India is in the middle of a health emergency. The economy is in shambles. The people are having a torrid time in their lives – personal and professional. Though, if you listen to Narendra Modi, you will be forgiven to assume that this is the best of times to be in India. Welcome to the use of toxic positivity as a weapon to proclaim victory in every scenario.
India has the third-highest Covid-19 case-load in the world, very soon going to be second-highest. We have the fourth-highest Covid-19 death count in the world, very soon going to be third-highest. The horror stories of people running from pillar to post to find a hospital bed abound. Even with all these gloom, Narendra Modi will find hope all across. Rather, no despair at all.
The Government of India tells us daily that India has the lowest per capita Covid-19 cases in the world. The recovery rate is improving and has crossed 60-70-75%. The doubling rate is coming down, and there is no community transmission of coronavirus, yet. Narendra Modi and his government keep interpreting the data to its convenience and the pretence that everything is fine.
They expect the citizens to continue this charade in the name of spreading the positivity. One might feel what’s wrong with this? Why should one focus on negative news? There is a positive side to everything and if the supreme leader of the country wants to talk about the same to improve the mood the country, rather keep the country in a perpetually good mood, it is laudable.
Well, this is toxic positivity, and not positivity, at all. And, it does only harm, no good.
Toxic positivity is nothing but sycophancy
Everything cannot be bad. Similarly, everything cannot be good. Toxic positivity betrays this common sense. Narendra Modi would like us to believe that whatever he does, he has done and he will do is nothing but the best. One cannot find any fault with anything for what Narendra Modi keeps himself busy with.
Why cannot he accept that he can make a mistake as well? Leave aside accepting, even raising a simple query by any citizen is considering sacrilegious. The battle-lines are drawn. Either you are with him, or against him. If you are with him, only two positions are vacant – cheer-leader and courtier. Anything other than that, you are against him.
What is positive about this posturing or the unidirectional messaging? Surely, being positive does not mean that a person cannot see shades of grey, that’s being colour-blind. Let’s be clear about who dabbles in this kind of toxic positivity – a positivist or a sycophant?
Toxic positivity is nothing about problem-solving
Toxic positivity does not encourage discussion about issues, leave aside a mention. When there are no issues, there are no solutions required as well. So, problem solvers or subject experts are also not required. Everything becomes so simple. No questions raised, no answers given. Has Narendra Modi solved any real problem apart from building unusable wash-rooms?
With toxic positivity, only people in demand are the spin doctors. They are the ones who give a positive spin to anything and everything. To do this, one need not be a subject expert. Anyone with half decent articulation skills and a gift of the gab can fit the bill. You can cross-check the CVs of Cabinet Ministers and BJP spoke-persons for reference.
Nobody can fault a positive attitude
It is difficult to prick a balloon high up in the air from the ground. Anyone who tries to find a fault, no matter how true, will be painted as a negativist. Unless a person becomes a conformist to Narendra Modi, s/he will get classified as a traitor, one who cannot accept the success; no matter even if the success is a mirage.
The general population starts believing what they hear because they are told convenient half-truths and non-truths to make them feel good about them. Indians are told that India is an emerging super-power, no matter that even a tiny country like Nepal unilaterally alters the border, Indians will fall head over heels over the falsehood.
Everything said and of course, not done, becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy in Narendra Modi In A Wonder Land world.
A person can fight a problem. A person can try to overcome adverse circumstances. However, loyalty to Narendra Modi and his toxic positivity ensures that there are no problems at all. There is no requirement of hard work and sweat. Indians have conquered everything. Rather, they have already conquered whatever might come up in future too.
Toxic Positivity: A sure-shot winner
With this kind of messaging of toxic positivity, Narendra Modi has become invincible. Who can find fault with a man who makes everyone a winner, even though in their day-dreams? In one day, he makes me Atmanirbhar, in one day he makes me a Vishwa Guru, in one day I make for the world. Even God cannot do all this stuff for me.
A leadership lesson from Narendra Modi: Shoot one messenger (rest assured, there will be no messages in future), declare your followers the winners in anything and everything and others as losers, invest in cheer-leaders and echo-chambers. This is a definitive strategy to proclaim Prime Ministership for life.
Who said the emperor is naked? Banish her/him. Tell the electorate that the world is appreciating the naked emperor and ask the public to get naked too.
3 cheers for India and Indians. Covid-19 has already left India. All hail the supreme leader.