Tuesday, February 18, 2014

From the Modi Campaign Trail

As Narendra Modi cranks up the frequent flier miles on the campaign trail, his ecstatic fans are already sounding the victory bugle all over the internet. That they are doing it in their characteristic abrasive style is also the cause of much lamentation among the people who usually get to write newspaper columns. Thanks to some of Mr Modi’s more enthusiastic supporters, his campaign has got shots of (unintentional?) humour – much needed in these serious times.
Here are five examples of ‘fan-art’ from his supporters, gleaned from the wondrous, cavernous folds of the Internet.  
Needless to say, it can be convincingly argued that some of them may have actually been created by Mr Modi’s detractors. I – myself – believe that these are indeed made by his die-hard fans, probably because I see sincerity instead of cynicism in all of them. But hey, it could be just me!

NaMo + Momo = National Intergration

To take on AAP and their cavalier treatment of Ugandan women and to highlight the death of a Mizo student in Delhi while AAP was in power, Narendra Modi met up with students from North East. And his PR cell promptly reduced the meeting into a popular Bollywood-style stereotype.
“Momo bechne walon ke saath NaMo hai...” was the rousing line with the message ended – banishing the articulate, erudite, good-looking population of North East to the roadside momo stall in one fell swoop.  
Oh – they also added Sushma Swaraj’s ‘flat-nose-sharp-nose’ sauce, just in case you thought the momo was too bland!

Tit For Tattoo
What you want written on the soul, you tattoo – Old Jungle Saying.
And so you have this young girl who has tattooed a gigantic face of Mr Modi on her entire back and his PR machinery clearly sees this as an example of her ‘deewangi’. I am hoping for the girl’s sake that this is Photoshopped. Can you imagine the plight of her fellow dandiya dancers if she is wearing a backless choli and Namo peeps out in ‘Big Brother is watching you’ style? And of course, slightly imaginative positions during coitus are a strict no-no!  
Am I the only one who thinks NaMo looks a bit like Osama in the tattoo, especially with the white t-shirt looking like an Afghan turban on him?

Let A Thousand Flowers Bloom
Meghna Patel threw caution (and her clothes) to the wind as she posed nude* (terms & conditions apply) on a carpet of lotuses – only with a poster of Mr Modi for company. Ever since Ms Poonam Pandey pioneered the concept of ‘stripping as reward’, several starlets have followed her on the disrobed path. But this was something new.
‘Nude for NaMo’ was announced as an incentive or reward. What was Ms Patel saying? Vote for NaMo and I will throw away the lotuses? I don’t want a Hand to touch me? What?
Either way, she was reprimanded by a BJP official for doing something that was – you guessed it – alien to Indian culture. 
[On his birthday, Mr Modi was wished by Mallika Sherawat on national television through what was clearly the most execrable performance of the ‘Happy Birthday’ song ever. I am not including that in my list since it was a promotion of Ms Sherawat’s forthcoming TV show and not a Modi campaign message. Masochists, click here.]

Monkey Shakti, Tan Ki Shakti
While monkeys are our ancestors in a distant sort of way, we always refer to them in a negative way. All through my childhood, the word “Bnador” – in Bengali – is always reserved for the naughtiest kids and other cultures are no different. Therefore, the mind boggled when his PR cell compared Mr Modi to a monkey. On closer inspection, one realised it was Hanuman who he was being compared with. Surely, a visage of Ramanand Sagar’s Hanuman would have been more apt?
But the sincerity, with which the message asks you to recount the similarities 'apne dil par haath rakh kar', is something else.  

NaMo NaMo PM Go!
This is my personal favourite. Primarily because they rhyme 'tea vendor' with 'the last air-bender'. How cool is THAT? 
Everything that NaMo does (or is going to do) finds place here. In three exciting minutes, this video manages to summarise the main qualities* (terms & conditions apply) of the PM candidate, that too in rhyme. Set to dance music. And with snazzy slide transition effects? As Saif Ali Khan says, WOW!
If this is not worth 272 seats, I don’t know what is? 

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