What is the Modi-Advani equation? It's all in realms of speculation
Ajay Singh | September 26, 2013
(Editor's note: This article, written in September 2013, soon after the BJP announced Narendra Modi as the party's PM candidate, reflects on the "fragility of the Indian ego" and its enactments in Indian politics. This is just as relevant today, now that party patriarch LK Advani, along with former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee and senior leader MM Joshi, has been 'shunted out' of the BJP's decision-making bodies. We replay the article.)
You have to be an Indian to understand the subtlety of certain nuanced social conducts and their interpretations. Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi touching LK Advani’s feet and the veteran’s apparent lack of warmth might have amused those without roots in traditions but the incident was bound evoke curiosity among traditional Indians. This was why the media gave various interpretations to the incident at the rally of BJP workers in Bhopal on Wednesday.
Was Modi deferential to Advani? Has Advani snubbed him by looking the other way? Is this indicative of simmering discontent at the top level of BJP despite the public show of bonhomie and mutual respect? Media will for long keep speculating and trying to decipher the meaning of this utterly nuanced public conduct that is shrouded in the mystery of individual minds.
In reality, the genuine explanation of such conducts could only be attained if either Modi or Advani bares his mind. There is a possibility that both would not have given so much thought to their instinctive action and given to the natural impulse which comes to an average Indian in a social gathering. But this charitable view would be totally unacceptable to those who read too much in the symbolism.
And there is a history that bears them out. In the past Modi had never shown such a deferential behaviour to Advani in public. At times his public conduct with him bordered on abrasiveness and indifference which go well with his cultivated larger-than-life image. But those who know the Sangh Parivar would say that there had always been reservation within the saffron brotherhood of public display of obeisance by touching feet. This new political culture was introduced when the BJP emerged as an influential party, they point out.
What is certainly curious is the amount of speculation generated in the media by such symbolism. These gestures are apparently devoid of any political content. But in a society where family quarrels like those among saas-bahu or siblings tend to snowball into a massive political fracas, the significance of such symbolism can hardly be undermined. Isn’t it a fact that Maneka Gandhi walked out of Indira Gandhi’s house in a manner which conforms to the script of Saas Bahu Ki Tu Tu Me Me? And isn’t it a fact that Kalyan Singh, once a powerful leader in the BJP, could not bear the repeated snubs by Atal Bihari Vajpayee and ultimately left the BJP? There are many such examples which are indicative of fragility of Indian ego on symbolism and result chaos.
India’s trend of steadily decreasing active cases continues unabated. The number of Active Cases has remained below 10% of the total cases for the last three days, suggesting only one in 10 cases is active Covid-19 patient. The active cases comprise merely 9.29% of the total positive c
The union cabinet chaired by prime minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday gave its approval to pay productivity linked bonus (PLB) for 2019-20 to 16.97 lakh non-gazetted employees of commercial establishments like Railways, Posts, Defence, EPFO, and ESIC, with a financial implication of Rs.2,791 crore.
India has leaped across several significant milestones in its fight against Covid-19. The new confirmed cases in the 24 hours to Tuesday morning have fallen below 50,000 (46,790, to be precise) for the first time in nearly three months. The last time the number of new cases was close to this level was on J
"Sanitation is more important than independence". --Mahatma Gandhi The world is moving towards global transformation and sanitation is an important aspect in the development of any country. The United Nations (UN) has observed in 2015-16 that 19.7%
Legendary film star and politician Shatrughan Sinha has said that friendship in Bollywood is limited to onscreen, and there is no unity and some news channels are taking advantage of this situation. “Groups within the industry or their supporters may sometimes come together for some c
In India, only 2.40 million out of an estimated 2.64 million cases of tuberculosis were reported to the government, that is, 2,40,000 TB patients went unreported, in 2019, according to the WHO Global Tuberculosis Report 2020. The reporting of TB cases, however, has significantly increased ov