BJP, Ideological Moorings And Its Fall-out
By Asad Bin Saif
13 July, 2013
The skeleton of the malfeasant acts of the Gujarat Police and Intelligence Bureau Officials started tumbling out from their cupboard which has been the eye-openers and also gives the idea that how BJP would have been doing if they get to rule our democratic country again. They are hell-bent to push the country on rightist and communal path as again they started giving the impression that their foremost agenda is to build Grand Temple and indulge into divisive politics and nothing else and not only discard forever the semblance of the age-old ethos of peaceful co-existence and secular polity of the country but even for that matter vestige of moderation and accommodative coalition politics. Now Sangh Parivar has made it crystal clear that they have to project ‘Hindtuva’ (An intolerant ideology based on the superiority of one culture i.e. cultural nationalism and nullify diversity and plurality which is her inherent reality) which was proved that Narendra Modi who is known for his communal stridency, declared as apparent Prime Ministerial Candidate and his colleagues in arms Mr. Amit Shah who was made as head of the BJP election campaign in UP who had been alleged to have conspired in many fake encounter cases. He treats Minorities especially Muslims as butt of his communal rancour as stated recently comparing Muslims as Dog which showed his biased mindset which is in consonance with the intolerant ideology (ToI-13th July, 2013). It is like pouring scorn on the sensibilities of the Muslims in particular and on our secular character in general. But BJP is least bothered about such fall-out as they know that they would not get Muslim vote so it is the right approach to go for whole hog in order to polarize the situation and get electoral dividend.
More so people are disgruntled and congress is demoralized because of its visionless people’s inimical economic policy and soft communalism. The void created is bound to be filled-up to which NDA under BJP is being touted as the front runner. In such a situation Sangh Parivar stresses for the full-fledged projection of the ideology which must be the paramount endeavour for the rejuvenation of the NDA nay BJP. In fact it is difficult to ignore that ideology plays a substantial role in the nation building and it is fallacy to think that there is no link whatsoever between ideology and idealism as L.K. Advani once tried to convince us in the past. It is like pouting rhetoric shorn of its legitimacy and inherent truth. He tried to do it in order to get political legitimacy in the polity of the nation. It is obvious that Janta Party broke on the issue of Sangh Ideology and we should not forget the fall of National Front Government of Vishwanath Pratab Singh again the ideology played a major role and till now the country has not regained its vigour as secular and democratic entity because of the intrepid and antithetical imposition by their ideology on the destiny of the nation. They had gone to the extreme where a ‘Mosque’ was demolished with much fanfare and caused nagging polarization in the country. It was subscribed by the BJP Chief: the mosque was demolished as the first step towards building a grand temple. (HT-7th July. 2013)
The way innocent Muslims are being implicated and are being bumped off under fake encounters which shows state has failed in its obligations to protect the life and dignity of the people, which has all the symptoms of ‘Deep State”. In fact such a phenomenon is the product of the authoritarian and despotic rule which is the stinging stigma on our democratic face. But is it not unfortunate that such a phenomenon is thriving under the democratic set-up?
It is also true that the condition of Muslims under Modi in Gujarat has been made precarious. Oppression has been legitimized against them to the point where it seems natural and nothing to worry about. Like casteism, a callously hierarchical and deeply entrenched ignominious tradition where discriminations assumed the garb of Values and nothing like outrage is felt and expressed. The communal bias has created ghetto as of right-less people dependent on ‘the goodwill of the majority’. It is the viable Gujarat Model in tune with the Sangh Ideology that ‘makes riots redundant to replace the spectacular wholesale violence with the unobtrusive, retail repression enforced by the mundane compulsions of daily custom’, aptly opined the prevalent state of the affairs by Satish Deshpande –HIMAL. What we found the communal oppression is being accepted as normals. Even after the ethnic cleansing and so called normalcy the Muslims/victims have been subjected to systematic economic boycott and other sort of discriminations. It means they have made arrangement to annihilate their future prospects of improvement as well. According to them it is such a normalcy of Gujarat which deserves to be emulated by others and Modi fits the bill for such a design. It is to understand that Sangh Parivar ‘Two Nation theory’ is based on within geographical limit where others are allowed to live but shorn of all rights and dignity whereas Jinnahs ‘Two Nation Theory’ stresses on with separate geographical entity.
It is to remember that after the defeat of NDA in 2009 the Sangh Parivar came with full vigour to assert that defeat is due to the dilution of the Hindutva Ideology that must now onwards be embraced it without any diffidence. It is true that it is the divisive Hindutva which made the party outcast and in the late 90s when the party got the major seats other parties did not come forward to support them. Then they realized to go for accommodative and coalition politics first in order to make its presence felt in the political arena. They tried to give alternative to Congress which must be the only other entity in the political firmament of the country and other parties should be a part of them as a satellite. It is also to keep in mind that when they were part of the coalition politics both Gujarat and Delhi was run by the same party and other coalition partner could not speak against the party role under Modi who was alleged to have indulged into ethnic cleansing of the Muslims in 2002. More so Mr. L.K.Advani then as Union Home Minster was defending him by proclaiming that they had succeeded in stopping communal riots within 72 hours whereas Congress in 1984 had failed miserably even to contain it within the stipulated time. But it was altogether different story at the local level where riots for the first time had spread upto 40 towns and cities and affected both rural and tribal areas too where curfew were imposed only for the name sake but killing spree had been carried out with macabre ease as the collusion of the administration was well-established. It is quite painful that a ruling party was legitimizing killings and maiming of its own citizens by taking refuge in the moral equivalence. Above all 72 hours deadline, as if, had been allocated to the communal hoodlums to settle scores without any administrative impediments. It is important to know that in 1984 Rajiv Gandhi stated in the aftermath of anti-sikh pogrom that ‘when a big tree falls the earth is bound to feel its shake’. Likewise Narendra Modi did exactly so by saying during the ethnic cleansing in 2002 that ‘every action has its own opposite and equal reaction’ (Newton Third Law). This is where danger lurks.
We are in the critical juncture of history. For that we have to take a glance what had happened in the 30s in Europe and how extreme forces inebriated with the pernicious ideology had inflicted deep gloom on humanity and sanity as they were allowed to take over as the conditions were made salubrious for that. Under Nazism and Fascism fundamental values of democracy had been considered as a source of weakness and had been consequently repudiated. Power was assumed by an individual who proclaimed himself as the representative of the state who neither followed opposition nor respected criticism. The identical situation was created with people’s inimical policies of the Congress and lackadaisical attitudes of the other secular parties reluctant to fill up the void created by the congress as people were felt crushed and disillusioned as it had happened in the Germany. The political upheaval was rooted in the economic slump and consequent collapse as country was facing directionless governance, hyperinflation and political extremism which led to the ascent of Nazis and Adolph Hitler. He injected strong national fervour and assailed Jews and maligned communists as they were looked upon as anti-national hostile to the solidarity of the state and vigour of the nation. He became a staunch votary of the supremacy of the state, the superiority of the Nordic race and manifest destiny of the pure Nordic people to rule the world.
All political parties were suppressed and it was decreed that Germany would have single political party rule, i.e. Nazi Germany. He did not even leave his own party dissenters unscathed. In 1934 President Hidenburg died and Hitler assumed both the posts of the President and Chancellor and became the sole leader (Feher) of Germany and established his position as the dictator of Germany. Successively he made the country as centralized entity which abolished the provincial diets and deprived the states of their sovereign rights. Germany became full-fledge authoritarian state, scotched with the freedom for what democracy stood for! It is a caveat for all of us who are not warned with the way rabble-rouser is being made to proclaim as occupier of the future prime post.
They are the menace for just order as they do not like to adhere on the democratic and secular polity. It is highly unfortunate that the polity of the nation is crystallized into two political entities. It is worrisome that the economic paradigm which is based on neo-liberal reforms and spate of corruptions is a bane for our democratic polity and people well-farism has caused both the major entities to converge. Only alternative should be in place to repudiate their policies and corrupt practices otherwise the status quo will be maintained and people are not able to get necessary relief out of searing atmosphere. The country is in dilemma as the discourse of the political ascendance has been confined between two equally unworthy entities.
Now intra political affairs brought to the fore. First, L.K. Advani who has been in the forefront of communal virulency and one of the main architects who brought BJP from oblivion to limelight because of the Rath-yatra nay blood-yatra campaign and when more than 5000 people had been killed and thousands maimed on its wake and in the aftermath of the demolition. He was not projected at that time to give prime position because he was communally stigmatized person and could not have been accepted as coalition leader. Then they had subtly projected Atal Bihari Vajpayee as moderate face acceptable to all. But he was made Union Home Minister and 2nd in the ruler hierarchy. It is the saddest part of the development that a person who had led a campaign and brought demolition of the mosque in spite of giving affidavit to the Supreme Court for its protection had been awarded with such an important post. The demolition had been taken place on the death anniversary of the architect of the Constitution, Baba Saheb Ambedkar. It means he did not have any regards for the constitution and he proved that without any doubt.
Ultimately BJP ball started rolling in full steam but in a regressive mould as the former Louh Purush (Iron Man) of the Party had to bow out which cast a gloom to his abiding ambition to become the Prime Minister of India. But Loah Purush (Iron Man) was being replaced by the more assertive ‘Mouse Purush’ or ‘Vikas Purush’, as a symbol of modern technology and development and galvanizers of the ‘rising youth aspirations’. As Narendra Modi is being made Prime Ministerial candidate, a choice of the Sangh Parivar who is known for his assertive virulent communal politics which has been proved against the Muslims of Gujarat in 2002. He is acclaimed for his acumen in governance but incidents in 2002 had shown the acme of his mis-governance and lawlessness. Where was the su-shaasan (good governance) then? It is to remember that L.K. Advani had done the same thing in the heyday of Communal campaign of Babri Masjid and Ram Jananmbhoomi movement. L.K Advani might be the greatest in yesteryears for his admirers whereas Naredra Modi is the latest. His age is picking up and his communal vehemence has been somewhat mellowed down. But Narendra Modi became the latest mascots of the ‘Sangh Parivar’. He is being acclaimed as an assertive leader, incarnation of growth and untrammeled proponents of free market polices and feisty adherent of cultural nationalism and galvanizers of the youth aspiration. It is wrong to think that the youths are the homogenous entity. It has various layers which are not going to get benefits but progenies of well-off representing upper Caste and upper Class would be! There will be the situation where commerce and prosperity for the haves and dreams for the have-nots, the adopted paradigm would bring and cause a lot of dissensions in the society. He said recently about youths who would handle ‘Mouse’ would catapult their lives towards progress and prosperity and would help in achieving strong nation. Here is the caveat that these unmet dreams would be the source of disillusionment and frustration which is the bad omen for the stability and would lead towards upheaval and chaos. His projection as a forerunner of viable change always is buttressed with the perspective and the perspective is in support of exclusive nation building not the inclusive one.
The intra-party skirmishes on leadership issue are merely just aberration and bound to be died down. Leave alone their ideological brother’s feelings even leaders of secular outfits started showing sadness on the development and started praising a lot to L.K. Advani for his contribution for making the party a force to reckon with. He is being projected sober and sane person with vigourous experience in the governance by the so-called secularists, Mr. Mulyam Singh Yadav and Mr. Nitish Kumar and even Janta Dal (U) President Sharad Yadhav, as if they have been afflicted with amnesia. It is another matter all had opposed vehemently to L.K. Advani during his heyday of communal campaign which ultimately led to the demolition of the mosque nay our ethos of peaceful co-existence which had been considered and rightly so as an attack on the sacredness and sanctity of the constitution of the country. He in fact brought ignominy to the democratic polity.
It is to add here things like they wanted to create erratic electoral wave where they could get maximum electoral benefits. The ethnic cleansing of 2002 gave ample leeway in Gujarat to Modi to come to power with vehemence. They could only enhance their electoral constituency through polarizing the society and riding piggyback on other political outfits. They saw how such surcharged situation helped Congress party to get overwhelming support at the hustings. After the 71 war with Pakistan Mr. Indira Gandhi had gotten strong electoral support. Again the Congress Party had gotten landslide victory in the aftermath of the assassination of Mrs Indira Gandhi in 1984 where BJP got 2 seats. They tried to imitate it by demolition the mosque and thought they would get maximum benefits out of such surcharged situation but the government was not fallen and immediately election was not held so they did not get the expected benefits. It showed they are reactionary par-excellent where they did not go beyond the peoples inimical polices and made none and pesky matters as major issues and keep the country under the grip of status-quoist and deleterious forces. They are playing against the better prospects of the country and nation.
One thing which is clear that what sort of politics BJP et al wants i.e. personality oriented which mainly serves the sangh’s divisive ideology which is meant for macro level impositions rather than grass root participation. Recently in one of the meeting in Mumbai a BJP supporter stated that they needed some personality which could take the nation into the high pedestal. Personality cult is in tune with the party’s ideological moorings whereas in a democracy people are the ultimate sovereign and people’s decisions should be the paramount attribute. Even in that meeting people objected on the projection of personality rather than democratic values. We all know under BJP Gujarat the Minorities had been put as second class citizens and Dalits and other backward castes had been subjected to such harsh treatment. Anything is done in order to address the grievances of the minorities are maligned as ‘appeasement’ by them. Decentralization of polity and People’s Participation are the desiderata for people’s friendly development and their amelioration which has gotten short shrift under him as he declared they would award such village which had been able to select the candidate without necessary election. On issues of growth and governance his regime gave special favour to the Essar, Reliance and others at the cost of people’s deprivation. The prospect of the egalitarian just system in the land of Gandhi is difficult to emerge as long as people continue to listen the amplified growl of Narendra Modi in the name of the (Ashmita) pride of the five crore Gujarati and remained undisturbed with the plight of victims and unheard voices. We have to ponder over that a Gujarati in the name of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi had brought normalcy in Nawakhali in the 40s on the bloody aggravated situation of partition because he was morally convinced who had never hesitated to strive towards communal brother-hood even at the risk of his own life. It is an irrefutable fact that the great soul had been snuffed out from our midst by the same ideology. Is it not a paradox where the sacred legacy of M.K.Gandhi was being vitiated by another son of Gujarat and exacerbated the communal situation in order to get political benefits in the name of the ‘ashmita’ (pride) of Gujaratis? It appeared that he has as if mortgaged the pride of Gujaratis to his ill-designs.
Then what would be the way out? UPA II has failed because of the prevailing soft on communalism, violating human rights, adopting economic policies which are inimical to the people’s aspirations and above all torn with endemic corruption. It has to remember that Neoliberal Policies is highly centralized, exclusive and undemocratic phenomenon where in the name of growth and development they have unleashed plunder of natural and national resources as if paradigm has gone berserk. In fact Capitalism under neo-liberal policies is rightly considered as the ‘monster God of Materialism’. And NDA led by BJP has exclusive, entrenched with communal ideology where fiercely supporting the neo-liberal economic policy which is bane and source of the failure of democratic polity should have been also be declined support at the hustings. People have already debunked their much hyped-up ‘shinning India as ‘Whining India’ in 2004. Could such a brand intolerable politics and people’s inimical policies be affordable for the rest of the population not to mention about Muslims? Then they did not give verdict in their favours. Now only option left for the people and struggling mass to deny the power to both of the political outfits UPA and NDA. That could be the panacea for the deep malaise afflicting the nation. There must the alternative to those entities and it has proved that large swath of the land, are reeling under dissension against both the entities. Only thing is to do to give voice to the disgruntled forces and time is not far off when the viable and vibrant alternative with the passion to serve all without any discrimination should come to the fore. The country is trapped in the catch-22 situation where common people are facing helplessness, youths are disillusioned and the political leadership does not have the vision to rule a vast country based on equity and inclusion. No leaderships have till now showed necessary political alacrity to challenge the development paradigm including deleterious economic policy which is creating widespread disparity in the society. It is the clarion call for the people to live up to the democratic values and retrieve the country from the stranglehold of the deleterious forces and their policies and insulate people from the impending bleak prospect.
The Looming Political Mess in the country
The BJP Prime Ministerial Candidate is being projected as Narendra Modi the incumbent Chief Minister of Gujarat for his supposed efficacious governance and achievement on developmental front. For me it is even propaganda that Gujarat flourished under his regime and nobody was talking about the conditions of vulnerable sections leave alone to talk about the Muslim Minority which has been facing worst sort of communal bias in the state. He is being projected because he proved his acumen as hardcore Hindutva Icon well exposed during the communal flare-up nay ethnic cleansing of 2002. At that time communal leaders had been eulogizing a lot of his valiant act. But few people also think L.K. Advani should have the leader of the party because of vast experience and also a mascot of hardcore Hindutva. It has to remember that Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee had been allowed to take over the role in order to get along coalition partner and also set the precedent that BJP could be the only alternative against Congress led UPA as there is no third front and it must not be there. It is also to subscribe that RSS never wants its ideology should be the matter of negotiation and dilution which is the most pernicious exclusive phenomenon which keeps population under the thralldom of cultural nationalism, devoid of diversity and plurality. Is it not a source of consternation that people are not allowed to have democratic option which is the bad omen and not a salubrious development for the country? It is very serious case that these two main entities have the source of the problem and destroyer of our democracy and of course secularism and even on economic policy both are at the same wavelength. If we say both are the two sides of the same coin that would not be the exaggeration. On economic front both subscribe each other and it is not a matter of deviation that Narendra Modi is also being seen as developmental icon like Manmohan Singh although it is another matter both are the proponents of rapid and distasteful growth even sometime those might come under depredations where large chunk of the population are uprooted from their hearth and home and few sycophants others would have been bloating a lot and enjoying their self-aggrandizement.
The country is trapped in the catch-22 situation where common people are facing helplessness .Youths are disillusioned and the political leadership does not have the vision to rule a vast country based on equity and inclusion. No leaderships have till now showed necessary political alacrity to challenge the development paradigm including deleterious economic policy which is creating widespread disparity in the society.
It is quite obvious that Sangh Parivar wanted surreptitiously (done by stealth and clandestine) to foist its own hardcore cadre at the prime post as their ideology of Hindutva should not get backseat but more thriving and kicking. The Sangh Leaders already made their minds clear that there would no compromise on Hindutva so if there would not be compromise then they could not come to the power as coalition partner is needed so it is a very messy situation where they have to find a way out. Now they have cooked-up something two candidate’s approach both are known for their staunch and violent Hindutva and in the long run one should be accepted as NDA candidate. It is a very much a subtle game of the Sangh Parivar. So if somebody does to accept Modi as the candidate then Mr. L.K.Advani should be the potential candidate. It would be win-win situation for the Sangh Parivar mandarins. It is sanguine to know that Mulayam Singh Yadav and Nitish Kumar who are opposing Modi saw in Advani political vision to lead the country. This is a crass humour on political life who has been architect of vicious communal politics and executioner of violence and responsible for bringing ignominy to the secular polity of the nation are being as seen as leader who could lead the nation. We should not ignore the aspect that he is facing the provision which deals with waging war against nation and disintegration of the country. It says how our leaders like Nitiish and Mulyam have been afflicted with amnesia which is the most unfortunate aspect of the development. We have to ponder over here that the present crop of leadership is fiercely lacking the vision of nation building. If their visions are myopic, distorted based on exclusion. Communalism, inequity and ethnic hatred and caste and class hegemony then how could they bring stability to the nation and provide real space for the peaceful coexistence, it must be sorted out with immediate effect. It is important to know that vision is very important in nation building what Dr. Iqbal the great Oriental poet tried to draw our attention that even if we build a structure, although cement and sands are the vital ingredients but vision plays a role whether you leave the space for garden or not or you have the room more airy and salubrious or not. The same principle applies in the nation building.
This is the most pernicious phase of our nationhood where country needs a political vision where the myopic and divisive visions should be discarded and cauterized. But unfortunately this is not happening. The UPA has helped in the creation of space for disenchantment through their complete failure in many scores including on economic front which is based inequity and disparity in the society. The paradigm shift of development has lost its context and people are facing deprivation, marginalization and impending annihilation which in not a good sign of our democracy rather it has attenuated and is in bad shape. On communal front Congress has failed also as there is hardly any difference between Congress ‘There is no alternative’ syndrome for Muslims and BJP’s propaganda for Muslim Appeasement. Now Sacchar came with almost an indictment on the regime that Muslims were lagging far behind in economic ladder and it shows how discrimination has been institutionalized them and no party particularly major one could absolve from their obligation how much they had failed.
Now BJP led NDA is being flaunted as the political alternative led by the most strident figure in the BJP hierarchy .Should a country afford such alternative which must be the source of great concern. They have already started what they want means only negative provocative policies are in their citadel to impose. They are least bothered about the issues to be addressed which are the source of the nagging problems for the people. They have betrayed in past by imposing communalism and allowed people’s anti-polices to be imposed on the destiny of the nation. The country can’t afford them to rule and both Congress and BJP led UPA and NDA must be defeated in the hustings then people get real reliefs.
It is untenable contention that dominance of one cultural group would bring about real stability in the nation rather it would be the reverse the case in such a situation.
Asad Bin Saif is working with the well-known Mumbai-based social organisation BUILD as coordinator of Campaign, Communication and Advocacy.
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