File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli and the actor Anushka Sharma. Photo: PMO
Around mid-December 2018, Arun Jaitley, that designated sophist of the Modi 1.0 era, had teasingly suggested that both Virat Kohli and Narendra Modi were “spectacular players” and that “it is not easy to defeat them.” The observation was made at an “Agenda AajTak” event. Jaitley’s tawdry remarks were greeted with good humour.
It will help to remember those were precarious times, uncertain days – much before Pulwama and Balakot, and certainly much before someone had decided that the BJP would be winning 300 Lok Sabha seats.
It is possible to suggest that in making that comparison, Jaitley was trying to gainfully associate his man with a much applauded hero of our new national game. While Modi was still touting a ‘new India,’ it was Virat Kohli who had come to personify for many of us a new national self-confidence. But the Jaitley comparison was not entirely inappropriate.