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Narendra Modi’s appearance on Man vs Wild will burn the ‘liberal’ heart because it defeats their mission to dehumanise him

The 'liberals' played the game, and Modi seems to have swooped in and changed the rules.

British adventurer and survival expert Bear Grylls, known for his popular television show — Man Vs Wild, will host a unique guest on his show on August 12. The guest is none other than Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi. “People across 180 countries will get to see the unknown side of PM Narendra Modi as he ventures into Indian wilderness to create awareness about animal conservation & environmental change,” tweeted Grylls. 

By any standard, this is set to be one of the most historic episodes. Politicians in general and Indian politicians specifically are considered to be rather prudish when it comes to venturing out of the traditional role of a politician. Donned in the traditional kurta-pyjama, the Indian politician is often seen as old, boring and someone who doesn’t live in the same zip code as ‘fun’.

Prime Minister Modi has changed that to a large extent. From his colourful Safas, to his Modi jackets. From his habit of venturing unannounced into the crowds to meet and greet to rockstar like events abroad where he even shared the stage with Hugh Jackman and said ‘may the force be with you’. His appearance on Man vs Wild is another step in familiarising the man behind the post with the population.

This historic step, however, did not sit well with several of his detractors. Shah Faesal, a Kashmiri politician who is often found pandering to Pakistan tweeted that he will watch and promote this episode if the Modi government spares articles 35 and 370 in Kashmir.

Aside from the fact that Faesal’s tweet drew an asinine comparison between a program aimed to raise awareness about animal conservation & environmental change and a long-overdue policy decision aimed at the further integration of Jammu and Kashmir with the rest of India, his response, while illogical is not surprising.

Then there were others like Kavita Krishnan who lied about PM Modi not caring about climate change, while the truth is that India was one of the first few countries to ratify the Paris Agreement.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is perhaps one politician who has managed to break the glass ceiling far number of times than any other politician. He was first catapulted as the Gujarat Chief Minister and then, seated at the PM throne in Delhi without ever having served at the centre. He won with a thumping mandate not once, but twice, and is perhaps the most vilified politician to have overcome the international cabal to not only rise to power but with a landslide majority in India.

In order to go after one man the way the international cabal went after Narendra Modi, perhaps the primary requirement is to dehumanise the target to such an extent that the cabal is viewed as not attacking a man, a human being, but just the idea of him.

For over 15 years, Narendra Modi was vilified and made to be an object of hate for what happened in Gujarat in 2002. He was branded the ‘merchant of death’ and a litany of adjectives that need not be repeated. The aim was singular: ensure that he is projected to be so terrible, that he stops being human in the eyes of the people. It makes the process of absolute vilification far easier.

The absolute dehumanisation of a leader serves several purposes for the international cabal. It ensures that people don’t view him with any amount of sympathy or admiration. The all-consuming hate is simpler to sell when the man is reduced to an object, or even, an abstract idea. Once the humanisation is done away with, it is easier to make the falsities stick. No matter how outlandish the lie is, no matter how reprehensible the comment or abuse is, it is easier for the people to stomach because the man being abused has also been divorced from the physical, human realm.

The outrage of the ‘liberal’ cabal aimed at Narendra Modi, not just for the Man vs Wild show but largely, must be viewed through this lens. Why is it that a political interview by the Prime Minister gets far less outrage as compared to his informal interview with Akshay Kumar? Why is this appearance of PM Modi on Man vs Wild irking the ‘liberal’ far more than his policy decisions?

Simply put, these appearances humanises Modi and delivers a massive blow to the ‘liberal’ agenda of treating him as an idea that must be hated. It puts the man back in the empty shell they wish to project Modi as. People hear him answer questions about his favourite fruit, or watch him laughing at some meme on Twitter, he suddenly becomes a human being who is not just what the cabal projects him to be.

The ‘liberals’ have often followed this modus operandi of subtly dehumanising the ones who don’t agree with their world view, just to make it simpler for the fence-sitters to stomach the choicest abuses and adjectives that would be used for the person or group of people who dare to disagree.

Anyone who dares to question them gets branded a ‘troll’, an uncouth sub-human who deserves nothing but abuses. By doing so, they not only dehumanise thee dissenting voice but also elevate themselves on to a pedestal. The contest thus becomes unwinnable. An ‘intellectual’ on a pedestal versus a dehumanised sub-human who deserves nothing but rebuke.

When RSS workers or even Hindus are murdered in cold blood, they rather not talk about it. And if they do, they ensure that their dehumanisation project is smacked on track. One recalls how Rajdeep Sardesai dehumanised Prashant Poojari. Rajdeep Sardesai even wrote an article where he asserted that Prashant Poojari’s murder had a ‘political context’ whereas the murder in Dadri, of a Muslim man, was a product of pure hatred bred by Hindus. Poojari was not human. He deserved no sympathy, ergo, by extension, any Hindu murder must be viewed with a different set of lens, ones that deny them the right to be humanised.

Any RSS worker murdered must be projected as a hoodlum. A criminal. The narrative is simple – he got what he deserved.

This is also why they detest the very existence of artists like Anupam Kher or even a Shekhar Kapur. Through their ethereal art, they proved themselves to be as human as anybody else. As human as the liberals. And thus, they must be vilified as this proves to be a massive road bump in their ‘Project Dehumanise’.

Any non-liberal voice must be and has been for decades, reduced to an empty shell worth unbridled hatred. Any dissenting voice vilified. The truth is forgotten. Buried under a pile of lies, misinformation and a campaign so strong, that no amount of humanisation would work. The hate that PM Modi is about to get for his ‘Man vs Wild’ appearance is because seeing Modi as a human being dents ‘Project Dehumanise’. The ‘liberals’ played the game, and Modi seems to have swooped in and changed the rules.

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Nupur J Sharma
Editor, OpIndia.com since October 2017

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