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Quick, what's common to Hitler, Sanjay Gandhi and Narendra Modi? Small cars! Frivolity apart, while every now and then comparisons between the Gujarat CM and Rajiv Gandhi are sometimes made (when recalling Gujarat 2002, Delhi 1984 is often invoked), here in the third post on Narendra Modi in recent days, Shiv Visvanathan, in the Indian Express, compares Modi to the younger brother, whose son has been making news for all the wrong reasons:
If one reads them without blinders, one realises they are two chapters in the history of liberalisation and globalisation. Sanjay inaugurated the privatisation of the state to which Modi added the corporatisation of the state. For both, concepts and ideology were secondary, mere footnotes to the logic of power. Modi is just a later version of Sanjay, a leader with a PRO. Both knew how to cater to middle class vulnerabilities. In Sanjay’s time order came when trains ran on time and clerks reached office before time. For Modi, the disciplined body of the middle class now reacted to words like security and toughness. Both realised that evil, fascism, tyranny becomes possible if one can play on the insecurities of the middle class.
Shiv Visvanathan also raises the question that has perhaps not been asked often enough by liberal commentators:
One often asks why the Congress in Gujarat is silent about riot victims or development? Why is there a sense of the twining of these parties, both built around the middle class as an abstract imagination?
Read the full article in the Indian Express