Our Prime Minister, the Potterhead

Charismatic leaders – real or fictional – are known to make an everlasting impression. Their lives are widely documented, read about and emulated.

But who would have ever thought that a ruthless leader like Voldemort from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series could have inspired one ambitious leader so much?

I’m 100% sure that the modest tea-seller-from-Gujarat-turned-PM has his own dog-eared copies of the whole Harry Potter series, and in particular Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Contrary to popular assumption, our PM is a well-read man. Better yet, he is a Potterhead. I’m going to bet that his Pottermore house is Slytherin.

Photo: Pottermore

Who else but an avid reader could have reproduced an entire book with such finesse? His perfect execution of each of the Dark Lord’s bravados deserves much praise. It all fits, it’s like magic!

The NRC exercise is the BJP’s very realistic adaptation of the Muggle-born trials headed up by the ever so nasty Dolores Umbridge. Even the name – Muggle Born Registration Commission – is eerily similar to the National Registry of Citizens.

The tribunals set up across the state during its execution, methodically separating the ‘rice from the chaff’, bear close semblance to the trials behind bars at the Ministry of Magic.

The detention centres built to ‘rehabilitate’ excluded citizens is Azkaban. And with lynchings, unfair trials, the demonising of some sections of society – I mean, it’s really not hard to guess who the ‘mudbloods’ in this scenario are.

The blood traitors who never gave in to the whims of the Dark Lord and fought him relentlessly are the Harry Potter equivalents of India’s so-called ‘urban Naxals’. The acts perpetrated against scholars and activists with anti-right wing ideology is starkly similar to the torture treatment afforded to all enemies of Voldemort .

Branding the ‘Order of the Phoenix’, a band of well-trained aurors united in their quest to defeat the forces of darkness, as ‘traitors’ is similar to the government’s strategy of branding dissenters ‘anti-nationals’.

The onslaught on traditionally political campuses and rigorous changes in syllabus were likely inspired by the Ministry of Magic’s withdrawal of ‘Muggle Studies’ from the curriculum at Hogwarts under the Voldemort regime.

Also, anyone remember Dumbledore’s post-death media takedown? Just think Jawaharlal Nehru.

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‘Mudbloods and the dangers they pose’ – a pamphlet which illustrated the reasons why the mudbloods should be deported – is definitely a close cousin of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

The Carrow twins holding Hogwarts under siege along with employing the strictest policing to make arrangements for Voldemort’s final succession as ruler of the ‘Magical world’ is more or less what has been happening in Kashmir lately (I don’t meant to trivialise, I apologise if it comes across that way!).

Funnily enough, a lot of characters from the novel also have counterparts in the Modi version playing out before our eyes.

The Death Eaters make up the mob-lynching saffron army. The kowtowing actors are the Malfoys and their lot.

Bathilda Bagshot? Romila Thapar.

The Daily Prophet? ‘Modia’.

Arnab Goswami? Rita Skeeter.

The great Savarkar? Salazar Slytherin.

It’s hard to decide whether our home minister is Bellatrix Lestrange, oh so full of bloodlust, or the manipulative Umbridge. On second thought, he’s a bit of both. The similarities are endless.

In this new light, all the unmindful killings have also started to make sense, our PM has been making horcruxes! The last and the most important one is probably under the debris of a masjid in Ayodhya, so it’s no wonder he’s now rushing to construct a solid structure above. The Statue of Unity is probably another horcrux, after all, there’s no reason to waste taxpayers’ money like that otherwise.

In a way, it’s kind of adorable how he’s set such great store on a children’s novel; he surely is ‘Gujarat Ka Lalla’.

Stashed carefully beneath copies of the Manusmriti, ‘Hindu Rashtra Darshan’ and ‘Deceiving Voters 101’, would be a yellowing copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – highlighted pages and all.

Oh, and perhaps an unread constitution.

Anjana Kesav finds solace in words and truth and aspires to be a fearless journalist one day.

Featured image credit: Pariplab Chakraborty