Hitler as a Cult Figure
Adolf Hitler realized the importance of creating a strong public image. He rehearsed gestures and poses to present himself as a powerful leader and tailored his dress and speech to appeal to particular audiences. He portrayed himself as a man of the people, an “unknown soldier” who fought for Germany in the First World War, one who rose to head a political movement due to his talent, and one who would alone be able to revive German glory. These notions were popular in Germany’s democratic politics.
Modi as a Cult Figure
Similarly, the massive propaganda machinery of the BJP-RSS regime, working under the highly skilled leader and Modi’s right hand man, Amit Shah, has successfully crafted a narrative around the prime minister’s personality that has resonated with the majority of Indians. The narrative that created Modi’s cult following has a four-pronged approach:
- Modi as a selfless leader with humble origins; a “chai wala” and “fakir”(tea seller, holy man)
- Modi as a decisive and strong leader with a “56 inch chest,” capable of defending India against its adversaries
- Modi as a beacon of hope for development
- Modi is an indispensable national leader in the absence of any credible alternative.
In Madhya Pradesh a state minister even said Modi is an “Incarnation of God,” like Ram or Krishna.13
 The legacy of Nazi propaganda and the 21st century; https://brussels-express.eu/the-legacy-of-nazi-propaganda-and-the-21st-century/ (accessed 2021-10-21)
 Decoding the Modi personality cult; https://qrius.com/decoding-the-modi-personality-cult (accessed 2021-10-21)