BJP Abandon Minority Bashing and Adopt Sincerity

bjp-4409313Politics means publicity and selfishness. The BJP was a different party decade ago. Now after tasting power in the centre and few states it has bred many selfish leaders who are keen to score points to achieve their own mobility. At this cross road it should allow some people inside the party to hijack. It should bring back its sincerity and honesty to serve the public. The minority bashing should be abandoned and inner party reforms should be fully implemented. Without these there is no scope for BJP in the future.

The Hindu editorial writes (24 June 2009)

The Bharatiya Janata Party went into its two-day national executive meet — the first since its defeat in the 15th general election — as a bitterly divided house but emerged from it in somewhat better spirits and shape. The situation was redeemed by a near-consensus on redefining Hindutva as an ‘inclusive, tolerant’ ideology suited to modern, changing India. The meet expressed itself against the virulent brand espoused by Varun Gandhi, with some members virtually scapegoating the Philibhit speeches for the BJP’s poor performance in Uttar Pradesh. The shift to lower-key Hindutva was led by Lal Krishna Advani, the veteran of many campaigns and the ideologue of the BJP’s ‘cultural nationalism.’ In his valedictory address, he declared that the party could not and would not accept “any narrow, bigoted anti-Muslim interpretation of Hindutva.” The Advani imprint was also visible in the political resolution’s characterisation of “theocracy or any form of bigotry” as “alien to our ethos.” The part-positive, part-stoic note struck at the conclusion of the meet helped mitigate the impression that the BJP was on an irreversible descent into chaos.

After all, the internecine war that saw a group of formerly powerful members trading accusations and shooting off letters charging the leadership with a lack of accountability, favouritism, and what not had left little to the imagination. BJP president Rajnath Singh’s opening remarks at the national executive meet further muddied the waters. He reiterated the party’s commitment to Hindutva, underlining the core issues of the Ram temple, Article 370, and a Uniform Civil Code. This combined with Maneka Gandhi’s stout defence of son Varun — she was quoted as saying Muslims did not vote for the party anyway — raised the question: was the party heading back to its unapologetic Jana Sangh days? The answer came in the form of loud protests: State leaders such as Shivraj Singh Chauhan and Sushil Modi argued that in Madhya Pradesh as in Bihar the party had successfully practised a ‘more inclusive’ politics. The BJP’s Muslim face, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, added his weight to the proposition, and finally Mr. Advani himself offered a sharp counterview to Mr. Rajnath Singh’s ‘back to the basics’ speech. Nobody of course seriously expects the party of Hindutva to change its nature, although it does not lack the skill to paint over its spots. It is too early to say whether the new line will find favour with the BJP’s rank and file — or for that matter with the party’s minder in Jhandewalan. But Mr. Advani, who in this hour of crisis has displayed the fortitude and shrewdness of a redoubtable defeated general, can be satisfied that he has given it his best shot.

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