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When Indian Politicians become Hindu Gods and Goddesses

Indian politicians are always surrounded by a bunch of sycophants. These sycophants are ready to go to any extend to please their political masters and mistresses. Among the numerous methods of sycophancy, one popular method is to depict political masters and mistresses as Hindu Gods and Goddess.

Equating politicians with Hindu mythological characters is a common occurrence in Indian politics today. Some examples – Durga, Ram-Lakshman team, the ever loyal Hanuman, Kali. The villains in Hindu mythology like Duryodhana, Kamsa, Shakuni and Ravana are used lavishly to refer politicians in the opposite camp.

After Indian army’s victory over Pakistan, the then Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi was compared to Goddess Durga. Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Advani were always Ram and Lakshman.

In the initial stage, politicians were only referred as Hindu Gods and Goddesses or as Hindu mythological characters. Posters and statues of politicians depicting gods and goddesses were very rare. One of the most famous portrayals was that of Jayalalitha, Tamil Nadu politician, in 1998. She was portrayed as Kali wearing a garland of skulls depicting M. Karunanidhi, her arch rival.

The Indian public might have missed out some of the early portrayals due to the lack of an independent and widespread media. But things have changed today and media is always on the look out for such portrayals.

The most recent episode involved Vasundhara Raje, Rajasthan chief minister, and other senior BJP leaders. Vasundhara Raje was Goddess Annapurna and Vajpayee, Advani and Rajnath Singh became Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.

Then it was Sonia Gandhi as Durga.

There are more such instances but quite often limited to verbal comparison.

There is a tendency among Indians to employ Hindu Myths and characters to explain present day incidents. We often here individuals referred as Kansa Mama – meaning a cruel uncle or Krishna – meaning a skilful tactician. Incidents from Hindu Mythology are widely used to explain numerous present day incidents. But such references do the job of a simile or it used to communicate the matter more effectively.

But today politicians and sycophants misuse Hindu Gods and Goddesses. Strangely, Christian and Muslim symbols and gods remain untouched. In rural India, such portrayals have clear cut political intentions.

Kali image courtesy