Around a month ago, I came across a question on Quora: “Why did some die-hard Modi fans become Modi haters overnight?” While I was reading the answers, an intriguing question popped up in my mind. Although, numerous people had jotted down numerous reasons as to why somebody might have turned to a Modi hater from being a die-hard Modi fan, never was a specific person mentioned. I read some more answers, but none of the people mentioned anybody who went through this kind of transformation.
As a matter of fact, I have a friend who turned Modi hater from a die-hard Modi fan overnight. This is a true story, based on the events of my own life. I don’t want to name my friend but let’s say he is Mr X.
I moved to Germany in March of 2015 to pursue Masters in Embedded Systems Design. The very next day while returning from the university admission office, I saw someone who looked Indian. I walked up to him and asked: “You from India?“, even though I was pretty sure he was. As expected he nodded yes. A formal introduction followed: “Hi! I am Anant and you? Mr X; Hindi? Yes!
He added me to a WhatsApp group for Indian students in Bremerhaven. We became friends. In a week we found two more North Indian students and several South Indian students. All four of us ended up in the same “studentenwohnheim” or “one room student apartments in a building”. I and Mr X are of the same age and the other two were younger.
The very same year PM Modi visited Hanover. I wanted to see both Hanover and PM Modi. It takes around 2 hours and 30 minutes to reach Hanover from Bremerhaven. I asked my friends if they would join me. One of my friends went with me but Mr X said he could not wake up early and so, he would be joining us a couple of hours later. Along with another friend of mine, I went, watched the Prime Minister with great enthusiasm, toured the city and came back.
The same year Akhlaq case happened in Dadri. Mr X was furious about PM Modi’s silence on that incident. He wanted PM Modi to say something. Even though there were fifteen arrests in that case but it did not make any impact on Mr X. During one of our worthless discussions, I tried to reason with him: “Somebody is trying to paint a picture in communal colours. It is a law & order issue and nothing more than that“. Never the less he kept on calling BJP communal, according to him, he was a BJP loyalist till then, but that incident shook him. It was the first time when Mr X turned into Modi hater overnight.
Time passed by and then came November 2016; 500 and 1000 rupee bills became invalid. I for one did not understand the gravity of this action. I never had to deal with cash on a large scale barring monthly rent and groceries. Same holds true for Mr X as well. But to my surprise, he was furious again. Why? I don’t know. We were not even in India at that time, the step did not impact us what so ever. Not even a bit. Moreover, he has a fetish for debit cards. He used them way more than I did. Once again we had a long heated debate over it. We even tweeted our views (as if it mattered at all, he has some 120 followers and I had 3). According to him, BJP was apparently a clean party before this, however, this decision had changed that. It was the second time Mr X turned into a Modi hater overnight.
Time passed by, BJP won the UP elections. I thought this was just the right time and opportunity to rub it in his face. I waited till it was confirmed that BJP has won, and then I with a smile wider than Grand Canyon whisked straight to his room. “Knock Knock, now do you believe that people liked Demo?” In contrast to what I was expecting him to say, he said: “I never said Demo was a bad idea, I only said that it was not implemented properly, further added his stand is always party neutral and it should be seen as a healthy-constructive criticism.”. I was completely blank! And confused, I thought I would prove him wrong by showing him his old tweets. Clever Mr X had removed both his tweets and Facebook posts targeting demonetization. I guess Twitter and Facebook should introduce a feature where people can’t remove/delete anything 24 hours after posting.
Anyway, time passed by and GST happened. We again had our long discussion. Why was he furious with GST? Only God knows. We don’t have a manufacturing or supplier business, how does it affect people like us? According to him, he had endorsed in some way all the previous decisions made by PM Modi but this one. It was the nth time when Mr X turned into a Modi hater overnight.
Every time PM Modi and his party would do something Mr X would oppose it but will pretend as if he supported the last action. People like him even found a way to justify themselves “the idea was good but was not implemented properly”. What is the definition of ‘properly’? Nobody knows or have an idea of what ‘properly’ is. What are the other instances where Demonetization was conducted on 500/1000 Rs bills in India? Or when was GST applied in India before this time? Or when was NRC conducted other than this one? Better in “Implementation could have been better” refers to the comparison? Comparison with what? These are isolated cases, there is no ‘better’ in these cases.
The fact is Mr X had never voted for BJP. Whatever may be the reason, he had a liking for some other party or person, otherwise, he would have had no issues going to Hannover with us that day. It is but obvious that different people would like different parties when there are several political parties in a vibrant democracy like India. But why hide their allegiances? I wanted to know why he would not accept that he did not like BJP or PM Modi and had a preference for Congress or any other party for that matter.
Every time I would ask him, if I don’t vote for BJP, then who do I vote for, he would come up with a clever but partial answer; ‘NOTA’. I called it ‘partial’ because my follow up questions have never been answered. Who might be the prime minister of India in case my vote ended up making a difference? ‘NOTA’? “The world’s largest functional democracy elected ‘NOTA’ as it’s prime minister”, how much sense would that make? Which party did the ‘NOTA’ prime minister come from? Congress? JDS? NCP? SP? BSP?
Mr X and other people like him have no arguments to defend their beloved party whichever it is. Therefore it is way easy for them to concoct flaws in the only party that stands in between. An attack is the best form of defence. In addition to this, when a person pretends to start from a neutral stand, he gets a bigger room to attack.