There was an explosion of giggles on Social Media recently over an alleged interview of the Prime Minister/Chaiwalla/Chowkidar/whatever else he likes to call himself, conducted by a channel called News Nation. Let’s get the allegation out of the way first: it was not an interview, it was a pity party, and Modi was certainly dressed to party in a loud orange silk waistcoat that he must have borrowed from one of his terribly grateful friends in India Inc because he has no money of his own, remember? If only his friends had better taste, sigh.
There were no anchors present, just two genial hosts. They asked him sympathetic questions like, why do people attack you, don’t you feel hurt when people say bad things about you, how did you feel about being poor, etc, and smiled and/or nodded sadly when poor Modi humbly answered their questions.
The objective of the line of questioning was clear: portray Modi as a victim. Yes, the poor dear man who still hasn’t got a clean chit for the 2002 genocide in Gujarat, and who plays blind, deaf and dumb when minorities and Dalits are lynched by his supporters, was portrayed as a victim.
It was like watching a startling episode of Ripley’s ‘Believe it or Not’. In fact, my hair stood on end when poor Modi modestly declared that, believe it or not, he was also human. Perhaps this was a cue for his genial hosts to shriek, “No, No! You’re God!” But the lazy good-for-nothings didn’t bite the bait. Tsk. Poor Modi must have been so annoyed!
My eyebrows rose to the ceiling when they asked him if he owned a wallet. The poor son of poor parents said he never had any money so he never needed a wallet till he became Chief Minister of Gujarat in 2001. The hosts smiled sadly again and made all the right noises, but oddly enough, didn’t pull out their own wallets to offer him money. Shame on them!
And they didn’t offer the poor old man in shiny borrowed clothes a cup of tea and pakodas either while he rambled on about how he used to sneak into cinema halls without tickets because (in case you forgot) he was the poor son of poor parents who ate khichdi once a day because they were so poor, blah, blah, blah.
At some point he forgot that he was the poor son of poor parents and said that he would check out the latest expensive gadgets on his trips abroad (erm, where did he get the money from?). He revealed a charming episode too: he bought his first digital camera around 1987/88 (remember, the poor man didn’t own a wallet till 2001), took a photograph of LK Advani and emailed it to him. This clip went viral and Social Media roared with laughter while pointing out annoying little facts to poor Modi. Like, for instance, the internet made its commercial debut in India in 1995.
But by far the funniest part was on Balakot, when poor Modi revealed his brilliance while attempting to play Obama in the war room. The finest minds in the BJP were so proud of what Modi said that they even posted a quote from the interview: “The weather was not good on the day of airstrikes. There was a thought that crept in the minds of the experts that day of strike should be changed. However, I suggested that the clouds could actually help our planes escape the radars.”
My god, he actually thought radars can’t see through clouds—and the defence experts present were too frightened to explain it to him? This makes me worry about that darn nuclear button: what if the Emperor is in a bad mood because his tailor hasn’t delivered his new clothes in time for a foreign photo op trip?
Apart from the merriment on twitter, The Telegraph (India) couldn’t help sniggering either, and called him Radarendra Modi on their front page a day after. When the smug BJP realised that their Prime Chowkidar’s intelligence was on the radar, they deleted several tweets and edited most of the bloopers out of the “interview”. Which prompted even more jeers on twitter, of course.
If Demonetisation and the shabby roll out of GST didn’t convince you of Modi’s competence, perhaps this “interview” will. Hello, it was scripted (Pratik Sinha of AltNews has confirmed this) and yet he blew it! Poor old Modi has been caught out again, and how!