Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a deeply divisive figure. The bhakts worship the ground he walks on, while rabid haters criticise anything and everything associated with him.
The latter group may now have some fresh ammunition, in the form of an unfortunate association with the BJP leader that took place after his speech in New Delhi on the occasion of the Founding Day of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) on Saturday, July 1.
Modi had delivered quite a powerful speech on the occasion, and just as he was about to leave the stage after finishing his address, the theme music for Darth Vader from the Star Wars saga was played in the background!
For those who have not made the association yet: Darth Vader is the main villain in the original Star Wars trilogy, and the Imperial March was the music played several times he appeared on screen, adding to the ominous presence of the Dark Side of the Force when Vader is seen on screen.
The iconic score, created by John Williams, has over the decades come to be associated with mostly negative connotations and world leaders. Its association with Modi may only fuel his detractors more.
Interestingly, some might draw parallels between Modi and Vader.
Vader was born Anakin Skywalker, and when he was found by the Jedi, was believed to be the one who would bring a balance to the mysterious Force that powers both the Jedi and the Sith on the Dark Side.
His mother's death led him on the path to the Dark Side, and then a fight with his mentor Obi Wan Kenobi led him to don the mantle of Darth Vader.
Hear his imperial march right here:
Some might argue that Modi is on a similar path: He had set out to eradicate corruption and help the people, but is currently well into the Dark Side.
Interestingly, this is not the first time Modi has been associated with Star Wars. during his first US visit in 2014 — the year he had become prime minister — he had ended his speech at the Madison Square Garden in New York with the famous Star Wars quote: "May the Force be with you!"
The result was rapturous applause from the audience present there. The response this time, however, is deeply divide, with snide suggestions on social media that Modi had turned over to the Dark Side of the Force.
Watch the video of the event here: