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Sunday, May 17, 2009

More or less NAMO

My previous post attracted nearly 75 responses in less than 24 hours. I thank everyone for taking the time to address the question.

Predictably, there was no unanimity. But there were two broad strands of thought:

  • Those who want the BJP to take on an uncompromisingly pro-Hindutva stand and assert its identity on that basis.
  • Those who feel that Hindutva's time has past and therefore it is more prudent and electorally judicious for the BJP to become a more conventional right-of-centre party. Of course, this stand was coupled with interesting suggestions (drawn from marketing) of how to increase the BJP's appeal.

I got a feeling that those who opted for the first course tended to be based outside India. One of them even recommended that people like me should be thrown out of the party--a difficult proposition because I am not a member of the party. Another identified me as a member of the anti-RSS faction.

I don't feel there is any need to personalise the debate. We are discussing ideas. But I think there is a basis for suggesting that ultra-nationalists do tend to believe that the integrity and patriotism of those less forthright are somehow suspect. This prompts them to arrive at somewhat bizarre and over-conspiratorial conclusions.

However, the role of the individual did seem to matter on one count: the future role of Narendra Modi.

There is no question that Modi's role in this election was seminal. He addressed meetings in nearly 150 constutuencies, particularly in western India. His meetings were very well attended, marked by enthusiasm and invariably reported in the media. Without his presence, the Congress inroads in Gujarat would have been greater.

Modi's speeches in this election were quite focused on development and security. But his asides on the dynasty received maximum coverage--quite predictably. The "budiya"-"guriya" remarks in particular drew flak.

Throughout my visits to constituencies I made it a point to ask BJP workers about Modi. The responses were quite uniform. The BJP supporters believed that had Modi been the PM candidate, the party would secure more than 200 seats.

I can't say whether this perception was based on fact or wishful thinking. What matters is the fact that Modi excites the imagination of the BJP supporter.

At the same time, Modi carries the baggage of liberal derision. Many CMs from non-Congress parties admire Modi's administrative skills and development record. Yet, they fear any formal association with him on account of a Muslim reaction.

It would be fair to say that this Muslim veto has prevented Modi's emergence on an all-India plane.

Do we accept this veto meekly or should it be countered frontally?

A good way of countering it is by making sure Modi effectiveness is maximum. When I say he has to curb some of his rhetorical excesses, I am merely suggesting that the media must not be given any opportunity to attack him for being frivolous or personally offensive.

When I say that Modi must work on his national acceptability I do not say he should change his image. There is nothing worse or more pathetic than a leader trying to be what he/she is not.

Modi's image rests on three pillars:

  • As a Hindu icon, a modern day Shivaji.
  • As an efficient administrator committed to development. His Gujarat record speaks volumes.
  • As a no-nonsense leader, capable of taking tough decisions even at the risk of unpopularity.

It is tragic but nevertheless true that Modi's Hindu credentials have got linked to the Gujarat riots of 2002. This is a reality the BJP must live with. Any apology will undermine Modi's appeal as an uncompromising leader.

The key to building Modi is to relentlessly drive home his ability to take tough decisions which are for the national good. He will have to play on his humble origins and (subtly) even his Most Backward Caste status. Remember, there will be formidable opposition to his claim to be PM. To make Modi win, the BJP will have to look well beyond its traditional voters. We must also assume that apart from Shiv Sena and Akali Dal (and, maybe, AGP), there will be no other allies.

I also agree with those of you who have argued for a Modi-Jaitley combination. I have seen this duo working very effectively in 2002 and 2007. I look forward to the time this team can galvanise the country in 2014.

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Gopal said...

This is my first comment on your blog. I am feeling so dejected and disappointed with the results that I have stopped watching the news channels and haven't even looked at today's newspapers!

I think BJP should introspect this defeat to get rid of all the negative publicity that they attract. They should come across as moderate, at least on the national media, with no place for lunatics like Ram Sene, etc. I agree with you, when you say NaMo should not give chance to the media to attack him.

My choice for new party president is either Arun Jaitely or Narendra Modi. And the immediate task for the party should be to concentrate on Maharashtra where assembly elections will be held soon. Also in the next five years they should build some amount of base in states like TN, AP, WB and Kerala.

Rohit said...

''It is tragic but nevertheless true that Modi's Hindu credentials have got linked to the Gujarat riots of 2002. This is a reality the BJP must live with. Any apology will undermine Modi's appeal as an uncompromising leader.''

Swapan da,

I am shocked someone of your stature would say that apologizing for 2002 would affect his uncompromising image. This is the false Advani kind of strength who claimed to be a tough leader but could not throw out the likes of Varun gandhi and let a two pence candidate define his party.

I see no role for Modi in national politics unless BJP wants to emerge with less than 100 seats. But, if at all Modi wants a national profile, coming to terms with 2002 is essential--otherwise the media and his opponents would define the elections in those terms. And frankly, what happened in 2002 was horrendous. How could the great administrator let it happen?

There is a world beyond Gujarat; Modi achieved little outside Gujarat. In fact, even in his own state, Congress was hardly decimated.

BJP's downfall began when Vajpayee dithered in firing Modi in 2002. If BJP does not learn, it will continue to wither away and be reduced to a marginal 80-100 seat player.

I could not care less if BJP goes away except it leave the space open for Congress and the First Family to keep India poor. For generations.

Pradyot Dhulipala said...

Absolutely agree that Namo has to make himself mroe acceptable for the sake of attracting allies. I do not however agree that an apology would damage him in a way to render him ineffective. Whats the best case scenario for the BJP 5 years hence assuming there is no shift in its ideological moorings?
5 years of congress misrule(hypotheical) have left the population disenchanted. BJP does well in its traditional strong holds(barring UP, since there are too many fish in that pond) but continues to draw a blank in AP,Tamil Nadu,Bengal, Kerala. Without allies in these parts electoral politics for the BJP will be a case of 1 step forward and 2 steps back. As was witnessed in Rajasthan(I believe they won 24 seats in 2004 and 4 this time around).
Question is intellectually and ideologically are they selling out by watering down their opposition(percieved) to Muslims? I believe not. The muslims are amongst the most neglected and exploited communities in India. If the BJP can be more accomodating of their aspirations and well being, They can move forward with the rest of their agenda.
The other option as espoused by the "other wing", is essentially more of the same. None of us want a riot to win an election. But thats the only way the "other wing" can make a mark in electoral politics in India. Indian muslims number more than Pakitani muslims, so they are nnot going away. Better the BJP wakes up and starts hammering out an inclusive agenda(Without watering down the rest of its agenda).
Ayodhya might have galvanised voters in the 90's but it ws a one time deal. So no matter how many temples or Ram Setu's you bring up, not enought votes to rule India will be cast on that basis.

Ram Srinivasan said...

I think projecting Modi as a leader, would turn away a lot of people - especially the middle class. It would be a historical blunder. I think Modi, can be the backroom person, but cannot be the face of the BJP, you need a Vajpayee like leader for BJP to have any chance of coming to power.

To repeat, BJP should also build its organisation in UP, Bihar, AP, TN, Haryana, Delhi, Punjab, Assam etc. Forget about National politics for the next couple of years & focus on the states.

Anonymous said...

Swapanda, incisive as always. Modi-Jaitley duo would be a good combination and the sooner BJP has this going the better it is.

However, the principal challenge for BJP is to make sure it does not slip further in 2014 elections. I do not think it has any chance of coming to power in 2014 and it is under risk of losing seats in its strongholds. Geographical expansion is also very difficult to achieve in this short timeframe. BJP has to get ready to survive the oncoming Congress onslaught so that it can remain a pole so that the polity can remian bipolar. It is under risk of becoming unipolar again.

BJP supporters want to see some quick changes to assure that BJP is not living in denial and is flexible enough to adapt. There is definitely room for a right of center party and BJP is the right party for that.

Know the verity said...

"I got a feeling that those who opted for the first course tended to be based outside India"
I'm a pro Hindutva guy. I'm from Bhopal. A final year student and a share market guy who tracks world economy very closely. Your views again substantiate our "charge" that some so called strategist have a disconnect with reality.

Oldtimer said...

Modi's candidacy for 2014 will have to be built right from now. It is quite obvious that LKA will retire soon. Modi should enter Lok Sabha from the seat that LKA will vacate. He should become leader of BJP's parliamentary party. Also, if he has to become acceptable to other parties, the sooner they get used to the idea that he is the future PM candidate of BJP, the better for all concerned.

I am of the firm opinion that on the whole alliances did not do BJP a whole of lot good, exceptions notwithstanding. TN, Orissa, Andhra and UP are good examples. "Splendid isloation" was good for it. Looked at from this perspective, the question as to Modi should seek others' acceptability is rather moot.

Rambhakt said...

Swapan Da

Nice post. Namo is indeed one leader who can galvanise core voters. I am from Madras where I have seen people reacting favorably to him. We should not be apologetic about him. If somebody else had faced the kind of opposition that he had faced, they would have thrown in the towel long time back.

a) I am sure the party will benefit from people outside the RSS. A good time to find such people is now when we have hit rock bottom.

b) I believe we should explain our ideology/policies to others. But at no point of time should we appease/ try to act politically correct vis-a-vis minorities or on our core issues. I think you used this phrase in a panel discussion long time back..."Robust Right wing party" and it should strive to be one.

c) I believe crucial decisions about the LOP in LS and Party president needs to be taken. Stop-gap arrangements may not work.

d) Personally I think you did what you could. If we believed that the BJP needed to govern us and it hasn't got the mandate, we all are responsible in some measure.

d) Finally we have a hell of a work to do for 2014.

Wanderer said...


don't you feel that some kind of softening of stance by NaMo on the 2002 issue might do good? The Congress reaped rich dividends by asking Tytler and Sajjan Kumar to stand down from contesting in Delhi. An acceptance that things went horribly wrong in 2002 - which they did - might better Modi's image. Note that I'm not suggesting an apology.

I'm also not saying either he or the BJP should pander to the secular-liberal mafia. All I'm suggesting is that if Modi dreams to be PM, he cannot depend on the current base of diehard BJP supporters. As you yourself suggest, there are people who admire Modi's record on development but will balk when asked to share a dias with him , simple because of his image as an anti-Muslim hardliner.

I think what has happened in this election is that most people are willing to sacrifice a bit of accelerated development for a "normal" government - a "secular", don't-antagonize-anyone type of government.

Anonymous said...

BJP has to be careful about bringing Modi to the national level. Are you sure it will resonate with middle class and youth that you were talking about? Are his meeting attended only by Hindutva supporters or does he have wider support all over India.

Also , is it fair to say that the loss might be because of LKA's candidature. Even old BJP supporters were saying that LKA has nothing new to say. Did MMS-Rahul duo beat LKA in the middle class and youth votes.

The other issue with Jaitley is that he is not a mass leader. Shouldn't the President of the party be a mass leader. Btw, I am a fan of Jaitley but wondering if he is the right guy to be the President.

Amar said...

Murali Manohar Joshi has thrown in his topi already. :-)

vivek said...

Modi is the issue BJP shud settle at the earliest.

1. He is the only true mass leader in BJP.
2. A patriot and a very successful administrator.
3. Represents the core BJP ideology.
4. Comes from MBC, which should be highlighted more frequently.

Now, the negatives:
1. BJP will surely loose JD-U with Mr. Modi as the leader. However, i am very sure that BJP will loose JD-U alliance very soon (just remember Charan Singh episode in 1979).

Modi brings lots of pro-BJP votes. On the other hand, he also brings lots of anti-BJP votes. However, I am not sure how many additional anti-BJP votes does he bring(there should be some kind of qualitative analysis on that).

After the Modi issue is settled, BJP should go about doing the real work.

1. Fix UP. BJP should remember, Muslim vote will always go to defeat them. Therefore, consolidate hindu votes. Upper caste vote is drifting away. Find and promote OBC leaders in UP. Bulk of hindu population in UP is in that group. Rajnath Singh should go back to work on party organization. Varun and Yogi should be important part in UP leadership. Remove self serving people from the leadership.

2. Same goes for Bihar.

3. Complete rebuild the party organization in Delhi, Rajasthan. Time to get rid of oldies. Recruit and promote new people. There are lot of young dynamic leaders in BJP Delhi and Rajasthan unit. They should be promoted.

4 South should find more representation in the parliament. Leader of opposition should be from Karnatka.

5 There is a space for opposition in Andhra. BJP got 2 seats in Assembly and 3% of the voteshare. I am sure they have much larger following in Telangana. BJP should now take the telangana movement and work on it. They have to put lot of hardwork in party organization in this state.

Now, about the media management.

1. Build a Nationalist TV. I am sure it won't be popular in the beginning. Make it unbiased. So, no BJP propoganda and no pampering of BJP people. Rather debates should highlight nationalist issues. For example, if a BJP MLA/MP is corrupt, one should not be afraid to expose him/her. Also expose pseudo secularist people like Arundhati Roy, Rajdeep Saresai, etc.

2. When BJP leaders visit opposition channels. You should be very careful that people should not get away with a slander on BJP. For example, when people use things like non-secular parties. They should be immediately stopped and asked to apologize. If not, then end of the debate. No compromises there. You have to be very aggressive when you visit opposition. Terms like Hindu Extremism should be rebuffed immediately. I will really like Navjot Singh Sidhu to be a chief debator for BJP on opposition channel.

3. The current debators for BJP are mostly lawyers. And, these lawyers are good in scoring political points. However, you have to remember that you can never win debates there. Becoz u are not only debating against the opposition, but the moderator himself is extremely biased. So, either u r very talented like Vajpayee or you should behave like an aggressive young kid, who is not going to take any slander.

Next, important thing is to win the war over Internet. BJP has to win media war over Internet. All of us should pledge to contribute over the Internet. Also, BJP should come up with a policy on how to go about fighting the Internet war.

Now, regarding me. I live outside India, therefore I can definitely not help BJP on ground. Though my family is very active in India. However, there are two ways in which people like me can contribute to this cause.

1. We can collectively help BJP generate some finances for the Nationalist TV.
2. Try help promote BJP over the Internet. And, there are many many ways of doing it.

Lot of work to do for BJP. We should start working on it from today.

Anonymous said...

You have asked a great question in whether the Muslim veto needs to be accepted or does it need to be countered frontally. I think the course that the BJP takes from here will have to be depend critically on the answer to this question. But before we even begin to answer that question, we need to ask ourselves the following question : does India even acknowledge the fact there is a Muslim veto? What strategy should be adopted to highlight the Muslim veto? The fact that there is not going to be any help from the media, in fact it is a given that the media will continue to potray the BJP as the villain, should be a major part of the whole answer.

Anonymous said...

Congress argument in all the debates:

1. BJP is equally bad on all issues as compared to Congress.

2. BJP is communal. Therefore, Congress is the better option.

This argument repeated over all the channels 24X7 did the trick for Congress.

Any comments on how to counter this.

Anonymous said...

You have been a great and clear writer and it is well known that you worked hard inside BJP war room during elections. Could you try to write an article of the effect of Manchurian candidates in this election. I see this election is about more of election strategy as opposed to policies or some selling points. As an effective election strategy, INC was able use the "manchurian candidate" and also created a few of them on its own where none exists.

Know the verity said...

"At the same time, Modi carries the baggage of liberal derision."

"It would be fair to say that this Muslim veto has prevented Modi's emergence on an all-India plane."

"I am merely suggesting that the media must not be given any opportunity to attack him for being frivolous or personally offensive."

As a strategist close to Arun Jaitley u can shape many of BJP policies. So I beg u to change these three views which I pointed in the quotation mark. Its time to change ourselves utterly. If we continue to dictate our policy according to liberal taste then we doom for sure. Why don't u ppl understand this simple fact ? Have u ever heard any liberal saying that Rahul Gandhi carries the baggage of far right derision ? Dada pls give up impotent attitude now. Be fearless, be assertive, be shameless. Stop appeasing liberal secular media.

Regarding "Muslim veto" I can only say I was totally shock to hear terms like these from ur mouth. U were suppose to strive for Hindu rastra but in secular India condition has become so bad that even a centre-right is accepting the existence of Islamist veto. Hey Ram! How have we come to this pass ?

Regarding the point u made abt the media I'd like to say if u follow the policy of media appeasement again then it'd be a last nail in the coffin of BJP.

PS: Pls don't be apologetic abt ur deeds, ideology and action. Ppl loves fearless, bold leaders like Modi, Sardar Patel, Indira Gandhi, Raj Thackeray (might be divisive but he has certain charm) Subash Bose et al. Shun defensiveness, be shameful if situation demands but never compromise on idealogical matters. Right all over the world has religious roots and we r no different. Modi alone won't be enough I think we need a thinker who can think out of the box. Will write more some other day.

Anonymous said...

Swapan Da have you ever played the game of Chess?...If you have played Chess then you will know the most important piece is the Queen. Protection of the Queen is the single most important duty of the pair of knight, rook and bishops besides the pawns.

The CONGRESS PARTY of India is just like a player of Chess. The most important piece of the party is the Queen namely the Gandhi family. Once the image of the Gandhi family falls, the Congress party will fall like a pack of cards.

So the duty for the BJP in the next 5 years will be to attack this Queen using your Bishops, Knights and Rooks.
Do you know the second most important thing in Chess?.....Yes, Coordination between the knights,rooks and Bishops...Similarly there should be a coordination between the different players of BJP to win the game.

Anonymous said...

The problem is BJP does not listen to its karyakarthas or supporters. Almost everyone now wants a troika of Modi,Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj at work.

But looks like the party wants to cut size of Jaitley and Modi from the Pioneer report.

That will drive scores of supporters away.

We dont want charge back to old generation. For party sake they should do margdarshan and not aspire for post.

We like it or not, Youth factor played a part, after being constantly driven in by media.

So the baton must pass on to Modi,Jaitley,Swaraj.

Modi must make sacrifice and start working on the ground by touring the country and galvanise karyakarthas, help create base in zero zones. for parties sake he needs to step out of gujarat.

neo_reloaded said...

swapanda, what would the political right have done without ppl like you...i throughly enjoyed reading this post like all the others..

in my opinion the BJP will sign its death warrant if it gives up mass leaders like modi for media acceptability most of the places he campaigned would have been a complete rout for the BJP if it weren't for him..his hindutva poster boy image by media will keep the core support intact..but now he and the party will have to try their best to reinvent his image as also a "vikas purush" they will have to play up his origins so that the aspiring lower class and middle class can relate to him...and his most backward caste tag if played up will be the trump card.. BTW fighting for the survival of the political right in the country is nothing short of a war and everything is fair in love and no guilt in getting 'dirty' and 'opportunistic'

BTW the BJP has to make a conscious effort to shed its hardliner must go to the public with its brand of secularism of equality for all(including the muslims and dalits) & appeasement for none...and having a friendly media outlet will only help..

if they have to have any hopes of revival they must realize that the road to delhi is from lucknow and not from guj kar or chattisgarh.. so work on rebuilding the party in UP..also unless the BJP is competitive on its own in 350+ seats there is no hope for the political right in the near future to assume power.. the moment people realize that cong is the only pan india national party the stability vote will be solidy behind the cong.. so in all probability the next election for the BJP will be a do or die working towards building the party in zero-zones must begin right away.. in this election the BJP strike rate was close to 50% but the cong with a strike rate of just 8% more was far far ahead by nearly 85seats..

Anonymous said...

In your last blog, you mentioned different things that BJP should do. I was surprised that you did not mention anything about managing the media(electronic media to be specific). Even to build NaMo as future acceptable PM candidate, media management is necessary. In this, election one could see that some news channels(Usual suspects like barkha channel and sardesai TV) were blatantly against the BJP and campaigning for Congress. Shouldnt BJP also consider starting similar channels besides investing in and managing some existing news channels and editors.

BTW, our Hon. Prime Minister ran his entire campaign through the press conference, that should underscore the importance of media management.

Anonymous said...


I fully agree with you fully.

BJP needs to do serious introspection. Their platform has to be no appeasement, strong national interests, justice for all, economic reforms, poverty removal, infrastructure growth, administrative reforms.

Reforms should be cornerstone of BJP agenda.

Anonymous said...

Hi Swapan
I'm from Calcutta. I have three questions (two about the BJP in Bengal):

1) There are a lot of comments being posted here blaming the English language media for the defeat. I think this is bollocks because a very small number of Indians watch these channels and they belong to the "Non Voting Classes." Do you agree?

2) There were some interesting results for the BJP in Bengal. Tathagata Roy and the lady standing from South Cal each got over 30,000 votes. In Krishnanagar, Jolu Mukherjee got over a lakh votes. Aren't these decent numbers?

3) Here's a thought: If Advani had stood from a contituency in Bengal along with his Gandhinagar seat, do you think he'd have won? Should the Jaswant-Darjeeling experiment be repeated elsewhere in Bengal?

Dinesh PC said...

All those who suggest that the BJP needs to show a more moderate face keep forgetting that a moderate face is exactly what the BJP has been attempting to show since the last 2 general elections - apart from spoilers such as the Godhra incident (which incidentally helped make BJP formidable in Gujarat) and Varun Gandhi (which perhaps helped the BJP get a few extra seats).

This has clearly not worked. The middle class voter has deserted the BJP not because of Rahul Gandhi or Manmohan Singh - but because he thinks the BJP is not Hindu enough. LK Advani lost a lot of face with middle-class voters due to a series of goof-ups (Jinnah comments, apologies for Babri, etc). The BJP has been taking its core constituency for granted and has been busy wooing, without success, the 'outsider'.

On the other hand the Congress - with hardly anything to show as its achievements - announced a generous package of 360 crores for the Gujarat victims, pension schemes for the Kashmiri terrorist families, shielded Afzal Guru for years, arranged legal aid for suspects of terrorism, refused to bring a strong law to indict terrorists and brought populist schemes at the cost of the middle-class tax-payer.

Failure is an orphan - therefore Narendra Modi suddenly becomes irrelevant. Let us not forget that the man inspires confidence in hundreds of thousands of active party workers as well as millions of silent, loyal party supporters. He is a great orator, a powerful decision-maker, a do-er with a record of impeccable administration and governance.

Anonymous said...


The Right is an endangered community in India's English-language media. You happen to be one of the few to have retained a precarious toehold in the mainstream media.

The urgent need is to expand this community through media(buy some media houses and editors and start own channels and newspapers) and net(bloggers like you). Today the electronic media has an enormous reach and impact that cannot be ignored. BJP lost the media war as many media channels were rooting for congress and the icon of dynasty: Shrimaan Rahul Gandhi.

The image of BJP and many of its prominent leaders have been tarnished by mainstream english media.Infact, the only time people come to know of the leaders of BJP is when their hands are allegedly in the cookie jar.
No one heard of Varun Gandhi till he bashes the muslims(allegedly). No one heard of Modi till 2002. At the same time viewers are bombarded with Sonia's sacrifice. The anchors gush about Rahul and Priyanka. This can be only fought if BJP seriously starts to manage the media better.

BJP will have to find a way to advertise the good done by its leaders but that wont change anything.

Finally, before concluding that HIndutva failed, BJP must ask itself what BJP has done for common hindus when it was in power last time. It didnt even build the Ram Mandir. Atleast, it didnt seem to try.
The only time people hear of hindutva is when there is some violence(justified or not). why should it be so? right now, BJP is playing by the rules of congress and its apologists. That will never give you victory except when their opponents commit error. Instead BJP must seize the initiative and frame the rules. If RSS does some charity advertise it. IF they do 1Rs worth of charity, advertise it with 10Rs. Thats the it works........

Blitz said...


I have been ranting wherever I can about the BJP's failed STRATEGY...this strategy will fail over and over again. The solution is not to go back to radical hindutva, but to be more tactful

The BJP never had any concrete issue in this election. Different people were talking about different things.

Advani was talking about Swiss money (duhh....everyone knows that politicians have swiss money..this is not at all an emotive issue which people vote on)

Modi was talking about Terror and not hanging Afzal Guru
(we already saw that people dont care about terror. The state election results in december 2008 clearly proved that. People saw Mumbai burning and barely a couple of days later voted for the congress party in 3 states. And seriously....Afzal Guru ? does the common man have time to think about Afzal Guru ?)

Varun Gandhi spoke hindutva
(Again, the common man has no time to think about hindutva.He is more bothered about his daily requirements, lack of facilities etc.)


As far as I am concerned I can clearly see through the victory of the congress. The one and only reason is not secularism, not MMS's clean image, not development (or lack of it) and definitely not the Gandhis.

The underlying reason is the populist freebies that have been showered on the people throughout the country.
The following have been given in TN and AP alone

1) waiver of all loans
2) Free land (2 acres per head)
3) Free houses (40 lakh houses constructed, 60 lakh in the pipeline)
4) Free TV sets
5) Free cash ...and the list goes on.

I am sure this is the case throughout India. Populist schemes like NREGA and loan waivers are rampant.

But however, I am sure that this will lead to an economic disaster in the coming days.
India's credit rating has been lowered and India's bonds are going to be given 'junk rating'

Jobloss has started and this will lead to an avalanche of layoffs.

The BJP should position itself for this impending disaster.
As you rightly said, Modi should take over as the Opposition leader, but he should have an image makeover.
rather than potraying himself as just a hindutva icon, he should also take care to project himself as a champion of the poor.

An example : The government is going to go for a bailout package. They will end up bailing out companies like satyam for crores of rupees.
The BJP should take this issue up with the masses and claim that when people have no food to eat, the government is bailing out rich CEOs.
(Moreover, bailouts are also against right wing economics. failure should never ever be rewarded and companies that fail, should go bust. Temporary pain will follow, but it is good in the long run)

I am not in the least suggesting that he should totally give up on hindutva , but I strongly feel that hindutva should merely be the icing on the cake and not the main course.

mark my words....If the BJP transforms itself into the party that looks out for the little guy, tomorrow will be ours.

Anonymous said...

Should not Arun Jaitley take responsibility since he was the campaign manager?

Also, Modi could get only 15 seats in Gujarat while in karnataka, BJP could get 19. So Modi magic might be waning a bit in Gujarat.

BJP has to be careful about bringing Modi to a central level because it might backfire with middle class and youth preferring Rahul over Modi.

Satya said...

Project Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Naqvi, Modi and Kohli as BJP faces for the next 5 years.

Sushma- To mobilize women voters. Answer to Sonia, Maya and others. Youth will see BJP as a party with better women participation.

Jaitley and Kohli- To mobilize the cosmopolitan/urban middle class people and the youth.

Naqvi- To counter the media and Kangressi charge of BJP being communal.

Modi- To be the face of Development and security. Obviously the PM candidate, keeping SwapanDa's points in mind.

This coupled with massive modernization in policy, approach and implementation, coupled with the same modernization urgency in RSS.

rakesh.kataruka said...

Swapan Da,

Repect peoples verdict but NOT stop believing in the ideals that BJP stands for. It stands for naitonalism, progress and true justice for all. The BJPs manifesto and ideas liad down in its IT and infrastrcuture vision were truly inspiring and progressive - the problem was that the average voter couldn't see this through - what a shame !
It has almost become a cliche by now - the BJP does need effective mass communication media to communicate its thoughts. To not to do it is sheer arrogance and has paid the price for it .

Jai Hind

Bhavananda said...

Swapan da,
I usually agree with you but your stand has often confused me, especially on Hindutva and Navin Pattanayak!

What the BJP needs today is a clear cut decision on the direction it moves into from here. It has two choices, move towards the center, abandon Hindutva and become a "normal, right-of-centre" party. There are a lot of takers of this thought, including the "urban middle class" of voters who never vote as well as the English Lang. Media (ELM).

Two, it has the option of going back to its roots, abandon its recent attempts to become a secular party (as opposed to what it calls pseudosecularism) and truly become the "Hindu, nationalist party" that it is today alleged to be. Then use a combination of development, Hindutva and swadeshi as the party triad.

Either way, I believe, BJP is better of being clearly in one of these two than shuffling between, as it has been doing since 2004 because an indecision is sometimes far worse than wrong decision. As far as my opinion goes, there's no doubt that Modi has to be promoted to replace Advani eventually. But, I'm not sure if Jaitley should be the second man. I'm very angry at people like Jaitley, Jaswant who found the middle of election to express their disagreement (remember Jaitley-Mittal issue or Jaswant-Raje fight?). Jaitley is indispensible as a strategist, but he behaved very, very irresponsibly. I am of the opinion to leave it to Modi to decide who's is second.

Anonymous said...

"It is tragic but nevertheless true that Modi's Hindu credentials have got linked to the Gujarat riots of 2002. This is a reality the BJP must live with."

Congress and Media/Activists have created this myth through non-stop propaganda, which BJP has to confront head on, if not now later on. And BJP as a party let that happen on its watch. The point being they left their asset to the mercy of the jackals who have no accountability. Take for instance Sonia Gandhi or Rahul Gandhi are quick of their marks to file cases for no less than 100 million, against an overseas organisation which published a front page ad. in NewYork Times, which they lost or more recently against Indian Express having published Rahul Gandhi's fake certificate. These cases even if they get thrown out by courts, act as a deterrent and don't expose leaders to whims of the media chaterrati.

We will have to wait for the verdict of the SIT, which Teesta(Padma Vibhushan) and Ms. Jafri filed and was taken up by SC on a priority basis in the middle of an election. Congress has mastered the art of slander be it Namo or Varun to level the field for Rahuls eventual coronation. The cases should be be fought to their logical conclusion, for the BJP to emerge again. And by not ditching them midway.

Capt M Kumar said...

I think these are testing times where patience is virtue.
Still BJP retains the 'Leader of opposition'. In order to strengthen our democracy BJP has to come up with model of opposition in form of shadow Govt and keep the incumbent Govt on toes and exposing it's weakness as it goes.
e.g. MMS promised to mend Economic recession in 1st 100 days; he should be made to do so right from today rather than sitting on laurels of winning an election.
Who should be the leader of opposition after Advani?
You have to match that with Rahul Gandhi. Moreover, remember that PM is not from Lok Sabha; so, a young dynamic leader from BJP can make all the difference inside and outside Parliament with an eye on 2014 also.
Jai Hind!

Arjun said...

Dear Swapan,

I am a qualified admirer of Modi. But I too need clarity on the what Modi's role was in the riots. it is important to explain whether or not an Indian CM turned a blind eye or even actively encouraged sectarian riots that cost Indian lives? Any response to this query has to be supported by solid facts. Frankly, the terrorism issue raised by the BJP also suffered from the absence of frankness with respect to Kandahar. Jaswant Singh tried to behave like James bond whenever questioned and Advani squirmed whenever questioned. It was a ridiculously embarrassed response form the BJP . Modi should avoid this and must come clear on his role. If he does not, then his culpability will remain suspect and that is a massive issue. No point running away from it. Also, if you know anything about his role, please elaborate on it. It is imperative that this issue be tackled now. Why is it tragic that his Hindu credentials are related to the riots? I don't think you will actively support anybody who encouraged killings. Therefore, your support of Modi implies that there are facts that need to be brought to light. The BJP must try and differentiate itself from the congress in a very positive manner. It must take a strong, uncompromising centrist position on all issues even at the short term expense of allies and votes. A case in point is the Shiv Sena. Dump them,find a young and dynamic leader and build the party as a real alternative to the hopeless NCP-Cong combine and the Shiv Sena.

Anonymous said...


Having read your posts for the past couple of weeks, I am in awe of your intellectual and moral flexibility of your positions.

Won't be surprised if you end up with a padmashree by 2014.

Anonymous said...

Shiv Sena , Akali Dal and AGP do not need muslim votes
The only person who needs muslim votes is Nitish Kumar
Muslims are 16% of bihar and I bet Nitish did not get more than 3%, the rest went to RJD, LJP and Cong

In future thanks to Rahul effect, almost the entire muslim vote will go to Cong, and Nitish wont get any

As a bonus, this will cause demise of M-Y tactics, leaving the orphaned Y to be picked up by Nitish

Also, there is a huge upper caste swing to congress
BJP won tribal Jharkand, Chatisgarh etc and lost upper caste Delhi, Chandigarh etc

A Modi-Jaitley combo will cover the entire hindu spectrum

In addition, Sushil Kumar Modi ( OBC )must be removed as deputy CM of bihar and the post given to a Bhumihar / Brahmin / maybe Shotgun
This is to keep the bihar upper -castes from going to congress

However, this time Modi screwed up ticket selection in Guj and gave tickets to 2 ex-criminals who lost
And Modi needs to learn to be more smooth and not alienate needlessly

Anonymous said...

If only a center-right is needed, why not vote congress.
After all Rajiv and Sanjay were center-right for their times and Indira was definitely center-right on national defense

We need a center-right flavored with a pro-hindu tilt
Very honestly the mullahs and Missionaries want to kill / convert us and appeasing them by going soft on terrorism and conversion is of no help to hindus
Of course common muslims and xtians must be treated fairly

And we need to have an education program aimed at liberal hindus on the facts of life of abrahmic intolerant religions

No matter what appeasement the BJP offers, the congress can appease the minorities a lot more

Pranav said...

Totally agree with your comments.

Sanjay said...

You quoted a Spanish saying in your previous post, let me quote a Chinese by Sun Tzu. “If you know yourself but not your enemy you might win or lose, but if you know yourself and your enemy you will never lose.” BJP was and still is “a party with a difference” people still appreciate that, which is why they got 120 seats in 2009 (look at the figure of the distant 3rd). However it is the leadership that failed.
Though Congress was able to neutralize all the advantages of BJP by projecting Manmohan Singh instead of dynasty, the unfortunate thing for BJP in 2004 and 2009 is that they grossly underestimated Congress. The Congress today is a much evolved and reinvented party. They may have won all previous elections on personal charisma or sympathy-wave but not in 2004 and 2009. Since the watershed elections of 1989, all elections have been fought on ideas instead of personalities, be it - “Stability”, “Dalit Raj”, “Party with a difference”, “Inclusive development”. Congress absorbed and adopted all these ideas even if they scoffed at it initially, like the case of “Quota system”, but all other parties including BJP simply failed to adopt.
2009 election can be said to be fought on the idea of “Sincerity of effort”, be it Congress at center or Nitish Kumar in Bihar, Naveen Patnaik in Orissa, Modi, Shivraj Chauhan, Raman Singh or Yedyurappa, people appreciated in the sincere effort that these leaders put in, the people preferred regional leadership over national, however in the absence of credible regional leadership they preferred the better national leadership, like in UP. Though Congress may not have delivered anything at center, but people blamed the UPA factions for that and never doubted the sincerity of Manmohan Singhs efforts to deliver.

zoomindianmedia said...


I do hope you had a chance to glance:

What needs to be appeciated is Hindutva, Right of Center Position are not Mutually Exclusive.

The formidable money power of our enemies and their media influence will remain serious challenges in the battle for the mind that need to be fought. Our enemies will always spin even something as simple as a BJP leader's visit to any temple as Hindutva, and use that to mobilise muslim/xian votes.

Muslim veto has been an albotross across India's neck. Something that helped force nehru down our throat and the resultant anti-democractic, anti-secular, anti-socialist, cronyist system and accompanying poverty.

Jaitley has to answer why in UP, BJP has not performed as well as Congress I (islami-isai).

Sachin said...

A few comments
1. how do you explain Modi's apparent ineffectiveness in areas where he campaigned?
2. Going forward, does it not make more sense to project a more acceptable figure like Sushma Swaraj till Modi works on his national acceptability. Something on the lines of vajpayee/advani combination that worked earlier.
3. On a tangential note, aren't you coupling the ascendancy of the BJP(Right) with that of Modi's?
4. Do you agree that Modi or whoever takes over from Advani has to carry along the rest of the leaders in the BJP and the RSS? i.e. unity among all the major right wing players is a must?

Santosh said...

Indian masses have gravitated towards the immense money and media power wielded bu CON. CON still has more appeal in large parts of India as compared to BJP. In the absence of any real issue, the masses have voted CON as default party. Clearly the masses are either not well informed or do not count as high priority, issues like -
national security (bomb blasts), subversion of institutions like Courts, Armed Forces etc by CONgress, Nuke Deal, Quatro bofors scandal, minority appeasement, blatant conversion as seen in AP and TN, hurting hindu sentiments as Rama Sethu. Plus overall the voters have been lured into accepted MMS image as clean politician and brilliant economist. Given such an electorate, if the BJP fights on basis of development it will be difficult. The question will be asked what does BJP offer that CON does not. BJP has to address its core base and galvanise Hindus based on Hindutva ideology. Stop illegal conversions, ban cow slaughter, protect hindu sentiments and monuments like Ram Sethu, start a dialog with Muslims for building Ram Temple. Other things like clean, lean govt, good corruption free governance, infrastructure can at best be side issues as present election has indicated.

B said...

Elections are about leaders AND winning. The BJP has a 19% vote share while the congress has 28%. The next leader must get the 'fencesitter' votes back to the BJP.
Let Mr Modi build on his strengths, impress the country with his message of development. He must also win the next assembly election - a challenge by itself.
Mr Modi will get support if he shows himself against ALL injustices, be it against Hindus, Christians, Muslims, Women, Backward castes, Dalits, ......
Also, with Mr Modi, how will the BJP get seats in TN, Andhra, WB, Bihar without allies? That's 173 seats out of reckoning, immediately.
The correct way is to get all BJP leaders to work their way up, get a suitable leader of opposition, focus on positive sentiments, then let probability and events take its course.

Anonymous said...

Is Varun ready to be the foil to Rahul in UP?

Venugopalan said...

I think the article is a well articulated proposition of what BJP should do.Just one point regarding "He will have to play on his humble origins and (subtly) even his Most Backward Caste status." . I feel this should not be done. It would be a great insult to his leadership and also the fact that he has never done this.


neelakantan said...

Well, yes, and the time to start is now.

Hsotuhsa said...

It would be tragic if the postmortem of the BJPs inability to win election 2009 were turned into a witch hunt.Your line of thinking and reasoning is the only way to have a resurgent BJP in 2014. Those who truly agree that the BJP is good for the nation must have an inclusive mindset. Why should the BJP nurture an image perceived to be Anti-Muslim? An image overhaul is needed. Shri Modi is a most dynamic leader. The BJP needs him, as does the country but he will have to stress the all inclusive nature of his governance.
All is not lost.There has not been a complete rejection of the BJP.160+seats don't accrue to frivolous parties. There is a lot to build on.
Jai Hing.

Balaji said...

I do not agree with this assessment. Modi and Jaitley will take BJP to a worse defeat than one suffered now. Modi is hated by most Indians except the rigtwing cadre. No independent voter in his right mind will vote for him to become PM. Jaitley is a baseless leader who comes across as too arrogant and most Indians cannot identify with him. Having said that both are exceptional in their own way. They can form the back-bone of our party but not our visible face.

As the right-wing blogger Offstumped has suggested, Modi should declare that, in deference to the wishes of the Indian masses, he will not seek the office of the PM. But will continue to serve Gujarat and BJP for the rest of his life.

Then who will be BJP's public face? It has got to be Sushma Swaraj. Here's my wishlist.

NDA chairman: Advani.
Leader of the opposition in Lok Sabha and potential PM candidate in 2014: Sushma Swaraj.
Leader of the opposition in Rajya Sabha: Arun Jaitley.
BJP President: Bal Apte.

And as offstumped suggested, Sushma should be elected by ballot not backroom consensus. If Joshi, Rajnath or Jaswant win, so be it.

Yogesh said...

SwapanJi- I couldn't agree more with you on Modiji's three image pillars. However, not connecting with the aam-citizen to educate them on isses by giving up on the kind of language only the aam-citizen understands in an attempt to avoid subversive media (run by billions of dollars of abrahmic devils) is a losing proposition because those gullible citizens who buy into media spins hardly votes (as we have seen in this elections also) and media isn't going to desists anyways for the sake of their big pay/bonuses. I would rather suggest nationalist citizens like you, me and others on this blog and also BJP must tear these media subversion apart and bring the no non-sense message to the voters. Also, it high time to have nationlist news media for the public, by the public and of the public.

Nitin said...

So lets accept the defeat and one more thing in 2014 it will be tougher fight for BJP. Cong will have headstart with 25+ in UP.So BJP if want to catch up with cong there needs to do some drastic change.
Though out the power mongers in the party(jaswant,vasundhara etc.)

Anonymous said...

This election is not vote for Congress but vote against BJP leaders like Modi and Varun. Modi failed to win good number of seats in his bastion. What will he do in rest of India?
It high time BJP becomes party for all religion and caste.

venkat said...

On question of Modi, how does RSS view him now?

Your observation on Modi's frivolous comments is spot on. Gudiya vs. Budiya was unnecessary. Jail vs. bail was unnecessary. So were his Mian musharraf stuff.

Besides, if the assessment on youth and pan-India are correct, his inability to articulate in English is not going to help.

Given his image (fair or unfair is debatable but still), he will continue to galvanize minority votes against BJP and exacerbate tactical voting even more. And given that he did not improve BJP's tally from Gujarat this time (just one seat), I dont know if there is a big need to shift him out of the state. He could continue in the state and work for the 2012 assembly elections.

Why the love for Jaitley though? We need people who win elections, not TV studio strategists.

Lastly, your assessment of NRI jingoistic crowd is spot on. May we request them to stay away now that the circus is over, and leave it to the resident BJP supporters to discuss this?

And any takers for a closed private forum to discuss things in more detail and to bring more focus? And potentially work as a feedback mechanism to the party?

Sanjay said...

The following is the silver lining for BJP:
# People still consider BJP as a party with a difference, that is why it was spared of the decimation meted out to left, bsp, etc. BJP must not lose that USP by any act of commission and ommission.
# Bihar Bengal UP showed that no bastion - however strong is unbreachable, you need determination, perseverance, willingness to learn and sincerity of effort.
# People will eventually see through the tricks used to neutralize anti-incumbency in AP and Maharashtra and will deliver justice, BJP should move fast to be at the right place at that time.
# The 2009 election was fought on "Sincerity of Effort" be it at center or states like Bihar, Orissa, Karnataka etc. But next elections may not be won on labour pains alone, but on babies. So that is the line of opposition the BJP must follow for now.
# Lastly BJP and more importantly RSS must evolve from its time warp it has got stuck into and be adaptive to change which is faster than ever before. BJP is projected by media as anti poor/dalit/minorities/oppressed, BJP can't change the media but actions speak louder than words and through that it must change that perception convincingly and decisively.
# BJP needs different strategies/faces for India and Bharat, the sooner it is able to do that the better the chances of surviving the next elections.

Swabhimaan said...

Rajnath Singh should be sacked.He is not fit for the position of President of the party...what has he done to strengthen the BJP except attending some rallies. If he cannot work it out in UP he cannot do it anywhere,

Anonymous said...


What about managing media? As a media person you may make some suggestions on this front.

In south every political party including Congress (Sakshi in AP) and Communists (Prajasakti and Hindu) has its own Media outfit. Even Deve Gowda realized the importance of having a media outlet and started his own..

At national level Congress will continue to get the support of the likes of Raghav Behl, Prannoy Roy, Jains etc.

Don't you think it is important to have center-right media outfits?

Anonymous said...

I totally disagree with you on apology issue. A sincere, honest apology to those all affected and hurt by his failure to prevent both Godhra and post-Godhra, and commitment for such things not being allowed to occur ever will go a long way in starting healing / closing process. This should be followed by vigourous efforts to help and rehabiliate all - Hindus, Muslims, Parsis -those hurt in riots. This is not appeasement but a humane thing to do. This may not change the liberal crowd but will go down well with common Indians who are among the most forgiving people! Secone, he has to change the tone of his tongue which is unnecessarily acerbic and divisive. One does not have to be like that to be effective - Mukherjee, Vajpayee, Shekhawat, late Prakash Vir Shastri, etc were forceful speakers without being offensive. His kind of language offends a lot of people. BJP needs to convert non-BJP as supporters, not regale only your own supporters. - Gopi

harish said...

Swapan da,
I think BJP needs support from people like you. what BJP needs is Modi undoubtedly. What BJP needs is strong grass root level cadres. What BJP needs is a Main stream media channel supporting BJP. BTW who do you think will be the next leader of opposition? Sushma Swaraj? I think she should be made to play a larger role in delhi. BJP needs to revive itself in delhi and UP. Who wins UP and delhi wins India.

Pranav said...

One caveat is that without proper media management, the media will go all out to demonize Modi 24x7, resulting in minority polarization against BJP. But it is also clear that NaMo is the most talented communicator the BJP has. BJP needs a media strategy. Also get talented minority people on board - like APJ Abdul Kalam. Weed out Varun type loud-mouthed idiots. If small players like Amma can own channels then why not the BJP.

mimi said...

The interesting thing is that BJP is the only party whose identity concerns a large section of its supporters as well as detractors. This is actually a positive that the BJP should take from this whole '09 experience. Show me a pro Congress website where the comments and views are so passionate. In that sense, the BJP is the 'anti-Congress' that people have been waiting for, yet never got comfortable enough with fully. The ball is now in the BJP's court - how they digest this electoral reversal and then plan for the future is what the nation is waiting to see. Until then the middle class will continue to vote for the UPA as a sort of compromise.

The second point I want to make is that the ill treatment of BJP by the media has created a situation where people are sort of embarrassed to support the party, at the risk of their own 'secular' credentials being questioned. I really think the party needs to make peace with its past, and revamp its image drastically to make it a little more acceptable. I find it hard to imagine a future where a purely hindutva stand will win 272 seats.

Finally, there is a big need to make a rural connect. This could be led by the BJP chief ministers in their states, both through policy and communication. Yes India may have X crore new 'young' voters, but it will always have 10X crore poor / rural voters.

I don't know if Modi-Jaitley will fly nationally. Sushma - Jaitley, or Shivraj-Jaitley may fly. But its critical that the party is led by a moderate person who can be trusted to keep some of the extreme right wingers in control. While this may be painful, it may also be time to break away from Shiv Sena, and other extreme right wingers and go it alone.

Arun Srinivasan said...

My thoughts on the BJP’s defeat:

1. LKA needs to go, Vajpayee did not get muslim votes but he also ensured that muslims didn’t hate him and like MJ Akbar said today, Hindus are intrinsically secular. So while muslims didnt vote for him, they didn’t go out of their way to defeat BJP candidates the way they did in 2004 and now.

2. Please Please Please build a base in states like AP, Tamil Nadu and UP. I live in AP and Bandaru Dattareya has been forever with nothing to show for it. Venkaiah Naidu is a wonderful orator and mass leader but is unwilling to do anything in AP and has moved to a central role. There are 42 seats in AP, 40 odd in Tamil Nadu how can you possibly expect to win without building a base here?

3. Change the focus from psuedo-secularism to governance, be a positive party, use your network to build goodwill among people, RSS runs over 400 schools use your resources to expand that and provide education and improve your party’s image.

4. Most of the congress “youth” are all second generational leaders, invite more youth to join your party and even in areas where you are not in power let your MLA’s help people.

Being out of power is not a bad thing, you can focus on building your party, so do that. I met a local RSS leader in AP and asked him about BJP neglecting the state and he said CBN wiped out the party and it was a disaster for BJP in the state, if that indeed was the case what did they do in the last 5 years?

Anonymous said...


I guess it is party time for liberal/left in US so is it in India. When Republicans/right were ruling in US, BJP/rightwingers got their say in India.

Republicans are listless and so is BJP. Young people are favoring Socialists everywhere.

May be it is just coincidence.

Swarup said...

It is sad to see Mr. Advani go in such a way. He deserved better.

parasuram81 said...

I disagree with you that Modi as PM would have got 200 seats.No doubt the cadre would have been enthused much more,may be BJP would have retained its bastions n hence 150 or so at the max.The fact is with absolutely no base/ally in AP,WB,TN,Kerala is a disaster for a national party aspiring for power.And in U.P,it was clear that Rahul's magic worked because people were desperate for change atleast the floating voters and also upper castes.they essentially believed in sobriety and peace.So Varun was a major bane in atleast 15 seats,which indirectly went to Congress.So BJP failed pathetically in convincing the ppl that it was a party with clean,stable and secular alternative.Also let's be honest,people do respect and reward an apology,no matter how big a leader.So I disagree that Modi shouldnt apologize.This fact was amply demonstrated in urban areas(Delhi,Haryan,Punjab,Mumbai etc) where Congress made a mincemeat of BJP.I agree that media plays a huge role in making/breaking leaders but thats essentially the point.If they dont want a big media house representing a right-centre party,they better behave in public and even be careful while speaking or campaigning.By the way I dont think the harldine views r essentially from outside India.Youngsters like me form U.S and U.K are disgusted by the fact BJP kept on the rhetoric on dynasty and weak PM.They never,ever uttered one word on what credible,robust alternative they would present in terms of economy,security.Even if the manifesto is a little better than that of Congress,they simply failed to propagate that and failed miserably in communicating it.Again in U.P,I dont know what the hell Rajnath Singh has done to build the organisation.He is a sick choice for president of the party and honestly if he continues in future and LoP too goes to someone like MMJ,we can kiss goodbye to BJP and Rahul will rule the country forever. said...

Just now, I hear on TV, a forecast that the BJP will eventually fall down to 40-50 seats in the next elections. Think carefuly: why not? The next elections will be fought by the copngress to pick up seats from the BJP.
Karanataka will go if cong and Jd(s) combine. Bihar goes if Nitin Kumar dcides to part company. That leaves 84 seats with the BJP. A swing due to anti-incumbancy in gujrat, MP and Chattisgarh can take away 30 seats. That leaves 54. Losses in smaller states can remove another 10, giving 44 - the BJP will solve at least one problem - no disputes need arise on who will be the 'PM in waiting'.

I am writing this because too much optimism creates one sided views. In my profession, we always build scenarios with different outcomes. And, we try to focus on the negative scenarios.

Have a look at my blog:

Anonymous said...

Rahul and Sonia never give interview to media therefor media give them importance. Our media hungry leaders despite getting swears from the news channel thronged to their studio. Just look at cunning Rajnath and MM Joshi after such a humiliating defeat they busy giving interview! hey Ram. They both r very ambitious. They want to become darling of core BJP supporters. BOth want to become PM candidate in 2014

rone said...

Namo and Arun jaitley are good combination.but the sad fact is that they are now considered as a faction of the party.So they will have to take others along.
My opinion on polls.
1.We cannot win India if we dont have all india presence.Even before elction starts we are a zero in 150 seats(Kerala,Tamilnadu,Andhra,Westbengal).So wee need to grow there or have good alliances.
2."To Hindutva or not to Hindutva"
debate is absurd.
the party should stand by core issues equal rights to all, apeasement of none,no communal socialism,prserving hindu heritage-ram sethu),stand aginst conversion etc etc.

But party should fight for this forcefully with moral conviction and in democraticaly corresct manner.

when UPA government gave an affadavit in the court denying Lord Ram BJP failed to come up with a mass democratic nationwide protest.same is the case with coversions,communal reservations and all other issues BJP failed to raise these to the people through democratic agitations.When BJP fearing of being targeted communal abdicates its political space lumpen like Muthalik in Mangalore and some others in Kandhamal takes over part of the issues in uncivilised means and ironicaly the blame goes to BJP.
Did BJP conduct even a condolence/prayer meetings honouring late slain swami sarwasthyikananda all over India?
BJP should stand forcefully for HIndutva issues and take these up strongly strictly within nations democratic process and the moral parameters of Hindhu dharma.

Vascillation on Varun issue was a failure of Dharma."We disascociate from whtever varun has perceived to be said,but we are giving him ticket"was the stupidest explanation of this election seoson.Advaniji not taking a clear stand on this was a failure vis avis MMSingh's stand on tytler &co.Varun standing for hindutva issues is welcome but he should play by the rules of civil society.
3.Party's "low tax-individual centric,entrepernuer promoting"economic policy is sound.we should stick with that.
4.Too much experimentation with caste combinations like in Rajasthan is Psuedo party's way not BJP's way.
5.Minorities consolidated in a big way behind UPA.Even minority religious leaders openly palyes a major part in it.that is fact.
We need some Hindu consolidation.Which should be strictly a democratic process.
So its should be hindutva with moralconviction.

robin said...

Modi should now adopt same tactics as congress and dmk for the assembly election.He should choose a vote splitter and make sure he creates enough noise to split anti modi votes.
Otherwise I see the momentum moving to congress. Can anyone suggest a vote spliter like Vijaykant,Chiranjeevi or Raj Thackery who can ensure Modi retains the base?

iamfordemocracy said...

Reading some of the comments and the main article, I see how media propaganda has influenced everyone, including BJP's ardent supporters. Thus

Modi is not anti-muslim, media has projected him so.

Modi was not projected as a leader by BJP, BJP only failed to deny it effectively. Even on this blog, when some of the commenters suggested there should be many second rung leaders, others attacked them. BJP supporters got carried away with hostile media propaganda, and BJP leaders did not know a way out. BJP was trapped by its own supporters on that count.

Varun was not a loudmouth, media projected him as so.

Advani, Rajnath worked their Heart out. They were not all that effective because they, like many senior people everywhere, are out of tune with current time.

What does BJP need?

BJP needs non-veg leaders.

BJP needs to run a vigorous democratic campaign to elect a new leader. Media will take a fancy to it. People will take sides and that will help increase BJP's reach. Make it a reality show, don't keep the leadership issue behind closed doors. As things are, BJP has nothing to be afraid of.

zoomindianmedia said...


BJP's media campaign was facilitated by Sudheendra Kulkarni.

Are tough questions being asked about his role.

We for one thought, he was being indulged in by Advaniji and that he was not skilled to handle an effective modern campaign.

Anonymous said...

i do not agree with you. Mr swapan das gupta, Modi cannot be condoned.
Modi was received enthusiastically at public meetings because his speeches have good entertainment value. i took my 17 year old son to one public meeting where Modi mimickd Manmohan Singh, said paghdi ke niche kya hai, he ridiculed Modi's chest size, his eyeborws, said after i called manmohan weak now he has started waving a hi to everyone, he puts forth his chest and walks, nis brain also working son was completely disgusted and lost all respect for shri modi.
there were lot of claps. but is this the debate?
i had been voting BJP since last 10 years. this time i voted the Congress. In Rajkot for the first time after '89, the Congress has won the Loksabha seat. this was a vote against MODI.
we are tired of his arrogance. just because nobody mimics him, ridicules him at a personal level or hits him below the belt he thinks he can get away with anything and everything.

gaurav said...

Go alone in Tamil Nadu, AP, Orissa, Maharashtra, Haryana & Bengal.There is no other option..if BJP is successful is grooming grass root leaders over next 5 amount of media war can derail its prospects. If the concern is the non inclusiveness of Muslims ..then i think that first it must bring majority of Hindus back to its fold..right wing Hindu nationalist party it is & should remain so. One question ...Can a Right wing party of majority community also represent right wing traits of minorities or are they opposite in nature?

Srinivas said...



No Mist said...

well it is true that no other leader is currently as tall as NAMO ... but we need to curb the egos of other leaders too ... modi jaitly combo is a very good one ... bjp must use the five years to enhance appeal of this combo ...

but first things first ... party seriously needs to find somone highly capable of being up cm ... rajnath just wont do ... preferably someone like modi who is from OBC ... and younger also someting like 40-45 ... bjp must search for such a person like crazy ... if that person has non rss background .. even better ... and please ditch that ugly boy varun ... he only causes revulsion ... if bjp persists with him .. i swear they will alienate not just UP but entire india ... and i will also ditch bjp however repulsed i am by congi dynastic politics ... he just causes nausea ... the ugliest face of indian politics in recent times ... puuukkkeeee

the question is who will carry bjp in UP ??? i have no idea right now ... but we have very little time ... at least 1 yr before up assembly election we must find an entirly new face for UP bjp ...

No Mist said...

one thing I must add swapan da ...

no one can be india's pm if they are seen to disfavor one ciommunity ... whether it is muslim, hindu, sikhs, dalits or anybody ... please think about it carefully and objectively ... this is beyond any doubt to me

in this context, modi has a uphill task ... he will need all that he and bjp's team is capable of ... he needs five years of relentless effort ... to dispell the notion that he is anti muslim ... do all that is needed ... short of becoming pseudo-secular of course ...

so in this context, if bjp needs to project somebody else as a PM candidate so be it ... the organization BJP is important not modi ... that other one may be jaitley or somebody else ... at times like these pramod mahajn is so sorely missed (pravin did not just kill pramod he killed a large part of bjp too) ...

now in any case modi-jaitley combo has to carry forward bjp to the next 20 years ... they must do it with finesse and class rather than budhiya-gudiya diatribe ... and pls disown outfits like ram sene and bajrang dal as soon as possible ... there is no time to be lost ... just get going from today itself ...

Anonymous said...

I think the BJP is too top heavy. I agree with the comment above that even after this defeat some of the "leaders" like MM Joshi are not avoiding the media spotlight. This has been the undoing of the party. People speak out of turn, they speak gibberish and then the media makes fun of them. That is one of the reasons why some of the people who have a soft corbner for the party do not support it in public, who wants to be associated with a bunch of jokers?

Anonymous said...

Some folks talk about projecting Sushma as the next leader. While I agree with their spirit, I see a danger.

She did make a mistake of making a statement looong ago that she would tonsure her head if Sonia becomes PM.

What will happen is the moment Sushma is announced as the leader Sagarika, Barkha (only women anchors to be safe) etc. start talking about that old incident and you can expect CNNIBN and NDTV showing the video till next elections :-)

ARun said...

Hi Swapan,

1. BJP's defeat this time is more due to failure of Third Front (as Jaitley said)rather than Congress wave/youth vote/Rahul genius/anything unimaginable like that..

2. In BJP vs INC head to head states (Kar,Guj,MP,Chat,Jhar,Delhi,Raj,Goa)
BJP has a better tally. INC gained in AP,TN,WB & Kerala...a large part of it is due to
failure of Left(Ker & WB), TDP and ADMK..i.e. 3rd Front.

3. BJP starts with a huge disadvantage coz in the following states the BJP is not a main
party & has to ally with some other party, unlike the Cong. which is a main party:

Punjab (INC vs SAD)
Haryana (INC vs INLD)
Orissa (INC vs BJD)
Assam (INC vs AGP)
Kerala (INC-UDF vs Left-LDF)
& a few other NE states like Meghalaya..

All these states together account for about 130-135 seats & INC being a major party starts
with a much higher base...

4. I dont agree with your analysis in the previous post. This is not a national verdict but is more of an aggregate of state level verdicts. If the BJP can do in Kerala,AP,Orissa & other states mentioned above what it did in Karnataka(i.e become a major party & not just a
fringe player), it would be winning quite comfortably given their relatively superior
organisation and unity.

5. 2009 was lost more due to 3rd front flopshow, the big shock in Rajasthan, the smaller shock in Maharashtra & minority politics in UP

6. BJP can easily recover lost ground in Mah & Raj where they are as strong as INC is.

In Raj, they just need to stop infighting (Vasundhara Raje & Jaswant Singh cant propogate
dynasty- then there is no diff. between BJp & COng)

In Mah, BJP-SS is as strong as NCP-INC, 2009 LS loss was due to MNS factor. I think BJP-SS-MNS sh'd come together. Had the 3 been together Mumbai wd have been 6-0 rather than

7. In UP, Muslims voted tactically to keep BJP out. INC's good performance was due to Muslim
anti-BJP vote rather than any Rahul brainwave. BJP shd continue alliance with Ajit Singh &
not let him get lured by Amar Singh & his Ambani-fed pockets. But the battle in UP will be
tough considering the demography (25-30% Muslims in many constituencies)

-ARun (Chennai)

Anonymous said...

Yes, BJP will not have a problem in 2014 in terms of PM candiate since they will be fighting to stay relevant.

I think Balaji has some good points. Who is this Bal Apte guy. What is his background.

If people like Murli Manohar Joshi, Rajnath Singh, Jaswant Singh rise to powerful positions in the BJP, then that will be curtains for them.

First thing is that Rajnath Singh has to go. Totally uninspiring and it is not clear what his claim to fame is.

Swapanda, Shouldn't Jaitley an Modi take some responsibility for the defeat as well? Yedyuarappa and Raman Singh coul hold their forts but Modi could not.

gaurav said...

Another thing..B.C Khanduri is a proven administrator & doing a great job in uttarakhand but a complete white wash there! obviously infighting is the reason so why to persist with traitors inside..if BJP is truly democratic let it be more transparent in adopting election of people to top jobs at party & government level & if after that someone plays spoilsport like i think Koshiyari is doing in uttarakhand then they must be thrown out. Instilling discipline is absolutely essential. Another thing is for RSS to involve colleges & schools in development works. It is certainly possible in BJP ruled states & youth can go out to teach in villages & things like that. Not only will it increase self esteem but will expose them to RSS & nationalist culture. & as an aside how about a new dress code for RSS..i mean something which a college guy finds cool..they are our potential assets.!!

No Mist said...

swapan da .. i think you have some leverage with bjp leaders ... please convey them the message of all the response that you are getting ...

one thing that M J Akbar said, i cannot forget ... india is not secular because india's muslim wants it, it is secular because india's hindu's want it that way ... it is a very deep observation ...

please convey to bjp that any return to hardline hindutva will backfire so terribly that india will become congi slave for next 200 years ... you are right in saying that the hardline backers are probably NRIs ... based on my own observation too i feel that this is correct .. we should not go by what NRIs say ... they do not live here ... i am sure if christian fundamentalism rises in US they will start voting like india's muslims do ... so just ignore those foolish NRIs ...

we need BJP not for the sake of BJP, but for the sake of india ... india of the indians not NRIs ... we need a modern young liberal prosperous meritocratic BJP for a modern young liberal prosperous meritocratic india .. congi does not satisfy these aspirations ... their only advantage is a new line of young leaders who incidentally comes out of dynasties themselves ... please recognize this advantage of congi and also the hidden disadvantage ...

BJP must work up so that it has young and non-dynastic meritocratic leaders ... who will be a fitting answer to gandhis, scindias and deoras ... start the search now ...

Anonymous said...

One question I have is that how come BJP psephologists got it all wrong. Are they not tracking what is the effect of "weak PM" an 'buhiya-gudiya" stuff?

Just talk to 50 people, you will know what people are thinking.

BJP needs to talk less and be less aggressive when it is not neeeded to be aggressive.

Anonymous said...

The new party president should be someone no one has heard of and is liked by the karyakartas.

Rajnath Singh should resign and take responsibility. What is this collective responsibility business? That means no one resigns and life goes on. Sudheendra Kulkarni is writing that LKA is not ruthless. Well, did you not project him as a strong and decisive leader. why can't he be ruthless to get his party to win. Politics is not for nice people.

Oldtimer said...

A few points regarding media

1. All those who want to see right-of-center TV channels should declare their willingness to loosen their purse strings to invest in them. A certain dotcom media outfit went kaput because of dotcom bust, but its failed e-i-c played victim and got commies to invest a lakh each in its print version. That's the level of commitment the leftwingers have. (According to rumor mills, the print version is not doing all that good either, but luckily for it, the government that it sucked up to is back in business).

2. The channels may or may not become profitable, but they have to get to be _influential_ despite being right-of-center. That requires talent. Where is such talent?

3. Such channels are needed not only because the Right needs representation in the media, but also because there effectively is NO independent media in the country. Given the media's track-record of last 5 years, we are bracing for another 5 years in which "journalists" will actively collude with the government in covering up its corruption and failures, and wangle Padmasris and Vibhushans for their trouble (and maybe, behind the scenes, corner plots in "journalist colonies"). Playing the vigilante role when the rest of the media wants you to fall in line (know the moneky-training story?) requires commitment, courage and the willingness alienate one's own friends. Where are such journalists?

PS: dear Swapan. Some comments are not getting through. Please publish your comments/editorial policy.

Anonymous said...

I think the BJP has to get its PR act right before doing anything else...

Some of my suggestions
1. Get your own TV channel, Newspaper and continue to build presence in the internet... by 2014 this will be the backbone of any campaign
2. Dont sent party spokesmen to the mainstream English media... infact ignoring them maybe a better thing... their only aim is to constantly humiliate the BJP and try and put words in peoples mouth which they can twist and sensationalize later...
3. The party has to be reinvented bottom up... with lots of the older members taking up mentor roles... leaving the party posts and parlimentary duties to the next gen... infact let the 50-60 age group lead in the houses...
4. Continue to develop strong regional leaders like Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Raman Singh, Yeddyurappa, etc... strong regional leadership is the only way to improve going forward

Just like in case of any defeat, too many thoughts flashin through the mind... but I think we have to be patient and make the right calls... coz we cant err once more... the next time around the only glimmer of hope will be Congress Arrogance that could give BJP an helping hand... everything else BJP has to work hard to achieve...

Anonymous said...

All shallow, superficial, pseudo-hindutva sentiments outpouring at the aftermath of defeat. Politics is not about creating news channels or marketing. Politicians have to work at the grassroot level. Advaniji or Vajpayeeji is what he is not because of stagemanaging the show. They are what they are because they believed in certain principles and they had a certain vision of India. None of you nor any of the new BJP crop can claim to have any inclination or even understanding of these principles. They fought, then went to jail, they have done umpteen sacrificies for this country and hence they are respected leaders across the nation and across the parties. Politics is not simply managing elections and electorate.

gaurav said...

come on No mist..don't speak harshly of NRI's or Indian residents right now outside(like me) ..Unity dear ! let all ideas & view points flow in & trash or accept them democratically like we are sure everyone does on this great forum.....peace !!

Mithun said...

I do agree that MODI-Jaitley combo is a good combo.
MODI is the more mass based leader and Jaitley can manage the media ,organisation and allies.

But the BJP needs more than individuals if they want to bounce back next time.
Clearly where the Congress has advantage over the BJP is by its mass organisational structure all over india.
Any loses in northern states gets covered by their impressive performances in southern states and vice versa.
This is not the case with BJP where it has almost reached its organisational peak in most of the northern states but hardly any presence in south (except Karnataka).
They somehow need to build a mass organisational structure in south and east india by which on their own can win some seats and also get allies in this process who can count on them to help win the whole state.

ARun said...

The Rahul-Priyanka effect on urban youth/middle-class vote exists only in the imagination of p-sec media & believing viewers of CNN,NDTV and their ilk. As a panelist in these channels, u(Swapan) too seem to be buying their arguement. Here is the reality-

1. Among the major cities, only Delhi voted for the INC (this has been happenin for last 10 years and cant be attributed to the star kids)

2. Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Mangalore, Baroda, Surat, etc all voted for the BJP.

3. In Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Kanpur,Kochi,Bhubaneshwar etc. the BJP never had a strong presence and had not won much in the past either.

4. A few other cities like Jaipur, Patna, Pune, Bhopal went with the trends in the rest of the state and voted for UPA/NDA accordingly.

5. In Mumbai, the BJP/Sena candidate vote + MNS candidate vote easily surpasses the INC candidate vote. So,actually in MUMBAI, it is ANTI-CONGRESS voting by urban youth/middle-class but INC is still winning seats due to the split.

- ARun (Chennai)

Its pretty clear that Rahul/Priyanka are not winning any significant share of youth/middle-class votes outside of Amethi & RB.

Anonymous said...

How about having a primary type runoff to select the next set of leaders?

Such a primary can be held in the bellwether constituencies that have reliably predicted the eventual winner of the Lok Sabha election. Some such constituencies that were identified earlier on Offstumped are Mandi (HP), Dumka (Jharkhand), Mayurbhanj (Orissa), Nandyal (Andhra), Mahbubnagar (Andhra). More are referenced in the post -

aru said...

BJP should totally avoid media. How many spokperson of BJD, TC, DMK participated in the debates. BJP spokes person are helping media to get TRP and getting negative publicity. Switch over to old style of press conferences.

For opposition leader BJP should consider the secret ballot which it has done to settle leadership effectively in Bihar

Swapan Dasgupta said...

Old Timer has suggested that some comments are not getting through. So far I have deleted only 2 comments: one because he used profanities and another one because he went on about an extraneous issue.

All comments, even if they are personal attacks on me, are welcome unless they use obscene language or are defamatory in content.

I think it is important to have as open a debate as possible. So far BJP-minded people have responded. It would be heartening if non-BJP voters also join in.

Satya said...

SwapanDa, why don't you sign up at IndiBlogger here-

Siddhu said...


Thanks for this post and I hope many other 'friends of BJP' would ensure that BJP doesnt dig its head in the sand like an Ostrich as it did in 2004.

I do not think BJP faces any existential crisis, what with so many state governments, no other party challenging Bangladeshi influx and religion-based reservations, wasteful spending through programs which are nothing but vote-purchase etc. But it starts with a huge disadvantage as it is just not present in so many states in the country (as is the Congress), and in many others with 15-30% Muslim population, it plays within a much limited space - imagine, how much posturing Nitish Kumar has to do to ensure that he at least gets some Muslim votes - this will have to come to an end so that parties in states like WB, AP, Bihar etc, do not consider a BJP alliance a liability.

Secondly, the issues of addressing the middle-class which is fastest growing demographic in the country. I believe that BJP's policy are far more middle-class friendly than Congress, but here it is the crisis of message and messenger. For a party which was never considered much of a 'crusader for poor', losing middle-class backing would be disastorous.

Third, it needs to fix its parliamentary strategy for whatever its worth. From 91 to 96 the opposition was far more cogent and convincing than the Government, but in the last term even a seasoned parliamentarian like Advani muddled through his speech on No Confidence vote. There weren't many others you could expect much of. Now with Sushma Swaraj, Jaswant Singh, Joshi and Advani, BJP has enough (wo)manpower to fix the is strategy in the parliament.

Last, it does return to its root as far as the cause of Hindu nationalism is concerned but differently articulated and executed. Riots and hate speech of Varun Gandhi kinds harm not only the BJP cause but also the idea of 'cultural nationalist'. Even debates on Uniform Civil Code, Conversion, etc. are very valid debates and in many drawing room conversations even Congress voters agree with BJP's stand but we compromise a valid argument by having Varun Gandhi's of the world as mascots - and dont say he is media creation 'coz he has played up to the image.

With Jharkhand elections coming soon, this despondence would rightly ebb but hopefully that wouldnt be considered a vote of trust in old ways.

Rakesh said...


Let me also join the chrous and suggest few reasons for defeat:

1- No presence in coastal countries of East and South India- WB-Orissa-AP-TN-Kerala and depending on 3rd front to counter Congress who didn't perform.

2- BJP's policy of bashing SG-RG-MMS as a person instead of bashing their policies.

3- Selecting imported candidates ie some from Congress or from other regions. local workers hate to work for imported candidates. BJP lost alreast few seats in Gujarat due to this.I am sure in other regions the stroy will be same.

4- No media management

5- Generally BJP's campaign was negative. That is they will point out Afzal , infataion , job losses. It would have been better if BJP had offered solutions to the problem . Once can attack MMS's policies but can't attack MMS as a person as he is clean.

6- BJP should avoid controversial langauge budiya-gudiya , SRP , MAR-RAM , 3rd rated economist etc.

7- BJP should avoid punch lines like INDIA SHINING , MAJBOOT NETA NIRNAYAK SARKAR etc. These lines are all rheotrical. Why not for a change go without such lines.

8- Didn't market its manifestos well.Say I am marketing manager of a FMCG company. Should I attack HLL or I should concentrate on good points of my toothpaste. BJP didn't concentrate on its manifestos but focussed on ridiculing MMS.

more in future. take it for what it is worth.

Anonymous said...

I want to agree with one comment above. How many spokesmen did you see from BJD, JDU, SP , BSP and DMK on NDTv, CNNIBN and TimesNow? Then why should they be infested with BJP spokespeople?

The reality is that these media channels get TRPs from the debates but these debates do not do anything for the party. On the other hand, most of these debates just drive up the negatives of BJP. I suspect that appearing on these media channels and giving interviews is one of the ways for many leaders to advance their careers.

I think the BJP should avoid the English media except in rare circumstances. Just let them discuss things in an echo chamber. Whenever the party has something to say, it has to be pointed and through a competent person. If the BJP folks think they can appear on these channels and sway the opinion of the anchors, they are living in a fool's paradise. I hope they will have the basic intelligence to change this policy.

Mahesh Prabhu said...

i was really disappointed to see the results and hence did not come online to even see ur blog.
Failures is an art of learning, when studied properly turns them into victory.

i have few suggestions which Swapanda can pass on.

I think Sushma Swaraja should take over as Leader of Opposition for 2 and half year term.
This is the time when Congress party will initiate lot of new works in India ,if this is wrong ,then Sushma Swaraj should actively play a role of opposition.

Advani should mentor and play active role in developing youth and getting new leaders in BJP.BJP should seriously invovle youth without any RSS background in party matters.

Arun Jaitley should take over as Party President next year.

Narendra Modi should continue good work in Gujrat.In the meantime SIT report will be out in 3 months and his future is definately dependent on that report.If he comes out clean ,Narendra Modi should be targeted as next PM.If not ,my bet is for Arun Jaitley.

Varun Gandhi should be given the same work as taken up by Rahul gandhi in UP.We need to strengthen the BJP ground unit in UP.If we manage to get 40 seats in UP in 2014, we are in.
Rahul clearly won the battle in UP without any allies. What went wrong is for us to intospect.

Murli Manohar joshi ,Rajnath Singh should be a mentor along with Advaniji to Varun.

We definately need some good young faces in Delhi like Kohli to emerge as big leader.

Karnataka BJP should work for the development of farmers,overall state developments in all aspects. Stop the Operation Lotus. People here in Karnataka have got one sense, if Yeddy does not work, then it will be shown the door. I asked one youth tea stall fellow on this new govt. he said bjp should have come, but Congress is clean party. if i get chance to vote which he will next time,he said its Congress.

We should stop the negative statements passed on. Get in lot of new youth. The thought that he has to be from RSS has to be removed. I am willing to Join BJP, i understand Rss as i from mangalore,but i did not take part in it.

I want to join BJP and strengthen it and i feel my views and strategy will help BJP to come to power in 2014.

BJP needs change,BJP needs youth like me. I do not have any political affiliations,but i support BJP .That is my only strength. I am software engineer by profession ,but i would like to serve my India,and strengthen my BJP.

Please let me know how can i join BJP and strengthen it.

mahesh prabhu

Anonymous said...

"The BJP has also never understood where Hindu nationalism ends and blind anti-Muslim biases begin. It is a serious flaw."

The above quote is from an artilce in Mint. Although I do not agree with his diagnosis that the BJP has "never understood", the perception of the BJP as anti-Muslim IS a serious flaw. If any party becomes identified as anti-some section of the society, its growth will be severly hampered. BJP should think about this very seriously if it wants to do better the next time.

Ajay said...

Swapan, Your blog seems to be the only channel for communication with BJP for its supporters, Anyway, here are my thoughts in no particular order

# Project young faces of the party. In addition to Modi, Jaitely, Nalin Kohli, Naqvi, Sushma get more faces from ground level workers who can speak articulately and avoid controversies

# Build friendly media channels who won't twist BJP statements, and won't witch hunt BJP leaders

# Put good leaders like Modi in charge of expanding into new territories such as AP, TN, WB, Kerala etc.

# Internally reform BJP network to empower ground-level workers. They are the last-mile connection between party and voters. Make sure that connection is good and communication with always open (that is, not just during election season)

Summing up, project a young team chosen to represent different demographics, expand into new territories, empower ground-level workers and use them to engage with citizens at local level at all times.

Anonymous said...

Swapan, I went thru the comments and think some of them need your response in a follow up post. In case you missed the questions, I am summarising them here. I am hoping you will discuss them in your next post.

1. how did BJP's psephologists get it so horribly wrong? how much did that impact BJP's strategy and cost them? should not there be accountability now (not calling for naming names in public, but make sure people honestly own up mistakes)
2. Since Modi did not hold ground like Yeddi or Raman did, and the kind of baggage (some of it unfair like targetting by ELM/NGOs but some flippant talk like budiya/gudiya, chest size does go bad), why should Modi get a larger role now? should he not focus on the state more and work to win it again in 2012 assembly polls? and also use this time to rebuild his image?
3. Who should be the leader of opposition in the present lok sabha? obviously Modi can not be brought in disturbing the state and Jaitley is not even in LS. Considering that there is a long battle ahead,even beyond 2014, what kind of a person do we need now?
4. How do we settle the RSS Karyakarta vs. BJP issue? It is clear that the RSS brings in considerable success as seen in Karnataka. Instead of being RSS vs. BJP, can there be a model of working most effectively together? for the last five years, since Advani's chennai speech asking RSS not to interfere, I keep hearing this. But if they are the ones winning you seats, is this not a wrong approach? When congress can use church/friday prayer network, what is wrong in BJP using RSS as a hindu social group?

VJ said...


There is no denying that the election results are huge disappointment though not fully unexpected. But I broadly agree with Arun Jaitley's view that there shouldnot be any knee jerk reaction, However, corrective steps have to be taken in due course to prevent the party from receding into nonviable alternative to Congress at national level.

i) First, Advaniji must be allowed a graceful exit from the leader of opposition otherwise it will again incur slurs of the Kandhar variety. In the era of professional politicians i feel nobody else suits the bill more than Yashwant Sinha. Others don't have the intellectual depth or the acceptable image. (e.g. Joshiji, or Jaswant Singh for Kandhar). Party president post remain with Rajnath Singhji for the time being. ( Not to show panic reaction)

ii) In long term there are many points which are necessary to expand the party acceptablity among the youth and in states where there is no presence of BJP.
Congress displays a galaxy of leaders ( jyotiradita, sachin, milind, )etc, but BJP hardly displays their diverse leadership on national level. Manoghar pannikar, Mr. Vyas (Gujrat), , Mr. Bora, new faces from Andhra, Karnataka, kerela, Tamil nadu all should be part of national visual media to show the available talent pool BJP. TV media has played a big part in shaping the opinion, we need to get get more balanced savvy young people (Nalin kohli , Mr. Bora etc, the pool needs to be increased) .

iii) There is a big debate in media and you have also pointed out is choosing between hindutva or reshaping the party just centre right liberal party. A generation of young voters (between 1990-2004) got associated with the party not because party was taking hard core hindutva line in term of its religious fervour but they feared radical political islam (or even evangelical christians) taking firm grounds in the country and destroying the liberal ethos in not so distant future. The guiding principles of the party should be liberal pluralism and not the exclusivity. That is to say Ram mandir should be off the table but not the uniform civil code.

iv) Finally for the relevance to this post, Modi should concentrate right now at Gujrat, Call for the face for the next election should be made only in 2013 last. Projecting Advaniji so much in advance was also a mistake, ( remember all Laloo's comments)

Finally vote percentage in Bengal for BJP has been modestly crediatble across the state. One needs to augment it.

Anonymous said...

What's wrong to tender apologies to the post godhra victims?

Rajiv gandhi extended apologies, on 1st november 1984, PV Narasimha rao extended in the office, and MMS did the same from the leader's seat right in the parliament hall. Does that underscore their credibility?

NaMo has nothing to lose by extending apologies, irrespective of his actual role, but merely being the fact he was in power at that time, it rather increases his credibility and humbleness.

There is no doubt Namo is best suited to lead BJP, but with ruffled down pride, less vilification, more like a humble politician rather taking hard stand.

It was nonsense for NaMo to cut short all interviews and walk out when asked about Godhra, that further rises the suspicion of his tactical role.

No Mist said...

Some of us suggests BJP to start a new TV channel. This is a misguided suggestion at best. Any TV channel operated by any political party will lose credibility ... no one will see that channel. Even hard core BJP workers.

For that matter each political party has its own journal ... how many of the public read those magazines ... nobody ... how many of ppl visit web sites of political parties ?? nobody .. I confess I do, but have not seen anybody else doing that, nor been able to convince anybody to do ...

the answer is not starting a media company ... BJP is not in the business of running a media empire .. nor it is in moulding editorial content ... the right approach is smart management of media ... media is a very malleable tool ... you do the smart thing and media will advertize that for free ... and ppl will watch it too ... how much better if CNN/NDTV/NOW/AjTak/Star/Zee/etc show positive things about you rather than your own channel singing hosannas about you which no body cares to watch ...

we muct understand that there is a tectonic shift in indian politics ... with all due respect to advani i must say that he is now outdated ... it has been a exceptional career and i have a lot of respect for him ... but now it is time to step back ... that generation must recognize that india has changed much from 1980s ... the change is not because the 1980s generation think differently (though that is a minor reason too) ... but the change is because new ppl have joined india's mainstream ... these new girls and boys are the ppl born after 1980 ... and they are the majority of active voters ... since they wield influence over their moms and dads, they are more than majority ... it is these new ppl that BJP must appeal to ...

one more thing that BJP must keep in mind ... india is a constantly reinventing nation becasue it has such a huge population of young ppl ... so BJP must institutionalize change ... do not be stuck at the current generation of 'young leaders' ... keep on the lookout for new talent ... constantly ... if we have a generation of capable leaders do not rest ... keep on the search for new generation ... have a cell in the party whose job is solely to identify future sophisticated leaders constantly without rest ... and this must go on at the national level ... in every state ... every district ... so that we never have a shortage of contestants ... the party also must have a retirement policy ... anybody who crosses 70 should not contest any lok sabha election ... and anybody who crosses 80 must not contest any rajya sabha election too ... only in this way we can revive ourself ...

swapan da can you convey this all to BJP ...

niraj (a well wisher of BJP )

venkatesh said...


Let ,me start with a confession, that the last weekend was probably the worst in my life. the UPA after Twiddling their thumbs were actually voted in with an even bigger margin. I have been thinking about where the BJP might have failed. Some of the reasons are quite clear -

The voters really dont see much difference in the BJP and the congress. Often enough, why vote for the fake, when the original is available!!

The BJP has not been able to communicate with the masses. This is primarly because it seems to be defensive in articulating its position to the media and at least the English media is inherently biased against the BJP. Why are they ashamed of hindutva. Hindutva is by essence secular, so they need to articulate this better. The rampant conversion efforts and the effort to spread christianity by the gun, needs to be exposed and the congress' role in the same has to be exposed and communicated. The BJP desperately needs a TV channel equivalent of the pioneer, if it has to improve its appeal. I dont think the BJP has an existential issue, it has done quite well in Karnataka, Chgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, MP and Gujarat to some extent. The key seems to get your local cadre empowered, and provide good governance. There is no need to dilute your ideology, which by itself is completely nationalistic.

Seecondly grow into sates like AP,TN and Bengal. I strongly believe the BJP can grow there and leverage its development ideology to gain more seats. Not being present in these states, means the BJP starts with a major handicap that it can ill afford.

If you look at the states that the BJP lost like Rajasthan and some seats in MP. it is clear that there is severe infighting. This cannot be tolerated, just kick the troublemakers out. Maybe there are short term issues, but longer term it can only be better.

Last but not the least investigate if there was some foul play atleast in the states of Tn, AP, Orissa. I think the outcome defies common sense (the outcome of the national election also defies my common sense, which may be my deficiency, of course!!!!).

These are spome of my thoughts.

No Mist said...

@ gaurav

i am not harsh on NRIs ... but we must recognize that those who vote count in politics ... and NRIs do not come and vote in India ... so first preference must be given to indians who live in india and vote ... if there is time and energy left then only we should care about NRIs ... their view is distorted by their home sickness .. they do not see how ugly hate speech is .. they do not see a friend's blood being let on the streets ... and i do have muslim friends whom i will defend with my life ... i do have dalit freinds whom i want to rise to the top .. and i do have NRI freinds whom i want to come back to india and vote ... out of these the last one is only one of dubious possibility ...

so dear NRIs please take a step back ... be a good citizen of your counrty and please do not either support or sponsor any kind of hatred in india ... it is your old home ... not your current home ... nothing will change that ... please cut the umbilical cord ...

peace !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Venkatesh said...

One more point. The BJP should realise that the congress is a great master at the dirty trick department. They invnet guys like MNS and PRP and invisibly support them to split votes et al. they have used every trick in the book and their hand is always away from the trick. The BJP needs a grass roots chanakya, that can use the invisble hand and create issues for the opposition. Being straightforward and reasonably honest is not a way to win in Indian Politics. They have to wrestle a pig here and they better get ready to get dirty!!!!

Anonymous said...

Here is a good advice by Sunil Jain in his BS column (he is not a BJP-baiter).

Any takers?

The reasons BJP lost: It seems petty, acerbic, divisive, backward looking, bad company, old ideas, stuck record, unsavory associates. Until this is changed, it will continue to decline and eventaully fade away. Just look at unseemly fighting when the need of hour is unity, party over self. I am a life-long BJP supporter but I will be reluctant to supoort such a bunch of selfish leaders.

Sujeet Pillai said...

Any apology will undermine Modi's appeal as an uncompromising leader.
Swapanda - I don't agree with this point. A sincere apology in his inability to protect the people of his state when he was responsible for the same will go down well with his people and it should be coupled with a sincere attempt to make bridges towards who's displaced in the riots by getting them better infrastructure.

Sundar said...

Swapan da,

I advise C-level execs on organisational performance and winning in the marketplace for a living so here's (another) 2c of solicited advice (you asked for it!)

1. Just as great cricket teams have several captains on the field, I think it is important that the BJP have a constellation of peer-leaders who drive the party forward. This will be a "high availability" system in tech-speak, capable of rolling with the punches. The Congress has done this well. They've covered youth with Rahul, and experience with Manmohan, young males with Priyanka, and older males with Manmohan. They've covered younger females with Rahul, 'the dimpled darling' (guffaw) and older females with Sonia. That's segmentation. Kissing goes by favour, so goes the old saying. The acceptable face of the party need not necessarily be the real leader. He/She remains the marketing veneer, like the Lifeboy soap dude or Aishwariya for L'Oreal. Flip, you can package turpentine in a bottle with Aishwariya's face on it and people would buy it. A vote is not a rational decision. It is an emotional one. Lifeboy soap dude and Ash are not CEOs of those companies. Likewise, Manmohan is just a placeholder and the guardian of the Congress image. That's his role. True power lies behind the throne. Similarly, the BJP needs to project a likeable person to be the leader. That is that person's role - he or she needs to be the person no one likes to pick on, or is difficult to attack without looking silly or malicious. There can be other peer leaders who the party defers to on matters they are good at. A meritocracy of mutually respecting leaders is required.

2. Image management ('branding') is as important as actual achievement. The BJP and its supporters feel cheated right now because they are the party with the true achievements. I keep telling people that the BJP built more good roads during the 4 Vajpayee years than Congress did in the previous 50. Everyone expresses surprise at this. Surely such a thing would be better marketed. The need of the hour is to create a short slide-deck on that is based on reasoned and solid arguments on the real achievements of the party and accessible by all via a web browser. It's about images and short text and solid, credible data. If it's really compelling, you will have a viral campaign capability to counter disinformation or to reinforce a positive image of the party.

3. A national party needs national presence. The BJP could never hope to come to power without having a presence in every single state of the country - especially down South. There are 129 seats / 543 in just TN, Kerala, AP, and Karnataka. And another 42 in West Bengal. Together, that's 171 seats (or subtracting K'tka, almost 25% that the BJP lost by default. The Congress was being marked out of 100, the BJP out of 75, but the pass mark was still 50!) The BJP has a beachhead in K'tka that they should build on. Remember Southies (like me) have different concerns. All politics is local.

4. Build a strong media presence. Enough has been said about this. A media enables 'continuous campaigning.' Mind-share translates to marketshare. People get convinced over time.

The BJP needs an image makeover, the fundamentals of the party are sound. The BJP is the noisy achiever who is not liked by the in-crowd or 'beautiful people.'

I would dearly like to see the BJP re-emerge as the cool, quiet charming achiever.

The campaign for 2014 starts now.

Sundar, your "foolish NRI" friend. :)

P.S. And here's another book for their reading list: I suggested Kotler yesterday. Today's it's "Built to Last: The Successful Habits of Visionary Companies" by James Collins and Jerry Porras.

venkat said...

1) First thing to do now is to form a shadow government. Shadow each minister in UPA govt with their own educated/informed person and keep watching out for any loopholes on policy decisions.
2) Secondly focus heavily on development in the states in which BJP is in power (Karnataka, MP, Chattisgarh, Gujarat etc.)

3) Start rebuilding party in UP. Project a young and honest neta from UP and visit all villages and connect with the people

4)All the BJP MPs must publish what they are doing out of MPLAD scheme in all prominent newspapers and posters so that people get to know the development work and also realise the MPs are accountable.

5)Start providing issue based support to UPA (e.g. on nuclear deal,form loan waiver etc) . This will surprise the people and will restore credibility of BJP.

6) Try to rope in regional leaders who are popular in states like AP and TN. These two states add up to 80 + seats , which is equivalent of UP.

7) Try to implement Mayawati's social engineering on a national scale which will appeal to all castes. Offer reservation for upper caste (brahmins,thakurs) etc.. who are economically backward.

NR said...

The only way modi can improve his profile, his party profile, is to now step down, travel all over the country, do padayatra, meetscores of people, stay in their huts, eat the food served by them, energize cadres in these places, review organization in these places, bring in new cadre.

Also BJP must now take villagers from zero zones(elders and youth sampled) on a trip to gujarat and other important bjp ruled states for them to compare the development done in BJP states, their schemes.

These elders will then pass on the messages to the rest of villagers.

It is important now state leaders take tour interact with people and improve party profile. next 5 years must be sacrifice and not 5 star.

There was also a good suggestion on offstumped. Sometimes silence hits hard. this was the suggestion.

"Ok. So if (god forbid) there’s another terror strike - BJP should shut up and release a simple statement.

“UPA has received a strong mandate and we support this mandate. We will support any action the govt. takes. Thank you.”"

ramana said...

Swapan da:

Thanks for the wonderful blog and allowing us to participate in it.

Watching BJP crumble was sad. I just couldn't sleep, having been up all nite watching the results pore in.

Advaniji deserved much better.

By the way, in your earlier post you suggested that RSS folks and non RSS folks be treated the same in BJP. That will be one of the tests for BJP on whether it is willing to come out of denial. Ostrich like behaviour doesn't get us anywhere.

The way they are going about asking Advaniji to stay on, it has more to do with not willing to commit. If you can't pick a new Leader of opposition how in the hell can you govern a country?

Long time back, a senior RSS leader remarked, that BJP is just like Congress with a little bit more emphasis on being Hindu (more talking than doing anything), and his suggestion was dont expect miracles.

How true.

It ain't fun being on the losing side.

gaurav said...

@ No Mist
Valid arguement No Mist about NRI's i acccept your viewpoint..(i m not an NRI though solid legal Indian !)

Swapan Da..could you explain why Modi has never bothered to articulate his response regarding Godhra & after..i ask this because with Karan Thapar, he had said that all his statements are available from that time were they only in Gujarati media? also i agree with most of the gentlemen here ( all seem to be men!) that lots of senior leaders must shift to mentoring roles & that BJP needs to sort out its equations with RSS for once and all..certain sets of rules i mean..a light hearted analogy is Hollywood movie Transporter in which the lead character has certain sets of rules of transporting people around in his car..doesn't compromises easily..there doesn't seem to be such an understanding defining their relationship across board..& yes BJP needs to present new faces to media..I understand Manohar Parriker is an ex-IITian(like Jairam Ramesh)..we must present coming years, i suspect we will see that Shashi Tharoor will become the congress face in media..& liberal will go after him BJP attracting such articulate people?

Balaji said...

Advani screwed the BJP in 2009 and the party wants to screw it in 2014 also by making a succession difficult. Does Advani have any shame at all? He was just rejected by the people of this country. Why can't he stick to his stand for a change?

Anonymous said...

The news is Advaniji has agreed to be leader of parliamentary board. This is the first step towards image makeover to breakover. There will be two messages conveyed however untrue they may be,
i) Advaniji still wishes to hang to political power
ii) Infighting was so intense, that they couldn't agree on the alternate choice.

Instead of moral booster, a huge step to demoralize the supporters already in dumps. Advaniji stepping down was only thing required in short term.

aru said...

In 2004 LEFT supported congress from outside. People left them outside to oppose congress.

As Left will be opposing congress for their own survival BJP should not oppose govt from the beginning. Even they should announce that they won't oppose the confidence motion.

As secualr vs Comunalism debate may die down and slowly congress vs others debate will start. By bringing Modi to centre stage now BJP will delay the death of secular vs communal rhetoric which is not good for the party. As a strategy push Modi to background to build the party in zero zones. May be he can take a vow that he will become PM only if it gets majority on its own. In this way allies won't afraid of BJP will not loose face with its core voters.

Bharath said...

I am a keen follower of the centre-right ideology, and here are the reasons for my convictions.

i) The government's role has to be as a guardian of democracy and social welfare. It cannot be the instrument of change itself. Nature has to be let to take its own course. The government should only place incentives and disincentives to bring about positive social and economic change.

ii) The culture and tradition of a country is formed as a culmination of centuries of stimuli. It cannot be undermined overnight (like the way some ultra liberals attempt to). Everything about the upper class cannot be said to be wrong. They have worked to get there over time. However, the lower class must not be disenfranchised. The goverment must work for their upliftment without necessarily subduing the culture and tradition of the country.

iii) Most people care about economic upliftment, and care less about status symbols in society. The problem of upper-class and lower-class divide can be solved by working on economic issues. Again, the government should not give away anything for free. People do not realize the value of something that comes free. Instead, the government must create incentives and avenues for the poor to work out of their current problems.

I find BJP the closest party to these principles. It believes in protecting our cultural pride, and has economic policies closer to the free market.

However, the BJP's approach to elections seems completely lost. Their biggest argument was about the weakness of congress instead of highlighting the ideology they stand for. Every party can blame the mistakes of the other.

The BJP has to work to strive towards ensuring their ideology is communicated well to public. This does not just mean giving interviews to media channels (who will play the game on their ground), but actually going to the public with their vision.

The BJP's vision goes beyond highlighting the "misrule" of a ruling party. Their vision and ideology should be given a higher importance. The challenge in communicating this vision is that it is non-obvious to explain. People will always see a benefit of loans being waived off. But the long term social and moral impact is immense. Banks will lose their confidence and people will slacken - all causing long term damage. Instead of simply promising that the BJP too will waive off loans in the hope of votes, the BJP must stand by a strong ideology, and explain to people the downsides of being financially irresponsible.

I was really upbeat about some of the ideas put forth in the BJP manifesto. Ladli Laxmi Yojana for one, provides incentives for people to improve themselves. Let the BJP spend more time on these issues instead of simply responding to the opponent's moves.

Post-elections, the attitude of many BJP supporters on forums like this has been dismal. There's no clear white or black in an election where a swing by a small percentage changes the fate of a political party. BJP did reasonably well in all BJP-ruled states. It lost head on to congress in congress-ruled states. However, congress' biggest gains have been in states where BJP has no presence. How can BJP be blamed completely for this?

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering why some people think BJP is becoming another congress, IMO, both are political parties, driven by differing ideologies. And when congress has performed well on several fronts, identify the shortcomings in BJP to fix the gaps, if it means, a complete re-branding out of muddy and misguided hindutva agenda, be it. Labour party in UK has reinvented itself, Republicans in USA have reinveted themselves after bloody civil war. There is no harm to change the course of action.

Additionally I don't see any problem with religious conversion. Hindu civilization survived even the brutal Islam invasion and forceful conversion. I hardly see Hindu religion becoming extinct anytime in next several centuries.

Religion should not drive a party, nationalistic views are accepted, as much as few dredge minority appeasement, the otherside is Hindu appeasement, from a neutral stand.

The way out is to modernize the way of approach, leave hindutva to non-political organizations. And no nonsense talk or bullying minorities, they are very much part of India,
and they would remain Indians.

All people want to see India move up the ladder of poverty, and to become a significant regional power, getting enough opportunities.

Going back to Hardline stand would inevitably lead to the extinction of the party.

BJP Karnataka IT Cell said...

Mahesh Prabhu,

If you are in Bangalore, please join us in the IT cell. You can drop in at any of our induction programs - most saturday evenings at 5.30 PM.

You can send a mail to itcell.bjpkar AT

You can also use the volunteer form at the BJP Karnataka website.

venkat said...

"The only way modi can improve his profile, his party profile, is to now step down, travel all over the country, do padayatra, meetscores of people, stay in their huts, eat the food served by them, energize cadres in these places, review organization in these places, bring in new cadre."

I am assuming you were not trying sarcasm.

This is a suggestion for disaster. These are crown price type campaigns that Rahul and HDKumaraswamy did. Let us not fall down to that kind of tricks.

Modi needs to continue to work in Gujarat and win big in 2012. He can rebuild his image in the mean time - particularly cut the rhetoric and barbs. How much ever his core voter and the NRI types love those barbs. Advaniji or Vajpayeeji never indulged in those and yet they have influenced so many of us.

Bringing him to delhi now will be one kind of panic reaction that will expose us to a potential loss in gujarat in 2012.

Sending him on a padayatra will lose us everything. The defeat is shocking, but let us please not lose heart so much that we stop even thinking.

Swapan, can you please respond with your views on some of the comments that keep coming up? Like the equation with RSS? eagerly waiting for your next post.

Anonymous said...

Baby Doc is coming

Prince-in-waiting Rahul Gandhi will soon be making his ascension to his "rightful" throne, by becoming a cabinet minister. To hear our Congress supporters tell it, 1.2 billion people are to be gifted to him like a family heirloom.

What has this little flunker ever done in his life? Has he completed any kind of degree, from while he was partying away in college abroad? Did he ever actually do anything with his life? No, he's some worthless idiot -- some flunk-out loser who never made anything of himself in life. So now, his mama Sonia has decided to rescue him from mediocrity, by grooming him as the next leader for the country. She's going to make a gift of the country to him, you see. We'll all be gift-wrapped by the party henchmen, as baubles locked in their family chest.

India doesn't need overgrown fratboys to be put in charge of its desperate problems, like poverty and unemployment. India needs sound leadership from those with the skills and wisdom to pull it out of its over half-century of stupor.

The Congress Party's Personality Cult and the legions of sycophants who sustain it are very bit as ruthless and corrupt as those sustaining Kim Jong Il, or Bashar Assad, or Hosni Mubarak. Now Mubarak is also grooming his son for power -- all for perfectly good reasons, the sycophants will tell you -- and of course, the biggest argument to be trotted out in support of this will be "if you don't support us, those religious chauvinists will win!"

This is the age-old cry of the corrupt family oligarchy and kleptocracy. This is how wily crooks like the Congress Party have survived for so long. This is their latest gimmick or schtick. Now we're going to be stuck with little Baby Doc lording it over us.

mimi said...

To tackle the media bias, I think BJP should resolve to simply abstain from all TV debates. Instead they should focus on communicating their message / views on policy purely through press conferences, like the one Arun Shourie did on the black money issue. Participating in biased tv debates is simply causing far more harm than good.

The first press conf should be on this very announcement on future abstinence from studio debates till the bias ends.

No Mist said...


this is unparliamentary langugae ... advani had an exceptional career .. he along with vajpayee built BJP from scratch after 1984 ... but you are correct in saying that advani must step down from active politics now ... he must organize a talent search nationwide to identify lots of new leaders ... ideally one for every constituency ...

aru said...

Can the BJP organise Friends of BJP meets all over india to explain/analyse the results?

No Mist said...

wow a brilliant suggestion from sunil jain ... modi can start out by giving educational improvement to muslims in gujrat ... let us have more qualified teachers in gujrati madrassas who teach english, science and maths along with (may be other teachers) teaching urdu and quran ... and all this without the usaual fuss that muslim-madrassa-are-anti-national-so-needs-reform ... instead they can say that they respect all religions and want to teach the muslims various skills like gem cutting, modern ship breaking, etc and provide them jobs ...

along with it modi can discreetly apologize to muslims that they were wrongly targeted in the riots .. come on wud you deny that majority of those killed were innocent ... and Raj Dharma says that you must protect innocents even if they are not your kin ... on this count at least modi is guilty ... and he must apologize for that ... untill then there is no redemption of BJP ...

Anonymous said...

Although, I agree with you that Modi enthuses the BJP supporters, but as the voting percentage shows that one needs to find more supporters. Besides, projecting Modi as the PM will probably cause JD(U) to move away from NDA, and potential allies like Naidu will also stay away from NDA. One thing that BJP has to address is to be relevant in 543 seats; when one only seriously contests 350-400 seats then the chances of getting 272 is difficult.

Anonymous said...


I am not an NRI. Lived almost all my life in India. Have seen 1990 Hyderabad riots by alleged Congressmen + MIM. Now live in Bangalore.

I agree with you on the Muslim Veto. We can't change this - ever. Forget about apologizing, even if you hang Modi for 2002 and Advani for Babri Masjid, Yeddy for Mangalore attacks BJP will still be called a communal party. Only new excuses would be invented e.g. Salwa Judum is indeed a front against missionaries in C'garh and hang Raman Singh.

I think it is time for BJP to go it alone.
BJP is saturating in the current strongholds. They need to expand to new places.
Build/strengthen organization in key states:
UP, Bihar, Maha, AP, TN in addition to delivering good governance in their currently held states..

I know from my experience in AP: there are committed workers but the poor candidates there didn't get enough support from central leadership and this state gives 41 seats to LS. said...


Many of the suggestions are long-term. Some of the suggestions is for immediate implementation, which the BJP should listen to:

1. Have elections for all party posts starting from the Leader of the Opposition. This will focus attention of the media, supporters to the persons in the race & also ensure democratic succession.

2. Some people must take responsibility for the defeat. Resignations are a graceful way of saying sorry.

3. Support the Congress govt on as many issues as possible. Show that the BJP can be positive.

4. Avoid showing off to the electronic media (any media?).

Now, how do these ideas reach the BJP? Any suggestions?

Anonymous said...

Mr.Swapan, Mr. Modi has to emerge as a national leader by himself. Noone creates 'a leader', as many of you seem to be thinking. India is a vast land with diverse aspirations and complexities and am sure you are not naive to think media managers , advertisers or planned image makeover or blogging is going to bring upon a leader. If Modi is really the champion of Hindutva cause, if his vision of Bharath is really what Bharat requires, he will emerge someday on his own.

Anonymous said...

To put out right wing agenda there is a need of dedicated TV channel. BJP/RSS should have its own channel.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Balaji - if Advani now stays even for "interim" period, the damage done to BJP's (which is already very low now) will take a lot to repair. If he did not want to setp down, why this nautanki in the first place? I was feeling sorry for him but not any more. Advani and his chandal chaukadi (Gang of Four)- Jaitley, Modi, Naidu and Ananth - fully aided by MM Joshi will totally ruin BJP. I often wonder if these guys are in pay of Sonia or some kind of blackmail as they are not that stupid? Hey Ram~

rone said...

new rules of the game.
1.Congress have the mandate.Humbly accept it.
2.No criticism for is honeymoon period.
3.No personal attack on MMS,Sonia, Rahul,Priyanka and their poodle.they have all proved their mettle.
4.Dont even try to contest for speakers post.Then will come the hard choice of aligning and politicking with the fourth,fifth and the last front guys.
5.Looser,tread your own path and reinvent yourself.

Anonymous said...

A hopeless beginning by BJP! They are incompetent to decide who will lead them and choose not to make the decision. They had no compunction earlier in bringing Advaniji down after the Jinnah comments without really waiting hear his side. Certainly these guys do not deserve the mandate to run the country! People were correct. They knew something we didnt!

Venkatrajan said...

I am resident from Bangalore, a long time BJP supporter. The disappointment is unaimaginable. We ran a tremendous campaign. However life carries on . On the question of Modi :-

1. Modi must be the tallest mass leader for BJP today, but I dont think he qualifies for PM candidacy.

2. LKA shook hands with MMS before counting began in one parliamentary meeting. Can we imagine Modi shaking hands with Rahul or saying Namaste to Sonia ?

3. His missionary zeal, his clarity of thought on how to do development, his oratorial skills are unmatched, but can you see who won elections this time (read as INC). Even the local ward councillor can give a better speech than Manmohan Singh. Sonia reads out from a written paper. But this duo won elections handsomely, what use can be oratorial skills.

4. Modi's Budiya and Guriya comment was unacceptable. Can you imagine a Vajpayee making such a comment ? People want a humble, tall leader, one who can be graceful. Last so many elections has shown that humility wins. See Naveen Pattnaik, Shivraj, Raman Singh, Sheila Dikshit, they all won very well. Vasundhara being arrogant and thus not humble lost. The Left , Laloo were very arrogant, but they lost.

Swapanda - Modi might fire the imagination of the BJP worker, but will he fire the imagination of voters. He did maximum campaigning this time, yet he lost more than 12 seats in his own state. Where is the accountability here ? Lets not delude ourselves that Modi can turn it around for the BJP.

Lastly , personally I am a diehard admirer and fan of Modi. You may get one in a million like him. His speeches leave me astounded with his clarity of thought. But when we are in the political battle, we need to see the picture from the eyes of the larger Indian Voter.

Anonymous said...

There is a serious disconnect between the BJP workers and the common voters of India. The common man on the street is not bothered about the Ram Temple or Afzal Guru. Its very clear that the memory of Indian voter is very short and you can't expect the people of Delhi to vote the BJP because of the Sarojni Nagar Blasts. Had this been so, after 26/11 BJP would not have been rejected in Mumbai. For some time BJP should avoid all these controversy regarding religious issues and take a clear position on 20% people who are not Hindus in India and who voted the Congress not because of its good governance, but because BJP's approach towards them. A BJP sympathiser may say that Modi is the fittest candidate, but then the Party will end up defending him for the next decade and the minorities would see the Congress as the safest option for ever. By just replacing Tytler and Sajjan Kumar, who would have won the elections comfortably, Congress swept Punjab and Delhi and sikhs voted for the Party enthusiastically. So, why not move away from Varun Gandhi and Narendra Modi and issues like terrorism and Ram Temple and issues like Pragya Thakur and Ram Sena and look for people who are non-controversial. BJP has many such leaders. Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, Raman Singh, Sivraj Chouhan etc can well become the faces of BJP. Modi will still continue to be popular among BJP supporters, but we have to understand that its not only BJP sympathisers who decide the fate of the party in the elections. Further, with a non-controversial and person with clean image we can strengthen the NDA with the addition of more regional parties. With Modi, even the existing parties may find it difficult to continue with the BJP.

horizon said...

I have some suggestions which might be repeat of what others are saying and since I am a Tamilian staying in AP I observed some things which might be of interest.

1) I TN even small parties like PMK, MDMK and Congress ( with very little presence in ground) have TV channels in Tamil. If it is so expensive how come these parties are able operate it? Someone said Deve Gowda has a TV channel in KA.

2) In TN all the ppl read Tamil newspapers . Why cant BJP fund some Tamil newspaper so that they get some foothold in TN. Maybe this along with TV channel is the easiest way to reach out to ppl. Same is the case with AP ppl read a lot of vernacular newspaper.

3) In AP there is a small party(Lok Satta) founded some 2 yrs ago by an IAS guy called JayaPrakash Narayan. He is a very honest guy and within two years the party polled some 3 % votes this time and he won in the assembly. The party polled 10,000 votes in many assembly segments in Hyderabad area and in towns of AP. BJP inspite of being here for 10 years polled maybe the same percentage . Why are the ppl not sacked if this is what they can do in 10 years ? Honesty has its own value and I saw droves of middle class ppl voting for lok satta party. Why doesnt BJP have suave leaders atleast in cities and towns to get the message accross.

4) If BJP tones down its Hindutva there is no difference between BJP and congress. Maybe a mixture of Hindutva and development is the right way to get the message accross.

Sorry for the long post.

horizon said...

No matter what BJP tries christians and muslims will not vote for BJP and its futile to try to get thier votes. If they have to hold on to Hindu votes they need a mild Hindutva with a strong development plank. said...

I have a blog post on Mr Advani being 'persuaded' to continue. The post titled: Graceful exits', can be read here.

Anonymous said...

BJP for some time should go it alone in every state and refrain from running after alliance partners. Alliances may give a short term advantage but in the long run they will just destroy the Party. BJP rose in Karnataka because it went alone and created its own leadership and work force. In AP, WB and TN the BJP is not visible except during elections. Under such situation it is futile to expect that the Party will do a Karnataka in these states. The lesson from Orissa should be taken seriously. There is no guarentee that even JD(U), RLD and Shiv Sena will stick to the BJP in the future. So, ekla chalo should be the principle for BJP till it takes strong roots across the Country. As in the case of Congress Party, if sometime the North India goes against it the South votes in its favour. But, BJP expects all the Northern and Western States to stand by it always and a slightest change unnerves the Party. Remember that in 2004, the Congress got 4 seats in Rajasthan but still it managed a good show. For BJP the same 4 seats in 2009 seems to have made all the difference.

Oldtimer said...

>>Old Timer has suggested that some comments are not getting through. So far I have deleted only 2 comments: one because he used profanities and another one because he went on about an extraneous issue.

Just to set the record straight: Neither of them is from me. If these are the only two deleted, then there must be a technical glitch why mine didn't go through.

In the post that didn't go through, I suggested that Modi must move to the center ASAP. He needs to build candidacy for 2014 starting from now. Also, the sooner 'allies' (existing and potential) get used to the idea that he will be BJP's PM candidate, the better for all concerned. LKA is likely to retire in a few months after the storm dies down; Modi must get elected from the seat that LKA will vacate and should be made leader of BJP's parliamentary party.

Sanjay said...

Swapanda, please answer this one: Everyone knows everything about BJP, but we know only those things about Congress which it wants us to know. It does makes interesting reading, but shouldn't BJP learn some elementary statecraft from its bete-noir instead of reducing itself to a soap opera.

venkat said...

Swapan, you have access to BJP at top levels and you can be considered a party insider. Is it possible that your choices (Modi - Jaitley) could be biased due to proximity? You mention 2002 and 2007, are these references to Gujarat assembly elections? In 2002 and 2007, it was like a 10% lead for bjp in assmbly (50% bjp to 40% congress or something). In 2004 and 2009, parliament elections, the bjp lead narrowed to 4%.

Is there a possibility that what worked in gujarat assembly polls are not working in gujarat LS polls? And also that what works in gujarat may not work in rest of the nation?

There are a lot of important things for the BJP now - creditable performance in the parliament, building organization in UP, TN, AP, WB, securing the current dominance in Karnataka, gujarat, Chatt., arresting the decline in Rajasthan, Uttarakand (point to infighting)... It is daunting, and it feels really depressing.

The last thing we want now is a reluctant Advaniji being thrust to be leader of opposition because the rest of the BJP wants to all have a stake for the seat in 2014. Extremely depressing.

Sanjay said...

BJP should cross the bridge when it comes. The more important issue is the selection of leader of the opposition or leadership shuffle if I may say so. My take on the issue is that BJP needs to think outside the box now, does it need to select leaders just for the heck of it or to counter their bete noir, if it is the latter then they will need one set of strategy and leadership for India and the other for Bharat. I would suggest Sushma Swaraj, Prakash Javdekar and Shahnawaz Hussein as their "Bharat face", however I can't think of anyone who can be the "India face" to better Manmohan Singh, perhaps BJP may need to rope in an outsider of equal caliber like may be E Sreedharan, Narayanmurthy, or Bimal Jalan.

spri said...

Projecting NAMO as the Leader of BJP will be a blunder in my opinion.

India is a Center Left (with a tinge of socialism). Making NAMO as leader will mean BJP is going right. You like it or not, NAMO is seen as a Right Wing Leader. BJP should not spend 2-3 years trying to rewrite that.

They should move to the Center and Form a Anti-Congress Coalition. Tag Congress as corrupt and hit them Continually so that by 2014 the idea will be en grained in the Voters mind similar to 1989.

The Voters to the right will have no choice other than vote for BJP, what BJP needs is Voters from the Center.

Mehul J. Rajput said...

swapanda, I believe you have access to BJP top brass or it seems so. My only request is that we need to have a good media which can show case what bjp is doing. BJP is being said as communal while MMS says "Muslims should have first right on the resources of india". Why media didnt high light this? Why media didnt high light the failure of the current govt in curbing terrorism. We need a media channel of our own which can project news neutrally or with a little bias towards bjp. All current media are against BJP and pro congress, you can see it from the gleeful smile on each of their faces when congress wins and their down face when bjp wins like in gujarat, karnataka etc.

also, please refer to some of the comments given in the

they contain some good comments which can be given thought by bjp team.

Anonymous said...

Swapan Da, there is one thing which I seriously DO NOT UNDERSTAND !.

We have been screaming on the roof tops and have lost our voices by S-C-R-E-A-M-I-N-G that we need a 24*7 RIGHT WING HINDI AND ENGLISH CHANNEL to counter the propaganda machine of congress party.

We have been SCREAMING and i literally mean SCREAMING since the past 1.5 years about this. This was also posted in the advani forums and absolutely noone in the BJP seems to care !!!.

I do not understand what it takes for the BJP to understand this?.

If it is a matter of money I am willing to shell out Rs.10 Lakh from my side and I will spend more when the time comes.

This is a very nominal amount to save our nation from Congress party.

Just once put it in somewhere that you need funds for a 24*7 News channel and I am damn sure that there will be millions of Indians willing to put in money like me.


socal said...

Hindutva wasn't even an issue in this election. Modi and Advani, two most prolific campaginers of the BJP only talked about development and their rivals.

I think those asking Modi to soften his tone forget that political rhetoric is a must to articulate your view points. Congress(Rahul, Sonia) get away with it because media does their dirty job 24x7. I was puzzled why they even needed ad budget, except to payback for the media's hardwork perhaps.

Regarding the minorities too, it is unwise to court the minorities. You cannot outdo Congress on Congressi tactics. BJP will either be accused of soft-Congressim, thereby alienating centrist Hindus or soft-appeasement (alienating all Hindus). What Modi has been doing in his speeches (service to all, and appeasement to none) is good enough. It's sincere and just as should be: fair and straightforward.

There's hardly any need to apologize for this stance or anything else. I read this somewhere on the internet, but it's worth internalizing:
" It will never exhaust the left to produce indignation-inducing moments. They cannot be made to tire of it. They can’t be rebuked out of it; in fact, the more attention we pay, the more we tear our hair out, the more the whole dynamic is like parents being jerked around by a toddler’s calculated bids for attention."

Anonymous said...

I totally disagree the notion that BJP have to abandon its Hindu Nationalist ideology last 2 election BJP experimented with it’s so called ‘’development’’ campaign result disastrous outcome. Swapn Da you have to understand one thing clearly that everybody prefers original stuff therefore your prescription to transform BJP into a Congress like party (no ideological orientation, Muslim appeasement, undisciplined non cadre based nature ) will only worsened BJPs creditability because if BJP try to become Congress then definitely I will vote for Congress simple equation ! I think BJP should go back to its basic
1) First fix the house there is lot of infighting going on among 2nd rank leader they don’t have any ideology just grabbing power and making money has become their sole agenda purge them from the party I recommend bringing new people from RSS and VHP organization ( committed to Hindu nationalism, honest, dedicated , discipline) to the decision making body
2) Last two election BJP get very negative treatment form the mainstream bias media therefore its should be BJPs upmost priority to have their own TV and newspaper ( if regional party like CPIM can do it in West Bengal and Kerala why it is difficult for National party like BJP I don’t get the logic)
3) Hanging with the chattering lazy ass middle class people in Urban area will not help BJP to gain ground (it give a false impression that it is a party for elitist supper rich people) there is a lot of dissatisfaction among core voters of BJP about their policy direction address them honestly and wisely better co-ordination should is required with other sister organization in Sangh parivar because they always work among rural common people therefore they can help BJP to gain votes in heartland
4) Swapan Da you want to make BJP like a replica of The Swatantra party (elitist, land lord party) of 1960s however I can challenge you if BJP follow your prescription again they will suffer another dose of debacle

No Mist said...

one thing seems to be clear from the above discussion ---

modi is a highly polarising issue even within bjp supporters ... his arrogance does not make ppl comfortable ... i admire his intelligence and am a fan of him ... but i will not blame anybody if they do not like him. vajpayee was a very tall leader but he was humble. he never hit anybody below the belt ... such things go a long way in politics ... i know of many muslims who voted for vajpayee ... all of them are now repulsed by modi, varun combo ...

why do we have to be so dependent on only modi ... surely we can find sombody else who is acceptable to all ... MMS was dusted out from a university (or maybe RBI) .. why cannot the BJP find somebody like that ... please let us come out of the rss straight jacket ... that is the real budhiya of india, not congi ...

we must do a nation wide talent search ... and install democracy inside our party ... unless we do that we will be the punching bag of everybody ...

Ponniyin Selvan said...

It is unfair to target Advani. People seem to forget that he was singularly responsible for getting BJP to where it is now. If not for Advani you might not be having this discussion cause BJP would never have been in a position to be even the party of opposition forget of Government. I think it is a correct move to let Advani stay on till a better successor is found. You need to ensure that the transition is smooth and there is no bloodshed!! With Advani still around it is possible.

socal said...

Lastly, in no mature democracy does a public leader gain ascendancy or recognition without, well, speaking his heart out to and for the public. Obama managed to vanquish the opposition, and the establishment within his own party, because he spoke of the people's mind. If the right wishes to reach people, it has to pierce through the smokescreen of the media. Every rightist leader of the recent past has had to scale this barrier. The only way to do it is to empty your heart out to the public, despite the media, and not because of it. Reagan did it, so did Sarkozy, and so Boris Johnson, and so will David Cameron. If the leftist media ever was appeased by the right's overtures it would be out of business. They care about their survival more than anything. The moment the right succumbs to this temptation it will be finished.

Arjun said...

Can Modi fight Rahul Gandhi?

SAN said...

Swapan,Please ask the BJP leadership at least now to revamp the entire setup in Tamilnadu.Under L.Ganesan the party has become a B team of congress.plenty of infigting.In so many years what has he done for the growth of the party?He was busy trying to score points with C.P.Radhakrisnan.If at all BJP has to grow in TN it should have a dynamic leader rather than an arm chair leader like L.G

Sudhir said...

All those who are gunning for Modi's head have not analyzed the election result. So let me put my point forward.

If we analyze the huge victory of congress, it is mainly due to states of WB, Andhra, TN, Kerala, Maharashtra, UP and Rajasthan.

1) West Bengal - Is Modi responsible for victory of Cong+. I do not think so. Even if Modi was totally absent Cong+ would have won. People were so fed up with CPM that they voted CPM out and requirement was any part that was not CPM. So Cong+ won by default as BJP has no presence. So Modi-no Modi absolutely makes no difference

2) Kerala - Same as above. Also rumours are that RSS cadres were asked to transfer their votes to Cong+ to defeat the goons of CPM who have been very brutally killing the RSS cadre.

3) Andhra and TN - The important message is you can outsource an election victory to others. BJP did not even put up candidates in all seats of AP and TN and expected TDP or AIADMK to defeat Cong+. Can you point to me one leader in these 2 states who has worked for 5 years and revive the party. When you depend on a ally to work win election for you, he will eat your votes and when he leaves you after becoming strong you are left high and dry in middle of desert. (Also applies to orissa). So what do people expect that Modi will give some 10 speeches and sweep the state. Not going to happen. What Modi does is galvanize the grass root worker who wins elections. You cannot galvanize a non-existant worker.

4) Rajasthan - Modi campaingned here extensively. But if you expect him to clean the crap left behind by the Vasundhara Vs Shekawat Vs Jaswant squabbles trying to propagate their dynasties then you are being very naive. There is a price to pay for all internal fights.

5) Maharashtra - MNS played a spoiler. If you look at the data, there are atleast 12 seats in Maha where MNS got more votes than the margin by which Cong+ defeated BJP+ candidates.

6) UP - Maybe Modi had some effect but Varun I think had a greater effect in polarizing. Also I damn sure that media would have come out some other thing to show BJP in negative light even if Modi was not there or Varun had not spoken what he is being alleged to have spoken. Remember there were CDs after CDs coming out in media during the last UP assembly election. Almost all BJP leaders like Kalraj mishra, Lalji Tandon were being accused of fathering a CD by the media. Also one more thing, You cannot win UP without projecting a strong leader dedicated to the party.

So my take away from this election. We lost the election because we did not have enough Modis in different states. Whereever we had strong leadership working for the people we won. So goal of BJP should be to create more Modis in each and every state.

Harsh said...

My first reaction to the election results was
Aaargh!! but as in sunk in , on the bright side at
least the communists are gone and we do have a stable
government for the next 5 years.The congress despite
all its failings is a Patriotic party albeit with
a more rosy eyed view of the world.
Some of the the things which I think came out are:
1.BJP needs to convey a centre -right policy rather than a far right. why not promise Ram rajya instead of Ram mandir.Why not resolve to make Ayodhya a ultra modern town ,The envy of every other city in Bharat.
2. People across rural India revere the Gandhi family and kudos to Rahul Gandhi for the strategies that he employed, his campaign and the success that the achieved.Any attempt to sling mud on the Gandhis will be met with derision by the Indian masses.Good luck to
Rahul Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for they have the huge responsibility to take
Bharat forward in the 21st century.
3.The BJP has to play a meaningful role in the opposition, raising concerns about infiltration from bangladesh,foreign policy decisions ,primarily revolving around China,Pak and the USA.
They will have to keep up pressure on the govt to
make the people of India secure from terrorists by
ensuring support to the intelligence mechanism that we have. It is time that we push for more accountability
,coordination and results from our intelligence agencies .
Infrastructure projects should be monitored to ensure
that maximum no of road construction/power projects are
takes up and completed in a exemplary manner.
4.The BJP will have to keep faith in its ability to revive like the Congress did.
Napoleon Bonaparte once said,"Courage isn't the strength to go on,It is going on when you don't have the strength". BJP needs courage.

Bharath P.M said...

Narendra Modi's USP is Gujarat, Gujarat and Gujarat. The best thing for him to
do for the next 4 years is to deliver the goods in his state and let his
work speak for him.
You are absolutely right when you say that he has to curb some of his
rhetorical excesses to avoid giving media a chance to target him.
However, I also have a serious doubt that he views the national media, both
English and Hindi with a great deal of suspicion even when the media asks
him seemingly innocuous questions.
Apart from that, aggressive posturing of all people being treated equally in Gujarat is needed.
This may not lure the Muslims rightaway but will create an overall positive sentiment
among those who previously doubtful of his credentials.
Modi's acceptability is the only barrier in his way of leading the nation.
Modi will get the votes of Hindutva backers even if he does not utter a word
about it! The question is how will he attract the other sections. The BJP think-tank should somehow sort this.

Venkat said...

There are 150 comments to this post. Only one suggests Advaniji should continue as LOP till a 'better' successor is found. The question is not 'better' successor - you may never be able to find a better successor to Advaniji. Never again. The issue now is the pathetic attempt of every other leader to buy time so he/she can sneak in as the candidate for 2014.

Most other commenters are unanimous that Advaniji should be allowed his wish to retire and the party should elect its next LOP in a democratic way.

Is the BJP so gone that they can not see the anguish? Advaniji had the magnanimity and selflessness to project Vajpayee and stand aside. Can the other leaders show a fraction of that interest for the party?

Arvind said...

Yeah BJP has grown to this level because of Advani. But that was another era. Things have changed so much in the last 10-15 years and BJP also has to change now. There is no need to feel ashamed in diluting some of the party's "core" ideas. This happens to every party once it crosses the initial "hyper growth" stage and it is in the "mature growth/ no loss" stage. BJP should be a reflection of people's view rather than just sticking to the core and expecting that people are going to flock to the party!!

I'm sad that LKA is being retain as Leader of Opposition. Only decent explanation is "BJP is in a state of show and still analyzing the electoral defeat" and will let go of LKA within a year or so. My suggestion for replacement will be Sushma Swaraj.

A BJP Worker said...

Swapan Da,

If possible, can you please show the below video to Advaniji? the concession speech by Shri John McCain. The man who almost gave his life for the country and thoroughly deserved to be the President of the United States. I request you to point to Shri Advani two things. 1. John McCain is amidst his supporters on the day of the election/counting looking them directly in their eye and talking to them. 2. And he is thanking them.

This is the third day since BJP lost the elections. In this time we heard that Shri Advani called up Soniaji and Manmohanji. We heard that he told Shri Jaitley and Shri Babir Punj about his decision to "step down". We also heard about him stopping his insistence to "step down" in a Parliamentary Board meeting. And he probably even spoke to distinguished 'party non-members' like you.

But we are waiting. We, nearly a million BJP/Sangh workers who worked for several months to make Advaniji, the Prime minister. This 'We' includes,

1. the guy who sat in an auto all day in scorching sun and shouted his lungs out.
2. the sangh volunteer who took few weeks off from work and toiled in some other town or city or village.
3. the pamphlet throwing boy who went door-2-door.
4. the girl who knocked several middle/upper hundred doors to seek their votes and was chased away by dogs.
5. the local leader who cajoled, pleaded and lead his boys to work several hours a day.
6. the vote slip distributor who climbed stairs of apartments and handed the chit carrying the Kamal.
7. the guy/girl who used his/her office computer to forward a copy of the BJP IT vision or the manifesto or what not.
8. the NRI guy who spent his nights following every detail of this election and filled several blogs with comments.
9. the guy who worked the phones calling several hundred volunteers a day and ensured that they are on the field.
10. the guy who volunteered in the kitchen and fed other hungry workers returning from the field.


We are all waiting. Waiting for a 2 minute press conference or a single statement from Advaniji thanking us for working for the party.

And no sir, most of us don't even know how to open a browser. So we can't read the message put up by Shri Anupam Trivedi or his boys at

We may not mean anything to Advaniji. But he meant a lot to us that we spent the last several months/years dreaming for him and the last few days crying for him. We atleast deserve to be looked in the eye and told Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I see so much support for Sushma Swaraj here. Given the state of the party, it makes me sort of wonder if this thread is being used as a campaign tool by an insider :-)

I dont know if she had any strong administrative record of running any party unit. And having been ex CM of delhi, not clear why she could not have worked for the party in Delhi rather than choosing a safe seat in Vidisha.

My wish is for a proven administrator from running a party unit, excellent electoral record, communicator in english and Hindi, under 50 years of age to be the Leader of opposition.

but anyway, the party elders have other priorities. So let us wallow in our misery and forget about BJP ever coming back on the national scene.

Indian Nationalist said...

Swapan Da few points:

a. Hindutva WAS NOT even an issue in the election. So do not blame Hindutva as the cause for the BJP defeat.

b. If you are asking to abandon Hindutva , you are killing the party.

c. Even today Millions of Hindu cannot forget the atrocities inflicted on the Hindu culture, Hindu people and religion by people from Foreign lands (namely mideast) for no fault of us.

d. We hindus have always got a raw deal. Our country was broken into 2 to accommodate the feelings of the foreign religion and what did we get in return?.....We did not even get our country back. The same people stayed back and today they have again increased their population back.

Those same people who get another country in 1947 are today deciding the fate of our country.

We Hindus have always got a raw deal.

Please do not ask BJP to abandon Hindutva

I, Me, Myself ! said...

Swapan da,

I am pretty disappointed at the way BJP lost the election. It contributed in great part to Congress victoy! Your analysis is spot on. I did mine too :-)... you/others can read it here too


Anonymous said...

Swpan Da
When you say BJP should try to reinvent itself as a Moderate party acceptable to the middle class India, you are conceding that BJP is a hardcore extremist party of Hindutva. But clearly it is not that case it is the perception created by the sickular media. I see the BJP of 2009 is more of centrist party with a slight tilt towards right. It already abandoned its hard stance against terror,Article 370,Uniform Civil code and lot of other contentious issues. And they are still called an extremist party by the "beautiful" people in the media. If BJP still dilute their agenda then they will become CONG(lite) and it destroys the raison d'etre of the BJP. Sure there are fringe elements in the Hindu right whose actions are attributed to BJP by the vicious media. But the atrocities of the CON party and COMMIE goons are suppressed and they are projected as the great saviour of the India.

So my point is you can't change your core beliefs just because the media thinks its extremist. We have to create a nationalist media to counter these lies or we may never come back to power. The sad truth is perception is everything in politics.We have to stick with NaMO and go to the people with him. If they don't want him we can't do much about it. We are who we are and we can't change our belief for the sake of power.

Anonymous said...

i feel, BJP needs to do some grass roots level research, basically empirical research of what people want from a national party, i guess for carrying out such a survey it will need an army of sociologists and researchers but it will pay great dividends, moreover it seems that a lot of people could not vote coz there names were not on the electoral lists or they did not have voter id cards, my feeling is that after a nationwide survey is carried out by the BJP, a process can be started by getting voter id cards made for people who are recognised by the survey to be potential BJP voters, i am ready to take a part in such an exercise if BJP feels that it needs to be carried out, the future policies of the party can be based on this exercise, moreover social engineering formula has to be applied, take survey teams to Dalit dominated areas, use quota sampling and structured/semistructured interview techniques to know the aspirations of the Dalits, and then vow them, the upper caste+dalit formulation will be a boon, i am saying this because it seems that in these elections dalits have not been allowed to vote in quiet a few parts of the country. i guess a nationwide survey will have to be carried out by the BJP, moreover BJP should start choosing candidates who are a bridge between the two indias (rural and urban), rahul gandhi, actually vows urban india whereas the regional leaders vow rural india, candidates who can bridge this divide and can appeal to both these domains will be successful in winning elections. Such candidates can be found in first generation university graduates and postgraduates who have a high intellectual capability. in the end i feel that modi should b the future pm candidate for the BJP, he is the gen next of the BJP, we need more people like him.

sarathy.amudhan said...

Swapan Da,
Some of my thoughts on this drubbing.
- The mandate to BJP is clear that it should work as a constructive opposition. The voters seem to be in favour of National parties marginalising the blackmailers.
- To start with do not contest for the speaker's post. BJP can either vote in favour of the Confidence motion or abstain instead of voting against the motion. This will generate goodwill and also prevent the smaller parties from blackmailing.
- Nation should come before everything else any positive policy should whole heartedly be supported if it is good for the country.
- Should not resort to holding up the proceedings, hungama. Proper protest without wasting the nations time and money, only should be resorted to.
- Negative campaigning should have been avoided. Mr. Advani should have stuck only to positive issues and avoided directly taking on the PM.
- Controversial issues should be put on the back burner and development issues should have been the main plank.
- BJP got sidetracked by non issues raised by media and tied itself into knots trying to explain these issues, thereby falling into the trap. BJP should have set the agenda and avoided non issues..
- Cong made issues like withdrawal of Red corner alerts, bringing in black money stashed away in Swiss Banks, Anti Sikh riots, etc into non issues.
- It appears that the urban electorate has deserted BJP. Efforts should be made to capture the imagination of this category.
- BJP ruled states should act like model states and invest heavily on education, infrastructure (roads, bridges, piped water supply, underground drainage, etc), and healthcare. Should be synonymous with Good governance.
- BJP had to sustain a hostile campaign against it by the media. It should strategise to counter , neutralise / reduce hostility. Media handling and PR should be done by professionals, who can be employed by the party.
- BJP should promote its own channel / Newspapers to be run by professionals for objectivity and credibility - of course minus the hostility and bias.
- Should consciously develop youth and media savvy persons to handle media. A select band of 50 to 100 people should undergo intensive sessions on media handling and PR. Sessions to be handled by both Indian and Foreign experts. The representative in the debates on the media, seminar etc should present the young face of BJP.
- BJP should cultivate interest groups, intellectuals, NGOs to take such issues through the Court, RTI, articles, letters to editors, seminars, internet etc. These interest groups can keep these campaigns alive throughout without these things having to surface only at the time of elections.
- Should cultivate Journalists, who can present the party’s point of view.
- BJP should take part in all Bye elections (both for assembly and Parliament) especially in states like Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal Andhra where the party is weak by fielding a National level leader or a sitting MPs ( People like Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Sidhu, Rudy, Shahnawaz Khan, Naqvi etc). Even if they lose it does not matter as this will enable the party to get visibility, galvanise the cadres and develop a Base in these states. Party can draw upon its cadres from other states for these bye elections and run a focussed campaign, which otherwise would not be possible during the general elections.
- The party should work with 2014 in mind. Senior leaders should go into Rajya Sabha and a majority of the seats should be given to younger candidates thereby passing on the baton to the next generation.
- The party should expand its base. Should be broad based across all regions, religion, caste, class etc.

Anonymous said...

I don't think we should have a knee-jerk reaction. It is sensible for Advani to continue for now, and
find a successor with an year or so. And as offstumped pointed out, it should be done using ballots.

The need of the hour is to start preparing for MH elections and also plan strategies to regain UP and other states.

Anonymous said...

Some thoughts, with respect:

1. Those who espouse ideological purity are made of the same strand as the communists i.e. waiting for the revolution. It is not likely to happen anytime soon.

2. BJP should not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Advani realized this and found Vajpayee, NaMo will do well to find his own version of Vajpayee.

3. Keep your negatives down. BJP manages to frighten a lot of people. Congress seems to have been a beneficiary of the TINA factor in this election.

4. Varun Gandhi episode was the equivalent of the Jeramiah Wright moment for the BJP. Instead of cutting off ties, BJP tried to defend the indefensible. Congress, on the other hand, cut its losses on many ocassions. It ameliorated blowback after 26/11 by sacrificing Patil and Maha CM. Then again, cut its losses by revoking tickets of Sajjan Kumar et al. It had the last laugh.

5. Do not fret endlessly. Get to work on the next assembly elections. If you control many state governments, you are still very much in the game. A win in key state like Maharashtra could change this whole hand wringing.

Anonymous said...

I think at this stage BJP needs a bottom up approach. Instead of concentrating on top leadership, it should concentrate on how to strengthen the party at state level. And to play role of an effective opposition, senior leaders should be named as shadow ministers.

Rudraroop Sengupta said...

I too think that without the right corrective measures, we are staring down the road of irrelevance. Allow me to offload my angst a bit.

1. The criticism of the campaign's lack of finesse is valid. In general, the BJP has to seriously polish up it's act. If there was one lasting visual which put off urban voters, it was the disgraceful act of opening up cash bags in parliament.

2. Serious disconnect with the issues. BJP has to connect with the audience at an emotional level, and not with facts and figures. For example, corruption is not a strong an issue with the masses, yet repeatedly BJP wasted energy on debating the details of the Swiss bank money.

Looking forward..

1. Let LKA be the leader of the opposition for the next 3 years. And please, this time, be a worthwhile opposition. In fact, go easy on the government and make parliament work smoothly as never seen before. People will take note of it if there are no walk-outs and noisy sessions. You can instantly win back the sympathy of the public by doing this.

2. No one should be projected as an immediate successor. Right now, each one of the second level leaders are losers and undeserving of a promotion. Let the next 3 years decide the next hierarchy of leadership, based on internal assessment. Keep a low profile, and concentrate on base expansion.

3. Get rid of non-performers. Two people I can think of right away who should immediately be sacked are the party psephologist GVLN Rao and Sudheendra Kulkarni.

4. About the media. There is a limit to seeing BJP leaders and sympathisers doing the Kalidasa on rigged news programs.
Enough is enough. I would serious doubt the ability of the BJP to govern this country if they can repeatedly allow these news outlets to puncture their interests. I would recommend a blanket ban of all BJP related folk on english news channels. Why lend credibility to your ill-wishers? Concentrate instead on ground level activism and local media. ABV and LKA could build the party without giving hourly sound bytes.

5. More or less Namo? Both. More Namo in the background, less Namo in the foreground. Let him continue the good work in Gujarat for the next 3 years, and speak less about it. His deeds will speak for themselves. In the meantime, let the SC proceedings continue and I expect him to be acquitted. Let him then emerge, triumphant.

Arjun said...

Dear Swapan,

Kumar Kelkar made an excellent point about the real struggles within the Sangh Parivar involving the BJP. I elaborate on that point in the following manner:

1. Who is the ideological head of the sangh parivar? Is it Savarkar or Gowalkar?

If it is Savarkar, then hardcore old style political hindutva followers such as Modi will lead the political charge.

If it is Gowalkar, then Modi stands no chance for Gowalkar's concept of cultural nationalism was not as rigid or rabid as Savarkar's.

Savarkar was never the ideological fountainhead of the RSS but was respected greatly for his patriotism.

Gowalkar was the dominant philosophical figure in the RSS and was a centrist who's vision did not exclude any Indians(read Muslims and Christians) provided they put country before self.

I believe that all the comments in your blogs about going the rigid or centrist way are in the end reflections on the ideological struggles within the BJP and the Sangh Parivar itself. What form and shape should the BJP take? This is not just a political question but a deep ideological question that puts the BJP at existential crossroads. With Modi, we are looking at a BJP that is exclusive, rigid and difficult to partner with.

Given how India is today, What the BJP needs is a young,dynamic and inspirational leader from the Gowalkar school of thought.

In my opinion, The philosophy of this school of thought is ideal for the India of the 21st century. It frankly addresses all the issues that the BJP faces today that is leading to its marginalization in the country. The problem is that it must be decided ASAP which way the Sangh and the BJP want to go. It is tempting to go the Modi way but again,just like the Gujarat riots, it will be a short term battle won but the eventual philosophical and political war ,lost.

Anonymous said...

sorry for being off topic but i ha d a question
and had to post it on the current and active blog.

can someone please explain why the upa ruled states had no anti-incumbency,unlike the nda and left ruled states.
One call from sonia to chawla and her cms would be sufficient.Can the central ec under congress picked nominees collude with upa state cms in rigging seats especially the close seats.Delhi,haryana and maharashtra congress actually gained and there was a surge in tamil nadu in the last hour even thou allianec math was higher for admk than dmk and vijaykanth could cut into both dmk and admk.Congress was expecting to lose as per rahul conference and even if they won rightfully against the left in two states,this alleged collusion could still help them in may seats in their own upa states.Karunanidhi would hav egladly agreed to collude and so would ysr,gehlot,sheela,hooda all from the congress culture.The english media is in congress pocket and only in india it gangs up against the opposition instead of being a watchdog,it is a masked congress campaigner.

My real concern is that this angle shoul atleast be considered and investigated and ruled out

also I have not seen any article that explains exactly how the evm's software work,who guards them before counting and whether they are tamper proof.All india has a right to know
but english media are owned by congress

Anonymous said...

namo is being hounded per a worldwide agenda by the pseculars (read proxy islamist hindu haters).He was denied a visa due to the mullah-marxist-missionary lobby in the us which teesta visited a number of times to lobby.THe media hid this just like they blanked out godhra train fire for one day after the fire and would have hidden it as much as possible.And thus incensing the hindus and then pouring oil for trps and to impress their friends in the ummah worldwide.tHat is how teesta and several media others have become rich and keep the godhra issue alive and thrive on this divisive hatred.And then they blame modi.

Anonymous said...

During Manmohan’s first term, the media did not play the role it usually does in criticising the government. Classic example of this was the spin to blame 26/11 on “all our politicians” when the UPA should have been pilloried as they were ruling both the Central and State governments.

This media management by Congress to spin events away forced the BJP to go negative against Congress by itself. Plus the Congress did not have to get involved in criticising BJP as the media did not similarly spin away and indeed went out of its way to find negative events that could be attributed to the BJP (rightly or wrongly).

This last part is important, because as we saw with Sonia’s “Maut Ka Saudagar” comment, our voters tend to be put off by strident negative criticism from

Anonymous said...

If I may say so, NaMo does not have to directly apologize for the Gujarat riots by getting up in front of a stage. He can do it in other ways such as by showcasing the rehabilitation of the riot victims. Of course, BJP will still need good media management to get this out in front of voters.

Alternatively, NaMo can run alongwith a Muslim leader as a candidate for Deputy PM. That will neutralize the opposition's attack and attract Muslim voters in the same way that Manmohan did for Congress and Sikhs.

Anonymous said...

How about a NaMo + Shahnawaz Hussain team for 2014? Hussain, born in 1968, will get the youth and Muslim vote. Let INC and the p-sec media go berserk explaining why this team is “communal”.

MVR said...

Swapan Da, How much of it can be attibuted to money power and Man Power of Congress. Don't you see anything fishy in these elections and election results?? How can a Congress Leader in AP predict the results as it is before the results??

Another thing, BJP should plan some media house. Its voice is not reaching common man. It should stop internal bickering. Please send these messages to the party leaders. They are playing with millions of educated supporters. Otherwise God Save BJP and God Save this great nation.

Satya said...


How about projecting a solid team of 5 people, like Sushma, Jaitley, Modi, Nalin kohli, Shahnawaz Hussain/Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi?

This takes care of youth, Urban cosmopolitan polished voters, women, Muslims. Also, except Kohli, all of them have experience being ministers at national level.

Anonymous said...

Swapan da, Jaitley -Modi duo needs to be examined.

Jaitley has to take some responsibility for the flawed campaign strategy.

Also, BJP needs to find out if Namo is really acceptable outside of the hardcore BJP supporters.

Shankar said...

Modi campaigned in 20 seats in Maharashtra, Sena-BJP won only 3

Your previous post, "They won all the battles.." is a must read for the BJP think tank.

Karan said...

Hey Swapanda,
We are observing a shift towards congress in the urban youth. I think part of the reason is secular media, which is not being fair to BJP leaders. This increases the urgency of having something similar to FOX news in India. I know you have discussed this in your blog. I would like to know what BJP leaders think about this.

robin said...

Dear All,
So many theories are floated for BJP and possible allies defeat. Real reason is DMK set up DMDK ,Congress Chiranjeevi and Pawar MNS. See the result.50 constituencies were gifted to congress.

So it is not BJP policy which failed but the new game changer namely the vote splitter

The Congress-led UPA has three men to thank for its seat surge in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls: Raj Thackeray, Chiranjeevi, and Vijayakanth. They helped the victorious alliance win nearly 50 more seats in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu than anyone would have expected, as a result of which the UPA ended up with 262 seats, against the 222 it won in 2004.
The big story is in Andhra Pradesh, where matinee idol Chiranjeevi single-handedly took the Congress from defeat to victory and shattered Telugu Desam Party chief N Chandrababu Naidu's dreams. An analysis of the results reveals that the Chiranjeevi factor decimated the TDP in 26 constituencies. The Congress netted 33 seats, four more than in 2004.

The Andhra Pradesh results are an irony of these elections. The Congress registered a drop of 3.84% in vote share but an increase of four seats, while the TDP's vote share plummeted 14.92% and it won one more seat. If the vote share change of the two main parties is added, it is obvious where Chiranjeevi's 17% vote share came from and which party he hit.

The other actor who rescued the UPA was Vijayakanth, who scripted history in a state known for pendulum swings.

For the first time in 23 years, the Tamil Nadu verdict was split, with the DMK-Congress combine picking up 26 seats and the AIADMK-led alliance having to settle for 13.

Vijayakanth's DMDK helped the Congress-DMK combine win in 14 constituencies, including P Chidambaram's hotly contested Sivaganga. In seven others, Jayalalithaa's AIADMK alliance was precariously poised till the very end. Ultimately, it won those seats, but by narrow margins. The final tally for the UPA was 26, 18 to the DMK and eight to the Congress, in a state where the ruling alliance feared a wipe-out.

The vote share figures tell a strange story in this state too. The DMK and the Congress registered an increase in vote shares but failed to sweep the state as in 2004, when their Democratic Progressive Alliance (which included the PMK and MDMK) won all 39 seats. The AIADMK's vote share dropped by 2.79% but the party won nine seats, unlike the duck five years ago.

The third game-changer was Raj. His Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) did exactly what it was expected to do. It cut into Shiv Sena-BJP votes and helped the Congress-NCP alliance to victory in 10 constituencies. Considering that the MNS contested only 12 seats, its delivery for the Congress-NCP was almost 100%. The UPA registered a spectacular second successive sweep in Mumbai and won Pune and Thane thanks to Raj.

Anonymous said...

How about a last post-poll TV ad from the BJP assuring the nation that a new BJP will take birth soon.

maverickindian said...


NaMo is the only hope for the BJP to survive. I support NaMo for 2 reasons:

1. His RSS background, which gives wide experience of dealing with the society

2. His organizational skills, Gujrat BJP unit has united like never before under his leadership.

Now, tell me what does the BJP require more from a would national leader currently, if not what I have mentioned above.

I feel BJP has to be purged of the apologists, those who look at 2002 incidents thru. the Secular lenses must realize one thing, that up your guts and talk to a Gujrati AAM AADMI ( No Mallika Sarabhai types) and then understand the reasons behind the carnage.

Blaming NaMo for the riots is a figment of imagination of certain self hating hindus, apologists and P Sec pinkos.

NaMo is a popular leader and the entire length and breadth of the country wants to hear him speak.

If this is only the Hindu element of the masses who adore him, then so be it, it is high time that Hindus consolidated their vote in the name of religion.

If the Mullahs order the Muslims whom to vote for or the Church issues sermons on whom to vote for, then why should Hindus alone practice the Democracy Dharma?

BJP is in a position today as they forgot their core agenda Hindutva.

Anonymous said...

Swapan da, Could it be that this defeat is because of jaded image of LKA in the eyes of common people.

Maybe Namo's candidature would have offered something fresh to the masses.

gaurav said...

Hi Swapan Da, seeing the crux of debate i want to make few points-

1. Why don't we leave it to Modi to decide if he wants to take a shot at P.M. post in 2014.I am not being an idealist but it is a great chance to start U.S. like primary run offs in BJP. The advantage would be that non performers like Rajnath Singh, old timers like Joshi etc. won't harbor any funny ambitions. More over it will give an opportunity for the incoming BJP leadership to set up its own dynamics. I say this because BJP's fall in U.P. started with mishandling of Kalyan Singh. People like Lalji Tandon have been there for ages now but to no effect.

2. You mentioned the moral integrity of BJP.A TOI report says that 42 M.P's from BJP have criminal records in the new Lok Sabha, Congress is second with 41. Now if this is true then we are talking of about 35% for BJP which is frankly disgusting.What gives for the party with (a?) difference?

3. I agree with most of the people here that BJP need not oblige the electronic media per se. A press conference, media release should do it. Just have 3 descent media spokespersons..i think Mukhtar Abbas/Kohli/Rudy should do or even Parriker. If some one wants a sound byte they need to run to the BJP headquarters. Ignore all requests to be part of nightly current affairs discussions. They don't yield anything. Let these media groups understand the true value of the neccessary "evil"!! it will make there programming redundant. Deal only with the vernacular media.

4. Also the idea of a shadow cabinet is a good one. In that case the government can be kept in check which of course is now the primary responsibility of the party to the nation.

5. Finally BJP must come out of the mindset of being an injured party..a rebel against crass opportunism, pseudo secularism, dynasty...etc.
If it aspires to be the dominant right wing party it should set new rules, debates & policy documents. They must see themselves as the genuinely qualified people to tame and run the system rather than just fighting it. It is very important...& i ma done !

Anonymous said...

I think BJP has a credibility problem. It pretend to be a party of Hindus but when it comes to power it becomes sickular like Congress. Pls ask top leadership to order their CMs to deliver on Hindutva and development issues. We must be seen as Hindu party and Congress as anti-Hindu party who has done nothing for development in the last 50 years. On development issues many of ur CMs r not implementing 6th pay commission etc which makes ppl believe that this party is a B team of Congress. Its time we must be seen as party with difference. Here I'm suggesting some solutions:

1.) Send Jaitly to Lok Sabha. Ask him to fight LS election from some saffron fort I'm sure he'll win. Then make him leader of opposition. After Gujarat election send NaMo in LS. Then see the magic. The duo of both will do the same magic which Advani-Vajpayee duo did in mid 90s. I hope this become reality not a wishful thinking. But to implement this we have to get rid of ambitious Rajnath, old MM joshi, badboli Sushma.

2.) Appoint Nakul Bharadwaj as Delhi BJP president and CM-in-waiting. This will definitely give BJP a young look. Pls do something regarding ABVP; we must win Delhi university elections they play important role in shaping youth ideology. Educate engineering student abt Islam and conversion which is ruining India. Youth must know the danger of jihad and Conversion. Else they will not swing towards Right. Fear of losing cultural identity can only swing youths towards BJP. And do that we must educate youths. We need a medium perhaps a professionally run media house which runs like CNN and NDTV but have right-wing leanings.

To win 2014 we must win U.P. To win U.P pls project Varun and Yogi as the face of U.P BJP. Apologize to U.P Hindus for installing Mulayam Singh government, not fulfilling promises and doing bushiness with Maya. Promises them come what may we'll not repeat these mistakes in future. This will help u win support of Hindus who have left u b'coz of ur double speak. Pls ponder over my thoughts.

3) Moral of the cadre is down. To boost moral cadre and blunt Rahul effect we must win Maharastra assemble election. LS polls clearly tells to win LS polls we have to do business with MNS. So it'd be prudent if we all three MNS-SS and BJP fight election collectleively. After winning this pr any other election say to TV news channel that it'a defeat of Rahul charisma and Gandhi dynasty. Repeat this again and again. This will open the reality of charisma of Gandhi parivar.

3.) Ask ur CM to perform, Performance must be seen on grounds. They must be perceive as easily available, humble, pro poor, pro government employees, pro farmer and last but not the least pro-Hindu. If they and we fail to do this then we r surely doom in 2013 assembly elections (M.P, Chhtisgarh, Delhi, Rajasthan). Don't replace Vasundhara she is a good choice.

I'm a ground level worker so pls take my views seriously. I've more points to tell but due to lack of time I couldn't continue.

another_bjp_supporting_loser said...

This thread will hit 200 comments. There is no real evidence that anyone is reading this comments to
a) find out the split of opinion on issues like rss/non-rss, Modi, Next leader in parliament etc and use this feedback
b) collect suggestions on approach to media, approach to campaign, etc.

I will add my bit some more, regardless. I am just a loser anyway.

1) on media - The worst damage is when BJP representatives appear on panel discussions with Cong/Left, Left academic types, the anchor all ranged against them. To the viewer, the anchor is a neutral body because the anchor sits in the middle. These debates go along the lines of every body including the anchor saying 'you evil Hindu communal woman beating fascist, have you stopped beating your wife now' and the bjp guy responding to it for the next 10 minutes. I have seen several of these with Rudy, Prasad etc. I dont see how you can win this.

You can not tell the anchor he is being biased. You will only look a loser in addition to everything else they say.

solution - do not go to those debates at all. Limit all your media interaction to studio interviews, live discussion only with anchors (no other party representative), or press meets. In the interviews if the anchor shows his bias you can tell them they are talking like a congi agent and do that with facts.

2) our own channel - we dont want a Jaya TV/sun TV, or a 24x7 news channel. At the same time we dont want to bury our heads deep in sand and deny there is a need for media. We want a nationalistic channel. The program should be a mix of Indian history (through national geographic type programming, not stupid ramayan type serials), Indian heritage, BJP core ideology, news analysis (a thirty minute daily dose on all the biases in all of the news channels in the way they covered the news that day, and make it funny), interviews with Shourie type people. History is very important - instead of cribbing that NCERT is screwing us Hindus, we can show the right history that the marxists deny. Rather than only BJP, this can be content from all sangh organizations highlighting their work also.

I have heard Aavarana praised greatly in kannada knowing circles. Doing a serial on that, or works like that, without over dramatizing (ie dont make it look like ramayana with heavy period costumes), can be a good idea also.

Start in Hindi/English and then expand.

3. Let go of Advaniji. Please. Elect one among you as the leader of opposition.

Vinay said...

I agree to what "A BJP Worker said..." ... its time Advani addressed a press conference and accepted the peoples verdict... i know its hard...its been hard for me as well... but its time to show respect for the verdict...let us rebuild...

Vinay said...

I think the Karnataka model is the best... BJP has grown tremendously in this state in the last thing i have realized with this election is "Educated people with high paying jobs still vote based on caste"... many of my relatives have been BJP supporters for long...but this time, they voted for the Congress candidate just because he was from our caste...

BJP has got the caste combination correct in Karnataka and hence these results... Yeddy Steady Go...

ARun said...

From a previous comment-
"How about a last post-poll TV ad from the BJP assuring the nation that a new BJP will take
birth soon."
Post-poll TV ads serve no purpose. The idea sounds a bit like KKR's "re-loaded" TV ad
campaign with SRK, Brendon McCullum & co. promising to come back firing on all guns.

The best idea is for BJP to start its own TV channels (or acquire existing channels).Its
very IMPORTANT that these channels are PERCEIVED to be neutral & unbiased. Most people still believe that CNN,NDTV & co. are unbiased. Only a few(like the ones here)see through their

I agree with most of the comments that BJP must boycott these p-sec channels.

A lesson can be learnt from how the DMK uses the highly popular Sun TV. They propogate their
political agenda brilliantly without being seen as doing so.

Before 2006 assembly elections they ran an ad showin Karunanidhi's midnight arrest (where
policemen without arrest warrants were seen manhandling him & his aides). A popular film
song with apt lyrics & brilliant music provided the audio background to this ad. The ad
struck a chord with the people.

BJP needs its own national (English)channels as well as regional(vernacular)channels. Even
toothless TN Congress has 2 TV channels though nobody watches them.

- ARun (Chennai)

Anonymous said...

BJP has lost for a simple reason - they failed to deliver when it mattered. The two things that they have been stressing upon

1> Temple in Ayodhya
2> national security

They failed to construct temple. On the contrary, they called Jinnah secular and destroyed 100s of temples in Gujrat.

People of India have seen how Kandhahar was handled. They have also seen Parliament attack. They have seen late Kargil detection. People do not trust when it is said that BJP can provide national security.

Therefore, it is a very simple rule who comes to power - promises delivered or not.

Anonymous said...

Here is my take:
One of the parameters in my opinion to measure a leader is the love he has for the country and its people. Selflessness and sense of fellowship comes naturally out of this love. And their ability to relate to people is a direct consequence this same love. Though people naturally comes with varying degrees of societal consciousness, a good leader is always in the midst of the people and will never have any problem relating to them.
How many BJP leaders belong to this crop? How many feel comfortable to be in the midst of the people ?
With all due respect to LK Advani, he is not a great leader in my opinion. He ran the campaign like playing a board game with Congress. This style is popularised by Pramod Mahajan. Do you need to say that you are an iron man hundred times daily? People feel the leaders, they don't read their lips. Does Modi say all the time that he is a strong leader? But it's the people’s perception of him.
And then, there is a variety who claim to be leaders just by way of sprinkling more saffron on their faces. Rajnath and Uma belong to this crop. I don't see any sense of national service in these leaders. Jaitley though gifted many talents is not a leader, but a good manager.
The less said about RSS the better. Barring a few in RSS, many of them cannot relate to common man. I say this again, it is not a skill, but your love what works here. A true leader will never take a diktat from a bunch of socially insecure people.
Hundutva is not dead. RSS's stifling brand of hindutva never existed in India.
In my opinion, Modi is still a popular leader in the country. ELMs insecurity with him and their constant need to demonize him attests to his popularity.
Only thing BJP need to do is to come to midst of the society and let people shape and renew the party. There are already some channels like FriendsOfBJP to begin with.
With increasing terrorist violence in society, worst thing BJP can do is to get mad and behave like a headless chicken. That will be an opportunity for congress to abuse the country even more.

Anonymous said...

Recent events of Murli Manohar Joshi and some others giving unwarranted sound-bytes to media are very disturbing. BJP must not forget that despite a stong pro-congress wave, BJP was still spared of the decimation meted out to others, because people still think that it is "different" from others.
But it must not forget that people can be very ruthless in dispensing judgement. BJP owes it to its supporters to stand up for, learn from its mistakes and do justice to the faith that the people have bestowed on it.

Anonymous said...

BTW, Swapan your picture on this blog looks like that of Raj Thakrey :-)

Sanjay said...

It would be very foolish to project NaMo as PM candidate one year before and his name withdrawn three months before next election. If that is required to be done BJP must do it now, they will still have time on their side for major course corrections.

spri said...

I see lots of Posts blaming the Media, this is like cricket team complaining about Pitch/weather Conditions and the Umpire after a One sided Match.

After 5 yrs of congress rule, the Left formed the non-congress coalition whereas BJP aligned with Parties to the Right of itself. This shows how out of touch the Party is.

In the Last 5 years, LKA (Leader of opposition) did not raise a single issue which appealed to the masses. If the UPA performance is mediocre, why did we not get few issues to take on the Congress? LKA as LOP is a failure, he should recognize that and move out gracefully.

BJP has to move to the Center. If Right Wingers will move out of the Party as a result, that would be the best thing that can happen to the Party.

BJP is a Democratic Party, they will find the correct Path/Leader in the long run. Till then the wait continues.....

Swabhimaan said...

not related to this issue..just wanted to say this:

We need a marketing team for The Pioneer and its columnists. I often find that BJP supporters are not able to present their arguments strongly because they are not aware of the complete picture. This happens because they don't know that something like The Pioneer exists. It should also be published in Indian languages...atleast the online version can be hosted in Indian languages...atleast Hindi to begin with. Not everyone can understand the kind of English that is used there. Simplify it and market it aggressively...


Anonymous said...

While reading the comments, i immediately came to read this statement from pradyot Dilipala..

/** The muslims are amongst the most neglected and exploited communities in India **/

I demand him to substantiate his claim, and from what perspective did he come to this conclusion..

The muslims ruled india for over 1000 years, and hindus were subjected to harshest treatments. So we cannot say, they were neglected for centuries, as they were the rulers who imposed jizya on the whole country in the mughal era.

And even at the time of partition, the muslims were at the upper hand, and got one third of the land exclusively for islam.

So, if the muslims were exploited or neglected, the hindu community has nothing to do with it.. and why should BJP appease them?

After all BJP, as a right wing party, had accepted them long ago, with having a part of its flag as green.

If at all the muslims want to develop, they have to leave their victimisation mentality, and join the mainstream.. BJP should never appease them..

senthil said...


I am repeatedly saying that there is a heavy election rigging that had taken place. I have detailed that in my blog.

I spoke to lot of persons, and most of them are of the same opinion.

I also verified from few places, where BJP is strong in tamilnadu, and found that the election commission results shows only few votes or no votes for BJP from those Booths.

Also, what is your views about how P. Chidambaram won his seat.. i understand you might not write in public all the details.. but i just wanted to know, if you are daring enough to write the truth..

senthil said...


I am repeatedly saying that there is a heavy election rigging that had taken place. I have detailed that in my blog.

I spoke to lot of persons, and most of them are of the same opinion.

I also verified from few places, where BJP is strong in tamilnadu, and found that the election commission results shows only few votes or no votes for BJP from those Booths.

Also, what is your views about how P. Chidambaram won his seat.. i understand you might not write in public all the details.. but i just wanted to know, if you are daring enough to write the truth..

Know the verity said...

Dada u used to react to our comments why u r not doing that now ? Is it due to lack of time, shock of defeat or something else ?

Mahesh Prabhu said...

Out of the 266 young MPS elected.70 are from congress ,how many from BJP.i guess the list if more in BJP than in Congress.
Still the media highlights Rahul gandhi handpicked youth in congress to stand for MPs.
In that 70 ,i am sure some are brought up with silver spoon including him.
Media sucks.

senthil said...

I would particularly reply to "No Mist"..

/** no one can be india's pm if they are seen to disfavor one ciommunity ... whether it is muslim, hindu, sikhs, dalits or anybody ... please think about it carefully and objectively ... this is beyond any doubt to me

If no one can be india's PM if they disfavor one community, how come MM and antonio maino, became the PM & super PM respectively, even after saying that Muslims have the first right over india's resources..

Is the the kind of secularism that indian people are supporting..

Again, i am requesting all people to focus on the possibility of election riggings..

Because, such a big victory is unbelievable, and in fact not possible in a highly anti-incumbency wave..

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