While at it, give us a good name for RSS hegemony, Mr Jaitley

BJP leader Arun Jaitley is good at giving names and labels. He described Rahul’s elevation as “dynasty democracy”. What does he have to say about BJP’s capitulation to RSS and an undeserving second term to Gadkari?

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Ajay Singh | January 21, 2013


Arun Jaitley

There are few parallels in history when leadership in politics and governance are held to ransom by those not accountable for their actions. India seems to be passing through this exceptional phase of history. The latest developments in the Congress and the BJP prove it beyond doubt that India’s tryst with destiny has gone astray. Rahul Gandhi’s elevation to the number two position within the All India Congress Committee at its recently-concluded conclave in Jaipur was mere formality.

All participants at the chintan shivir had been going through dumb charades whose ultimate objective was to formalise Rahul Gandhi’s numero uno position within the party. Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley aptly described it as “dynasty democracy” where those born in the Nehru-Gandhi family are destined to inherit a political position without any enquiry about their capabilities. Historically, India has not been alien to this political culture in its feudal phase.

But what is definitely alien to modern times and needs the attention of gifted orator and analyst Arun Jaitley is happening within the BJP also. Never in history of a political party, the front-ranking leadersphip has appeared so timid to a non-political organisation as the BJP appears before the RSS. There are all indications that Nitin Gadkari’s second term as the BJP president has already been firmed up by the RSS much before even the BJP leadership could initiate a discussion on the issue. Despite the fact that Gadkari’s image and his capabilities as the chief of the country’s main opposition party are in the realm of great doubt, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s fondness for the man from Nagpur and Brahmin lineage is the crucial factor in determining the fate of the BJP leadership. In a situation where the Congress has been facing charges of corruption and nepotism, Gadkari’s removal would have tilted the balance in favour of the BJP in the perception game.

But the message from the RSS is clear. They are the least bothered about the perception so long as Gadkari’s loyalty to the RSS chief in particular and a section of the RSS leaders in general is unquestioned. The loyalty weighs more than all other attributes is an abiding principle that dominates the operations of the underworld, particularly the Sicilian mafia. In the selection of the BJP leadership, this principle is quite discernible in the manner in which the RSS has been arm-twisting and forcing its choice.

This is quite in contrast to the Indian version “dynasty democracy” practised by the Congress as led by the Italian-born Sonia Gandhi. What seems dangerous is the meek capitulation of the BJP leadership before hectoring pracharaks of the RSS who can scarcely ever be held accountable to public life.

This was evident in the manner in which the opposition to Gadkari’s continuation for a second term by no less than a person of Advani’s stature was rejected outright and contemptuously by the RSS. This created a situation where front-ranking BJP leadership seems to have surrendered its democratic right to decide on its own president to the RSS. Given Jaitley’s way of coining new phrases and idioms, he must come out with an innovative formulation to sum up the description within his own party.

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