New Delhi : “Whether the tiger beats the bear or the bear beats the tiger, the deer always loses.”
In the latest Hollywood movie ‘The Avengers- Endgame” the 22nd and culminating installment of Marvel’s superhero franchise, the main antagonist character Thanos, portrayed by Josh Brolin, says "I am inevitable", implying that the other characters of the film will not be able to interfere with his plan and can’t stop him.
Let us analogue his dialogues with the present debate on whether Narendra Modi could retain his power.
No, it’s not to portray all the opposition parties as “Avengers” and Modi as antagonist “Thanos”, but to explain the so called “inevitability” of his retaining the power at the center.
In the Endgame Movie, Thanos, a Malthusian who believes killing half the sentient beings in the universe would create a world of peace and prosperity for the half left alive.
Modi, the self-styled “Guardian of the National Security” and “Champion of Jingoist Nationalism” also believes that making India a Congress and an opposition free would lead to ushering of his idea of “New India”.
The beliefs of both reel world Character Thanos and the real world Political character Modi could well be seen as metaphors for the ongoing election scenario to arrive at the answer to the question “Will Modi be Inevitable?”
The problem with the “Avengers-Endgame” plot is that the defeat of a villain built up to be supremely powerful. But, it did sent a message that Thanos and all those supremely powerful could be vanquished.
But unlike, Thanos who gets defeated, Modi appears to be supremely more powerful and the opposition parties are no ‘Avengers” and Rahul Gandhi, the perceived alternative to Modi is no “Tony Stark” with a little sleight of hand to change the trajectory of proceedings from impending catastrophe to immediate triumph.
Therefore, if at all Modi has to meet the same fate of Thanos, then he has to fall for his own tricks.
The tricks that he is employing in his electoral war against the not supposed Avengers among the opposition might turn out his own nemesis.
But Avengers indeed they, as they nurse the ambitions to see the end of him at any cost, even if it meant to come together by keeping aside all their ideological differences, the way some of the Avenger characters set aside their egos to defeat Thanos.
The own tricks that Modi has been employing are results of the perception-deficit among the people he is facing.
Leaving the development narrative of 2014 to the winds he is attempting to bank upon nationalistic sentiment, bringing himself into the equation.
Mostly, this sentiment is juxtaposed with the ‘enemy nation’ Pakistan and followed up by linking sections within the country as being hand-in glove with this adversary.
And in the process, Modi, the “Guardian of National Security” of 2019 is projecting himself a study in contrast to the Modi, “Vikaas Purush” of 2014.
In 2014, he was selling to the gullible voters a new hope and dream. In 2019, he is promoting in imaginary fear.
Obviously, Modi has changed his narrative for 2019. This time he wants people to vote him because he is required to be around to protect them from danger, both external and internal, an ambition even the reel character Thanos nursed.
He even went on to revoke trivial issues that surrounded Rajiv Gandhi unwittingly displaying that he lost the plot and has no other issues to hide his failure of realizing ‘Achche Din” promises.
Apparently, his electoral campaign has become bereft of new ideas and debates on his policies, but simply degenerated into slogan mongering, accusations and counter-accusations, and raucous rhetoric,
He is merely seeking the recourse under the supposed 70 years of misrule of Nehru-Gandhi family, instead of dwelling on what he achieved in the last five years, to retain his power.
In his Thanos like belief, he ignored the fact that most Indians would want to see their country emerge as a strong state: not just a ‘muscular state’, but a compassionate one as well – a state that cares for its poor, backward and oppressed.
Given the popularity of his brand name, what one never expected was his total concentration to attempt to make the electoral gains out of jingoist nationalism and sacrifices of the soldiers.
No doubt, Modi, the supremely powerful had chosen to fall back on a discourse of danger for his electoral victory.
Whether this narrative would be enough to make ‘Modi Inevitable”, is a moot question, answer to which only be known on the day of announcement of results.
But, the present electoral political narrative is no plot of the “Avengers- Endgame”, where the main Character who boasted that he was ‘Inevitable” gets defeated giving a little hope to the opposition parties, who of course are not Avengers, that ‘Inevitable” could be made “Evitable” .
But whoever beats the other, the people always lose.