The Italian Fascist Party under Benito Mussolini used state-sponsored sports events to promote a sense of national pride and distract people from the country’s political and economic problems. Does that sound familiar?
Bread and circuses is a classical approach used by kings for centuries where they provide food (must be wine) and entertainment for the masses so that they can keep them away from all the injustices and corruption under their administration.
The Modi-led BJP Government is taking all leaves from a monarchs’ or Fascists’ rule book, with one difference. There is no bread but only circuses.
India is For the rich, by the poor PM
While the Adani Group has been accused of overcharging consumers for coal imports, potentially siphoning off billions of dollars abroad and leading to higher electricity tariffs in India, the Prime Minister of India is showing its youth circuses like Cricket, and Coke Studio.
While there are Indian households that do not have money to buy groceries and cannot afford fuel prices, “Abundance in Millets,” a song featuring Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has received a Grammy Award nomination for 2024 in the Best Global Music Performance category.
That’s all this government has been in the last 9 years, just staged performances except while spreading communal hatred, and no real numbers when it comes to progress and growth.
India’s debt has increased significantly under the tenure of Narendra Modi. According to the latest data from the Controller General of Accounts (CGA), India’s total public debt stood at ₹155.77 lakh crore (US$1.9 trillion) as of March 31, 2023. This represents nearly an increase of 100 lakh crore rupees since Modi took office in 2014.
Per capita income is if you add up all the money earned by everyone in a country and then divide it by the total number of people in that country, you get the per capita income. Per capita income has doubled under the Modi administration to Rupees One lakh seventy two thousand from Rupees Eighty Six thousand six hundred forty seven; but distribution of wealth remains critically unequal. Only the top 10% of the people have received their share.
According to the Forbes Real-Time Billionaires List, Adani’s net worth has grown 7,084% from $1.9 billion in 2014 to $135.7 billion in 2023. That’s a steep raise, which is implausible without systemic support.
The government lashes out fiercely at anyone daring to question its favoritism toward Adani. Yet, if Adani isn’t the chosen one, why was Mahua Moitra, a democratically elected member of Parliament from West Bengal, shown the exit door? This undemocratic expulsion screams louder than any blatant display of fascist politics.
Cricket, and Coke Studio
In the darkness of the prevailing prosperity in Indian households, the Prime Minister has decided to attend the ICC Cricket World Cup Final, a grand spectacle of circus.
If the home country manages to score a victory, it will put the the nation in a tide of joy feeling proud of their nationality; just like the way they felt when Chandrayan III landed in the southern pole of the moon, when India as a G20 host splurged a whopping 4100 crores rupees (almost 5 times the budget of Chandrayan III) to not show the world the poverty-stricken slums by covering them in green robes.
These events serve as a platform for the leader to expand the influence of his cult of personality, falsely portraying to both the nation and the world that the country is progressing in the right direction. By praising singer Aditya Ghadvi for his successful Coke Studio performance, the leader not only bolstered his own cult of personality but also aimed to convey that arts and music are flourishing under his guidance and blessings.
While these blatant displays of national pride happen, common Indians are spending exorbitant prices for a morsel of food.
Coke Studio and Cricket entertain but won’t feed empty stomachs. They are only used to elevate the image of the Supreme leader. Genuine economic policies and robust welfare schemes will make a difference. However, the leader and its party have been focusing only on dividing the nation, favoring a billionaire, giving the common man no bread but a few circuses.