Narendra Modi’s blindness overtaken by the Covid-19 epidemic in India

This was long before the Covid-19 tsunami hit India. For months the Indians watched in confusion as his white beard and hair, usually meticulously trimmed, grew thicker and lengthened. He never commented on his metamorphosis and left it to everyone to speculate about the reasons for this change and its political significance.

Since the new coronavirus epidemic began in February 2020, Narendra Modi, who has taken the utmost care in his appearance, has taken on the appearance of a guru. In Hindu culture, a long white beard is associated with the wise philosopher or sadhu. Some commentators have dared to compare Modi’s new look to that of the poet Rabindranath Tagore, a major figure in India, as if the prime minister were looking to reference the country’s great political and philosophical icons to shape his own historical figure.

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«Narendra Modi, Analysis Christophe Jaffrelot, researcher at CERI-Science Po, obsessed with his place in history and willingness to compete with Gandhi. The Mahatma is the only figure that matters to him. As he is now trying to get out of the political sphere, he preaches the good word when he speaks to his contemporaries about morality, family and order. “

Apparent separation

The change is not just physical, it is accompanied by a modification of the repertoire. Narendra Modi, who had built his popularity on the image of the strong man, ran after his re-election in 2019 in a moral-religious dimension that, according to Gilles Verniers, intended to put him above the political sphere. “That is of course not trivial, relief this professor of political science at Ashoka University near New Delhi. He went from the infallible man, from the CEO of India, to the image of the Hindu sage, through competition and parties, a figure that we do not question. It’s a change that betrays an attempt to evade any form of inventory. “

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This strategy worked very well during the first wave of the Covid-19 epidemic. Despite inefficient administration, at high human and economic costs, the Indians did not resent his brutal decision to completely freeze the land for two months. The Prime Minister announced this decision on March 24, 2020, when India, with a population of 1.4 billion, had only 415 cases without consulting the experts on the relevance and advisability of such a measure, which is based on the strategy of the West. The Indians only had four hours to lock themselves in their homes. The 400 million migrants, these seasonal workers, who leave the country every year to look for work in the city, were the great victims of the first wave, left to their fate, without work, without pay, without transport.

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