Some very syrupy eulogies have appeared in the media last week on the big event — Narendra Modi’s appearance at an educational institution in New Delhi known as the Sri Ram Commerce College. This is apparently the first time Modi chose an audience of university students in Delhi.
It seems he cut a nervous figure initially but regained his poise. What made him nervous we don’t know. Nor do we know how he overcame the nervousness.
What we are being told is that an epic war has begun this week
for the minds and hearts of India’s youth and in this war too, there can only be one winner — Modi or Rahul Gandhi.
Frankly, my mind goes back to the 1980 American western romantic drama film Urban Cowboy. Modi reminds me of ‘Bud’ Davis (played by John Travolta) who moved from the small town known as Spur in Texas to the outskirts of Houston known as Pasadena to make it real, real big in life.
Bud swiftly adapts himself to the nightlife in Pasadena… And the story takes many a romantic turn. That’s it. What lingers at the end of it are the fantastic dancing abilities of Travolta — and the chip-kicker hangout known as Gilley’s Club on the outskirts of Houston where he dances during a hard day’s night — and nothing else.
We won’t know whether Bud realized his dream, whether the urban cowboy ever made it big in life in Houston. At a certain point, let us say, it ceased to matter anymore. The film becomes one hell of a country music version of Saturday Night Fever. Got it? Yes, Sir, it carries no tales. It simply showcases Travolta’s incredible ways with his great body.
What is Sri Ram Commerce College on India’s political landscape? From what one can make out, it is apparently a pocket borough of the BJP’s student wing. Modi was destined to have a stupendously successful show there.
However, now that he’s gotten rid of his shyness in that campus as an urban cowboy who’s newly arrived in Houston, will Modi make an appearance on the campus of, say, Jamia Millia or the JNU? He should. For, Rahul Gandhi will.
There is no real plot in the little episode of Modi addressing the girls in Sri Ram Commerce College. No epic war here, nor was there any enduring moral to be drawn. Don’t try to discover one where none really exists.
The defining moment comes when Modi decides to connect with the inscrutable Indian peasants. They await him and they number a few hundred millions.
But they merely watch and listen, squatting on the dust. When Modi finishes, they’d just get up and leave without even saying ‘Thank you’. Won’t they unnerve Modi? He is so used to being adored.
Posted in Politics.
– February 10, 2013