The Campaign Lens: Narendra Modi

The Campaign Lens: Narendra Modifeatured



hroughout my travels, I had been looking closely for signs of the ‘Modi wave’. I finally saw it on the day that Narendra Modi filed his nomination as the BJP’s Lok Sabha candidate from Varanasi.

I had never witnessed a sea of humanity such as the one I saw standing at Mint House that day. A senior NDTV journalist told me that not since the days of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement had he seen such a mobilization of manpower in a single place.

It was an unprecedented show of strength, as if the entire city had been painted saffron.

As a photographer working alone, I was deeply conflicted about whether to stay in the crowd and shoot from there, or find a safer vantage point from where I could capture a bird’s eye view.

I chose the latter.

2Scenes at Mint House, Varanasi, Modi’s last stop on his roadshow. BJP supporters chant “Har Har Modi” while waiting for him to arrive.

3People throng the streets of Varanasi waiting for the BJP leader before he files his nomination papers.

4Modi arrives, waving to the crowd. The crowd goes wild at his arrival, surging towards the vehicle he is traveling in.

6Several BJP supporters dressed themselves as Hindu mythological gods. Pictured here are Shiva and Hanuman.

7D.P. Yadav (pictured) and other BJP leaders arrive at Varanasi’s Lal Bahadur Shastri airport for Modi’s nomination.

8BJP supporters are excited to see their leader as they wait for him to arrive.

9Women wait to perform aarti (blessing) and sing bhajans (Hindu devotional songs) in anticipation of Modi’s rival.

10Supporters of the BJP wait at Mint House, Varanasi, Modi’s last stop on his roadshow.

11BJP supporters dressed as the Hindu mythological gods, Shiva and Hanuman show their support for Narendra Modi.

Nitya Rao is an independent Indian photojournalist based in Boston.  She is interested in documenting political and human interest stories, and is currently traveling across India to capture the mood of the country as it conducts its 16th Lok Sabha election. Her aim is to create a traveling exhibit, which will illustrate the changing face of politics in India. Nitya has worked as a reporter for Outlook, The Indian Express and Thomson Reuters, and holds a Masters degree in Photojournalism from Boston University. To find out where she’s heading next follow her @niftyindex

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