Thursday, September 3, 2009

What happens in BJP

Caught in a busy week I thought the topicality of the issue would fade by the time I sit down to write. But thankfully, the BJP leaders have kept the issue alive till I am finally ready to attempt typing down my thoughts on the current crisis.

A book analysing the moderate facet of Jinnah showed the way out for an already alienated Jaswant Singh. Yaswant Sinha, another leader who does not find much scope for himself in the generational shift that is taking place in the party, put in an angry resignation. The third one, Arun Shourie who has been a key figure in the saffron intelligentsia, provokes party leadership with his characteristic verbal attack. And Sudheendra Kulkarni, a political professional timed his VRS with these high profile departures.

The exit of these leaders who have no mass base may not have immediate electoral impacts in states where the Party is facing elections. However, given the profile of these leaders what the BJP lost was its remaining moderate trappings.

In my view, two forces have led to the present situation. One, the retreat of the BJP into its original hardline position. That is, a conscious decision to harden its hindutwa postures by shunning all secular cosmetics. These leaders with non-RSS background would naturally find it hard to earn a place in the current scheme of things guided, designed and perfected by the Sangh.

In fact, they are part of the Vajpayee era, a master tactician who successfully balanced the core Hindutwa agenda of RSS and mainstream democratic politics. As Jyotirmaya Sharma once pointed out the arrangement between Vajpayee and RSS was mutually beneficial. RSS got a moderate mascot and in return Vajpayee enjoyed power and position.

Demolition man Advani could never grow to this space no matter how hard he tried. Having found that moderate pretensions to reach out beyond the core hindutwa constituency is not working, RSS has decided to consolidate and expand its core. In the process, it inadvertently or otherwise, underscored the fact that BJP is mere a political outfit of RSS and weeded out ‘alien elements’ in the party. (Muktar Naqvi and Shanavas Husain better watch out).

Another force that paved way for the exit of these leaders was the desperation and internal contradictions within them. By learning, experience and personal convictions, all of them are not fully in sync with the annihilation-driven ideology of RSS. In spite of Babri, Bombay and Gujarat, what glued them to the BJP were crumbs of power.

Jaswant, Sinha and Shourie were key ministers in the Vajpayee cabinet while Kulkarni enjoyed considerable media glare. Now the positions of power are increasingly few and far between. The association with a party with aggressive rightist character is not paying commensurate political benefit while its solidifying hindutwa postures discomfort them. So, at least Jaswant might have thought that this is time to escape the wrath of history and save some honour for himself professing syncretic culture and Hindu-Muslim unity.


Firos said...

The BJP's fall was inevitable. In fact it was long overdue for a party whose ideals are based on hate and regressive ideas. As a party in a pluralist country like India, BJP never had a constructive, progressive set of ideas or ideals to steer the country forward. Instead it was steeped in the ideology of hate. Such hate politics seldom mesh with the Indian realities. Those asses who looked up to this ultra-nationalist party believing their ideology hook, line and stinker must be a disillusioned lot. Long live pluralism and secularism. Down with hate politics.

kochuthresiamma p .j said...

i would not write off the BJP as yet.
anyways, i'd rather they remain a respectable political party and a good opposition than be reduced to a communal outfit out to wreak its frustration about its political failure on the secular fabric of India.

sajithkumar said...

the party with a difference marred with differences have now turned to be a t wd be better if u write an obit,R.I.P for the saffron party! To the political pundits who pondered over the fate f BJP once Atalji went inactive ,the picture has now turned clear.,the party is n shambles unable to find a leader of the stature f Atalji,and the one leader who thought would lead the party have cut a sorry figure of himself.I've been thinking y do these fellows invoke the jinnah ghost again and again.if ts done t gain sympathy and in turn votes from minorities ,matters have turned a real mess.with Atalji, BJP's high stand opposing the congress for ts pseudo secularism wd end.and if Jaswants book is meant t do some gud 4 the party it looks slim after he was shown the doors.this self inflicted wound wd take ages t heal.And now for ideological purity if the BJP has surrendered to the RSS,as a political outfit BJP would no longer wd have a slot n secular polity we seem to have been following at national level.the confusion wd continue so as BJP's trouble.the scoundrels of regional parties wd no longer be liking to be associated with a hardcore Hindu outfit if t turns to be so with RSS's blessings.and now t seems there isn't any way but to follow RSS's diktats...but we all wish ,the party come out f this trouble strong coz we cant give Sonia & co a free run.

reporter'sdiary said...

@Firos: still cannot underestimate them. majoritarian fascist streams had occasional victories. even in India their influence in the society is too strong to ignore. Only a vigilant polity can keep them in check.
@kochuthresiamma: I doubt BJP's ability to be constructive because it is inherently destructive and divisive.
@Sajith Jaswant's Jinnah book never meant to be a minority vote catcher for BJP. Its purpose was to embolden Jaswant's personal image as a liberal secular politician, more on the lines of good-man-in-the-wrong-party image Vajpayee had carried. I think it was not a bad idea. the expulsion more or less served the purpose.

Traveller said...

who will rule us? rather who is good enough to lead us? BJP was never good... Left proved itself useless... INC won general elections, just cos there is no other alternative... I dont think they are the right ones.... now on whom will we put our nations fate?