Mayank Shekhar: Har Har Prime Minister Nagendra ji
So I just watched this film called Modi Kaka Ka Gaon. No, seriously.
In Modi Kaka Ka Gaon, Nagendra ji sits before a wooden table that has absolutely nothing on it, no files, let alone a computer; it’s just the thinker on his throne
In the film Modi Kaka Ka Gaon, playing at a theatre near you, Prime Minister Nagendra sits all by himself in his office, warming his chair, hands folded, in every scene. Why is this so unimaginable? Of course, it would be, unless PM Nagendra has developed sufficient number of clones with artificial intelligence, to simultaneously grant darshan everywhere otherwise - billboards, digital/print/TV ads, radio shows, Twitter, Facebook feeds, political rallies, public meetings, private photo-ops, foreign trips, inaugurations of projects, temples.....
In fact, as you can tell - with him being in a movie as well - Nagendra ji is such an expert at repeatedly transmitting his vision for transforming India that one wonders when he ever gets the time to implement it. But that's only a mystery for those who haven't watched the film Modi Ka Gaon to observe the real Nagendra ji - sitting before a wooden table that has absolutely nothing on it, no files, let alone a computer; just the thinker on his throne. He prays with agarbatti to a photo of Mahatma Gandhi.
There's a buzzer under the table that he constantly presses to call for, in his Gujarati accent - gently parting his lips as if breathing through his mouth - his Bengali assistant Mr Bannerjee: "Had of Intalijans Bureau ko bulao!" The IB chief is being called over because Nagendra ji has been watching on the TV, not himself, but a video of the district magistrate (DM) of Darbhanga (in Bihar) being hacked with a knife.
Nagendra ji wishes to ascertain if the incident did occur. It did, because the DM had shared with Nagendra ji a 'master plan' to stop floods in his area, which Nagendra ji, having diligently gone through the proposal, had instantly accepted, calling into action heads of various other agencies, in what's admiringly his "single-window" approach to solve the nation's maladies.
Two netas, chakki peesing in jail, say, "Jab se Nagendra Sarkar aayi hai, hum politicians ka naak mein dum kar diya hai (Corrupt politicians have been screwed since Nagendra Sarkar came to power)." Elsewhere, the voice-over, masturbating over demonetisation goes, "Black money wale logon ke pairon ke taley zameen nikal gayi (The corrupt have lost the ground the beneath their feet)."
They remind you right away of the round-the-clock radio ads leading up to Nagendra ji's election in 2014, where a man called Corruption would sound shit-scared with a trembling voice, because of the imminent results. The villain in this film is called Pappu, and the best song by far is about him, and how Nagendra ji, our man, has emerged to take on his makkari, gaddari (treachery), and sex tourism to Thailand.
Of course, Modi Ka Gaon doesn't concern itself with the elections, which Nagendra ji has been quoted before as calling it "war", and himself as "senapati" (Army general), which is an odd way to perceive democracy, or people's will, if you may. But astute number-crunching, targeted gaming of polls is undoubtedly Nagendra ji's greatest skill.
Oh, the Modi in Modi Ka Gaon isn't Nagendra ji by the way, which is just as well. It'd be sacrilegious for a 67-year-old politician, sold to the nation as youth leader, to be termed Kaka (Uncle). The Modi in the movie is an old fellow in a Bihar village that gets ravaged in the floods, along with a little boy and a girl. The boy grows up to become the DM. The girl is a journalist visiting the DM's district from abroad.
She wafts into the villains' den posing as a nautch girl, and records them admitting to having attacked the DM. The local journalist with the video is easily paid off. The clip finally makes it to TV, because the DM has a "friend in the broadcasting department." The DM and the dame fall in love, dancing around trees to songs, if I'm not mistaken, about Swachh Bharat, and Swast Bharat (clean, healthy India).
After a sermon on how 'smart cities' have come up across India, my favourite track from the film has got to be the title track, which goes something to the effect of, 'Modi ka gaon khush-haal ho gaya... Acche dino ka sapna saakar ho gaya! (Modi's village is flourishing. The dream of happy days has been realised!)'
Elections are a lot like marriages. You don't simply marry a man/woman, you marry an entire family that inevitably comes along as inheritance. One doesn't just vote in a politician - an army of followers get elected alongside too, the Francis Ford Crapollas who've made this film, included. God, that's a sobering thought. Evidently, I'm hung-over.
Mayank Shekhar attempts to make sense of mass culture. He tweets @mayankw14. Send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org