Wednesday, June 03, 2009

For BJP, ideology is irrelevant. So...


Those who resist the idea of the BJP returning to its ideological moorings argue that:
. Ideology is irrelevant in the 21st century;
. Ideology restricts 'flexibility';
. Ideology and mass politics are incompatible;
. Ideology ties the BJP to its core Hindu ethos; and, hence,
. Ideology causes an allergic rash among the BJP's allies.

(The allies are now reduced to the Shiv Sena, which has shifted from aggressive Hindu majoritarianism to opportunistic Marathi Manoos identity politics; Akali Dal, which remains committed to Khalsa identity politics; and the JD-U, whose politics is shaped by caste and communal identities, namely those of the EBCs, OBCs [Kurmis] and Muslims.)

The purpose of this blog post is not to elaborate on these points, but to underscore the real relevance of ideology: It acts as a restraining force, it serves as a moral compass, it binds you to probity and rectitude, it tempers a politician's penchant for pomp and splendour, it discourages abuse of power, it makes a party shame and shun the morally and physically corrupt.

And what happens when a party begins to dilute its commitment to ideology, distances itself from its core values and abandons morals and ethics to embrace that which is politically expedient, as the BJP has been doing since 1998?

. The party president is caught on camera accepting wads of notes.

. MPs, MLAs, Ministers are accused of having their snouts in the trough.

. Nepotism takes precedence over loyalty to the organisation and ability.

. MPs get caught in cash-for-question and MPLAD scams.

. An MP misuses his diplomatic passport for human trafficking.

[This is by no means a comprehensive list.]

And then when the moral slide gathers speed, stories like this appear in media:

The Times of India
Karnataka mantri spends Rs 20cr on son's shaadi
30 May 2009, TNN

BELLARY: This could easily be included in the list of the fattest weddings ever. Karnataka health minister B Sriramulu pulled out all the stops for the marriage of his 27-year-old MLA son (PTI says nephew), T H Suresh Babu, and is believed to have spent a whopping Rs 20 crore on the event.

Suresh, an MLA from Kampli reserved constituency, tied the knot with N Deepa, a middle class girl, with an extraordinary 40,000 people attending the mammoth ceremony at Bellary Cantonment on Thursday.

Four choppers to ferry VIPs from Bangalore to Bellary kept whirring in the sky all day. The wedding hall hummed with 500 air-conditioners and more than 200 chefs dished out a culinary extravaganza. Bangalore's political power shifted to this dusty sleepy district — including CM B S Yeddyurappa and his cabinet members. Also in attendance were top politicians from Andhra Pradesh.

Spanning 8 acres, the wedding arena had a huge palace-like shamiana and a dining hall to accommodate 5,000 people. There were also VIP and 'VVIP' halls.

Karnataka health minister B Sriramulu is learnt to have spent Rs 20 crore on the marriage of his MLA son, T H Suresh Babu.

All available lodges were booked for guests. Organizers made sure there was ample parking space even as 20 generator vehicles were used for back up. There was a choice of continental and Indian food and even though the reception area was jampacked, everything went smoothly.

VIPs were ushered in through a single door connecting two different halls while others were allowed to enter through the other side. Also, more than 100 ACs were fitted around the reception hall.


There were 130 responses to this news story posted on the Times of India's Website. Here's an unedited sample of what readers, who are also voters, had to say:

Sri,Bengaluru,says:Minister Sriramulu is a mining company owner who has earned crores in the last 5 years. To one estimate he earned crores a day when iron export to China was in peak. Need less to say the politicians should be model for others.

cpkaruppan,chennai,says:Advaniji, pl practice what you have preached. pl first find out how this minister got so much money-whether he paid incomtax! The Indian public did not take your word of bringing back the money from Swiss (banks) etc and that is why you have lost election. now is a chance to show you will practice what you preach!!!!!

Basavalingappa,Bellary,says:Loot the natural resources, exploit the situation & take shelter in god & wasteful rituals, parade ego... The message is who cares? Show must go on. The end result is poverty, conflict, violence & blame game for nothing. Who needs such gods & rituals?

thomas,bangalore,says:oh my god! shameless people.. wasting crores of rupees on nothing! instead he could have made the world a better (if not, at least a littttttle better) place with those 20 crores.

deeno,mumbai,says:Hahaha....Well PM Mr. Manmohan Singh now should ask a CBI to investigate and find out the source of income of the Minister. Normal people who pay tax are used in other's wedding. Black money for sure... 20 Cr. spend.. on Marriage..So many poor could have been fed..

Indian,Mumbai,says:Hahahaha, u think IT people will raid this minister. Forget the IT heads were also present there enjoying lavish wedding thrown by this corrupt minister.

bipin,uae,says:This shows how serious is his conviction towards serving the country and its people by blowing away such a huge amount of money in celebrations when millions are living in poverty. He should be brought to books by verifying the source of income by IT dept and penalised !

Setty,Bangalore,says:It is shame on the part of a clean party leader who is supposed to be model to others and going in a wrong way. It should have been condemned and discouraged by the party high command if they are really interested in giving good governance and maintain transparency. One should learn lesson from Late shri. Byre Gowda (ex. Minister) who performed his sons marriage in a very simple manner limiting the event only to his family members and said that it is a family function and not a public one. The rules and regulations and free advises in this country are only applicable for weak & hapless people and not for mighty persons. The Lokayukta's Net is not strong enough even to go near such mighty persons and only catching small fishes and make media publicity just to show their existence and of no use for the common man. God only has to take one more incarnation to clean this society for which let us all pray in the interest of coming generations. This 20 crores could have been spent for poor boys education especially in rural areas which could have been covered for thousands of people to make their fortunes bright.

narayana,muscat,says:since minsiters like musicians, sportsmen, cricketers, cinema people and other parasites do not produce one grain of rice / salt / a furniture , a home, a cloth or even 1 line of software code, they have got the money by virtual money creation techniques as opposed to creating money by positive value addition. So, why any one who survives on virtual money bother. It is only the hard working and earning tax payers who know the worth of even 1 rupee.


I do not know B Sriramulu and hence I would not question the source of his wealth. But we do know how people perceive such ostentatious display of wealth. And what they expect from the 'party high command'.

Unfortunately, the 'party high command' is not known to have taken a dim view of the event. With ideology at a discount, it couldn't have been any other way.

[My article in The Pioneer, June 4, 2009.]

36 comments:

Bhavananda said...

I completely agree with your assessment that since the time BJP drifted away from ideology, it has become massively corrupt. Now, its difficult to distinguish the BJP from Congress when it comes to corruption. I understand that when it comes to fighting dirtbags like the congress/SP/RJD, one has to get some dirt in their hand, but ideology would have helped BJP from getting into unnecessary corruption.

Moreover, after it came to power, BJP has started to rope in fence-sitters and has given too much prominence to these people. However, they neither understand nor appreciate why BJP was formed, because they don't come from the Sangh background. They are in the BJP just for the limelight and will run away once BJP's clout gets diminished (which is NOW!!).

Bottomline: BJP now looks like a second Congress party. One Congress is too much to bear, we just don't need another one.

Arun said...

The Left Parties have articles on various issues on their websites. We may not agree but it will aid the members on where their party stands. BJP has pictures of three leaders whose combined age is some 240 years. Organiser is somewhat better these days but it should do more than Congress bashing. For the likes of Tarun Vijay, whatever be the title, they go back to 1950s issues and complain. Ideological clarity is lacking. That is why I recommend converting the SJM into a political party confined to the 5 coastal states.

What we are witnessing in Karnataka is disappointing. For the first time, a BJP CM is accused of casteism. He doesn't seem to command enough respect. The Bellary money bags have no loyalty to the party's ideology.

Swabhimaan said...

Well said Kanchan! Ideology is a must and so is sticking to it. Our country is in this state today because of lack of ideology or lack of commitment to ideology or both.

satya saraswat said...

I hope the BJP people especially the sensible one's like advani, jaitley & modi give a serious thought to what you have written. Party with a difference has become an indifferent party to what is ailing it.
Like congress & left it should try to win over some friends in media, especially the visual media, which in my opinion single-handedly turned the tide against BJP.
A weak UPA with no achievement except for terrorist attacks, tailspin economy & institutionalised corruption, could score so highly in elections has worried me extremely. Is there no hope now after advani seems to be going to wings.
Will BJP improve it's outreach to common man?
Will it become a serious alternative to UPA?
Will it explain it's ideology in much more simpler terms than using complex phrases like " integral humanism"-which even advaniji could not explain properly in his autobiography.

senthil said...

Kanchan,

Do you have any stats on the expense of Priyanka-robert vadera wedding? How much is spent for that?

And do you have statistics on Rajiv Gandhi's wedding?

Next, we all know, how much Reliance Ambani is spending just for his own home, and his gift to his wife.. the total worth of gift is 100 crores..

we had seen sahara group, conducting its wedding function even in a grand manner..

When we dont find anything wrong in all the above, why should we consider the Karnataka Minister's grand wedding.. its his family function, which he did it in a grand manner..

if he had used government resources or government money in that wedding, then we can complain..

And secondly, what has ideology to do with it? Does Hindutva has a rule that people should spend only this much amount for a wedding?

senthil said...

Regarding the comments made in that times of india article, i should say, those people are bunch of cowards, taking a double standard..

Do you feel, that all those commenters would have conducted their wedding just in a registerer's office? or do you feel, they all would have taken lot of care to minimize the expenditures of their weddings?

In india, the people are so packed in a particular framework.. that anything done by others is waste of resources.. they would heavily criticise grand functions of Hindu temples, and would comment badly on Sri Sri Ravishankar being commercial.. but none of them will ever think about luxurious cars in which the pastor traverl or the palace like houses they stay..

They are so hoodwinked and intellectually subverted by English Medias, that they lost the ability to think of their own..

And please stop considering them legitimate aspirations of common people..

The real common people, who comes out for voting, and participate in democracy are not those who comment on these articles..

senthil said...

And why dont any body point out the fact that such a rich minister, has chosen a middle class girl for his son's marriage?

Is it not a positive think to note down?

M. Patil said...

Kanchanda,

BJP came to power just recently in Karnataka. If this minister made his money in legitimate business and not politics why should we complain?

Having said that it appears like BJP is held to a higher standard.

Malavika

Bhavananda said...

Good points, Senthil.
Gandhi family wedding is something the ToI will never report. I remember that Rajiv Gandhi's funeral pyre was made out of sandalwood. Any idea how much it cost?
Everyone knows that Congress is a party of corrupted people. Its unfortunate that BJP has not been able to become a party of difference. This is the reason why people have started to live with corruption - like an indispensable part of politics. And this is largely because after coming to power, BJP started to assimmilate people of all types, irrespective of ideology.

iamfordemocracy said...

Kanchanji, just one request. Please keep ideological issues isolated from operational issues. To function, BJP needs cars, halls, phones, and so many other things that only money can provide. Most of those talking about ideology will have little idea how difficult it is to collect even a few thousands. So please please keep this microscope away. You will only see bumps and ditches. Not the smooth skin that you would like to see.

iamfordemocracy said...

Incidentally, some of the commenters seems to think that Advani is somehow a clean person and the Karnataka minister is somehow of a low moral character. That is not true. That cannot be true.

That impression is the sad part of the BJP story. That is why BJP is saddled with ineffective toothless leaders. That is why BJP fails to deliver. Have you ever seen Congress people debate this issue for its own sake (they do use it as a stick to beat their intra-party opponent occasionally, but not as a core moral or operational issue).

Deshabhakta said...

Bellary is Karnataka BJP's baggage. The sooner it offloads it and builds strong Hindutva base, the better. Ramulu and the Reddy gang are with the BJP here and they also work with the christian convert CM of Andhra Y Samuel R Reddy. These of years of rule must be utilized to unite Hindus and bring in awareness among them. The anti-terrorism rally was an excellent job done. Contentious issues like Datta Peetha should be addressed asap so that Hindus really consider BJP to be a party sensitive to their needs and aspirations. Along with the anti-terrorism rally, we must also congratulate the CM for completely avoiding the celebrations by Tippu Sultan Committee. But, BJP should become more vocal about its Hindu identity and ideology.
Good news is that BJP is starting a Tamil TV channel. Expansion into media is very much necessary and in all such steps it must stick to the ideology. We dont need a Congress' B team.

Jaideep said...

Kanchan,
Advani was correct when he said that there are large areas of governance which have nothing to do with ideology. For example whether to run a scheme like NREGA or not is a matter of ideology but how well it is run becomes a matter of governance and administration. No one is saying ideology doesnt have a role or shouldnt be a guiding principle. However its important to note that the BJP cant implement its agenda as long as it doesnt get a full majority on its own. Now are you are saying we should have stuck to our agenda and stayed out of govt if required rather than compromised and implemented the non-controversial parts of the agenda? Assume even if it was ideology the reason we lost in Mharashtra, UP, Rajasthan we wouldnt have got 170 + seats. The congress would have still got 160-170 odd. The main problem with the BJP today is not necesarilly lack of ideology but lack of an organisation in large parts of INdia. Harping on ideology is not going to change it.
As far as spening money on wedings is concerned its an individuals private business as long as the wealth is legal. As for corruption within the BJP do you really believe that ideological morality is going to minimise it. By that logic everyoen in BJP was good pre 1998 and turned corrupt only once they compromised on ideological issues

BJP_supporter said...

The need for an ideology as a 'restraining force' can not be debated at all. Particularly when a party is in power, ideology can be the only restraint on it in its policy decisions. Ideology is also about political honesty - without it a party can be anything to anybody and sway with the wind, like you have written in the Pioneer column. This is the beginning of pandering to several narrow interests in the hope that nobody else is looking except that narrow interest group.

But I think corruption is a different issue. A politically opportunistic party with no ideology at all, can still be corruption-free. Existing laws can be used to tackle corruption if the party has the will. Those who are corrupt can also fake their interest in ideology to get into power.

So I think the two issues (ideology and corruption) are not that closely related.

Swabhimaan said...

For all people who justify this kind of expense on marriages...please remember that politicians are public figures and they carry an image and should connect with voters. People will always doubt such extravaganzas. These kind of things repulse voters. When politicians tell people they will remove poverty...the same people ask why couldn't these crores have been spent for a noble cause. There is no point in defending BJP politicians just for the sake of BJP.

Jaideep said...

Swabhimaan,
If your and Kanchan's argument is about perception I would tend to agree. However please remember the reality is that when you spend money on marriages it goes into the pockets of florists, decorators, caterers and many others who earn an honest living. My argument stands that as long as the money is not illegal why should anyone care how much is spent. Its not a matter of defending the BJP leaders here, its a matter of simple principle;

Swabhimaan said...

'Illegal money' - that is the big question.

Jaideep said...

"I do not know B Sriramulu and hence I would not question the source of his wealth." This is what Kanchan has written. My point is one cant decide how someone else spends his money. If you read the comments that Kanchan has reproduced it is clear that a few of the people dont care whether the wealth was illegal or not they just dont seem to like anyone spending more money than they themselves can. Which ideology except communism or some kind of Gandhian frugality says one shouldnt spend ones owe wealth they way one wants. I agree a lot of people have this perception that if someone spends that much money it is morally wrong but the last thing one should expect is for a potential right of centre party to reinforce such thnking

senthil said...

Swabhiman,

"illegal money" - what do you mean by illegal money? Do you feel, congress persons all are honest and have only legal money?

In case of this marriage, whether its legal or illegal money, its again spent back to the society, and NOT stashed in swiss banks :)

Swabhimaan said...

Senthil, the point is about the BJP. If the BJP wants to be seen as a pert with a difference..it will have to work towards it. I am not attending lavish weddings hosted by any Congressmen,so please don't assume that when I criticize the BJP I don't hold the same grudge against Congressmen. I care for the BJP not the Congress. That is the bottomline.

Raj said...

1. Parties with a strong state leader have an advantage and win. YSR in AP, Navin in Orissa, Mamta in WB, Yeddi in Karnataka and Modi in Gujarat. The BJP will do well to nominate 1 leader and build a brand around him in each state that it wants to focus on. Similarly the BJP should continue to keep Vasundhara Raje and Maj Gen Khanduri despite their losses and build a brand around them. IMO the BJP does nothing great in Chattisgarh but the clean image of that portly Raman Singh helps them keep winning just like Navin does nothing in Orissa but his clean image returns the BJD to power!!

2. The BJP needs to return to Hindutva. There is no way that it can beat the Congress by following Vajpayee and now Advani's ideology of "soft hindutva". Muslims will vote against the BJP no matter what and the only counter that the BJP has is mobilizing Hindus and this only happens in a polarized environment. Otherwise the BJP will be a "nice" loser. Here are some facts:

People espousing Hardline hindutva won handily. Varun Gandhi, Yogi Adityanath, MM Joshi, Dileep Judeo. The BJP won in Azamgarh the epicenter of islamic terrorism and lost in cosmopolitan areas
Muslims and Christians voted en block to defeat BJP candidates from Kanyakumari to Gurdaspur to Eastern UP.
The BJP should pick a hardline and young hindutva leader to head UP. The choice is between Yogi Adityanath and Varun Gandhi. I would pick the latter because of his charisma.
3. The BJP is growing in new areas but it has to quicken the pace. The results of grass roots work by the Sangh affiliates are bearing to show results in states where the BJP has little or no presence. It will take a lot of time but the clear pattern of a break through is visible.

Raj said...

Focus on Orissa.: The BJP won 17% of the Vote in Orissa. The Congress is declining in this state. People will need an alternative to the BJD. The BJP and the Sangh Parivar should exclusively target Orissa. As a first step they need to project a CM candidate in 2014 like Juel Oram or Kharbela Swain.
In Andhra and TN the BJP needs to get to 10% of the vote to be able to make a difference. In Andhra even in this fragmented scenario the BJP managed 3.7% of the vote. If the BJP and the TDP had an alliance they would have won 10 more MP seats. Check out the voting in the following MP Seats:Chelvella Karimnagar, Malkajgiri, Nagarkurnool, Nizamabad, Peddapalle, Tirupati, Rajahmundhry, Vijayawada and
Zahirabad. As a first step the BJP and the TRS need to come closer and drag the TDP or the PRP into an alliance. The BJP is a formidable force in Telangana. At its hey day, contesting alone, the BJP won 18% of the popular vote in andhra in 1998. The common myth that the Communists determine the winner in Andhra is false. The Communists have more often been on the losing side and contribute lesser votes than the BJP. Again the BJP or its partner need a charismatic leader.This is not Venkaiah Nadidu..
TN: the BJP needs to just wait. Amma is now all alone and the CPM is likely to ditch her and blame her for the party debacle. The BJP won 2.5% of the vote. One of the questions that none seems to be asking, is what after Amma? Unlike Karunanidhi she has no heir apparent. Vijaykanth stands a chance.
Maharsashtra: The BJP and Shiva Sena were extremely unlucky. Their chances of a great victory were spoiled in the following 9 constituences by the presence of the MNS candidates. Again check out the polling percentages in the following seats: Bhiwandi, Mumbai South, Mumbai North, Mumbai North East,
Mumbai North West, Mumbai South Central, Nashik, Pune, and Thane. Raj Thakre is a one time wonder and the BJP shouldnt do anything foolish by jeopardizing its Sena alliance.
Incidentally the BJP won about 6.5% of the vote in both Bengal and Kerala.
There is a great opportunity for the BJP in Tripura. The Congress is withering there and the CPM needs to be taken on in Tripura.
4. Winning in the areas surrounding Delhi is crucial for the Congress and the BJP : These areas are NCR, Harayana, Uttaranchal, Punjab, Jammu, HP: These seats are crucial for the BJP. There are 40 seats in this region and this region is like a big state in itself. The BJP has been consistently losing to the Congress. Here are some suggestions for the BJP.

A ppoint leaders for state units. The choices would be Dr.Harshvardhan for Delhi
Sushma Swaraj should be asked to lead the revival in Harayana. She should first win Harayana if she wants a meaningful role at the center.
The BJP needs good party heads or leaders in small states and areas. Curiously the BJP is ignoring the great potential in Jammu, Udhampur and Ladakh and again needs a strong state Satrap to take up this cause here.

Raj said...

Some other interesting points from the analysis:

1. The BJP helped the Communists win in W.Bengal. The Communists would have been down to single digits - 9 seats instead of 15 seats. Check out the vote pattern in the following seats: Alipurduars, Balurghat, Bardhaman Purba, Cooch Behar, Jalpaiguri, Purulia. The BJP got 6.5% of the vote in Bengal. Its best performance in Bengal was 10%

2. The BJP did likewise for the Congress in Kerala. Seats like Kannur have gone to the Congress party thanks to some massive cross voting by the BJP. The BJP got 6.5% of the vote in Kerala. At its peak the BJP once did close to 15%.
3. The Congress returned the favour in Bihar. Without the Congress party the JD(U) and the BJP would have lost some 7 seats in Bihar. There is a good chance that Nitish Kumar would read this as well. If Nitish aligns with the Congress and the LJP, he will probably be the king of bihar for another 5-10 years but Bihar would lose the performance edge. In both Bihar and Orissa the BJP's participation in Government and the Sangh affiliates grass roots work is a large reason for the lack of corruption and good governance. The big losers with that move would be Laloo Yadav and the BJP!!

4. The BJP needs to be wary about MP, Chattisgarh and ensure that Modi doesnt shoot himself in the foot in Gujarat. In both MP and Chattisgarh they are creating strong personas in Shivraj Singh Chauhan and Raman Singh but Governance is not where it needs to be!!

5. In Jharkhand, there is a crying need to take back Babulal Marandi. Similarly the BJP needs to accomodate Uma Bharti at the National Level!!!

Finally some food for thought and out of the box thinking?

Should the BJP open back channels with the CPM? Most CPM cadre and middle level leaders have lot of sympathy for the BJP cause in W.Bengal. The CPM leadership is totally out of touch with this reality. While this is probably a long shot: a split in the CPM party with one party aligning itself with the BJP should solve the Bengal and Kerala problems once and for all.

senthil said...

Swabhiman,

There is no proof that the marriage money is got through corruption.. as its only one year, BJP was in power..

At the most, it can be unaccounted money, through mining business.. In any case, the money is returned to the society..

Marriage functions are privilege of a family, and the party should not intervene..

Everyone wants to celebrate grandly, and every one does according to his ability..

I understand your care for BJP, but we should not get locked in irrelevant issues like this.

The very necessity of this article is needless.

Singha said...

Mr. Gupta This has reference to your article on Daily Pioneer pertaining to SL Eelam War.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/181225/Impotent-West-rages-at-Lanka.html

Like most people in Delhi you seem to have hardly any understanding of SL situation. Most of the analysts and many diplomats sitting out of Delhi confuse style and the substance (nehru's legacy). Most are confused by our faulty understanding of Buddhism, iconic status of Ashoka in India, an emperor who destroyed Kautilyan empire built brick by brick and to his eternal disgrace mixed politics and religion.

Most I dont think would have bothered to read Mahavamsa, a chronicle of the SL kings which shapes Sinhala Thinking.

Dutugemunu, SL prince (hero?) wakes up with the nightmares in the middle of the nights and talks to his mother about his fears of invasion from India.

Unlike Hindu Indian fascination for Buddha, SL buddhist fascists positively detest Hindus/Hindusim, though take advantage of Hindu Indian fascination of Buddha since many consider Buddha as our own. SL governments have never hesitated to support China/Pakistan against India.

SL state has been a rogue state. The demands of moderate Tamils were repeatedly repudiated even after reaching signed agreements. It is not just JVP that has done this. The mainstream parties have been guilty. Attacks on Tamils, burning of Jaffna library were the reasons behind Tamil boys taking up to arms after trying non violent means for more than a generation.

Tamil culture is native to SL. By many accounts, it is Sinhalese who are usurpers. Tamil Hindu temples dot the landscape of

SL. Sangam Literature speak about Tamil presence in SL.

Kanchan is wrong to compare SL with Kashmir situation, something many Delhi Based analysts do. India has not made any attempt whatsover to change Kashmir demographics. In fact as we all know the kashmiri muslims made such an attempt and cleansed Hindu presence in Kashmir.

SL governments have actively carried out demographic changes in east. Tricomalee is no more a Tamil Hindu majority area.

Tamils did not voluntarily leave their homes to emigrate to Canada. Tamil population in 1948 which was about 30% is down to about 10% now. It is height of ignorance to repeat SL propoganda that SLA liberated them. The common Eelam Tamil was so
terrified of SLA and Sri Lankan Government that s/he was willing to leave everything to stay in LTTE controlled territory to the extent possible. Native Eelam People were willing to give everthing including their lives for the Eelam cause.

Like many of India's foreign policy disasters this one too was seeded by nehru. Problems were compounded by Rajiv Gandhi and his diplomats (many of who the kind that confuse style with substance. APV was an honorable exception) who unnecessarily deployed Indian Army to fight Tamils.

The right approach for India would have been to continue maintaining the stalemate in SL. Short of Eelam's integration with India, this would have been the best frontier strategy for India. Sonia controlled Congress I government foolishly allowed rajiv's assassination to short circuit India's strategic goals and supported SLA not just diplomatically but also materially.

Long term effects of such short sightedness are unlikely to be pleasant.

You have done an injustice to Eelam Tamils with your ill informed article and I hope you will redress it.

LG said...

Ideology is the moral compass that circumscribes the dos and don’ts. It is never ossified or cast in stone, but changes over a longer time frame. In that sense the durability required for an Ideology is relatively long.

Ideology is the inner core, living code, immutable in the short run.

In this sense, Hindutva can neither be an ideology nor an idea! A more dogmatic faith might be able to fit in but an inherently broad and inclusive way of life cannot fit the bill for a political ideology. More so the way the current Parivar folks and the extended family dwell upon it! (eg reducing it all to Valentine day protests or selling bottled cow urine)

BJP's ideology should be rooted to principles of Dharma. Drawing heavily from Hindu paradigms it should be inclusive, Indic in character and should be India focused. Everyone in the party should be able to demonstrably live by the principles. By definition this should not be malleable although revisitable.

To win elections, achieve political success and to facilitate governance, on the other hand, Ideas are necessary. BJP being a force that challenges Congress’ hegemony on political space, it needs these Ideas to break current paradigms. Ideas are the communicated exterior, lives with the times, but always in sync with Ideology. Ideas should be wider in appeal – such as an articulation on the lines of the Four Modernisations of Deng

Swabhimaan said...

Senthil, just as I cannot prove that the money was illegal...you too cannot prove that it was legal. That is not the point. It is about perception. If the money is illegal and even if it comes back to society through expenditure...the aam aadmi sees it as disparity. I am not talking about any one person or Minister here. The aam aadmi would also like to do the same..but he cannot. He believes that the politicians usurp whatever was meant for them. How do you fight that?

Swabhimaan said...

Why can't Hindutva evolve and still be ideology?

Sundararaman said...

The indulgence of the BJP wallahs during their tenure in Government is reminiscent of the way Sugriva indulged himself forgetting the promise he made to Rama in Ramayana. The slap on the face of BJP is reminiscent of the display of anger by Lakshmana in Kishkinda Kanda.

Sundararaman said...

The indulgence of the BJP wallahs during their tenure in Government is reminiscent of the way Sugriva indulged himself forgetting the promise he made to Rama in Ramayana. The slap on the face of BJP is reminiscent of the display of anger by Lakshmana in Kishkinda Kanda.

Sundararaman said...

The indulgence of the BJP wallahs during their tenure in Government is reminiscent of the way Sugriva indulged himself forgetting the promise he made to Rama in Ramayana. The slap on the face of BJP is reminiscent of the display of anger by Lakshmana in Kishkinda Kanda.

Tarun Malaviya said...

It should be the Ganga now
While Ram temple agitation symbolised the awakening of the Hindu society to deterioration of secular values (what Advani called Pseudo Secularism). Today it has lost its usefulness. And I don't mean as an instrument for political gain, but as an instrument to take forward the Hindu society to the next level and as a force to unify the Hindu society.

I heard a political commentator attacking the BJP on TV post election results saying that it was our duty to provide leadership to the Muslims who chose to stay back in India after the partition and the BJP has failed in that duty.

My view is that we can leave much of that task (of providing leadership to the Muslims) to the Congress and so called secularist formations. As a right wing party, we have a more important task of providing the leadership to the Hindus.

I think that while the RAM temple can and should wait for an amicable solution to be worked out, saving the Ganga (and all the rivers in India) cannot.

There is a need to move in a new and the more urgent direction. The Hindu people have to move beyond yesterday’s issues and grievances, towards the kind of society we want to build for the future based on our values and traditions.

Ganga represents the urgent concerns of today and tomorrow an in, the Degradation of our natural wealth; Poisoning of our water, food and air; Failure of the management of our cities and towns’ Unsustainablility of the present pattern of development; Unbridled development, Degradation of our forest and farms, with the huge economic cost of that burden falling on the poorest. Indeed our very survival is as threat. The dying of our rivers are the ominous signs of it.

Ganga is as much part of our traditional, spiritual and religious symbolism as Ram is.
Indian people are as much emotionally attached to the Ganga as they are to Ram.

Ganga symbolises what the young, the intelligent and the ordinary people in India would find easy to connect to. It is also something that cannot be dismissed as a divisive agenda. If anything it will be an even greater unifying force. Saving the rivers will benefit as much the Hindus as the Muslims and Christians. It will be the Hindu society fighting to save something that benefits all, reaching out to not just a larger Hindu society, but the whole nation and indeed the world at large.

The social & political causes (represented by article 370, Ram Janmabhoomi, Common Civil Code etc.) that the BJP fought for in the 90’s must now become subservient to the more urgent environmental, health and economic causes. Represented by the drive to save Ganga (rivers), the drive to popularize Traditional (and Preventive) Health Care, to arrest the spiraling health care costs; Equal Opportunity & Benefit to all, to check the kind of Crony Capitalism practiced by the current government that benefits a few with least regards to the common good; and so on.

Anonymous said...

Why blame the BJP alone for moral bankruptcy? The editor's associated with it also have egoes and intellectual arrogance.

One editor writes the manifesto, another editor (associated with the campaign team) does not want to use the manifesto as campaign material as he was not associated with it.

The problem of indiscipline starts with the intellectual class of the BJP.

Swabhimaan said...

Seriously I don't know what is wrong with Friends of BJP. It is blocking out comments that are supposed to help it : Kanchan I posted the link to your article on Varun's speech and it is not yet approved! All those criticizing it vehemently are all there. Looks like the Friends of BJP (and maybe BJP too) has chosen to go the Congress way already.

Swabhimaan said...

Seriously I don't know what is wrong with Friends of BJP. It is blocking out comments that are supposed to help it : Kanchan I posted the link to your article on Varun's speech and it is not yet approved! All those criticizing it vehemently are all there. Looks like the Friends of BJP (and maybe BJP too) has chosen to go the Congress way already.

Swabhimaan said...

The groundwork has to be all 5 years before elections...not 5 months before elections. If that is done well there won't be much surprises. If not then you can go on picking on negative campaigns, campaign managers, Modis, Varuns, messages and connections of all sorts. All these are excuses to keep yourself and your bosses in good humour. Get real...will you BJP?