Confessions of a former urban naxal: Embracing the power of Dear Leader

A former sickularist admits to the errors of his ways and asks his old comrades to seek the divine light too.

WrittenBy:Raj Shekhar Sen
Illustration of Modi scuba-diving in the Arabian Sea.

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As I watched his highness scuba-dive in the incorrectly named Arabian Sea to appease Lord Krishna, my heart fluttered with anticipation. I realised it’s time to come clean myself in the service of the nation.

In an old life, I would incessantly argue with well-meaning friends about how our current leader indulges in acts of theatrics as a distraction so that we’d all forget important issues to go to our happy place on WhatsApp. I would go on and on about how, every time the nation neared an election, the rate of such distractions went up. 

To me of the past, it seemed like a proverbial red flag, even an exhibition of red flags to rival a souvenir shop in downtown Pyongyang. 

But o cruel, needless misunderstanding! O stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving breast! Today as I type this, gin-scented tears trickle down my cheeks. For now I am here, standing resolutely underwater with my hero. I have realised, nay, accepted that it’s all right, everything is all right, and my struggle is finished. I am a changed being now. Now, I not only see but understand, acknowledge and absorb the power of my leader’s simple ideas – ideas that otherwise made no sense to me because I was looking at the world through the lens of my leftist biases.

In this vein of transparency, I must also come clean about another past folly. 

For the longest time, I’ve been one of those who believed the way to lead the masses was by calling on the better angels of our nature, not basal instincts. But now, as I put these words here, I acknowledge that I have been wrong, and the man who leads me and my people has proven it over and over again.

Because who is to say the nation does not want to be distracted? Not me, for sure. 

Having been tight-slapped 370 times not just by my prime minister but by other luminaries – spiritual icon Vasudev, great barrister Sai Deepak, paradigm of scientific thought Ranga Uncle – I confess to my thought-crimes of not believing in my leader. The distraction, as I saw it, was not done to divert my attention from Manipur or hunger indices or unemployment crises. Nay, the distraction was a goal unto itself.

If you are, like I was, an anti-national, you might argue that the point of being an elected politician is to push policy that benefits the most people and harms no one. You may quibble that when we implement an idea, we must also take into account the unintended consequences of that idea and therefore be slow and deliberate and try to build a consensus.

To you, I ask these questions: What is the goal of policy? What is the goal of an elected leader? And, most importantly, what is the final solution – I mean position we all want to reach?

The answer, my friend, is happiness. All of us are, in our own ways, pursuing happiness. That’s where I think elite liberals miss out because, deep down, they not only want themselves to be unhappy but they also want to keep others that way. After all, if your stated goal is “equality”, you can either indulge in self-hate because you’re more privileged than others or you want to take away from those who actually do have more than you.

And in both cases, you find yourself in that deep pit of melancholy, a pit these arty types seem to revel in. Even that Marx chap would say things like “a spectre is haunting us” while being a Nervous Nelly all the time. 

On the other hand, my leader would look at a gas emanating from a sewer line and see a cup of chai. That’s just the kind of happy opportunist – I mean optimist he is. 

But wait, I see you’re still pushing back with questions. Such as: What is happiness when our farmers are being shot? Or why smile when there’s a constant state of unrest in Manipur? To you, I say, relax. In the hands of our esteemed premier and his media maestros, even the Great Fire of London could be spun into a spectacle of lights and pyrotechnics. 

So, let his holy girth 

in the ocean be drowned, and then raised. 

While, for us, the rest, let the ordinary violence of everyday existence 

from our minds, be erased. 

Because for everyone else, unlike you dear urban naxals, as Baba Orwell said, happiness is infinitely more desirable than truth.

How I found my way to the Mahamahim

It’s astonishing how it all clicked when I started to understand that all my dear leader wants is for us to be entertained and, by extension, happy.

When he urged us to light candles simultaneously, I let out a laugh. When he proposed banging plates to pummel the virus, I chuckled heartily. Each time he strutted in strange attire for his temple trot, I – a professed anti-religious heathen – roared with laughter. And now, as he plunged into the briny depths for an underwater aarti adventure, like a man possessed I am reduced to a state of absolute hysteria.

Notice something here? On each of these occasions, even though I was a naysayer and unbeliever, he still put a smile on my face. And his brethren too: When the Vishva Hindu Parishad went to court to get the names of two lions changed, what did I do? I laughed. When Parliament suspended 150 opposition members and one of them mimicked our esteemed Vice President, I guffawed. In fact, as far as our VP is concerned, every move he makes, every bond he breaks, and every step he takes, fuels joy in me. And then I take a moment to examine who picked him to be our VP in the first place. It was, of course, my supreme leader.

Let us pause and think about all those people personally picked by my leader to be our representatives, to take up space on our televisions and phones and in our hearts. From the chief minister of Assam who was going to reveal Rahul Gandhi’s “body double” to the cabinet minister who said the word viman in Hindi is proof our ancestors had airplanes to our VP again who said Uttar Pradesh is a role model for other states. In fact, as a connoisseur of dark humour, I went bananas when I heard a minister say there have been no deaths from hunger since our big brother took over. I smiled when Puducherry LG Tamilisai Soundararajan suggested we learn Hindi to promote Tamil, I was moved to applause when the defence minister said only saints and sages – not mere mortals like me – have the right to review the work of a king.

Why limit it to political animals? I was speechless, in splits even, when the leader of the VHP said the building of the Ram Mandir was a bigger event than getting independence in 1947.

What can I say? I often find myself sitting back, scrolling endlessly through Twitter, a smile plastered on my silly face like a puberty-stricken teenager, all because of a man who – metaphorically and literally – is on top of all of us. 

But much like the final demon in a kid’s video game, when I saw my hero, my leader, my master and my sevak take a little dippity-doo into the ocean, complete with red carpet on the ocean floor, I fell off my couch and rolled on the floor. That, dear progressives, is the power of happiness. That is what we have received in abundance over the last 10 years. 

And so, dear liberals, I implore you to think about the bigger picture here. Do you not ever wish to be happy? To seek joy in the power of simplemindedness? Do you not, therefore, with a silly-goose smile on your face, want our PM to rule over us, to ensure he gets to be our sevak now and forever? 

What else do you need to elect him? Growth? You’re getting that on your facial nerves thanks to all that smiling. Development? Constant happiness does help develop your health. Fifteen lakhs in cash? Well, health is wealth. Smart cities, bridges and trains? Roasting Reichstag? Occupy Poland? I beg you, please be reasonable and keep your bunch of thoughts to yourself. How much can we invest on other things when the already-inaugurated mandir is still being built? In this moment, can you not be a statue of unity behind the man, the myth, the legend?

On my part, I am grateful such a man exists to feed us delicious unabated propaganda. A thoughtful and gracious man who never shies away from making the Reich choices and telling people what the government thinks is the truth. For it is a truth universally acknowledged that a man in want of an election win will buffett us with the opium of the masses. 

I, for one, love this bright cold day in April as the clocks strike 13

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