Prime Minister Narendra Modi choking up at the plight of healthcare workers in Varanasi had brewed up a storm. It has been met with both sympathy and disbelief. The Indian public is divided on what to make of the spectacle.
It is no secret that politics is most often elaborately planned and executed. The speeches are written, the leaders are told what to say, what questions to answer, what questions to evade. That is not to say that there is no truth to what they say, but simply that they choose what truth, and how much of it, to speak.
The question then arises, how much of it is an act?
The video of the Prime Minister in tears has, predictably, gone viral. By his supporters, it has been described as an outpouring of grief. He is commented for empathizing with the terrible situation the healthcare workers are in. It is perceived as him truly caring about the Indian public.
The more skeptical of the Indian public, on the other hand, have called it a spectacle of ‘crocodile tears’. It’s been referred to as drama. Rising to the occasion as always, trolls on the internet have begun to refer to it as PMCries, an allusion to the ‘relief fund’ PMCares.
Pathos has always been the preferred tool in BJP’s arsenal. Indians are sentimental folk, and swaying the public’s emotions is a good way to gain their support. Strategically speaking, it is undoubtedly a smart move. In terms of credibility, however, it leaves much to be desired.
Some other instances of PM Modi being ‘moved to tears in the history of Indian politics may help shed some more light on the current situation. A few notable moments are after he was chosen as the leader of the parliamentary party in 2014 and during the demonetization debacle in 2016.
The two instances are great examples of the two different kinds of scenarios that brings PM Modi to tears in public.
When he was chosen as the leader in 2014, he was made emotional saying that he was grateful for the BJP for giving a ‘poor boy’ such an opportunity. It is an act of humanizing politicians. One of removing the professional distance maintained to give the public enough of a glance into their personal lives to make them see them as individuals rather than an amorphous blob of party ideology. Although the PM’s current lifestyle is far from one of a ‘poor boy’, it creates a relatable figure to look up to. He goes from simply being a man in power, to an underdog who fought against circumstance to get there.
During the time of demonetization, the public was up in arms, outraged. It was a policy that hit the middle class and poorer sections of society hard. The speech that had him in tears did not speak of how the crisis would be solved, or why it was considered appropriate to plunge the country into crisis without warning. Instead, he tearfully spoke of his sacrifices to reach that position. He said he wasn’t in it for the ‘kursi’ and requested that the public endure the hardships brought about by demonetization. .
Rahul Gandhi tweeted “No Vaccines. Lowest GDP. Highest Covid deaths...GOI’s response? PMCries.”
Amidst the struggle to find beds, oxygen and medicine, along with the mismanagement of the vaccine and social distancing measures, the pressure on the government is high. There has been some questionable decision making, like conducting the Kumbh Mela amidst the pandemic that further exacerbates the public’s skepticism towards how well the government is handling the situation.
It is important to remember that trying to earn an emotional response happens when logic and competence have both failed.
PM MODI IN TEARS: INDIA
The article authored by Mafazah Sharafuddin about the Honourable Modi's tears is to hoodwink the people that he is a genuine person who cares for the people. I welcome the scholarly article and congratulate the writer. I am a UP NRI, have studied, worked and travelled the world for over 50 years. My comment is made in good faith based on my learning, experience and my personal dealings with the UP and the Central Government. Both levels of the governments are governed by irresponsible politicians, IAS, IPS, PCS, terrorists, who are mostly unskilled, uneducated, uncivilised with a Godly attitude. People of India are the victims of the religious faith at the hands of our politicians and their executive's
mafia and their culture are fundamentally barbaric, irrational, violent and horrifying. I provide a simple example that Modi, PM and Yogi CM of UP are untrustworthy and unfit to Govern and they have no moral, as an example for the progress of civilised society. I made a parental property partition application before the civil Courts. My younger brother, his wife and children, other co-shareholders consulted advocates related to my co-shareholders, the advocates advised them that since I married a Japanese Buddhist women I was not entitled to get my shares in the parental properties. I am 75 years old with three children residing in Canada since 1975. My co-shareholders are related to an IAS in Assam, who conspired with 3, IAS, 4, PCS of UP, police, politicians and bhumafia and recruited one relative of co-shareholders late Vikas Dubey of Kanpur to murder me with a motive to steal my properties which is possessed in gun violence by my brother. I prayed to Modi and Yogi for the protection of my life and property they ignored me in a similar way as they ignored the victims of Covid-19, pandemic causing a massive death all over India. The Indian politicians and their executives were willfully negligent which negligence has ruined India. It is up to the Courts of India to judge the conduct of Modi. In my opinion India is a lawless Nation governed by Gundas and no one and no one's property is safe.
Victoria BC CANADA