As Narendra Modi desperately tries to change his image, he’s now got new BJP President, Nitin Gadkari batting for him. Gadkari reveals his breathtaking naivete by comparing Modi with Mahatma Gandhi. Here’s how sociologist Shiv Vishvanathan pooh poohs Modi’s pretensions in the Indian Express.
Gandhi was concerned with the truth. He used his body as a site for experimentation in diet, protest and new ways of thinking. There was a stark simplicity to Gandhi’s idea of fasting and truth. Modi, on the other hand, is a propagandist who is determined to create an image for himself by inviting Ratan Tata, Narayana Murthy and Amitabh Bachchan to play his court jewels and brand ambassadors. Modi’s is a politics that has destroyed truth to focus on branding. His will to an image fades before Gandhi’s search for truth. An appropriation of images does not constitute truth. Modi may threaten current Gandhians who are an invertebrate lot. They may watch in silence as the CM holds forth from Sabarmati. But not all the exercises in branding or appropriation can alchemically change Modi into a facsimile of Gandhi.