The horrors of the farmers’ protest are far from over for Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The recent incident over the flyover in Punjab is a rude reminder of the farmers’ protests. Even though the Prime Minister did make a unilateral surrender by scrapping the controversial farm laws, it still has somehow failed to dent the farmers’ spirits. Conveniently though, Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi alluded to as much when asserting that but for Covid-19 quarantine rules, he would have been at Modi’s side on the flyover. That said, the Congress was enjoying the spectacle of Modi stranded. Somebody from the party tweeted ‘How’s the Josh?’ while another 140-letters characterised, “They were waiting for you at the Chauraha!” which is another description for “lynching”. Lynching is going places, and people. This is what must have made Prime Minister Narendra Modi quip at Bhatinda airport “tell CM Channi thank you, I returned alive.”
But, then, who knew farmers would resurrect in such a manner, that too, right when Modi’s cavalcade mounted the flyover, and “10 km short of the border with Pakistan.” The BJP said it was a breach of the Prime Minister’s security—unpardonable. Channi returned with “no way, the Prime Minister’s life was never in danger.” The BJP wants “consequences.” An All India Trinamool Congress spokesperson laughed, saying, “The Prime Minister of India’s security was breached, but not that of Narendra Modi, the politician.” Let’s not forget, the anti-Modi-ism that we see today underwent its initiation rites in the TMC stronghold of West Bengal. Political hatred has breached unparalleled heights at this particular point in time. The BJP hates the Congress which hates the BJP which hates the TMC which returns the favour and is not in love with the Congress. And everybody hates Narendra Modi, says the Congress and the TMC and the Samajwadi Party. At least that is what Congress politicians were hinting at after Modi’s black and white cavalcade, including his SPG security detail, was forced to a strand at the curving top of a vulnerable flyover in Punjab.
Of course, the brief stall-over atop the flyover had taken a political turn. Not least because the Punjab Chief Minister’s Office allegedly refused to take calls from the stranded Prime Minister’s security detail, which was taken as “Channi is deliberately doing it.” Chief minister Channi made it worse when he chose to “embrace the excuse” that he had been exposed to Covid-19 positive individuals and, therefore, couldn’t take the telephone calls. He said he tried his level best to convince the farmers the “night before” but that they had refused to relent, adamant they would confront Modi. The message from the flyover is that the farmers hate Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Months ago, one of Modi’s party-mates was roughed up by farmers in Punjab, his dignity in tatters. Months later, here’s the ‘Prime Minister Stranded on the Flyover’, raindrops pattering on the black bullet-proof with the country’s most powerful politician cowering inside. The way things are panning out, by 2024 there wouldn’t even be the tatters to string up a Modi narrative.