गुरुवार, 25 जून 2009

BJP themselves are not sure of what Hindutva is!

BJP themselves are not sure of what Hindutva is!
The political party BJP has been making headlines these days, and for all the wrong reasons. As a voter of this party (or just as a citizen of India if you like) I felt a need to study BJP’s present condition from a bird’s eye. I had researched upon BJP’s history earlier and understood one primary thing – absence of a dynasty in the top order. I also noticed that BJP’s top leaders were from ground level. What I did not understand about the 2004 (and 2009) elections was why BJP has been unable to connect to the masses. When I say ‘the masses’ I speak of the farmers, the labourers, the clerks, the shopkeepers and such businessmen, the women of the villages and unnamed multitudes who seem to appear during the election campaigning to watch their candidates (since the candidates appear once in 5 years), vote and disappear.
The one thing I used to admire about BJP was the clarity in its approach. Their agendas were always clear and never leader-centric (as they were in 2009 elections). Their plans were strongly in favour of nationalism and focused on farmer class, defence, foreign policies, on the ‘common man’, so to speak. I also admired the BJP’s leadership under Atal Bihari Vajpayee. His policies and decisions struck me as being very rock-solid.
Enough praise. Now, the issue that I have difficulty in understanding is why a party with so many people emerged from the ground level, has a policy which strikes me as being very elite and unconnected to the base – so to speak. I don’t say that BJP does not care for the farmers. All I say is that they do not manage to get that across. Also I have seen people who dislike Congress also dislike BJP because it’s communal. BJP is communal because it preaches Hindutva. Another failure of the BJP is to give a clear and concise definition of the word Hindutva. Does Hindutva mean that you slice of Muslim beards (or the heads the beards are attached to)? Or does it mean you burn down the mosques and churches? Or does Hindutva just stand for nationalism? What is the concept of a Hindu Rashtra? I sometimes feel that the workers of the BJP themselves are not sure of what Hindutva is. So how do you expect the common man to appreciate it?
2009. The election in which BJP got thrashed. I will not mince my words. This election was a failure for the party as well as the nation. It was a failure for the nation because the voting in the entire country hovered around 40-50 percent, a mere nothing. Many failures awaited BJP. I will outline some that I perceive. First was the defeat. Second was the reason behind it (same thing perhaps but I will still take them separately). Thirdly, there was absence of a next-gen party leader as should have been groomed by Advani Ji. Four, there is absence of a young party leader in the upcoming generation. Fifth place goes to a lack of ideological clarity. Sixth is naturally the in-fighting over the leader to take up Advani Ji’s mantle (this looks extremely ugly over the press). For last position we have lack of introspection. Actually, a problem that I felt was that BJP put too much of Advani Ji’s leadership in their campaigning. It has never been a leader-centric party and should not attempt to be so.

Finally, I will approach my suggestions for a solution. The obvious advice is (in a wise old man’s scratchy voice) – sort his mess out. Join hands and get out of this problem. Introspect and get a solution. But such advice is available by the dozen and is rather useless unless a method is attached to it. I feel that within the party the leadership of a person like Narendra Modi (like him means someone firm and of the ground level) who should be egalitarian (treating all equally and bringing further transparency to the party) and portrayal of BJP as a strong party of the people should be done (of the people, for the people, by the people I’d say!). The internal disputes of BJP should be internal and not broadcast like the day’s prime soaps. The only announcement that should emerge should be of BJP’s internal leader and its ideologies being decided in finality. The BJP itself should not forget the smell of the earth after the rains and of the soft winds that flow through the green and brown fields. In simpler terms, BJP should perceive and be part of the ground level. The next five years are adequate for it to re-establish a base in the hearts of the people of this country. And finally, BJP should make clear to the people what it really is. I.e. its ideology and policies should be clear to the people (in concise form and in detail).

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