Conspiracy of the lazy faithful

By choosing fury over fact, delusion over reason, passion over politics, Modi's enemies — beginning with the Congress — make Gujarat politics a one-horse race

WHAT gives Narendra Modi such invincibility? Shall we call it a self-defeating conspiracy of the faithful? The entire community of Modi haters and baiters, political rivals and ideological questioners has driven itself into a hole, creating its own delusions and believing them. The only beneficiary in the process is Modi. In more than a decade, the Congress has not politically challenged him, except through some brave civil society activists. But they cannot defeat Modi politically, or persuade his loyalists to change their minds. That is the job of politicians, not activists. Only lazy, defeatist political parties outsource such responsibility to civil society. Further, activists are usually single-issue people. But finding fault with everything Narendra Modi has done or claims, or simply calling it a fallacy, shows poor political judgement. Modi, in turn, spins it to his voters as an insult to them. Most of Modi's enemies and rivals have been talking to the media, courts and fellow believers. Nobody is talking to the voters of Gujarat.

Surely, Modi has given enough reason for truly secular Indians to be angry. But you cannot design a political response to him like that. The other problem is, if you say that all his claims of growth and development are rubbish, then why are Gujaratis voting for him? Can you then go on to also hail the same people for the religious tolerance and liberalism that is said to have ruled their land pre-Modi? One accusation against Modi is that he is only a marketing person. But his rivals also need to realise the essential principle of marketing, that nothing fails more disastrously as an obvious lie, no matter how passionately you state it. That is why, as we saw in part one of this series, the Congress questioning of Modi's claims on power supply and industrial growth falls flat, and works in his favour.

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