'Virat' Modi and his fan following

Jun 19, 2013, 07:32 IST | Ranjona Banerji

Will Narendra Modi be the saviour of India or merely of his fans who exist in cyberspace? Or will he be the saviour of anyone at all? So far, at least for the National Democratic Alliance, he’s been a bit of a, umm, destructive force. But how can one blame the BJP for protecting their own against a friend who turns nasty? After all, Nitish Kumar could have won Bihar again for the NDA but there is no way he could win Twitter or Facebook or NRIs R Us.

Favourite pick? Every Indian who cannot be bothered to live in India is convinced that Narendra Modi is the right answer for India

In fact just about every Indian who cannot be bothered to live in India is convinced that Narendra Modi is the right answer for India. Okay, I’ll concede that there are six overseas Indians who disagree or is it three? Almost all the Indians who cannot be bothered to live in India and who do however live on social media are definitely diehard Modi fans. They are also “proud” and “virat”, the second of which I don’t think has anything to do with a cricketer with that first name or with the fact they’re majestic, brilliant and supreme beings. In fact, it could just be that Virat is the name of all Twitter NRIs since it is apparently the most popular name amongst overseas Indians according to an internet site of no credibility.

All these proud and virat people will be happy to learn that renowned author Chetan Bhagat has anointed himself (well, if Narendra Modi’s getting a party position can be an anointment, then why should others be deprived the glory of being bathed in holy unguents) as the unofficial campaign manager and chief advisor to Modi. At any rate, he has given Modi lots of advice on how to win the next election for himself. I mean for the BJP.

But it is not clear whether virat Modi needs any advice at all. He usually instructs other people on what they should do and after some time, he gets rid of those people and finds new people to instruct. Interestingly, every discarded person sulks or becomes an enemy and every new person becomes an instant fan. Clearly he has a formula that makes Dale Carnegie’s theory about how to win friends and influence people a bunch of outdated claptrap.

Modi’s own idea of winning India has been to send relatively new (now a bit older) friend Amit Shah to Uttar Pradesh and make plans to visit Ayodhya. He also visited LK Advani, AB Vajpayee and MM Joshi in Delhi, perhaps to convince them that he is the saviour — supreme being and if not that then definitely majestic and brilliant. Sulks may ensue in the wake of this visit but as we all know, jealous and small-minded people tend to get a little sullen when faced with the majestic brilliance of supreme beings.

Is the little street fight between former BFFs and now unfriended and unfollowed partners the BJP and JD(U) going to distract from this grand plan to take over, sorry, win India? This is a palpably foolish question. Anyone who is a real fan knows that nothing can distract saviours from their course of action. And sometimes a little street-fighting, you know, proves how manly and virat you are. It is undoubtedly better if you win this street fight but if you don’t then you can always hire a PR agency to spread the word that you did.

Of course, no PR agency can outdo fans on social media. They are there for you in sickness and in health and especially in death. Poor security analyst and former R&AW chief B Raman felt the heat of the virat fan in his battle through cancer and after he died. Raman had very oddly decided he was not a fan of Modi as saviour. This is as you can imagine was blasphemy to the virat Indian who cannot be bothered to live in India. Raman was dubbed a “traitor” in death. Let this be a lesson to all you non-saviour non-supreme beings.

Ranjona Banerji is a senior journalist. You can follow her on Twitter @ranjona 

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