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Modi Claims On ‘Divine’ Origins: From Not 'Born Biologically' to 'Earn Punya From Good Deeds I Do'

Modi, starting from the special ‘divine’ energy he has claimed earlier, has steeply climbed the escalation ladder on ascribing divinity to himself.
Narendra Modi being handed a trishul by Adityanath at a Barabanki rally. Photo: X/@narendramodi

New Delhi: Narendra Modi while on a campaign in Uttar Pradesh’s Basti for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on May 22, Tuesday tried to exalt himself and evoke a connection with the divine once again by saying, “Those who will vote will get the punya of good works I will do.”

During an interview with News18, on the Ganga, Modi, before filing his nomination papers from the Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency on May 14, uttered words, which suggested that he was urging viewers to believe that he was not “born biologically.” He told an unquestioning interviewer, “Pehle jab tak maa zinda thi mujhe lagta tha ki shayad biologically mujhe janam diya gaya hai. Maa ke jaane ke baad in saare anubhavo ko mai jod kar dekhta hoon to mai convince ho chuka hu, galat ho sakta hoon, aalochak, left log toh meri dhajjiya uda denge, mere baal noch lenge…mai convince ho chuka hoon ki parmatma ne mujhe bheja hai. Ye urja biological shareer se nahi mili hai, ye urja ishwar mujhse kuch kaam lena hai, isliye mujhe vidha bhi di hai, samarthya bhi diya hai, nek dili bhi di hai aur prerna bhi wahi de raha hai, purushartha karne ka samarthya bhi de raha hai aur mai kuch nahi hoon, ek instrument hoon jo ishwar mere roop me mujhse lena tay kiya hai aur isliye mai jab bhi kuch karta hoon to mai manta hoon shayad ishwar mujhse karwana chahta hai…. (When my mother was alive, I used to believe that I was born biologically. After she passed away, upon reflecting on all my experiences, I was convinced that God has sent me. This energy could not be from my biological body, but was bestowed upon me by God. I believe God has given me abilities, inspiration, and good intentions for a purpose… I am nothing but an instrument. That’s why, whenever I do anything, I believe god is guiding me.)” [Emphasis added]. This was an answer to a question which the same journalist had asked five years ago, “Aap thakte kyun nahi hain? (Why don’t you get tired?)”

He has spoken of being part of a “divine” plan earlier too but coming as it did now, in deep campaign mode, the words got noticed more.

Congress media chief MP Jairam Ramesh characterised Modi’s claim as reflecting “unprecedented level of delusion and arrogance”, interpreting it as a sign of impending defeat. “The outgoing Prime Minister seems to think he is God. This is an unprecedented level of delusion and arrogance…”, he said.

‘Divine’ background

Since the pran pratishtha or consecration of the Ram temple at Ayodhya, where Modi arrogated all roles of the priest to himself, there have been murmurs of annoyance and open outrage from Shankarancharyas, saying what is happening is in violation of accepted practices of both the holy books’ practices and the Constitution. They refused to attend the function organised by the Ram Kshetra Teerth Trust on January 22.

In the Karnataka assembly elections, Modi said controversially that voters should press the button in the name of “Bajrang Bali”, eager to try and conflate the Congress calling for restrictions of the Bajrang Dal with disrespect to Lord Hanuman. He asked them to “chant Bajrang Bali while casting your vote”. The Election Commission received complaints but there was nothing said by them. The Congress defeated the BJP comprehensively in May 2023.

But going from mixing faith and asking for votes in the name of God, arrogating the near-status of an avatar to Modi is a leap. The use of ‘Namo’ in Varanasi in 2014 had also raised eyebrows in Modi’s early days.

Recently, Sambhit Patra, spokesman of the BJP and contesting Odisha, said “Lord Jagannath is Modi’s bhakt,” claiming it was “a slip of the tongue” when he got pushback. But it is not hard to see where he was coming from. Congress’s Supriya Srinate demanded an “apology” from Modi for the “insult to crores of people” who believed in Lord Jagannath.

The Financial Times cites a loyal voter as saying he considers Modi an “avatar purush”. The ‘Big Read’ is entitled, “Is the cult of Modi starting to lose its lustre?”

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