Narendra Modi: What Makes Him What He is ?


Narendra Modi: What Makes Him What He is ?

January 24, 2020

''I loved the CAA-NRC protest sight in Ranchi. The posters of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Subhash Bose and many more freedom fighters were all around. Also seen were tri-coloured Indian flags. No green flags usually seen at such localities. Wearing nationalism, protesters were chanting Bharat zindabad. The people were so patriotic- long live CAA, NRC protest ! I’m so positive. It’s two contrasting things coming closer... towards भारतीयता. I love it. Rather we all love to see juxtaposing of two parallel s meeting somewhere in near future''.
- Alok Deo Singh

Until nineties, communism or Marxism was a dominant political ideology and the nation states of the world were divided and aligned on the basis of this form of internationalism where nations came together and identified themselves with the ultimate objective of overthrow of capitalism with the slogan ''workers of the world unite''. This also brought together those nations which did not endorse this form of internationalism in the form of NATO or similar groupings. With the breakdown of Soviet Union, because of its internal contradictions, communism largely withered away contributing in rise of nationalism particularly among former soviet republics.

Another internationalist political ideology is Pan-Islamism which advocates the unity of Muslims in the world as manifested in the form of organisations like Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). The effectiveness of this in uniting people on the basis of faith is debatable but the radical elements of this form of internationalism have apparently left impressions in the minds of others in the recent past. The rise and activities of radical Islamist forces like Taliban, Al Qaida, ISIS etc (which started around the time of Russia pulling out of Afghanistan) and Organisations like Muslim Brotherhood seems to have created sense of insecurity and fear among non-Muslims across the world including in India. The call for unity on the basis of faith inevitably leads to reactions among the members of the out-group.

Looks like recent trends in rise of 'land or geography' based nationalism is closely connected with the rise of Pan-Islamism particularly its radical forms as its spin off effect. The phenomenon may be global in nature. You see rise of nationalism in countries like USA, UK, Russia, India etc. Marxist Ideology based allegiance pattern has crumbled away but apparently. both Pan Islamism and nationalism are on rise.

Further, for good number of people in India, 'nationalism and patriotism' has virtually replaced religion. Emotional attachment to the nation has taken over or replaced the emotional attachment to religion which is relegated to private domain. The term 'wearing nationalism' could apply to such people for whom the nation comes first and all the emotion is invested in the idea of nation. This phenomenon is crystallised in Britain where there is hardly any church goer is left but 'British-ism' has taken strong roots in the recent past as reflected. for example in Brexit phenomenon.

Minority complex involving insecurity and fear is not limited to Muslims alone in India. Now, Hindus too seems to be affected by sense of insecurity and fear of being eliminated in future by Muslims especially when thought of along the history of partition and creation of Islamic Pakistan on religious line. Though India opted for secular polity based on democratic constitutional values and rule of law, sceptics wonder if there is a need to rethink.

Possibly, this psycho-social phenomenon among the majority population is associated with ''What really makes Modi what he is''

May be. some day this form of nationalism too would wither away when internationalism based on pure human values takes strong roots over internationalism based on faith or economic relation. -


Author: Umesh Prasad
The author is an alumnus of the London School of Economics and a UK based former academic.
The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the author(s) and other contributor(s), if any.