Thursday, May 21, 2009
Blame it on the media!
In defeat, don't introspect, just be disingenuous. This appears to be the prevalent view in the BJP post-May 16. We are yet to see any sign of the leadership looking within, shortlisting the strategic blunders it committed and setting themselves to the task of taking corrective measures.
True, it's been less than a week since the BJP was trounced in Election 2009 and reduced to 116 seats (its worst ever performance since 1991) compared to the Congress's 206 in the Lok Sabha. Flatterers in the party will say: You possibly can't review, re-assess and re-strategise in less than seven days. Point conceded: Having taken years to get where the BJP has got, it will take some doing to get out of the rut.
But surely a week is a long time to indicate your intentions? That is, provided you have any.
Instead, we have seen the stalwarts of the BJP's Delhi unit, who having led the party to a wipeout in last winter's Assembly election have now led it to a repeat wipepout in the general election, blaming the BSP for the BJP's defeat! Their logic: If the BSP had not polled so poorly, the BJP would not have lost. So if you must blame anybody, blame BSP. It will take some effort to work this out; I shan't even try to do so.
Similarly, a chorus is now being heard, blaming the media for the BJP's poor performance at the national level. The media, especially television channels, are 'biased', they 'promoted' the Congress, they 'ran down' the BJP, etc, etc. So slyly pass on the buck, don't let it stop with you.
Here's an alternative view, counterpoints to what is now being put out, shared by those who aren't skilled in the art of flattery and are loath to acquire that skill:
1. Media is bad, media is terrible. But those from/on behalf of the BJP who appear on television shows and seemed to have become part of studio fixtures during the election campaign (barring honourable exceptions whom we need not name) deserve the Golden Pumpkin award. Every word they utter turns away voters. They don't do their homework, are weak on ideas, have poor command over language and end up looking silly.
2. Boycott media. That's a scream. Many BJP leaders would have sleepless nights unless they saw themselves on TV channels and their names in newspapers. Never mind the vacuity of what they say.
3. Media abuses BJP. Yes it does, but the BJP leaders seem to love it when journalists snigger at them, the more they snigger, the more they are feted. Anchors and channel owners, editors and senior journalists who have nothing but contempt for the BJP are invited home for breakfast, lunch and dinner, taken on campaign trips, and showered with praise and more. They can walk into a BJP leader's drawing room any time of day and night. But a karyakarta who toils 24x7 for the party because he/she believes in the party's 'ideology' and travels all the way to Delhi for a one minute darshan will be shooed away by guards from the gate.
Meanwhile, it seems there is talk of appointing Mr Shanta Kumar as Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha. I guess it's all about being 'first in line', which is determined by age and not ability. Recall the example of Prince Charles, the 'first in line' to the British throne who now spends his time growing lettuce and carrots, waiting to wear the crown one day.
Reach for the remote control...
Update! Hold the remote!
After writing this blog entry, I saw an interesting news story filed by PTI on the messy situation that prevails in the Uttarakhand unit of the BJP. Chief Minister BC Khanduri, after accepting moral responsibility for the party's rout in the State and offering to resign, is now digging in his heels. Here's the PTI report:
New Delhi, May 21BJP president Rajnath Singh today (May 21) appointed two observers to meet party MLAs in Uttarakhand to elicit their views on a possible successor to Chief Minister BC Khanduri who 'quit' taking responsibility for the party's rout in Lok Sabha poll.
Khanduri, in a last-ditch bid to hang on, changed tack today issuing a statement saying the BJP's defeat in the State was due to failure to "educate" voters about his Government's "good work".
Rajnath appointed senior BJP leaders Gopinath Munde and Thawar Chand
Gehlot as 'Central Observers' who will visit Uttarakhand tomorrow (May 22) to
hear the grievances of the party MLAs and report on whether Khanduri
should be replaced.
After the party failed to win even one of the five Lok seats in the State, Khanduri had offered to resign owning "moral responsibility" for the debacle.
However, today Khanduri made a desperate bid to save his post, claiming
though his Government had done "exceptional" development work, "voters had not been educated about it leading to the loss in these elections".
"We were not able to properly educate the people about our development and welfare works to convert our performance into votes," he said in a statement.
"We were not able to reach out fully to the people and propagate our development work due to the election code which remained in force for nine months in the last two years due to various elections," Khanduri added. (PTI)
Now, reach for the remote!