Tuesday, August 25, 2009

BJP slowly loosing its intellect

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

In all the mess that the BJP is in there seems to be a pattern in all the differences in the party. Moderate leaders like Jaswant Singh, Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie who do not have a RSS background seems to finding it tough to breathe within in the party. After trying to put up a moderate face to the masses during the Atal Behari Vajpayee era BJP is going back to its hardline Hindutva ideology. The party is turning towards the RSS to sail it back to the shore from the rough waters it is currently in.

The fact of the matter that people like Rajnath Singh are failing to understand is that people like Jaswant Singh, Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie represented the intellectual face of the BJP. They are the moderate face of the BJP which can appeal to the people who do not believe in the hardline Hindutva ideology of the Sangh Parivaar. These leaders were the ones who along with Vajpayee brought in a balance to the party.

Another reason why BJP rose post 1900s wasn't the fact that people were carried away by their ideology. There was a floating anti-Congress vote which they cashed on. This anti-Congress vote was never loyal to the BJP and is slowly dwindling away because of its hardline agenda. The intellectual leaders were the ones who were bringing this vote to the party. A Rajnath Singh or a Narendra Modi can never imagine to win seats in Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and West Bengal but BJP did win Lok Sabha seats from these states due to the floating votes.

The country has moved on from the Ayodhya moment and the Rajnath Singhs need to fast realise that. India is emerging as the global hub for business and people need to see a strong opposition with development oriented ideologies and policies and not those based on religion. BJP never even did what it promised to its hardline Hindutva supporters. The Ayodhya plot still doesn't have the proposed Ram Temple and thus the Hindutva driven supporters also felt cheated with the party.

BJP as a party was known for its inner party democracy but now it seems to have too much dissent within its wings. It needs to go back to the drawing book and see the reasons for its rise and fall. In an era of coalition politics BJP cannot afford to loose all its moderate and intellectual faces. After all not even the staunchest of BJP supporters will see a future Prime Minister in a Rajnath Singh but they wouldn't mind the Arun Jaitleys, the Yashwant Sinhas and the Arun Shouries


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