In India, cult of Prime Minister Narendra Modi breaks records

On September 17, Narendra Modi turns 71, and the entire state apparatus is set in motion. BJP activists [Bharatiya Janata Party, parti de la droite nationaliste hindoue] go door to door, tens of thousands of supplementary vaccination centers are open. The Minister of Health tweets that the Prime Minister must be thanked for providing free Covid-19 vaccines to the Nation.

And the effort pays off: 21.9 million people receive a dose that day, three times more than the day before. The national record is broken. Even if the way to get there is doubtful because this record mainly came from the states led by Narendra Modi’s BJP party, such as Karnataka or Gujarat, which saw vaccinations multiplied by 38 and 10 respectively in a single daytime. The authorities would in fact have closed centers the day before, or recorded the figures of the day before on the anniversary, to inflate the record.

In any case, the communication operation bore fruit and the same evening, televisions announced that India had broken a record of vaccinations in honor of the Prime Minister’s birthday. An additional mark of the growing cult of Narendra Modi in India, a cult orchestrated for months by his party: his image is everywhere today, in the newspapers or on huge posters in the street, hence the other elected officials of the party and even the vice president of the country have disappeared. And above all, the portrait of the Prime Minister is affixed on the vaccination certificate distributed every day to millions of Indians. Impossible, therefore, to spend a day in India without seeing his portrait.

“In recent years, the BJP and Mr. Modi have erased the lines of demarcation that exist between ruler, government, state and nation.”

Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay

to franceinfo

“These concepts are supposed to become synonymous, explains Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay, journalist in New Delhi. Basically, Modi is India, and India is Modi. ”

Never has a Prime Minister been the object of such a cult since Indira Gandhi. It was in the 1970s. And Nehru’s very authoritarian daughter ended her mandate by declaring a state of emergency and suspending public freedoms for almost two years.

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