oppn parties Identifying The Leader With The Nation Is Dangerous Sycophancy

News Snippets

  • Special DG (Training) in CRPF, S N Shrivastava, appointed special commissioner (law & order) in Delhi Police in order to quell the violence. He is also expected to take over as chief of Delhi police once Amulya Patnaik's term ends on February 29
  • Curfew and shoot at sight orders reportedly in force in some areas, but Delhi Police HQ does not issue a notice for the same
  • The Central government has pressed paramilitary forces to control the riots in Delhi
  • Mobs in Delhi target journalists, check them for religious identity and snatch equipment
  • 13 people deal until now in one of the worst spells of violence in Delhi
  • Violence in Delhi shows no signs of abating with fresh areas in the north-eastern part of the capital coming under its grip
  • Delhi High Court says DGCA was wrong in approving the flying ban on stand-up comic Kunal Kamra by airlines other than Indigo for his alleged misbehavior with TV anchor Arnab Goswami aboard an Indigo flight
  • The Bihar assembly passes a resolution to stick to the old NPR form, making it the first NDA state to do so
  • Arms deal for advanced helicopters, worth $3bn, signed with the US, but the trade deal remains elusive
  • Trump says he has a good equation with Pak PM Imran Khan and assures India that Pakistan is working to reduce cross border terrorism
  • Trump once again offers to mediate in the Kashmir issue
  • Trump says it is up to India to decide on the CAA
  • US President Donald Trump says PM Modi wants religious freedom for all
  • US President Donald Trump lands in Ahmedabad, received at the airport by Prime Minister Modi
  • US President Donald Trump to land in India today
Continuing violence in Delhi takes the sheen off the visit by US President Donald Trump
oppn parties
Identifying The Leader With The Nation Is Dangerous Sycophancy

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.

Second or third rung politicians in India have sycophancy in their blood irrespective of the political colour they represent. So is the habit of hailing one's leader as Supreme and by that token, to be the only one to be identified with or as the Nation itself. Any criticism of the leader was and is, per se, criticism of the Nation according to such leaders. Hence, when Congress leader D K Barooah had said that "India is Indira and Indira is India" he was just taking such sycophancy to its peak. People were not surprised at that time but took it as a 'devotional' chant from a sycophant.

Times have not changed. When Union minister Jitendra Singh says that those who criticize US President Donald Trump for calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi "Father of India" and are not proud of the fact that Modi is indeed the 'Father' of India are not Indians, he is showing the same devotion as shown by the likes of D K Barooah. Once again, the Supreme leader is being identified with the Nation and it is being said that any criticism of the leader is a criticism of the Nation. It is being said that those who do not recognize the Supreme leader as the only one to be identified with or as the Nation are 'traitors' and do not deserve to be its citizens. The Father of the Nation is Mahatma Gandhi and no other leader can aspire to match his stature. Obviously, the Nation cannot have two Fathers. Perhaps Jitendra Singh wants to believe Trump and replace Mahatma Gandhi.

This was, and still is, a dangerous theory. Just months after the devotional chant from Barooah, the Supreme leader in Indira Gandhi was so filled with her own importance that she declared a national emergency when faced with rising opposition to her dictatorial policies and incarcerated almost everyone who was not a Congressman or held a view that Indira was not India. If now sycophants in the BJP keep on egging Narendra Modi, who knows what will befall the nation? Already, the likes of Sakshi Maharaj have said that there will be no elections in India in 2024 as Modi, after winning in 2019, will continue to rule for as long as he wishes or lives.

Despite Modi himself being humble and calling himself the Pradhan Sevak of the nation, the people around him are just fawning sycophants. The Prime Minister must tell them not to cross the line. Praise must be showered in moderation. No leader is Supreme. He is supreme till the time people think he is and vote for him. In any case, no leader can be compared to or identified with or as the Nation. India is much bigger than Indira or Modi. They are just sevaks who come to manage the affairs of the Nation on the bidding of the people. Hence, people in the BJP must not discredit Indians who do not think what Trump said was right.