Modi is acting like Shakespeare’s King Lear after losing the Kingdom

Radhakanta Barik

Language is power in our society. Gentle words are the products of the medieval Bhakti movement when many thinkers like Nanak, Kabir and Chaitany and Bhasav etc created a movement for speaking gentle words to your people. Memory of upper castes gets articulated in power against dalits, backwards, poor and women etc. It is interesting to note here that BJP has got this language as power as their leaders speak these words. Modi as their leader is speaking 'Ghar ke andar ghush kar marunga". This is language of power of feudal lords cum upper castes. In our childhood I have heard this from the feudal lord who exhibited his power by speaking out these words to a barber who refused to obey. Modi is the present day feudal lord who spoke this sentence against the dalits, minorities and women and poor. The second word 'sarab' which speaks of the mentality of the Hindutva politics. Sarab stands for alcoholism which is against the upper caste Hindus. On their perception the lower cases practice the drinking habits. This is being used as vulgar words by the upper castes. Modi by coining the word Sarab for the alliance of political parties SP+RLD+BSP = SaRaB which is the drinking habits of poor and dalits. This SaRaB is going to threaten Modi to make him out of power it is like the prohibition law getting enforced by his government while he was the chief minister. If you enter from the front gate of the restaurant or hotel, then you will be served with vegetarian food and if you enter from the back door you will be served with liquor and meat. They dominate UP politics which Modi Yogi hate. Today the SP BSP, RLD +Congress are ready to make Modi to loose from his own constituency of Banaras. Thanks to these forces that the Hindutva hate them but they are the real strength of the present day democracy.

King Lear is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare. It depicts the gradual descent into madness of the title character, after he disposes of his kingdom egged on by their continual flattery. Modi might hate the English plays but in his own life he is acting like King Lear who is losing his control over his language as the Prime Minister and speaking a language mixed with vulgarity and craziness. Modi is fond of flattery of people surrounding him and enjoyed his supremacy and invincibility among them as they praise him as bringing the issue of national security into the vortex of election politics. He uses vulgar words in attacking the opposition as the agents of Pakistan and ready to throw him because he is an honest politician being attacked by dishonest lot. This is the worst language spoken by him in recent times. His attack on Pakistan is being questioned by the University in Australia who is engaged over the work for a month and their findings show there is no such proof that India attacked Pakistan. Furthermore his love for Pakistan is more than other political leaders. He went to former Pakistan Prime Minister's birthday ceremony without any invitation. The opposition is fighting the general election of 2019 over the issue of idea of India vs divisive politics of Modi. This is the critical issue along with a high rate of unemployment, low wage and low economic growth and disparity among various castes and classes highest in the last four years and corruption on Rafael deals. All these issues are pinching him as the Prime Minister he wanted to talk only love and hate of Pakistan as King Lear used to talk of his disloyal daughter. “We have seen the best of our time: machinations, hollowness, treachery, and all ..”.As he used to say: King Lear shows his madness after losing his kingdom here Modi is showing his craziness before losing his kingdom. But his acting style in disheveling his hair like the famous actor Ben Kingsley acting in the role of King Lear.

After seeing the plight of Advani- Joshi having thrown out of the house of the BJP by their own nominee Modi as the Prime Minister, I can feel sorry for all other senior citizens in Delhi. As I move to the park in late morning I see old people have come to the park with their lunch packets and bed sheets to the park for taking rest till the evening. Their sons and daughter in laws have nicely told them to be out of their homes in day time. What a warning by their children to these old parents. It is an intelligent way of handling the old and seniour citizens of Delhi. The same way the leaders of the BJP have behaved with Advani- Joshi by throwing them out of their homes. They can come and join with others in the park. It is the best way to treat the seniour citizens of the party by their leaders. What is the status of the old and senior citizens in the Hinduism. In the Mahabharat while war was going on, the old people like Bhishma or Dronacharya took the position of the Commanders of the army. It seems that till one is able to work one can contribute to society and polity. According to many journalists Advani in his age is fitter than Modi but he is being ignored by Modi. Joshi is a Professor and getting ignored by Modi. Modi and Shah have got their ideas from W B Yeats the famous poet that 'No Country is for the old' and they should be thrown into dustbin. As Hindutva is having no understanding of Hinduism it is an easy ploy for them to ignore these people. "An aged man is but a paltry thing, 
A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
Sold clap its hands and sing and louder sing
For every tatter in its mortal dress" 

For Modi and Yogi these old people Advani or Joshi are the tattered coats hanging upon a stick. They have been ignored by these people. They are supposed to speak out against Modi today as reported in the newspapers which are controlled by them except some.

This is the election time which is a festival time in the life of democracy. As for the festival people do make preparations to celebrate in a meaningful manner among relatives and friends. As celebration goes on it turns out to be quiet affair. The same thing is happening as the nominations for the first phase of election have been filed. If one moves in the tea shop or barber's shop and in the park people start debating over various issues affecting their lives and the life of Indian democracy. Suddenly somebody threw a stone into their midst which creates noise and the debates stop at a critical moment. Public argumentation is going on various issues be it the price of their products for farmers  or wage of a labourer or access to health services or access to quality education; all these debates stopped yesterday as the Prime Minister Modi created a noise and the media took hold of the noise and added to it. It was the duty of space scientists to announce the launching of satellite but no; the leader of the BJP Shri Modi has come and announced violating the code of conduct imposed by the Election Commission. It violates public morality. It brings a noisiest scene in our electronic media for 24 hours over the BJP leader's statement. It reminds us as told by W B Yeats:
'The best lack all conviction, while the worst 
Are full of passionate intensity."

What is the guiding spirit of Hinduism for working hard surely not making wealth as the Hindutva thinkers speak out? That work in the past life helps people to be wealthy and rich. It is a hundred dollar question? I got answer while working in rural Odisha and where a woman worker working with the Women Self Help Groups told me, "Atma Kushale sarba sidhi, taha jananti Gunaniddhi." (enrichment of soul is the basic aim of those who  work hard, it is known to Gunanidhi or man with all virtues) This explains the twisted meaning of Karma theory behind Hinduism that living in poverty is the result of bad work in the past life. Here the Bhagvat talks very clearly that satisfaction of soul is the basis of doing hard work. That is the spirit of hard working farmers in the field. It means that the farmers by seeing the green crops sing a song which motivates the singers like Bhupen Hazarika to collect those folk songs from Assam. Hinduism in Assam is guided by the Bhagavat philosophy. It is Hindutva who wanted a twisted meaning for which they do politics and business at the cost of a nation. All their top leaders have collected money according to the Yeddyurappa’sdairy as the Mining owners from Bellary gave to the party and their leaders. Hindutva has hatred for others which is not accepted in the philosophy of the Bhagvat. Hatred is a part of "tomoguna" or anger in heart which is not accepted by the Bhagvat. "jar hridayare tomoguna, se prani narak lakhan.) Those who have hatred in their hearts they are fit for hell) This explains that  the Hindutva does not have grounding in the Shastras of Hinduism. The Bhagvat speaks of enrichment of soul that is more important in Hinduism. That a good human being talks of something out of soul and does something in satisfying his or her soul. I was working with poor women workers belonging to Women Self Help Groups and find their leader talks of a statement from the Bhagvat. Hindutva does not understand the meaning of enrichment of soul for this reason they want wealth and prosperity for themselves and speak a lot against Hinduism today. These are according to Bhagvat are really 'Murkha' or idiots. "Je atma baddha mokha jane, je prani pandit bakhane." (Those who kill their souls and talk of knowledge are the real idiots.) This is the profound observation in Bhagvat which is completely ignored by the Hindutva leaders.

When Mrs Indira Gandhi gave a slogan of 'Garibi Hatao' in 1971 there were opposition from the Hindutva thinking people. That Naipaul, the leading novelist who got Nobel Prize and awarded Bharat Ratna because of his closeness to Vajpayee and Advani wrote in his book 'Wounded Civilization' that Indira Gandhi was doing something against Hindu philosophy of Karma ," those who do good karma in their past lives get prosperity in the present life". Indira Gandhi was doing something against this Hindu belief. It is peripheral thinking in Hinduism as the Bhagvat talks of good karma brings satisfactions to soul which is critical point in thinking. Those who ignore their souls like the present day Hindutva leaders are the really antiHindu. All studies show that Mrs Gandhi's slogan of Garibi Hatao brought down the poverty level in India. It is interesting to note down that those days poverty level is defined by Dandekar and Rath in terms of calories that a poor needs 2500 calories of food. Today while interacting with the poor of Jagatsinghpur district I find that they take education and health into their basket of wage goods. As Prof Amartya Sen talks of human capability with the help of basic income, basic education and basic health services. The poorest of poor sends his or her child to school and college from this district. Rahul Gandhi's slogan yesterday minimum income is a redesigned of Garibi Hatao of her grandmother in right mood and right spirit. That education and health are included in the basket of wage goods of the poor, for this reason he has announced the minimum income for the poorest 20% of families in India. These poor families need to be provided with the supplementary income by providing the Minimum income guaranteed. This is popularly known as the NYAY.

 It is a great step as a poor in Haryana last week was mobilised by Hindutva foreces of Modi - Kathar that their main enemy is not poverty but the Muslims and Dalits who brought by the BJP and trained in Nehru Memorial Museum and Library by the culture minister Sharma and others to be cow vigilantes. These people need to be fought with a proper social economic programme including political ideology. Rahul Gandhi as the leader of the Congress Party  is taking a bold step against Hindutva by bringing a problematic understanding of the poverty.

The BJP held 'the Vijay Diwas' as the first day of official election campaign by their party President Amit Shah, without telling what for and how they won the victory and who are their imaginary enemy. One can understand Mrs Indira Gandhi held a day like this in 1971 after India- Pakistan war which led to the formation of Bangladesh. Refugees coming from East Pakistan returned back. It was signed between the General of Pakistan and General of India. Indira Gandhi did not hold Vijay Diwas' after the victory over Pakistan.  The BJP held 200 rallies of Vijay Diwas all over India with a slogan that who could defend the national security? It is Modi who will defend the national security,according to their bhakts. The question is theirs and answer is theirs. Some places like Agra where Shah the party President held the rally only one hundred people came for it. In Delhi hardly any crowd if twenty people can be called as a crowd. But it has left a confusion in the minds of the public regarding the above questions 'What is the meaning of Vijay Diwas? Why do they think Narendra Modi can defend national security? By telling loudly by beating the chest, Modi in the election rally is speaking loudly of national security. National security is closely associated with internal security. High rate of unemployment in the last forty five years have created frustration among youths of India, for the first time they feel unsecured as the public institutions are under the attacks. Their income is declining and their children's future is uncertain. Modi's slogan of national security is in danger as Modi is beating his chest.

I want to state that regarding the minimum income declared by Rahul Gandhi that any benefits reach poor that heart burning starts in the rich. I was moving among the rural people of Jagatasinghpur district of Odisha  and found that the real problem as the rich perceive that poor should not get any benefit. They openly say it. All my relatives including educated relatives told me bluntly that these people need to stay where they used to be. I raise a question to them what is the logic behind the payment of wage of a rice one gauni which is equivalent to one and a half kg rice. They could not answer it and they exploited the poor and dalits by paying low wage till 1975 till Nandini Satpathy as the chief minister started implementing the minimum wage talked by Mrs Indira Gandhi. That is the beginning of attack on citadel of poverty that is Odisha where poor dalits and tribals used to work in their houses as servants for a year on payment of Rs ten during 1970s and 80s. These rich today do not have any servants as political democracy teaches them not to work as servants in anybody's house. These people abandoned their cultivation and kept their land fallow for punishing the poor but the poor did not relent. Today they are free wage labourers who are working at wage of Rs 300 in the same place when they used to work for rice of one kg and a half. Whenever they require money they go to work under the MGNRGEA and get an additional income of Rs 250. As wage has not increased by Modi government for the last five years is showing his anti poor leadership. They go for cultivation of vegetables in their homestead land. They plant coconut trees in the same land and collect the fruits. They send their children to schools and colleges. Their daughters dare to marry rich people as the rich in rural Odisha desire to have these women today as they are educated and productive women. When Naveen Patnaik declared Rs 6000 under the KALIA project to the poor they made the same objections: how it is going to be implemented. The first installment has gone to their pockets and the same way Minimum income guaranteed declared by Rahul Gandhi will go to them. Modi does not have anything to offer to masses but only killing the poor in the name of Muslims and Dalits.

. This is the age of measuring happiness where Bhutan is the happiest state whereas India's position has gone down by 3points after Modi came to power. Modi's political supporters create more problems for people in terms of law and order. Their employment opportunities have declined which can sustain livelihoods. In our study of Gujarat riots (see The book “Saffron Regime…” although Muslims were targeted by the Hindu fundamentalists but riot phobia affected both Hindus and Muslims. All these related activities have pushed India's position in the Happiness Index lower than before. What is happiness? It has been discussed in the text of the Bhagvat where those who people lead normal life in both joys and sorrows are called happy people, "same je dukha sukha mani, se maha sukhi nitya bhani."(In both joys and sorrows one leads normal life he is the happiest person.) But despite Indian philosophy teaches us to be happy but our quantum of unhappiness has increased according to Amartya Sen because of misrule of Modi government.

 I was talking to the chowkidars regarding their life style. According to them they work for 12 hours for earning ten thousand rupees as their eight hours work fetch only Rs6000 which is insufficient for getting two square meal. They live in a rented juggi where they have to pay the rent for hour as he goes to sleep for four hours and take bath come back to his work. Modi has similarity in terms work for 12 hours with a chowkidar as he claimed himself a chowkidar. He wears dress of one and a half  lakh rupees which is the income of a chowkidar perhaps in his whole life. As a chowkidar was living in a servant's quarter in our official colony that got married and told that  he could not have sex with his wife as his duty was for twelve hours during the night. Here the chowkidar and Modi had a similar life in terms of sex as he has abandoned his wife in his village after getting married. Most of the RSS workers are not married or they have abandoned their wives. These people have some similarities with the real chowkidars. But these real chowkidars have no hatred against the other communities which these imaginary chowkidars have. On our inquiry the real chowkidars feel sorry for these bigots. They have another similarity with these political chowkidars that when thieves come to plunder some houses or office they take a share of the loot and letting them go. This is happening to Modi and other chowkidars that rich people while taking their plundered loot and got a share from them. As Nirav Modi and Choski say that they have given a plenty of money for these people including the BJP electioneering.

Political climate is getting hotter as the real climate. Summer has stepped in and the spring with the new leaves is coming up and dry leaves are falling. Let us hope that Indian Republic has a spring when these dead and dry leaves start falling from the branches after the election of 2019.

Prof Radhakanta Barik, retired as Professor, Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi

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Apr 6, 2019

Prof Radhakanta Barik [email protected]

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