India’s PM Invites Ridicule By Claiming He Is ‘God Sent’


By Nirendra Dev

(UCA News) — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent statement that he is “god sent” and that the energy he musters during his election campaign does not come from his “biological body,” has invited ridicule and strong reactions.

“After my mother passed away, upon reflecting on all my experiences, I was convinced that god had sent me,” he told a female television anchor during a boat ride on the Ganges river in Varanasi, his parliamentary constituency.

“This energy could not be from my biological body but was bestowed upon me by God… whenever I do anything, I believe God is guiding me… I am nobody, I am just an instrument,” he added.

Opposition Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said an average person saying this would be asked to “go see a psychiatrist.”

Congress chief spokesman Jairam Ramesh said Modi’s remarks reflect “an unprecedented level of delusion and arrogance.”

Some Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders tried defending the prime minister by calling him “the epitome of hard work and dedication.”

“He can work hard… He can address two rallies, participate in two road shows in the summer heat, and then return to Delhi and give full-scale TV interviews to senior journalists,” said BJP leader Sanju Verma.

Modi’s critics say his “divinity” is “purely political.” He is aware this would go down well during poll season.

“There is also an added significance to his sense of timing and venue,” said rationalist Tushar Bhadra, who is based in Varanasi.

Political analyst Ashutosh Talukdar believes that India’s English media and their Western counterparts will be mistaken if they try interpreting what Modi said through a Christian idiom.

“Jesus is believed to be the son of God. Modi is nowhere saying so,” he said.

Talukdar stressed that the Indian prime minister was addressing his countrymen, who believe “everything happens as destined by God and humans are merely an instrument or excuse. So, whatever is happening, or whatever I [Modi] am doing, is God’s wish.”

Modi’s extremely shrewd appeal is to encourage Indians to vote for his party and thus contribute to fulfilling God’s will.

A BJP leader in West Bengal, who did not want to be named, said comparing a leader with gods or goddesses was nothing new in India.

He reminded how Idris Ali, a parliamentarian from Trinamool Congress had compared his leader and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of learning.

After the creation of Bangladesh in the 1970s when India defeated the Pakistan army, the late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was compared to Durga, the Hindu goddess known as a slayer of evil, by her political rival Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Vajpayee, a top leader of the pro-Hindu BJP, became prime minister in the 1990s.

Modi is continuing the tradition. “I am convinced that Parmatma [god] sent me for a mission. Once the mission is accomplished, my work will be done. He will not call me before that… This is why I have completely dedicated myself to god,” the prime minister told another news channel.

Political analyst Vidyarthi Kumar said Modi understands the importance of religion in India, especially among Hindus.

“God and religion are dominant themes of the BJP’s politics,” Kumar explained.

Modi has “deliberately promoted Hinduism,” and he led the opening of the Ram temple in Ayodhya on Jan 22.

The prime minister merely demonstrates that “I am nothing but an instrument” of the divine.

UCA News

The Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News, UCAN) is the leading independent Catholic news source in Asia. A network of journalists and editors that spans East, South and Southeast Asia, UCA News has for four decades aimed to provide the most accurate and up-to-date news, feature, commentary and analysis, and multimedia content on social, political and religious developments that relate or are of interest to the Catholic Church in Asia.

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