd part is the recipients do not object at this plunge in conceit.
We can, to an extent, forgive the moronic conduct of the average flying monkey and bootlicker on whom we shower our contempt because he is only trying to save his mangy little skin. But what about our questioning those who are the subject of the display? We never ask them why they don’t show their ire or raise their objection to such absurdity. And we never show our contempt for them for encouraging the obsequiousness.
Frightening thought but is it possible that they love it, that they are able distil from such puppy tail-wagging that it is genuine and unbridled affection for them.
And we let people like that rule us. Maybe we are the biggest suckers of all.
Wake up, Mr Naidu. God did not send Modi or Gandhi or Sonia or any of them to save us. We sent them to these positions of power and they are not saviours.
If Modi is the man he says he is he should just relieve you of your portfolio… Truly and that is not a ‘throwaway’ statement… or is it.
First Published On : Mar 22, 2016 13:31 IST