The BJP got what it deserved

On parasites and spitting partners  

The first grim warning signal that the BJP was ready to cast its distinctive ideology aside came during the 1999 elections to the Lok Sabha. The BJP made the (mis)calculated choice of not going to the people with its own manifesto but with something called NDA Agenda for Governance (NAG). As early as in 1999, barely within a year of the BJP coming to power in Delhi as a Hindu political party, there was no BJP, only a motley group of opportunists around an ascendant BJP called NDA.

The death of ideology was beginning to manifest itself and signaled the undoing of the BJP. The BJP was already ailing – it lost confidence in its ability to stand alone, to walk alone. The NDA allies promised to be the BJP’s crutches in return for the assurance that the BJP would give up its stand-alone ideology. Why are we heart-broken that the BJP suffered humiliating losses in 2004 and 2009 because of atrophy?

It is not within the ambit of this column to delineate why Ramjanmabhumi, the Uniform Civil Code, abrogating Article 370 and ban on cow slaughter defined Hindu nationalism; suffice to say, these were substantive issues defining nation, nationhood and nationalism and could be fulfilled only by state power. A party’s election manifesto is both an expression of self-identity and a statement of intent. The election manifesto is a promise of ideology in action. By choosing not to go to the people and seek their mandate on the basis of its ideology and presenting the country with a deracinated document called NAG, the BJP with deliberate intent abdicated its responsibility to the Hindus and allowed itself to be ‘secularised’ by the parasites feeding on it.
Every one of the components that went into the unnatural creature called NDA were regional parties which back home relied on the Muslim and Christian vote. Every parasite openly courted the Abrahamic minorities but denied the BJP, off whose body they were fattening themselves, its right to speak for the Hindus. The logic was childishly simple. Speaking for the Hindus and placing a Hindu agenda before the country would naturally drive the Hindus to vote as Hindus; and a Hinduised political agenda was certain to upset the existing arithmetic of vote share in favour of the BJP thus putting all regional parties dependent on Muslims and Christians for their survival, out of business. The BJP’s Hindu agenda was threatening not only their very survival but was threatening to alter the Gandhi-Nehru political language and character of the polity which went by the name of ‘secularism’.

The parasites extracted a double price from the BJP for the privilege of eating into the BJP’s vitals – not only must the BJP efface all its distinctive features which made it a Hindu party, it should also not make any move to ‘grow’ in the states which these regional parties considered their personal fiefdoms. The BJP consented to dwarf itself in the states to stave off any imminent move by the regional satraps to destabilise the BJP in Delhi. The BJP was growing steadily and surely in Bihar, in Uttar Pradesh, in Andhra Pradesh and in Maharashtra. Sharad Yadav and Ram Vilas Paswan, Mayawati, Chandrababu Naidu and Bal Thackeray made sure the regional BJP politicians never became bigger than them or that the BJP never made a move to goad the people of these states to see the BJP as the face and voice of Hindus; in Tamil Nadu, the Punjab and in Jammu and Kashmir, the BJP did not even try to move a toe while in Uttar Pradesh the BJP died more of self-inflicted wounds than Mayawati’s knives. The BJP as a Hindu movement had been successfully derailed. 

Atal Behari Vajpayee managed the 24-party coalition “successfully” only by destroying his own party. Parasites became ‘coalition partners’, walking with crutches became ‘taking everyone along’, opportunist buckling to parasite pressure became ‘coalition dharma’ and Ramjanmabhumi became an ‘encashed cheque’ and ‘BJP is not a construction company’. In-house intellectuals in their self-appointed role as the voice of the BJP to the RSS and the voice of the RSS to the BJP and the voice of both the RSS and BJP to ordinary mortals justified the degeneration of the BJP with the untenable argument that the ‘secularising’ of the BJP was inevitable because coalition politics had come to stay and the alternative to ruling in Delhi at the price of loss of ideology and the BJP’s self-identity, was to choose to sit alone in the opposition.

Most significantly, these individuals, with their clout in the RSS persuaded the RSS to accept the crippling disabilities as necessary interim strategy; no one in the RSS could stop these individuals in their tracks although many realized the danger of what was happening. The inevitable consequence of the untrammeled power of these individuals was that the RSS was also forced to endure the handicap of silence and inaction. Consequently, instead of the BJP looking like the political wing of the RSS, the converse became true and the RSS began to look more and more like the BJP. And even as all this was happening, the rift between the BJP and the VHP over Ramjanmabhumi widened and eventually all communication between the siblings broke down completely. Not surprisingly, the RSS was in no position to deal with the warring elements in both camps and could therefore not heal the breach.

Having emaciated the BJP beyond recognition, the parasites abandoned the body and moved over to the Congress. Several among them discarded the ‘secular’ NDA robes and wrapped the UPA bath-towel around their waists. The RJD, the Samajwadi Party and the LJP dropped the bath-towel and spat at the Congress on the eve of elections and mid-way through the election campaign. But when the results were out and the Congress kept them outside the gates, Lalu, Paswan and Mulayam are prepared to lick the spittle off the Congress face to be allowed the privilege of begging at the gates with extended hands for leftovers.

The BJP’s ‘coalition partners’ in coalition ‘dharma’, the AIADMK, the National Conference, the LJP, the BJD, the TDP, the JD(S) and even the Akali Dal have periodically spat on the BJP face but unlike the Congress, the BJP continued to practice its brand of coalition dharma like Gandhi practiced his brand of ahimsa; the BJP wiped the spittle off its face and went back begging for more, knowingly uncaring about the fact that when these parties spat on the BJP’s face they were actually spitting on the face of ordinary Hindus who voted for the BJP. There is no forgiveness for the BJP and if the RSS is serious about parenting the parivar then it will listen to the voice of anguish of ordinary Hindus and make sure that none of the Problem Seven comes close to the penultimate chair or the throne. They all deserve to be exiled.

The time for polite silence and text-book discipline has passed. The Hindu nation is larger than individuals, organizations and political parties. The BJP’s sins of omission and commission are far too many to be brushed aside or weighed lightly against the undoubtedly notable contributions of its aged leadership. The enforced silence has to be broken if there has to be any purposeful turnaround to get the BJP back on track. The first thing to be done is to silence all public voices in the BJP until the introspection process is complete, responsibility is pinned and hierarchy is restored. The second thing to do would be to state emphatically that the innumerable journalists and editors who had been promoted as the voice of the BJP for purposes of television news channel appearances no longer speak for the party.

One of them declared vacuously that the BJP will have to get back to ‘development’; another insulted the intelligence of the voter and said promoting two Prime Ministers confused the voter while the third declared unctuously that the BJP leadership was to blame without telling us which leaders and what their offences were. The fourth attributed the loss to the non-entity Varun Gandhi and his ambitious mother while the fifth made the slightly more intelligent but sinister remark that there will now be a Pavlovian reaction to get back to a self-identity defined by ideology. The barb was well-directed but the body at which the barb was aimed has a resilient body and a spirited mind. The ruse won’t work

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