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Wednesday, Oct 27, 2021
Outlook.com

Cellulite Certitudes

As scraggy socialists mope, the corpulent parivar corps chucks a swell

Cellulite Certitudes
Illustration by Saahil
Cellulite Certitudes
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

There’s a new F-word in the capital’s politicalscape. The recent cabinet expansion had the commentariat, even the gush media, wail about the Narendra Modi government going from fab to flab. What is it about the BJP and Super Size Me? No, it’s not about the expansion of the state but the expansion of the waistline—it’s the corpulence, not the opulence, of Hindutva hegemony.  The newly-inducted ministers are a breadroll call—from Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti to Sujana Chowdary, Vishnudeo Sai to Dharmendra Pradhan.

Last fortnight Maharashtra’s first BJP chief minister, Dev­endra Fadnavis, walked into the party’s bariatric hall of fame. The 44-year-old now stands paunch to punch with Union minister Nitin Gadkari, and the government’s most influential minister, Arun Jaitley. The capital is abuzz with rumours that the ever-expanding party president Amit Shah is still undecided over the US or India for his stomach stapling. Another BJP belly buddy is Vinod Tawade, former Maharashtra leader of opp­osition, who followed Fadnavis for the laser zap. After a decade of Congress con­formity, of hollow socialist sparseness and povertarian exh­austion, it’s now about the binge twinge.

Consider this: even as the BJP’s pontifical head, the RSS, preaches sobriety and austerity, with vegetarianism and teetotalism, it’s only the Sangh’s oldest disciple, the 86-year-old frugalista L.K. Advani, who has stuck to the image of ideal pracharak; the rest of the leadership, from Vajpayee to M.M. Joshi, and the Sangh leadership too, from Mohan Bhagwat to Bhaiyyaji Joshi, are rotund and stocky. Then there’s the PM himself—Modi’s tailor has proudly declared to the world his master’s 45-inch waist, apart from the trumpeted 56-inch chest. Ministers Rajnath Singh,...

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