Party is divided by factions owing allegiance to RSS-VHP combine
Ajay Singh | September 13, 2010
The BJP’s state of affairs is akin to a rudderless ship drifting aimlessly in a turbulent sea. While party stalwart L K Advani advises caution on the prospective Ayodhya verdict by the Allahabad high court, a section of the BJP leaders backed by the RSS-VHP has been aggressively strident.
Similarly, if a section of the moderate BJP leaders seems keen to keep the BJP-JD(U) alliance intact in Bihar, some leaders are hell-bent to break it by projecting Narendra Modi as the BJP’s face in the future campaign.
In fact, the party is divided by factions owing allegiance to the non-political mentors, the RSS-VHP combine. Apparently the new generation of the BJP leadership has bartered its political sense with expressed and supplicant loyalty to the RSS. This is the precise reason why the party is at a loss to formulate its response to the Ayodhya verdict scheduled to be delivered on September 24.
There is a firm belief in the RSS-VHP camp that an adverse verdict would mobilise Hindus no end. Votaries of such a belief feel that the moment could be conducive for a forceful resurrection of Hindutva in a style and elan of the nineties when the entire Hindi heartland was swamped by the colour saffron. That such a revival be monopolised only by the RSS-VHP and likeminded politicians is a strategy which is being worked out. This is why VHP chief Ashok Singhal is insistent that Advani be kept out of the strategy formulation. And this explains why Rajnath Singh is keen to make comments on the Ram Janambhoomi at the drop of a hat to endear himself to his mentors in the VHP and RSS.
However, pragmatists within the BJP do not share the party’s irrational optimism on Ayodhya. They feel that even an “adverse” Ayodhya verdict would end in a whimper. Only a section of the loony fringe would be fretting about it while the new generation would not be able to relate to the event that happened 18 years back. On the other hand, the verdict would be a good opportunity for the BJP to behave responsibly and shed off its image of a party clinging only to emotive religious issues. Advani’s caution explains this approach.
But there is little scope that voice of reason would prevail in the saffron camp. With Advani’s influence marginalised completely within the fold, the RSS has been dictating the new generation with its agenda. The Arun Jaitleys and Sushma Swarajs have no stature to stand down the RSS and take their independent views on the political issues. The Rajnath Singhs and Ananth Kumars are servile enough to be ready at their master’s beck and call.
In fact, much of the BJP’s conduct on the Ayodhya verdict would determine if Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar would continue his party’s alliance with the BJP. There is all possibility that one or two irresponsible statements from the BJP leadership can prove to be undoing of the coalition in Bihar. In such a scenario, the BJP would stand in splendid isolation in the company of Shiv Sena and Shibu Soren’s JMM in Jharkhand at the national stage.
Becoming Gandhi: Living the Mahatma`s 6 Moral Truths in Immoral Times By Perry Garfinkel Simon & Schuster India, 264 pages, Rs 699
I Am an Ordinary Man: India’s Struggle for Freedom (1914–1948) Edited by Gopalkrishna Gandhi Aleph, 456 pages, Rs 999
Selected Works of C. Rajagopalachari: Vol. VIII, 1946–48 By Ravi K. Mishra and Narendra Shukla (Editors) Orient BlackSwan, 460 pages, Rs 2,575
On the occasion of the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, renowned academic publishers Sage have opened access to many notable articles and essays on the Father of the Nation. Here we reproduce an excerpt from one of them, well-known historian Amar Farooqui’s highly original and detailed article in
Union Minister for Education and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship Dharmendra Pradhan Saturday launched the Bharatiya Bhasha Utsav and inaugurated the two-day Technology & Bharatiya Bhasha Summit in New Delhi. The summit aims to facilitate a seamless transition from the current education ecosyst
India has retained the 40th rank out of 132 economies in the Global Innovation Index 2023 rankings published by the World Intellectual Property Organization. India has been on a rising trajectory, over the past several years in the Global Innovation Index (GII), from a rank of 81 in 2015 to 40 in 2023. Inn