The Modi visa denial has been discussed to death. For the latest update go to Manish at Sepia Mutiny. Modi will be speaking via satellite to the Association of Indian Americans of North America, (what part of “Modi is responsible for the murder of hundreds of people” don’t they understand?) There is a protest planned which will begin at 4 pm in front of Madison Square Garden, Sunday March 20.
Also there is an excellent post by Abhi about the various conspiracies that are swirling around at the moment. Which brings me to my own conspiracy theory. I think its the BJP leadership more than the Congress leadership that wants to clip Modi’s wing, and not because they are less communal than Modi. Despite their public outcry against Modi’s visa denial, Modi has become a liability for them. At least thirty five MLAs rebelled against Modi a couple of weeks ago, complaining about his “high handed” manner. Which is sort of short hand for Modi’s administrative style, which doesn’t quite indulge in pork barrel politics. One of the reasons the BJP lost the Lok Sabha elections in Gujarat was because the powerful rich farmers lobby went against the BJP. The lobby wanted free electricity, which Modi refused, and invoked their anger. While chatting with people in Gujarat in December, I was told that Modi told the officers of the administrative service that he wanted the state to be run in an efficient manner and in return they would not be troubled by politicians, (except when it came to his pogrom project I suppose), this has been very unpopular with the other politicians in the state who are a lot more corrupt, and probably upset about not being allowed to line their coffers. At this point, I can’t resist pointing to Ashis Nandy’s account of meeting Modi:
More than a decade ago, when Narendra Modi was a nobody, a small-time RSS pracharak trying to make it as a small-time BJP functionary, I had the privilege of interviewing him along with Achyut Yagnik, whom Modi could not fortunately recognise. (Fortunately because he knew Yagnik by name and was to later make some snide comments about his activities and columns.) It was a long, rambling interview, but it left me in no doubt that here was a classic, clinical case of a fascist. I never use the term `fascist’ as a term of abuse; to me it is a diagnostic category comprising not only one’s ideological posture but also the personality traits and motivational patterns contextualising the ideology.
Modi, it gives me no pleasure to tell the readers, met virtually all the criteria that psychiatrists, psycho-analysts and psychologists had set up after years of empirical work on the authoritarian personality. He had the same mix of puritanical rigidity, narrowing of emotional life, massive use of the ego defence of projection, denial and fear of his own passions combined with fantasies of violence - all set within the matrix of clear paranoid and obsessive personality traits. I still remember the cool, measured tone in which he elaborated a theory of cosmic conspiracy against India that painted every Muslim as a suspected traitor and a potential terrorist. I came out of the interview shaken and told Yagnik that, for the first time, I had met a textbook case of a fascist and a prospective killer, perhaps even a future mass murderer.
So maybe it shouldn’t surprise anyone that he makes the “trains run on time.”