In the series of ‘Hu chhu vikas, hu chhu Gujarat’ (I am Vikas, I am Gujarat), videos, the BJP has put out a four minute film scripted around a barber’s shop where two men call Prime Minister Narendra Modi “a dictator” who are interrupted by another man waiting for his turn at the same shop who tells them, “You look like reporters” and in the end of the video identifies himself as “vikas”.
Put out first in Gujarati and later in Hindi, this video has Gujarati actor Jimit Trivedi is in lead role personified as ‘Vikas’ and ‘Gujarat’ which is the poll-plank of the saffron party for 2017 Gujarat assembly elections.
Timed with the Gujarat elections, the campaign deflects attention to the national scene, its satirical content playing out in Trivedi’s lines, hails PM Modi, targets UPA and drives home the point that the Gujarat elections are to be a vote on the policies of PM Modi at Centre and a precursor of the vote for Loksabha elections due in 2019.
In the video, the backdrop is that of a barber shop where two youths, one of them a ‘reporter’, are discussing PM Modi. One of the two said that Modi has harassed them a lot and the ‘reporter’ calls PM Modi a dictator.
At this juncture, the lead actor (Trivedi) who is waiting for his turn in the shop while reading newspaper puts the newspaper aside and starts delivering a satirical speech with words, ‘Namaste Guru.’
In his speech, Trivedi touches a number of subjects that encompasses the major issues cropped up during PM Modi’s reign as Prime Minister since May 2014 like Jan Dhan accounts, demonetisation, his visits to borders during Diwali, surgical strike, Swachh Bharat campaign, Make in India campaign, Start Up India campaign etc..
The lead character hails PM Modi as a leader who took pain to open lakhs of bank accounts for poor instead of making efforts to fill his own account. He adds that PM Modi took ‘risky’ and ‘suicidal’ decisions like demonetisation and surgical strike on his own ‘knowing fully well that if the system did not support him, he would be finished.’
It then talks about PM Modi who wakes up at 5 am everyday, works without taking leave and spends Diwali on border with soldiers.
Taking a dig at media, the protagonist, said ”PM Modi is useless as he neither throws cocktail parties for the media nor takes reporters on foreign trips”. The character goes on to say how he did not care for his own family and how “none of his brother’s children had seen the inside of a plane”.
Following this rhetoric of the lead role, the two critics seem convinced and one of them said, “Yaar, India has not seen a PM like that till now.”
The protagonist hails PM Modi as the only prime minister who is interested in “setting the country” while “Lalu Prasad was interested in setting his son, Mulayam Singh Yadav is busy in setting his entire family, Sonia ji wants to set Rahul”. ”If PM Modi failed today, then no Prime Minister will dare to fight corruption in next 100 years…”, he said in the end, as one of the said journalists, who listen dumbfounded, ask for his name and number to do a ‘a story’ on the subject. To this, the lead actor said, “I am Vikas, I am Gujarat.”
Post-Diwali, Gujarat BJP has posted many such videos on social media and in most of them development done under PM Modi is the emphasizing point. While Gujarat BJP leaders, including national party president Amit Shah and Chief Minister Vijay Rupani – are canvassing for the party in the state, it is PM Modi and his policies which is the central theme of the campaign.
In fact, even Opposition – mainly led by Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi – is also targetting policies of PM Modi at centre during the poll campaign in Gujarat.