Based on Ninad Vengurlekar’s definition of ‘bhukts’
Bhakt means a devout believer in something who supports it very strongly and enthusiastically. The term is generally meant to be used in spiritual sense.
But recent use of this term has evolved to denote those Indians who support the current leadership of the ruling party in India, blindly and vehemently, without any objective appraisal of it performance.
Ninad Vengurlekar seem to have been a keen observer of the bhukts and outlines their traits as follows;
The Bhakt is more dangerous than the party to which the bhukt supports. He uses the party to channelise his hate, insecurities, and biases against the minorities, political parties and all those who he disagrees with. In the party he has found a voice which he had lost for 700 years.
He hates Muslims, he hates Christians, he hates liberals, and seculars. He hates Congress, he hates SP, BSP, TMC, and every other party leader. He hates Arvind Kejriwal. He hates NDTV and India Today. He hates Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav.
He doubts the intentions of every good man in the country based on his religion. He believes Aamir Khan, Naseeruddin Shah, Javed Akhtar, Shahrukh Khan are traitors. When Aamir's wife wanted to migrate, he made it a national issue. But when he learns that Akshay Kumar has silently migrated 7 years ago, he justifies his actions.
He cannot laugh at jokes made on Modi. He will call the CM of Delhi as Khujliwal or Rahul Gandhi as Pappu, but he can't tolerate Kunal Kamra joking on Modi. All jokes have to stop when it comes to Narendra Modi.
He is educated, but flushes down his brain cells when it comes to sharing fake news against those he dislikes. He does not care that it is fake. He wants to share it nevertheless. The more fake news he shares, the better he sleeps at night.
In 2014, he believed that the Hindus were under threat. So he voted for Modi. Five years, 22 states and 300+ seats later, he still believes that Hindus are under threat. When asked what is he scared of, he will point fingers at the suicide attacks in Sri Lanka. When told that there has not been a single suicide attack in India (except Kashmir) in the past five years, he will change the topic.
He is a Master of Whataboutery. For everything that his party does, which goes against his values, he positions his arguments with a long list of Whatabouteries.
This is his typical formula:
Muslims did this for 700 years + Nehru did that in 1955 + Congress did this in 1982 = His Party is Right.
His party is always right.
He is a bundle of contradictions. He promotes Demonetisation as the need of the hour, but does not mind dealing in cash himself. He pays bribes to traffic cops and donations for school and college admissions. He sits for long hours with his Chartered Accountant to see where he can trick the IT department on taxes. He steals public money if and when he gets an opportunity. He even pees on the roadside without waiting for a Swacch Bharat toilet. And he has the audacity to write Chowkidar before his name.
He wants a Bullet Train in which he cannot afford to travel. He wants the world's tallest statue of a Congressman called Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel because Modi decided so. He will even justify the statue of Ram in UP, but he will not ask Modi why he couldn't build a single statue of ‘Veer’ Savarkar in the past 6 years.
He loves the national flag and the national anthem. But he cannot sing it when asked. He wants Muslims to say Vande Mataram, but he does not understand a word of it himself.
He wants every Muslim to be like Dr Abdul Kalam, and every Hindu like Godse.
He is a ‘Hindu’ who has not read the Upanishad. His understanding of Hinduism is through WhatsApp messages. He thinks god exists in heaven and therefore Ram Mandir is necessary, and Sabarimala will curse Kerala for letting women in.
His icons are those who support his leader. In Bollywood, his yardstick is not acting but political views of the actors and directors. So Vivek Agnihotri is a rockstar. He supports Akshay Kumar winning a national award for Rustom over Aamir in Dangal and Manoj Bajpayee in Aligarh. He trashes a movie like Grand Masti for going against Indian values, but Vivek Oberoi becomes his new icon because he is playing Narendra Modi in his biopic.
The bhakt is a follower at heart. He belongs to the industrial era. He uses the internet, but does not agree with the foundations of the internet economy. He loves discipline, orders and compliance. He wants to be led. He does not like questions about his political icons. But he loves questioning everyone he detests.
He does not like to debate. He knows his icons are wrong. But he keeps justifying their wrongs. When he is unable to win a debate, he uses foul language. He gets personal. He calls names.
He refuses to speak against crimes committed by radical Hindus in the name of religion. He is happy to see innocent Muslims in India pay for the sins of ISIS across the world. He will never thank them for the grace they have shown despite being repeatedly reviled in the past 6 years.
He is more communal than his party. He is more dangerous than his party. He thinks he is in the majority because his party has 300+ seats in the Parliament. He doesn't care of the constitutional values. He is a Frankenstein created by his party.
In the past 6 years, his party has made me realise that there are millions like them in my country. In an internet economy, theirs is a telling image that represents India of the 21st century.
*Opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of UMMnews.