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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Before gangrene sets in

I nurtured the glimmer of hope that the BJP Parliamentary Board meeting yesterday (Saturday, May 23) would prompt some response from the leadership on the poll debacle.

Predictably, it came to nought. Both Advani and the party President are conveying the unmistakable signal that they are accountable to no one but themselves.

It is only a matter of time before disquiet turns to abuse. (My piece in Sunday Pioneer)

I understand that others are not so squeamish. They have waited long enough and will now start speaking. In guarded tones to begin with.

The RSS is speaking in different voices. One lot is peddling the crazy line that we need more Hindutva of the Varun Gandhi variety. They are all over TV peddling this ideological monstrosity.

[Just see the results of Hardwar where the VHP made the fielding of its own candidate a prestige issue. The BJP candidate, the state education minister, was changed in mid-stream. Also see the outcome in one of the East Delhi seats where a VHP activist was dragged out of hibernation and fielded. See the results of Kandhamal, the scene of the still-born Hindu revolution.]

Another lot just wants to increase their control over the party. They want to make sure the party president is rewarded for keeping his appointing authority in good humour. They also want to "fix" Modi for his insolence.

While all these shenanigans are taking place, there is one question that few are willing to address: the moral decline of the BJP. In ethical terms, the past three years has seen the BJP sink to the level of the SP and BSP.

In the past, corruption and money power was a marginal problem. Today, it is reaching the very top. Is the failure to extract favours a reason why some people are demanding the Uttarakhand CM's head? Wasn't this precisely why some people also turned against Modi?

The issue briefly came to the fore in the wake of Arun Jaitley's protest against the appointment of an individual to an election body. Jaitley was then advised by everyone to hold his fire till May 13. After the verdict shouldn't some of these ethical issues be addressed seriously? Or should everyone wait for the gangrene to set in?

That the BJP needs an ethical purge is certain. But why such a purge worry those whose records are clean?

What is striking is the extent to which those who claim to speak on behalf of the RSS have been compromised. According to media reports, the Sangathan mantri of the Rajasthan BJP has been reverted to the "parent cadre". Will other heads also roll?

It's time they did.

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80 comments:

Manoj Agarwal said...

BJP didn't play the role of constructive opposition in last Lok Sabha in general and displayed opportunistic behavior ob several occassions. They seem to be opposing just for the sake of opposing and that's where they lost the argument on Indian-US nuclear deal as well. By the time this deal cam in front fo parliament, by continuously disrupting parliament's proceedings and staging walk outs, the BJP's credibility sank to such low levels that even valid arguments against the deal were lost. By opposing this deal, BJP lost the support of middle class in a big way. Congress established itself as 'progressive' and BJP 'regressive'. Such things should clearly be avoided this time around. BJP should play the role of constructive opposition right from day one. Forming a shadow cabinet in key policy areas is a good start and shadow ministers should keep the government of its tow. They should raise well researched policy matters and should attack Congress where it hurts most by exposing its inability to deliver a creditable distribution system.
One thing I'm almost sure, though I'm willing to be proved wrong, that reforms even in this new UPA government would be far and few and system in general will remain the same. By winning this election, Congress has now firm belief that they can fool all the people all the time. With such belief, they have very little incentive to try to change the system. I hope BJP learns its lessons as well...

Anonymous said...

Swapana da, maybe we should go easy on the BJP leaders. They are still in a state of shock I guess. Jaitley has already given his explanation of why BJP lost and to some extent it makes sense. In the game played out between Congress and third front and fourth front, BJP was just a bystander.

However, what is potentially damaging to the party is the possibility of RSS backed Rajnath Singh getting more control. If that happens, I will stop being a BJP supporter.

Modi for all his failings, is the only mass leader BJP has. He may or may not be BJP's PM candidate, he definitely is the crowd puller and someone who has done a lot for Gujarat.

What does Rajnath Singh have to show for himself? Neera Yadav and Sudhansu Mittal.

RSS need to back off BJP or they should stop getting shocked when the BJP loses. These guys need to modernize themselves else there is a room for a genuine right of center party without RSS.

The real test of whether BJP is serious about getting its act together would be removal of Rajnath Singh from party President position. He should be assigned to UP to improve the party's chances.

Anonymous said...

Advani has been forced to accept the LOP position and I am sure his heart is not in it. You can't really expect him to talk in detail about the disaster at this stage. He probably knows after the loss, his stature has also diminished.

If People like Murli Manohar Joshi and Rajnath Singh try to exploit the situation and become powerful, BJP is doomed.

Sundararaman said...

One out of 260 weeks available has been wasted in the preparation for 2014 elections without doing anything. In fact the BJP has to make up for 23 years since now they are reduced to the 1991 level. The first and foremost the party should do is to redefine its chaal, charitra and chehra fast and start preparing its mass contact programmes.

Anonymous said...

Then, people have done the right thing by keeping them away from power. Either way, country will loose. It's disgusting the way BJP is running away from responsibility.

ramana said...

There is a tendency in BJP to let things slide. A friend of mine, who spent a lifetime working in RSS and BJP, who remarked (he is from Kerala) that Sangh waits until the disease is spread before attempting a cure. At that point they are left with no choice but amputation.

The way BJP is handling its failure to capture power is classic case of not 'doing the right thing'. There is an excellent book, "Wisdom of crowds" which chronicles successes and failures of groups, political outfits and the like.

While reading it, I was repeatedly reminded of how BJP lost the 2004 elections and how Modi succeeded, etc. Here is a link for those who are curious:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wisdom_of_Crowds

Anonymous said...

I am a disappointed BJP fan. Honestly I do not have the feeling that they can challenge Congress in 2014. They lose to congress in all good and crooked means.

What it implies that fans like us will suffer. Ram temple will remain a dream.

india15august.blogspot.com said...

Swapan,
I think you are finally veering down to the view that the problem with the BJP is the leadership - a statement I have been making in my blog.

Can you imagine Vajpayee condoning Varun's absurd statements? In Mumbai, when the BJP was created, Atal ji spoke of 'Gandhian Socialism'. Today the BJP offers private jet capitalism. That is a sea change. The BJP, much to my lasting regret, supported Mr Chidambaram's bill to allow pension fund investment in the stock market (a den of completely amoral persons, I know this well). In the USA, retirees have seen their entire retirement funds vanish thanks to the market crash.
The BJP and all its supporters must go to the villages, go to the slums, go to the middle class localities. We must decide NOT to enter a five star hotel/functions in high-fly environments, till we win aboslute majority in the Lok Sabha. We must feel the pain of living in India.

In Delhi, while I explained the greatness of Mr Advani to a captive audience consisting of my domestic help, one of them said "I went to the Jhuggis where everyone said they will vote for the congress. The BJP has never come here, while the congress promises to do something or the other for us.". This corrobated my own experience in the BJP office where the managers explained that the slum vote has never come to us (BJP) but we are trying to get some leaders on our side. Management again! There was no desire to do good for slum dwellers, the attitude was to manage it somehow.

If I sound harsh on the BJP it is because we want our own to prosper. I have no interest in the congress so why should I think about it?

http://www.india15august.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Hello Mr Swapan Dasgupta, I have been regularly reading your Blog for the last 2 weeks and I am very pleased that the rightist intellectual movement in India is still alive and not completely dead.

I went through Mr Kanchan Gupta's Blog and I share his opinion that neither the Congress nor the BJP have clearly understood the outcome of this election and neither have any news channels, not that I understand it, I don't either.

Anyway here is a funny piece found about our UPRIGHT? PM, the newspaper I am not sure if it claims or it quotes somebody else but it goes on to say MMS is one of the greatest Statesmen in ASIA.

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25513283-7583,00.html

Rakesh said...

5 Steps and BJP is back in Business

Step 1:

Purpose: To reach out to supporters

Let LKA go to the electorate on national TV thanking them for their support and promising hard work to implement pro-poor, pro-urban, pro-reform policies. Promise the supporters that party will reorganize within next 6 months and till the time will stay as LOP

Step 2:

Purpose: To reach out to Urban middle class, Army , Senior Citizens , Women

As UPA govt starts preparations for Union budget submit a memorandum to the govt to implement following issues raised in BJP manifesto:

1) Exempt income up to Rs 3 lakh from Income Tax. Women and senior citizens will receive an additional exemption benefit of Rs 50,000.
2) Income of all senior citizens by way of pension will be exempt from Income Tax.
3) To incentivise savings, all interest earned on bank deposits other than by corporate and those who have business income shall be exempt from tax.
4) Dispense with clubbing of agricultural income with other sources of income for determining tax liability on other income.
5) CST will be abolished and GST will be rationalized between 12 and 14 per; FBT will go. ESOPS and MAT tax regime will be rationalized and made equitable.
6) . All personnel of the Army, Air Force and Navy, as also paramilitary forces, will be exempt from paying income tax on their salaries and perquisites.
7) The honorarium for winners of gallantry awards like Pram Vir Chakra, which is abysmally low at Rs 500 to Rs 3,000, will be increased ten-fold to Rs 5,000 to Rs 30,000. This will be done with retrospective effect; the honorarium will be tax free.
8) The principle of one rank, one pension will be implemented;

Step 3:

Purpose: To reach out to Urban voters who loathes corruption

Publish a white paper on Swiss money and create awareness about the issue in urban areas

Step 4

Purpose: To reach out to Nationalists who feel illegal immigration is threat to India

Publish a white paper on illegal Bangladesh migrant population in India and how they threat to country’s economic and internal security

Step 5

Purpose: To increase visibility of BJP in TN , Kerala and AP where BJP has sub 10% vote share

Start a TAMIL RELIEF FUND (TRF) FOR SRILANKAN TAMILS with target of collecting USD 25 million for relief and rehabilitation of displaced Tamils in Sri Lanka

Make prominent citizens of TN, Kerala, AP and Karnataka member of TRF trust along with BJP’s local president of respective states to supervise distribution. Enroll members as volunteers to collect, distribute aid etc. Let all BJP ruled states make 1 Million USD token donation to the fund and begin relief work

SOME DO’S AND DON’T FOR THE PARTY FROM 2009 TO 2014

Don’t sabotage fellow BJP workers’ chances of winning election
Don’t poach/field any candidates from rival parties
Don’t fight in public
Don’t attack individual rather attack policies
Don’t boycott parliament/assembly where in Opposition unless the issue threatens India’s unity and integrity


Do provide Good governance, corruption free regime in BJP ruled states
Do involve party supporters in decision making
Do expand in TN, Kerala, AP, Orissa and WB
Do attack UPA on corruption issues
Do create awareness about issues like Swiss money , Illegal migration , internal security , foreign policy to average voter

Manoj Agarwal said...

There is now famous saying by Victor Hugo that no body can stop the idea whose time has come. Similarly no body can sustain the idea whose time has gone. I believe that BJP and by extension RSS should clearly understand this. Extreme right wing politics of 1990s variety will only ensure their further fall. One can see the drubbing Left received in this election when they retreated to their dogmatic shell of puritan ideology under Prakash Karat's leadership. If BJP/RSS combo retreats to their shell, they will not be spared as well. BJP should thank voters that they didn't receive such drubbing this election. The right-of-center politics with an inclusive idea of 'Indianism' (without any discrimination on caste, creed and religion) is the way to go. It is not such a bad thing. I believe Narendra Modi, an RSS ideologue, practices this only. If BJP/RSS has to survive, they should purge extreme right from their ranks.

MVR said...

I don't know if these lines will be ever read by those who should read it. But, What is disappointing today is that, BJP didn't lose because of lack support or rejection of right wing politics. But BJP LOST BECAUSE IT COULDN'T PRESENT ITSELF AS A CREDIBLE ALTERNATIVE TO CONG, which is very saddening. If right wing politics in this country dies because it couldnt present itself as an alternative governing system , then there is nothing more embarassing than that. SWAPAN DA, PLEASE LET US KNOW WHAT CAN BE DONE and WHAT CAN WE HOPE. I am greatly disturbed by this response of the party. Many people whom I knew as traditional BJP voters are now arguing that Rahul would make a better a PM than say some Rajnath Singh and MM Joshi, which in a way is true. I am sorry to this but, Rahul is definitely better than MM Joshi or Rajnath Singh.

MVR said...

The Fact that I accepted Rahul as a better PM than somebody from BJP, would shock all my friends who know me as a ardent BJP supporter all my life. But, that is the truth. Rajnath Singh and MM Joshi are not at all better than Rahul. If things dont change fast in BJP then, people will start a NEW RIGHT WING ALTERNATIVE TO BJP, which seems a better option.

MVR said...

I think the Party is serious MISSING PRAMOD MAHAJAN. Had he been there, I think there would have been a unanimous choice for PM and cadres and middle class would have voted him into power. I think even God has some other plans for this country than a good right wing government.

iamfordemocracy said...

BJP hasn't done anything wrong or different recently. The shrillness was because some of their supporters liked it that way (visit rajeev2004 blog and you will get what I mean). The lack of democracy was because the leaders liked it that way.

In India, you know the public institution is on a wrong path when some old chaps are handed over all rights to decide the further course of action. Many of the lesser leaders hide under the seniors and prvent the more competent leaders from taking over the leadership.

My sense is that Advani's ambitions and Vajpayee's Prithviraj Chauhan like stance has crushed BJP. The sooner the younger leaders take over, if necessary after a vigorous battle under public glare, the better.

Anonymous said...

Swapanji I beg to differ, I read your article in the Sunday Pioneer, I don't think Rahul Gandhi had a major role in the Congress' victory in the 15th Lok Sabha Elections, Rahul may have appealed to middle class voters, but did Middle India acutually vote in these elections? The voter turnout in Mumbai answers the question. As far as the interiors of the country are concerned its difficult to believe that the Congress/NCP combined won in Maharashtra, especially in Vidharbha where it seems local Congress party workers were campaigning against there own party. My gut feeling is that a lot of money has been pumped into these elections by the Congress. Moreover it seems that the Indian industry has also gave a lot of money to Congress because they did not want an unstable Third Front led government to come to power. This could be one reason why did the Shiromani Akali Dal remove Mr Baranala's son from the party because he indulged in "anti party activities" during the elections. The Indian society is corrupt at its core, money pumped in by the Congress had to attract a lot of votes, moreover these elections like earlier elections were also fought on caste and communal lines. Swapanji, the opinion of yours or mine or other people who log on to this blog, is the opinion of middle India which hardly votes, but it is the impoverished masses on our country who vote and we all know that thier poverty can be exploited by a particular poverty, if it has the adequate resources to do so and Congress in these elections had those resources. Swapanji I also saw "Left Right and Center" on NDTV on friday, I was not satisfied with your opinion about Mr Chidambaram's tenure as the Home Minister. i accept your opinion that he is better than Mr Patel but he never brought any hard hitting reforms in his ministry except for the formation of the NIA which was a huge dissapointment. NIA which currently has onyl 15 officers and no permanent headquaters is an orgainisation which had been given the mandate to investigate an act of terrorism after it has taken place. I feel the CBI could have also done this job so why create another organisation. I think from now on, BJP supporters have to start attacking Congress on policy related matters if it needs to be recognised as a responsible opposition.

Anonymous said...

The abuse has already began. check this out!!!

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Govt-gearing-up-to-gag-news-websites/articleshow/4562292.cms

long live sonia gandhi!!!!!!

zoomindianmedia said...

Accountability is a key issue in any project review. No one who is responsible for failure should be allowed to continue in roles where they have clearly failed.

Arun said...

The difference between ABV and LKA is that one smiles and recites poems, while the other argues like a lawyer. Indians prefer the benign image of the former to the tough image of the latter. Also, the Congress party showed that they can demolish tough images with ease.

A similar comparision applies to K Sudarshan and Mohan Bhagwat of the RSS. MB, being the benign one, is loved much more than his predecessor. It is a lesson for the next BJP leader on how to cultivate his/her image.

Manish said...

People at the top have to accept responsibility publiclly - both Rajnath and LKA, more so LKA. Then and only then can the party move forward with the introspection that is required. This whole drama of not accepting resignation is congress culture that has creeped into BJP. LKA has played his last innings and the fact is that it has not worked out, time to move forward. LKA can help that process of rebirth by stepping down today or drag the stinking caracass of 2009 elections for another 3-6 months in the false hope of consensus and collective responsibility.

Arvind said...

RSS (VHP and Bajrang Dal shouldn't even be allowed) should only have a very minimal role in the day-to-day functioning of the party (many members of RSS can be still in the party because most of them are very honest and have a deep love for India but sarsangchalaks shouldn't start controlling the party). Otherwise it is going to be split like Janata Party in 79 and that will be very bad for India.

Balaji said...

And someone also please hold the knickerwallahs and their appointees who are ruining the party in TN, AP, Kerala etc. In TN and AP, in the last 5 years. a 3rd party has emerged and become the biggerst vote splitter. If such huge alternate space was available, why didn't BJP trying to occupy that space?

Atleast in TN BJP the RSS and the Brahmin cabal has completely ruined the party. Its high time people like Ila Ganesan, H Raja are shown the door. How is that woman Lalitha Kumarmangalam whose brother was in the BJP all of 3 years, emerges only at the poll time and grabs a seat?

TN BJP should purge its Brahmin leadership (who account for less than 4 percent of the electorate which anyway votes for ADMK) and handover the reins to Thirunavukarasar, Thamilisai, Ramesh etc. And please please make an attempt to bring Sarath Kumar into the party fold.

forgive spelling errors above. Swapan Da's strange commenting policy neither allows cut and paste. worse I'm not able to edit my own comment unless I just use backspace and delete stuff.

Random Dude said...

@Swapan

For TN, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE try to get Rajnikanth. I have said this a thousand times.
He is a staunch Hindu who has openly supported Vajpayee before.

If modi is not the next PM face of the BJP next time, a lot of people will stop supporting the BJP. The last thing we want is some old horse like Rajnath singh.

Modi is the only mass leader who is capable of being PM.

Anonymous said...

Can someone tell RSS to take care of their organization first and leave BJP for its fate?

RSS itself is in deep troubles - caste troubles, cash crunch - their Vanavasi Ahsrams are not able to compete with missionaries anywhere in the country , inability to recruit new cadre, dwindling sakhas etc..

RSS doesn't understand electoral politics. IMO this organization may not survive this decade..

Does BJP want to sink with RSS?

Arjun said...

Swapan,

This is disappointing to hear. But what is revealing is the rot that has set into the RSS. When did the ideology of hate replaced the ideology of cultural nationalism in the RSS. Instead of mourning over how the BJP has lost the plot I decided to join the party and see whether I can make a contribution. This is not encouraging at all.

Karan said...

Point taken Swapanda. Initially, I was ok with Advani being the LOP for damage control. But looks like he is the person who is damaging the party. I think it is time for Advani and Rajnath to resign/sideline. Atleast they owe it to their supporters, to have some sort of inquiry being set in, as to why they had lost election. I agree, that the morlity and ethics of the BJP cadre has gone down, but as per me not to the levels of BSP and SP. I think nothing can beat congress in this account. But it would be nice to have some sort of purging for the BJP.

Karan said...

Sorry for posting another message. I have just read Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi to say that BJP must rise from the analyses of defeat and look for new challenges. I think they should analyse the reasons of defeat first. They have been doing a good job in areas of development. But still they have been losing.

Anonymous said...

It looks like the RSS needs to purge itself of those hankering for political involvement. Wonder if the new RSS chief is up to the task.

neo_reloaded said...

with this sort of behaviour the BJP is not only destroying its image but its also degrading us nationalists.. now its very taboo to call onself a hindu nationalist.. all that people associate with this word is right-extremism and pub-attack type suprression of freedoms and varun gandhi type anti muslimism..

Manjunath said...

Swapan,
Being a fan of your articles for 20 years since Advani's Rathayatra, I was totally blindfolded for your admiration of Rahul Gandhi as an agent of change. While I am not in denial of BJP's defeat, it would be a great mistake to treat it as Congress revival courtesy of Rahul Gandhi. It would lead to more BJP self goals like Advani's Jinnah moment.

1)First reason, the most middle class of Indian citites Bangalore ( People in Delhi and Mumbai may disagree with me Vehemently but Bangalore has much lesser slum population) voted overwhelming for BJP both in 2004 and 2009. Also the opinion surveys people had utter contempt for Rahul Gandhi while having decent regard for Manmohan Singh but preferred Advani, Modi over any comparable congress leader by wider margin. I do agree local kannada media is very favorable to BJP (especially Vijaya Karnataka eventhough owned by Times). There was widespread discussions about Kandamahal and Mangalore Church attacks with an OpEd by S.L.Bhyrappa author of Avarna. Agreed Karnataka, Gujarath, MadhyaPradesh, Chattisgarh are special cases. But what works there should work in other Indian states provided BJP starts to behave as a party with difference not as a congress clone.

Why not BJP conduct primaries in upcoming Jharkhand, Maharashtra assembly polls. Instead of allowing fraction leaders to select candidates and lot of internal sabotage, this would be a clear differentiator for BJP. It would not cost BJP a tonne of money to implement the practise in around 130 assembly seats in Maharashtra and 81 seats in Jharkhand. This should be strictly followed in election of state President or leader of opposition or Party's National president. This would give BJP a unique selling point. I guess BJP's tally of atleast 150 came down by around 30 due to faction wars in around 30 seats in this election.

Turning point for the loksabha election came in December 2008 when the results of 4 state assembly elections should have been BJP 4- Congress 0 if BJP had followed selection of candidates thru primary in Rajasthan and Delhi instead of allowing various factions to fight each other than congress giving congress victories in Rajasthan and Delhi and it was downhill since then losing potential allies in Andhra and Tamil Nadu and importantly Orissa and allowing for Shivsena Tantrums. Will BJP leaders learn and implement atleast this single important reform.

Deepak said...

Swapanda,

I just saw a TV report of Advaniji addressing a rally in Gujarat, where he said that the Communists became scapegoats for the Congress's failures. It is shocking that instead of taking responsibility for the BJP's defeat, he is worried about the Commies. There seems to be chant that Third Front had a negative image, so people voted Congress. If the BJP fails to see its own failure and is only looking for excuses, then I think let's be reconciled to living under Congress rule for another 10-15 years.

Ghost Writer said...

Dr. Dasgupta,
In the early 90's the BJP truly was a party with a difference. It seemed to allow non-dynastic, internal democracy and yet achieve cohesion around the tall leaders. ever since the Bangaru Lakshman tapes though - the BJP has never got off the floor. There is no discipline. there are personality cults (I am now waiting for Tamil Nadu style giant-cut outs in Delhi!) and there is no accountability for failures. Why should people wait for Congress-B when they can vote for congress-A, complete with foreign mem-sahib and her baba-log!

I, Me, Myself ! said...

BJP should facilitate discussions instead of disruptions.

Swapan da,

I went through your article in Sunday Pioneer and got a feeling that you are trying to tell that this election is more of BJP's defeat than Congress victory. I tend to incline towards your argument, and somehow am not able to understand why everyone is making Rahul's innocence a virtue?

The thing with Congress is that it will just maintain status quo in the country. Everything will go on as normal, with no revolutionary schemes in the offing. Rahul Gandhi, I strongly feel, is being given more credit than he actually deserves for this victory.

Having said that, I think we need to give some time for BJP to do some deep introspection and come out with a fresh outlook towards their policies.

It is an uphill task, and a good beginning will be to behave well in Parliament, and facilitate discussions instead of disruptions.

Anonymous said...

I tihnk forcing LK Advani to accept the LOP post is bad... tthey should have allowed Advaniji to step aside now...

Yes there would have been lots of infighting... which would surely have spilled out to the open... but if at all there was a time for such turbulance it is now... not at the door step of another election...

By sweeping the issues under the carpet, the BJP is not going to get any further... and by looking at the Congress mood it looks like they will move far ahead before the next General Elections... also we maybe facing the Rahul factor big time then...

venkatesh said...

Swapana Da,

With all due respects, I thinking you are jumping the gun here.

The transition has to be orderly. I think you are being grossly unfair to Advani. The party has suffered a defeat. If the only guy acceptable to all resigns, what do you think will happen to the party. This has to be done in an organised way and not emotionally.

Sanjay said...

Let the parliamentary board take its time, the emphasis should be on intellectual honesty, not speed. If hard and unpopular decisions are required to be taken so be it, this is the time to do so. The true test of leadership is only during adversity.
The findings need not become a topic for nationwide-prime-time-televised-debate, but one message should go loud and clear, that is their accountability towards those who voted for them, and the country.

Vineet said...

What's the big rush? At present BJP needs time & space to introspect.

Anonymous said...

Swapanda, BJPs defeat was heartbreaking to say the least, but having said that I still don't regret having not voted for some particular nose sizes. But I would really be disillusioned if BJP fails to learn the right lessons. The objective should not be to win elections, but to develop a strong value based organisation.

No Mist said...

swapanda the rot that you are fearing is already raging ... BJP is fast losing public sympathy.

Lord Ram save BJP from RSS !!

Anonymous said...

Time is up for a generational shift in the BJP. The sooner this is done the better it is for the new faces of the Party to become acceptable. Smt Sushma Swaraj should become the Leader of Opposition. Shri Arun Jaitley should become the BJP president with the sole objective of making the BJP the only credible opposition Party in India and making the party a strong player in states like TN, WB, Kerala, Orissa and AP. Navjot siddhu should become the Yuva Morcha President to take on the Yuvraj of Congress Party and Smriti Irani should lead the women's wing of the Party.

duke said...

I passed out of a RSS school ten years back and was really really sold on BJP and its ideologies..I hated Congress, worshipped Atalji and Advani..10 years on the school is in ruins..there are no leaders, new leaders dont believe in thier own or party's ideologies and are just media whores like Varun Gandhi..They have turned into lazy bastards waiting for the next Hindu wave and flogging thr same issues over and over again..Advaniji is done..How the party misses someone like Pramod Mahajan..

Tarun Malaviya said...

Every one's talking about BJPs loss in the election and how they should have been more palatable to the general public. But BJP's loss in elections, if at all due to very strident posturing, has still resulted in gains for India e.g.
-It has forced the government to abandon its slackness in dealing with terrorism and internal security matter. If only to not let the BJP gain the upper hand in the elections.
-The Citizen ID card has been brought out of the deep freezer and we might see some movement on it.
-The government seems now to be more mindful of its non-performance on the infrastructure front (especially the slow progress on the roads projects).
-Tainted ministers seem to have been kept out this time
-Third front stands discredited and there seems to be movement towards bipolar polity
-It has put the focus on pursuit of black money and so on.

Yes the power is still in the hands of same bunch of non-performers, but we might be underestimating the importance of an opposition in shaping the agenda for the country.

ponniyin selvan said...

I recently read an article in the Times of India which mentioned about how Rahul Gandhi had gone about capturing punjab. It seems he employed the services of ex-election commisioner lyndogh to conduct elections for the youth congress in Punjab and has a result congress saw its membership increase by 3-4 lakhs in a matter of months. And most of the new members are young. It is planning to do the same kind of experiment in all parts of the country and the target is to get 1 crore new members. The next state in line is Gujarat!!!! Well looks like Congress is working on a dedicated and focus plan to erase the BJP out of the countrys map and the irony is the party leaders seem to be helping due to their lack of vision. The fight to the finish has begun. Congress has landed an upper right cut and is preparing to deliver a knock out punch!!

zoomindianmedia said...

Swapanda

This is the kind of news-stories a rightist channel can run!

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/05/25/2579456.htm

Australian Catholic Missionary in Orissa is a serial pedophile.

I am not even sure if corrupt Indian media will touch this.

And I also dont think Rogue Navin Patnaik will do anything about it.

At least try and run the story in Pioneer.

india15august.blogspot.com said...

Party Elections and Primaries

When Mr Advani resigned, I had suggested through comments in number of blogs, that the BJP should hold an election to elect the Leader of the Opposition. Many others had the same idea, and, there has been a consensus (in swapan's blog - swapan55.com) that the BJP should hold elections for all party posts. The party should conduct primaries to select candidates for elective posts (MP, MLA etc...).

What a revolutionary idea!

Elections, indeeed! What will the unwashed masses think of next? If power is given to the poeple, then what will happen to the cabal of old geezers who sit in dark rooms, plotting and planning the party's tryst with destiny? The distribution of tickets is a powerful weapon in the hands of the party managers. Why will they give up this power?

Now for the optimistic side. This is the BJP. The party that picked roses from the mud, for example, Gopinath Munde. Here is what Mr Munde writes in his website, http://www.gopinathmunde.com/childhood.htm :
"My primary education was in the village (population then 500, now about 1000) that did not have a school building. The "school" was held under the shade of a tree.........
I remember having trodden a long stretch of 12 km to appear for the examination, even though my foot was badly swollen."
[I picked up th name of Mr Munde, almost at random, then did a web search. I am sure that many BJP leaders will have similar childhood].

If any party in India is likely to become democratic, it is the BJP, because it has till now nurtured talent. Will the leadership rise to the occassion, or will it fail us? Only time will tell.

Bharath P.M said...

The common man has not heard anything fron the BJP. Previlaged ones like us have sit in front of 24x7 News channels or browse the net to see the rare statement from the BJP. The BJP, being the principle Opposition party should know that there is responsibility towards the
Nation even in defeat.
LKA may take some more time to come out of his shell but the fact is BJP is a poor loser.
On the contrary can you imagine how the BJP would have behaved had they won?! The Congress's muted celebration was a sign of maturity.
Lastly, being a die-hard BJP supporter I would like to suggest that it should take YSR style campagining in Andhra in 2003-04 to oust Naidu.

Anonymous said...

Swapanda,

Maybe you can throw some light on this in your next article. Lots of responses have come regarding the RSS influence on the BJP, some positive and a lot negative. But it is a little difficult for lay people to actually grasp how much control the RSS actually has on the BJP.

It is an accepted fact that lots of BJP leaders have come from an RSS background but once they come into the BJP they no longer seem to be following the RSS mantras and actually become full time politicians just like there are in the congress,BSP or SP. So we are assuming that since these leaders have an RSS background, hence indirectly the RSS is controlling the BJP.
Also how about the outside influence of the RSS i.e it actually over-riding some decisions made by the BJP. How many of such instances have happened?
And finally can the BJP actually survive without the RSS? In most states BJP has piggybacked on the RSS network and come to a position of influence. Also BJP uses the services of the sangh workers during the elections. Infact the majority of the hardcore BJP workers/supporters have some kind of a sangh connection.
If BJP thinks that RSS is too interfering and cause for its failures, then it can try and cut the umbical cord and see if it can survive!!

zoomindianmedia said...

Refer to my earlier comment on catholic pedophile priest.

Suggested title:

"Catholic Pedophile Runs Amok in India".

Can you make ETV/other channels can run a program its channel?

Prasanna said...

Political acumen was the last quality that i could credit Advani with(his somersaults and inconsistencies has shattered the tremendous respect that i had for him)but now he appears to be losing that too.What else explains his pitiable and facile explanation for the dismal performance of BJP.His shocks analysis sounds even more ridiculous then what the unelectable Stalinist appartchiks usually come up after their electoral defeat.I would not be suprised that electoral strength of BJP too would be reduced like that of commies

Even more shocking is to read newsreports that garrulous cartton characters like Venkiah are in race for leader of Rajya Sabha.BJP is surely possesed with death wish

And Rajnath Singh appears to be luckiest character around.His meteoric rise in BJP is directly proportional to plummeting electoral fortunes of BJP

BJP increasingly appears to be carbon copy of Congress of Kesri days.Saffron knickerwalla has replaced the Gandhi Topiwalla as the caricature for the Ugly Indian politician

Prasanna said...

Swapanda

Congress party's greatest sucess lies in its ability to camouflage its disgusting communal socialism and outrageous corruption under the veneer of babalog sophsitication

Thanksto the imagery manufactured by the blatantly biased Media (which ran a vituperative and vitriolic campaign of calumny against BJP) saffronwallah has come to epitomise the ugly Indian politician in popular public consciousness replacing the Gandhi Topiwala.And this distortion needs to be fought relentlessely

One of the earlier commentators mentioned about people Smriti Irani and Sidhu.I dont think its a bad idea at all

I remember in one of those stage managed studio discussion in a dynasty worshipping media house,Smriti Irani was sharp and brilliant in countering a conceited babalog journalist who was as usual indulging in her customary BJP baiting.And ofcourse it came as no suprise that Smriti probably never made appearance in that channel(atleasti have seen her)

Prasanna said...

BTW the ideological neanderthals of Nagpur have spoken loud and clear against the so-called hi-tech campaign of BJP(using website ,blog etc etc).And this analysis while correctly identifying that pliant media played an significant role in Congress's victory.

Does it not occur to the great worthies that that imperative of embracing alternate channels of commuication(including intenet) is the only way to break strangehold and monopoly of blatantly biased MSM

Anonymous said...

Swapan,
Time to realise You are not AJ, You are more that that.

shraboni said...

Dada !

Great !!
Bid for Sushma & Jetley ..
Who cares at least You win, Nobody "thunk" You.

Bachi was smarter than You, You behave like a looser .. now said You llok like Raj... short term..

Anonymous said...

They need to explain Kandahar, even apologise for it if deemed necessary. Talking to people around me in Maharashtra, this incident is seen in the same terms as Panipat 1761. It has caused a lot of people to vote for Congress or stay away from the polling booth.

BJP comes across as total losers on terror because of this one incident.

Tathagata Mukherjee said...

Swapan'da- this is my first post on your blog which is most popular amongst right of the center and nationalists in India/abroad. Its great to see that you update this blog regularly and sometimes interact with people. Please continue your great effort at this critical juncture of Indian politics.

Before discussing politics, lets understand the long term social damage being done by politis of Congi.

Media: Ugly Hindu Word

In Bengali we have a saying- Mullahs can run up to the Mosque. Same happening with English media, fundoos who appear there- bashing anything remotely connected with Hindus though Sheela Dixit appeared with Muthalik two days AFTER Mangalore incident. Who made issue when Modi tried to remove some restrictions on liquor in some select hotels in Gujarat? Its Congress. What was one of the main issue based on which Cong won last Rajasthan state election? We are told, its liquor permit by Raje Govt. See the game plan and double standard?

Congi made deal with the Mullah who gave a reward on Pres Bush's head. What did Media do?

While Kandamal violence must be condemned, what role media played in exposing the illegal conversion (there is a law protecting religious rights of people in vogue for last 40 years there), fake caste certificate, land grab by a section of converts whose leader is also a convert now Rajya Sabha member of Congress?

Where were the same media when the Statesman Calcutta, one of the oldest english daily in the world, was sent to jail? Where was the media when Taslima was banished to land of Rup-Kanwar?

While Obama can chant name of God 5 times in his last speech before US Congress, were Advani /Vajpayee to take name of Ram, it becomes Hindu fundamentalism.

What would have happened if a BJP Govt were to question existance of a Xtian/Muslim God? or revoke land transfer to appease VHP where Hindus have no historic claim?

While Supreme Court passed judgement on the Movie The Vinci Code, it was banned by many Congi Govts in Andhra, Goa, Punjab and elsewhere. While Calcutta High Court revoked ban on Taslima, she was banished. But same media wants us to follow SC's verdict on MF Hussain and Saraswati.

Long term Effects: destruction of tolerance at grass root level:

Congi openly rallying minorities as votebank often against perceived Hindu interest like Ayodhya, Amarnath. Hindus are rallied along caste- all in the name of secularism and good governance. Once Madhu Kishwar wrote about the damage done to Muslims due to Nehruvian secularism- now, its speed has been accelerated many fold.

"The preference of large sections of the Muslim leadership and westernised Muslim intelligentsia for a Nehruvian brand of secularism has proved to be very harmful for Muslims in the long run. In the process they have rejected & ridiculed Gandhi's approach to inter-community harmony largely because they are uneasy with his use of certain Hindu symbols. This has strengthened the feeling that the Muslim leadership is innately hostile to the Hindus who are rooted in their own faith and is comfortable only with Westernised Hindus like Nehru who are contemptuous of their own culture, religion and people."

After Kandhamal, the process has been put in place for Indian Christians.

SOCIAL TOLERANCE IS TAKING A GREAT HIT AT GRASS ROOT LEVEL which will never be repaired because of these Congi politics.

Will Congi have guts to speak against Guj 2002 in Gujarat?
Will Congi have guts to speak against Tilak, Savarkar in Maharashtra?
Will Congi have guts to speak against Vande-Mataram in West Bengal?
Will Congi have guts to rebuild the Mosque at Ayodhya?

Media's wilful role in promoting this dangerous politics of Congi at the cost of the country will be one of the darkest spot in our history.

Congi is a multi-headed monster. It spoke in one language before Jammu public during Amarnath movement, quite contrary to what it stated before public of Kashmir. No policy, no ideology- just grab power by any means.

Anonymous said...

Extremely weird explanation of BJP's defeat by Advani. He is saying that people punished the third front and commies.

What about the BJP? Why did people not see the BJP as an alternative.

Both Advani and Jaitley are harping on bipolarity however the trends indicate a movement towards unipolarity.

Why aren't they coming forward and saying that we lost because of our shortcomings and we will fix them. That will give them more credibility.
They are in the same kind of denial mode like they were in 2004.

Anonymous said...

Swapan Da
I was in a small town and there used be some RSS workers. They lived a penury life but very high on morals. They talked of Swadeshi,they talked of Hinduism and and they talked of pan india without appeasement.
When BJP was usurped by some leaders who sat in Delhi SC or spent time in 5 star hotel.
It came crashing. Thing will continue this way if you neglect the roots.

ANON said...

BJP is clearly not big enough for the center-right types and the Hindutva types.

BJP cannot have it both ways, it cannot have ideological Independence and also expect Sangh workers to sweat it out for them.

The center-right types should encourage a split in the BJP and form a new center-right party, or better still revive the Swatantrata party, and leave BJP to the Hindus.

Balaji said...

Pls advice the BJP to record the MP swearing of all BJP MPs and show it to the voters. Cinema Halls, Cable networks, social media can be used for the this purpose. Make sure everything that an MP does in parliament (questions/bills/discussions) is shown as video to the voters in his/her constituency. People often have no idea what an MP does or should do. They confuse an MP with the local sewage disposer or municipal commissioner. Showing videos of the local MPs parliamentary participation is the best way to impress the voters as well as educate them.

Anonymous said...

I read that BJP is going to analyse the election results next month and Arun Jaitley cannot attend since he will be traveling abroad. Now what thehell is this.

How can you dissect what is wrong when your chief campaign strategist is not around. Why can't Arun Jaitly cancel his trip abroad to attend the meeting.

Something is seriously wrong with BJP. They were so used to being cocky and underestimating Congress, now they have no idea what has hit them.

Now that their seats is reduced to 116, they are talking about bipolarity. In the next election, when it drops to 60, what are they going to talk about?

How come nobody is taking responsibility for the defeat or at least explaining to people what went wrong.

Anonymous said...

BJP has to appear fresh with new ideas and have fresh faces with energy peddling those ideas.

Unfortunately, Advaniji was not appearing as someone with new ideas. That is the root cause of BJP's defeat. Nobody would say it in the BJP because they respect him but that seems to be the main problem.

Anonymous said...

Swapanda,
Its high time we clear the air on the Kandhar highjack issue.
The NDA government could have handed over the matter to the professionals - The Army, and then sit back and watched television, and at the end of it all whether the Army succeeded or floundered, come out and give an intelligent speech. But instead they valued Indian democratic conventions of civillian authority taking military decisions, it was done by Nehru as well during 1948 Indo-Pak war when mid way through the war India declared ceasefire and took the matter to UN which became an Albatross around the country's neck.

Anonymous said...

Chup chup ashru wahane walo
Moti vyarth lutane walo
kuch sapno ke mar ja ne se
jeevan nahi mara karta hai.

zoomindianmedia said...

Prasanna

RSS has spoken no such thing.

Man of Compulsive Deceit Disorder Sekhar Gupta and his paper Indian Express have a news message alluding to the above.

Dont believe at face value what Sekhar Gupta/IE write on nationalist/Hindu issues. They are deceitful liar and lack credibility.

(On account of legacy there are some like Coomi who you can trust for integrity. On balance..IE and Sekhar Gupta lack credibility and therefore are untrustworthy)

Prasanna said...

Swapanda

One of the issue that the slimy spinmeister of Congress party in the Indian MSM have been gleefully and subtly exploiting was the incoherence of BJP’ top leadership in explaining its woeful ineptitude in handling the incident.

While UPA govt went scot free on its horrible record on internal terror with tHE help of pliant media,BJP was still being hauled over the coals over Kandahar incident -three elections have elapsed since that


Even in his imminently readable memoirs, Jaswant Singh did not provide any the convincing rationale for personally escorting the dreaded Islamic terrorist to safety of Taliban’ embrace. All that I remember him writing was his presence in Kandahar was required to facilitate quick decision-making process. One can only speculate on reason behind Jaswant Singh’s decision but its definitely much more than his mere lack of confidence on the inept Indian babudom

While the shameful capitulation to the Islamic Militants can be partially attributed to the public opinion swayed by noisy demonstration by relatives of the passengers (orchestrated by Lady Karat accompanied with dramatic television footages in her family news channel), the NDA government cannot escape blame for several blunders including losing the plot in Amristar.

Why cant BJP for once publicly apologise for this decision?Or cant they mobilise the relatives/hijacked passengers and launch a counter offensive

I think this is the first thing that the new leader in post-Advani dispensation should do.Advani also has tried to act very smart on the issue by ssubtly trying to escape blame and in the process gerviosuly hurting his own image

Prasanna said...

Swapanda

One of the issue that the slimy spinmeister of Congress party in the Indian MSM have been gleefully and subtly exploiting was the incoherence of BJP’ top leadership in explaining its woeful ineptitude in handling the incident.

While UPA govt went scot free on its horrible record on internal terror with tHE help of pliant media,BJP was still being hauled over the coals over Kandahar incident -three elections have elapsed since that


Even in his imminently readable memoirs, Jaswant Singh did not provide any the convincing rationale for personally escorting the dreaded Islamic terrorist to safety of Taliban’ embrace. All that I remember him writing was his presence in Kandahar was required to facilitate quick decision-making process. One can only speculate on reason behind Jaswant Singh’s decision but its definitely much more than his mere lack of confidence on the inept Indian babudom

While the shameful capitulation to the Islamic Militants can be partially attributed to the public opinion swayed by noisy demonstration by relatives of the passengers (orchestrated by Lady Karat accompanied with dramatic television footages in her family news channel), the NDA government cannot escape blame for several blunders including losing the plot in Amristar.

Why cant BJP for once publicly apologise for this decision?Or cant they mobilise the relatives/hijacked passengers and launch a counter offensive

I think this is the first thing that the new leader in post-Advani dispensation should do.Advani also has tried to act very smart on the issue by ssubtly trying to escape blame and in the process gerviosuly hurting his own image

Anonymous said...

Swapan Ji,
Congress won half of its seats from 6 states. (AP: 33, RAJ: 20, UP:21, Kerala: 16, Haryana: 9, Delhi: 7) and in these states BJP got 14 seats compared to 106 of the Congress. This made all the difference. Weak organisational base of the Party is solely responsible for this shocking performance and more than LKA, it is Mr Rajnath Singh who as party president is supposed to strengthen the organisational base of the Party. Have you observed one thing that in the DUSU elections, year after year NSUI candidates have been winning. Is this not an indication of the choce of youth in Delhi? The day BJP sends its own MLA to Kerala Assembly and ABVP starts winning in JNU and DU, I can certainly say that the nation would be rooting for the BJP.

Anonymous said...

BJP cannot have it both ways, it cannot have ideological Independence and also expect Sangh workers to sweat it out for them. What is the thought process here? Do Sangh workers no longer believe that the BJP will do a better job than the Congress when it comes to issues that are important to them?

Anonymous said...

Give up on BJP-RSS and their idiotic leaders or you will be setting up yourself for even more disappointment, disillusionment and hurt. BJP and leaders proved that it is beyond redemption or repairment. Dumpt it inot Indian Ocean for good.

Mimi said...

Is the principal opposition party sleeping?
---------------------------------------------

1) Will the party with "strong" leaders now speak out against the induction of corrupt DMK cabinet ministers like Baalu and A. Raja? It's amazing to see the BJP's lack of courage in taking up issues that really matter, and wallowing in self pity instead.

2) Will some one from the BJP follow up on the black money issue now that elections are over?

It's time for the BJP to aggressively keep this govt on its toes. Already many days are being wasted on cabinet negotiations, and no one knows what MMS's glorious 100 day economic recovery plan was.

Anonymous said...

If the Jaitley news that he will not attend the meeting is true then its high time he is shown the door.
Another Drama .

Venkatesh said...

Swapan Da,

One more point. The loss reflects poorly on the BJP, lets leave that aside for a minute.

What does it talk about the fickleness of the BJP supporter? What the BJP did a month ago is no different than today. A month ago we were all cheering the brigade and now we are condemning everything they stand for. Should we also not introspect?

I am all for understanding the cause of the debacle and addressing it, all this instant punditry is misleading and would lead to cutting off the metaphorical head when the problem is in the hand!!!

Anonymous said...

A party, whose founder was a vice-chanceller of Univ of Calcutta in its hey days, now wandering around brain-dead! A Sanghathan, whose founder was a doctor, ideologue former lecturer, other chiefs univ gold medalis now zombies - that should tell supporters something about these rotting corpses.

Anonymous said...

I understand from the BJP HQ that Rajnath's men deliberately chose the date of the national executive to put Jaitley into maximum inconvenience. He had apparently planned a family holiday a long time ago. Now the RNS brigade is gloating over how they have outsmarted Jaitley. Such silly games are what the party president is all about. They hate Jaitley because he speaks his mind.

Anonymous said...

People are reacting as if BJP is a manufacturing industry and by sacking the CEO, they will start making profit from tomorrow. Try to understand that a Political party and its workers toil hard to get one more vote for the Party and for that they spend years and here our friends want everything and everyone to just get out lock, stock and barrel. Imagine what ABV and LKA would have faced in the initial years of their carrer when it took the Jan sangha some 40 years to make its presence felt. But. still they persisted and made BJP what it is today (the other pole of Indian politics). So, any drastic step would instead help the Congress Party and aided by a friendly media they will spread the news that the decimination of BJP is total and the Party has become another Janata Parivar in Indian politics and BJP is a spent force and is a thing of the past.

Anonymous said...

I had a feeling that Rajnath Singh had something to do with the dates of the meeting to embarass Jaitley.

This Rajnath Singh is the first person BJP has to throw out of it has any chance of reviving.

Sanjay said...

Swapanda, one small suggestion. it may well be possible that the contents of your blog is being received by the people it is intended for, but for some reasons may not be able to respond to it. Please give your email id as well so that they can convey it to you more discreetly.

Vinay said...

Can they show unity for the better interest of the party and in turn the Nation...

Anonymous said...

Swapan Da,

You as well as so many other readers who wanted BJP to come to power are really heartbroken, as much as I was. So many opinions abound. That BJP has to explain the debacle, project new leader, change course etc. But all these media and public demand for explanation etc will die over time. It will be a question of whether BJP will be a force in next election and can they form a govt. If there is a credible chance of that happening, all the past defeats will be forgotten and media as well as public will form a different opinion. When things have been really bad for BJP, its better not to take any decision on a rebound, just as in a broken love relationship.

BJP has to realise that it has not done enough in East and South.

BJP has to realise that they have to get their act together so that they dont lose further in North and West and rebound and recapture those states that were lost.

BJP should use the opportunity to be the most effective (not just vocal) opposition and thereby make people believe it is the only alternative to congress.

Elections are lost and won, but you dont stop fighting. Figuring out what will make them win would be the need of the hour and figuring out what went wrong could be a good beginning, but can not be the only way to fix things.

growth and set back are normal for any political party andn its parabolic curve. congress was on a high for such a long time because it was the party of india's freedom movement. they had their downward spiral for the last 15 years and are now on road to recovery. BJP also had its high from 1996 to 2008 considering many state and central elections. Now they are hitting a downward trail.

That doesnt mean BJP is out or whatever they did in this election was wrong. Winner has many fathers and loser is an orphen.

Its time for BJP to take a little break and start the intraspection soon after.

Ram, London.

M. Patil said...

Swapanda,

Going through these comments is an enlightning experience for me. What really struck me is that some people sympathetic to Hindu causes have internalized the talking points of NDTV/CNN-IBN.
Such as MM Singh is secular, uncorruptuble and decent in spite of facts to the contrary like

1. Asking for Muslim count in the Indian Army. It is a divisive and communal approach to one of the perhaps two remaining independant institutions.

2. Claiming that Muslims have a first shot at India's resources.

3. Cash for votes, during the confidence vote.

4. Corruption and money hoarded in Swiss banks.

5. Giving tickets to Sajjan Kumar, Jagdish Tytler.

6. Bringing back Naveen Chawla of emergency infamy.

If the BJP did a fraction of these the media would have pounced on them. But, for the Dynasty the media is all out with its pom poms.

Perception is reality, BJP should realize that if it wants to come back to power.

Malavika