The massive roadshow by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the cavalcade as part of the nomination gala took Varanasi by storm. Of course, the BJP cannot be blamed or envied for events choreographed and telecast to appeal to a wider audience. The entire spectacle looked staged in order to present the incumbent as a larger-than-life character.
The superficial glitter of the events that eclipsed the real issues revived memories of the India Shining campaign. It is hard to describe the open display of awe and admiration for Modi without alluding to the “personality cult”. In Varanasi, clad in a saffron kurta the Prime Minister looked like a quasi-religious figure displaying his piety for public consumption. Maybe he has deemed that his unapologetic Hindutva pitch is necessary to offset the losses in the Assembly polls earlier. It seems observing religious rituals publicly has become the most effective way of electioneering.
G David Milton