Total Pageviews

Follow by Email

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Picking up the pieces

The more heartening feature of the 200 or so comments to my earlier posting is the frankness of views (including the observation that I bear an uncanny resemblance to Raj Thackeray). There is no structured forum where people of broadly similar views and concerns can state their views bluntly. The BJP certainly offers no platform for free and frank discussion--the National Executive meetings have become an occasion for leaders to deliver speeches. I have not censored anything, including the uncharitable comments on leaders, in the belief that BJP functionaries should gauge what the party's supporters truly feel.

I do recognise that a dialogue on internet conducted in English (and also involving non-residents whose concerns and perspectives are a little distant) is a very limited exercise. Still, it is a modest start.

I want to emphasise the importance of a candid discussion in the light of the BJP's reluctance to dissect the debacle. Having re-anointed Advani as Leader of Opposition, the party leadership has retreated into a shell.


It is clear from the responses that there is a sharp division on many counts:

  • Some people say Hindutva is the soul of the party and without Hindutva the BJP becomes another Congress. Others feel that aggressive Hindutva is the road to political oblivion.
  • Modi, as usual, evokes controversy. He is somehow associated with hard Hindutva. Those who feel that the BJP should become more centrist feel that Modi isn't nationally acceptable. The pro-Hindutva lot think ideology overrides the importance of individuals.


There are three main areas of agreement:

  • The BJP must seriously take up work in states such as Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra and West Bengal where its presence is nominal.
  • There is implicit agreement of the fact that the BJP will have to fight its battles alone, without the benefit of alliances.
  • There is agreement that the media, particularly the English-language media, is viscerally hostile. Most of those who commented felt that alternative media space should be probed. (Please see my posting: "A 'nationalist' TV channel?" of March 18, 2009)


  • I think that strident Hindutva of the early-1990s variety is looked upon with disfavour by large sections of the population. The BJP must take steps to distance itself from extremist elements. Most important, it must be seen to be doing so.
  • Development is the main concern of people. The BJP governments have a good track record of development but it is weak in the articulation of economic issues. But economics has to be the priority in the coming years. The BJP has to be totally focused on economic issues.
  • The BJP must champion social reform, particularly women empowerment.
  • What will distinguish the BJP from the Congress is an uncompromising adherence to ethical politics. Unfortunately, this is one area where the party has faltered. The Congress has stolen a march by inducting bright, young, idealistic people. This has helped it overcome the complications of dynasty.
  • The RSS is increasingly being regarded as an impediment to change in the BJP. It is replacing its old moral leadership with organisational control.
  • The party leadership looks and appears tired. The present leadership lacks combativeness. Modi, despite his flaws, is the only leader with energy and an inspirational quotient. I believe that pressure from below will catapult Modi to the national leadership.
  • Modi must project himself as an aggressive moderniser. He must take care to shed frivolity and acquire more gravitas.

We have just about begun the process of discussion. I hope it continues.

Postscript: My heart goes out to the person who slogged endlessly for the BJP and didn't even receive a modest thank you. I know the feeling too well. I feel it myself.

Technorati Tags: ,,,

104 comments: said...

Reposting: probably lost in cyberspace earlier.

Members of the BJP and BJP supporters (including myself) have always taken the high moral ground vis-a-vis the congress party.

I think we acted like we talk to God on the phone every day.

The superiority complex was clearly evident in our speeches, TV and in statements made by leaders, discussions done by supporters like me. I do not know about others, but I would start shaking with anger if anyone started a discussion and began to deny BJP its 'natural' role as high priest of Indian politics. Such was the intensity of my passion for the BJP. We came to detest the two congress spokespersons on TV who did not appear to be in awe of the BJP's superiority. (They made fun of the BJP, which was sacrilege)

Those who were not with us were against us. Those against us were 'stooges', 'corrupt', 'fools', 'pseudo secularists', 'dividing the country'.

We had any number of conspiracy theories explaining how the hindus were being owerwhelmed by this or that.

Our leaders often gave speeches that I would not like my children to hear.

It is time for a reality check.

The BJP is a political party, like other parties. It is NOT a party with a difference. We are NOT racially, intellectually superior. We do NOT claim a divine right to rule. We are NOT the natural party of governance (that is for the people to decide at every election, no party should preempt the wishes of the people).

Members/supporters of the BJP come from different strata of Indian society - as do members of other parties. We are part of Mother India which includes 81% more people who do not vote for us. We respect and understand it.

We have a clarity of vision -

Protection of the indigenous culture of the country (Malayasia, Indonesia do it)

Development with a human face (the congress is the party for the rich, funny how the BJP has got tagged with this)

These two ideas alone are enough to keep the party going.

my blog where i post every day on the BJP:

Balaji said...


Can you please elucidate why you think Narendra Modi is more qualified than Sushma Swaraj? Please don't say he inspires the BJP cadre. By that logic so does Varun Gandhi. Can you tell us how Modi is a better bet for India and its people than Sushma Swaraj?

Anonymous said...

on mark sir!! agree!!

Sudhir said...


You Said -"The BJP must take steps to distance itself from extremist elements. Most important, it must be seen to be doing so."

But without a neutral media, BJP has to bear the burden of every anti-social activity committed by any organization who have a rightist sounding name (ex: RAMA SENA- They were political opponents of BJP in Karnataka but still media made BJP answerable to their deeds)

So the importance of neutral media cannot be downplayed...

Rightist Rashtravadi said...

Swapan Ji...Thanks for your masterly treatise /prognosis
Revival and Rejuvenation have never appealed to common Hindu masses even during Chhatrapati Shivaji's Days.The mirage of HINDU Votbank through spiritual consolidation may work out some times,but its surprising that even when we sugar-coated it with Development,Governance and Security, people opted for Italian National's Congress.

With Rahul and Priyanka's heydays beginnning just now and with Atal-Advani ji era entering the twilight zone, the battle becomes both interesting and challenging.Our determination,persevarnce and unity will be at serious test from now on.



--Vijayashiv Chennai Rightist Rashtravadi

Anonymous said...


Can you please comment on this

Offstumped has nicely articulated what BJP needs?? do you agree??

Anonymous said...

Success has many fathers failures have none.

I need to discuss the media aspect with everyone here. I fully agree that there needs to be a media outlet that can air the views in an impartial manner. I have some ideas. If it is feasible to have a discussion can you please mail me at centerofrightcv - at - gmail - dot - com

Anonymous said...

"The RSS is increasingly being regarded as an impediment to change in the BJP. It is replacing its old moral leadership with organisational control."

Can you please tell us specific examples of this and how it affected electoral outcome, which seats etc? I think at this stage you can also take names and not care a hoot. what is the worst that can happen anyway beyond what has happened now...

I see repeated success stories of RSS involvement - Chattisgarh appears all due to RSS ground work. Mangalore was won despite all odds and church openly declaring that their religion should enrol, vote and turn the result with a vengeance. Any way you look at it, the way the pub incident got blown way out of proportions was unwarranted.

I would just want to exclude the possibility that some new entrants or old useless leaders of BJP dont blame the RSS because their efforts to turn BJP to another congress are facing resistance (party high command choosing candidates, dynastic plans, no voice for cadre etc)

once again, thanks. your tone though suggests that you have no direct way of reaching any of this feedback - many of them very workable - into the party leadership. Very sad really. if you feel that way, those of us leaving comments here really have no business to be doing this. Note that many comments are directly hoping that you can reach these to those in the party leadership.

Rightist Rashtravadi said...


As a matter of fact, electoral defeat is not a full-stop or be-all / end-all for a ideology-based /conviction- oriented /cadre-karyakartha contingent party,nay nationalistic fountainhead like BJP-RSS and the entire Sangh Parivar.

But, the repeated endorsement of the central 10,Janpath dynasty and its hub-spoke model dynasties (kARUNANINDHI,pAWAR,lALU,,Gowdas,Mulayam et all) by the national electorate coupled with congress's resurgence in Hindi heartland are worrisome pointers.

A Pan-Indian Approach based on responding to real people's (masses) concerns/ sensitivities /perceptions and not mere posturing for the activist /already commited volunteers gallery like you & me will be the welcome change for making the Indian Right relevant in future days.May the powers that be (includes the Almighty) give greater sagacity and foresight to the Helmsmen of Indian Right to start acting decisively in this direction -- -----RIGHTIST RASHTRAVAADI.

Anonymous said...

There is severe need for all right to center perspective to come on same platform. Why cant we have offstumped, swapan, sudherendra kulkarni, mitra etc together?

We need some platform where such right to center intellectuals come together and debate strategy, issues etc.

Anonymous said...

sudheendra kulkarni. oh so laughable. unless this anonymous poster was kulkarni himself wanting to promote himself.

and offstumped. the perfect foil for NRI jingos. 'electile dysfunctional' was his contribution to this election.

get real people. please.

spri said...

In TN, WB, AP & Kerala the Anti Congress Space is already occupied by Regional Parties. No matter what strategy it follows, BJP will only get a few seats in these states. They need to align with these Regional Parties to get even with Congress.

If NAMO becomes BJP's face, Congress will just slow down 2002 Riots cases and give BJP a slow bleeding. It looks like we have created a block that only NAMO can fix all BJP's Problem.

Anonymous said...

@ swapanda, we are unable to post out comments properly with our names, all our names are coming anonymously

NR said...

Swapan Da

If your postcript reference was to Modi( not Mitra who too campaigned in orissa etc), Many have thanked but unfortunately party is acting as some thankless tool. If it had worked they would be dancing by lifting him and now they trt to stamp him.

The utterances of candidates in UP that they dreaded Modi presence in their consti and were forced upon by party is upsetting and cheap.

Before election these very candidates went after him like hungry dogs looking for limbs to save themselves.

Now shifting their blame for not having got into peoples popular books by hardworking in the consti.

This speaks so much of the ethics currently in the party that was once hailed for being the party with a difference.

It would have been nice if Advani himself had thanked people Sunday atleast.

I hope he did express his thanks to Modi and other leaders and karyakartha who slogged it out through atleast a blog in his website.

Finally on ethical issue, whatever be the true reason behind it, i believe AJ started it in right direction with the mittal affair and i hope party proceeds in the right direction on the question of ethics. the ethics formed a vital part of hindutva.

Regarding Modi being propelled from below, nowadays the leaders seem to be airdropped from above.

I hope a transparent ballot is conducted for the leaders.

Anonymous said...


What is your view about praful bidwai adn Co.??

Anonymous said...

Swapan da, I know you worked your heart out. If you feel your contribution was not even acknowledged by the party it is a very sad state of affairs. Let me say a very warm thank you on the behalf of the BJP supporters.

budugu said...

The BJP should think beyond the next elections, I would like it to go alone in all the states. It should build the organisation from gross-root levels. When Telengana Rashtra Samithi was started, almost half the BJP workers joined TRS, just because BJP was aligned with TDP, which was againinst separate state. That mistake cost a lot to BJP, now it is nothing in the AP. Alliances for short-term for benefit, but for a party like BJP, it should go alone, no matter how much time it takes to get the power. Getting into the power should not the goal, the voice BJP should be heard everywhere.

budugu said...

No matter how much time it takes, BJP should go it all alone in all the states, it should become a pan-indian politcal organisation. It made costly mistake in AP by aligning with TDP in the 2004 elections. At that time Telengana Rashtra Samithi was formed. BJP is favourable for smaller states, but as it was aligned with TDP, it opposed it. So almost half of the party cadre joined TRS, and now you see. BJP can't win more than 2 seats! Once Telangana sent a BJP MP to parliament, it was 2 member party(Advani and Janga Reddy). Now where is the BJP in AP?? It should start working from gross-root levels in all states.

budugu said...

"Swapan da, I know you worked your heart out."
@Anonymous, Swapan is referring to AdvaniJi! not about himself, I think!

budugu said...

@anoymous, "Swapan da, I know you worked your heart out. If you feel your contribution was not even acknowledged by the party it is a very sad state of affairs. Let me say a very warm thank you on the behalf of the BJP supporters."

You are wrong, he is referring to Advani Ji.

Balaji said...

Swapan Da,

A warm thank you for your immense contribution during this election and to the Indian Right cause in general. You have shaped many of our minds.

I hope Advani will thank all those who worked for the party sooner rather than later.

RISHI said...

With reference to your PS....

As an ardent and core BJP supporter, I thank you very much for supporting and vindicating us on every possible forum. Hope the party analyzes its cause of defeat and do some introspection unlike 2004 when it behaved like an ostrich.


pradeep said...

Hi Swapan, Please answer me, do you think BJP leadership is serious about making serious changes in the organisation? Why can't BJP work quietly to achieve its idealogical objectives rather than spelling it out in its manifesto everytime. Even congress is doing that. Waiting for your response - Pradeep

Anonymous said...

This silly idea of Modi as PM should be dropped as soon as possible, otherwise the party will self destruct to a point from which it wont be able to recover. One only needs to recollect his fascist 'mian musharraf' speeches to come to the conclusion that this is no national leader.

Jaitley-Sushma may be the way forward, with Jaitley developing the party, and Sushma articulating to the voters. Also Varun Gandhi can take on the Rahul offensive in UP.

Btw, Nalin Kohli is an exceptionally good spokesperson, possibly the best across all parties. Hoping to see him take on the 4 congress court jesters - Barkha, Vikram, Rajeep and Sagarika - in the coming days. said...

The Rot Within

The BJP, at the national level sets up 'cells' on different subjects. Details of the cells are available at :

The membership of these cells is almost exclusively from Delhi/NCR suggesting that membership in some cases (not all) may simply be an extension of patronage by the party President. Here are the details:

Number of cells : 31
Number of members: 72
Out of which, from
Delhi/NCR : 43, Mumbai: 4, TamilNadu: 3, UP: 7
MP: 2, Maharashtra(exclusing Mumbai): 2, Karnataka: 2
Rajasthan: 2, Kerela: 2, Andhra: 3, Gujarat: 1
Bihar: 1, WB : 1

[The reason this caught my interest was a news item which I read an year or maybe two years earlier where some of these appointments were named. I knew one of them - if that person was a specialist in the chosen area then I was the king of timbucktoo (I am not!)]

If the members were appointed from accross the country, work for the BJP could take place all over India, involving people from different states, empowering local activists, spreading the party's reach. With modern communications technology, there was no justification to become delhi-centric.

Dinesh PC said...

"I think that strident Hindutva of the early-1990s variety is looked upon with disfavour by large sections of the population. The BJP must take steps to distance itself from extremist elements. Most important, it must be seen to be doing so."

Swapan da: You are totally off the mark here. Are you saying that people do not care about Uniform Civil Code, Haj Subsidies, anti-terrorism laws, anti-conversion laws?

If you talk to most ordinary Hindus on these issues, even those that voted for the Congress, without bringing politics into the discussion, they will agree with you.

Next time when you take a cab in Delhi or Mumbai, talk to the driver on what he thinks about a Muslim being allowed 4 wives.

Next time when you come across a teenager that terms the VHP as the "Taliban" because they burn Valentine's cards, ask the question about Muslim women exploitation when they have to wait for every 4th night to sleep with her husband.

All these issues bring ordinary people on our side and bring embarassment to blind party supporters.

BJP failed to articulate its stand because they tried to become a Congress look-alike.

None of the Congress leaders except Sheila Dikshit can remotely be associated with development, yet people voted for the Congress.

The vote was hardly for development.


robin said...

You are reading too much in to BJP loss.It is nothing but due to vote splitting tactics adopted by UPA in Maharashtra,Tamilnady and Andhra. UPA got 50 seats more.Otherwise it would have been just 210 and all these theories of BJP would not be floated.
What BJP needs is to fund the vote splitters like congress did. I am not joking.This is the game changer in 2009 . If you are unpopular no problem.Just prop up a strident anti critic and you are through.

robin said...

Even if you are articulating good points lay people consider you as a BJP supporter.
Once a label gets stuck difficult to remove come what may. So BJP should thrive on its label,develop a majority vote bank and also ensure good vote splitters in states where it rules

Random Dude said...


Modi and Varun Gandhi should never be compared.
They are poles apart...why ?

1) Modi had already been an able administrator before he came a 'communal' person. His work post the Bhuj earthquake has been widely appreciated.

2) Modi has risen up the ranks of the BJP from being a pracharak. Varun is who he is today because the BJ has catapulted him there. They only wanted to embarrass the Gandhi family by wresting away one of the Gandhis from them and making him part of the right wing.

3) Though the secular (sickular) people castigate Modi for the riots, he has done a huge amount of development work. Gujarat is a beacon for other states to follow

He is the only leader who has the capability to propel the nation forward.

Varun Gandhi and Modi are poles apart and it is unfair to Modi if a comparison is made between the 2.

In this regard, for Modi, hindutva is merely the icing on the cake and not the cake itself. The cake is development.

@Swapan da

Kindly ensure that people never hyphenate Modi and Varun. Varun became famous after a hate speech.
Modi has slogged his heart out for development.
Anyone other than Modi as leader of opposition (after Advani) will be uninspiring and disastrous.

Arjun said...

Dear Swapan,

1.Preceptions do matter: you claim Modi is a centrist who has unfortunately been painted as a right wing extremist. How can Modi correct this? I for now am a wary admirer of Modi. I am not an unabashed supporter since not enough information is available in the media about his role in the riots. This could be because of the left liberal media but even you have only hinted at his centrist tendencies. Why don't you clearly explain whether or not he turned a blind eye to Indians killing each other.

2. The cultural moorings of the BJP are in question. Which way does it want to go and which way will the RSS let it go? That will probably decide Modi's future.

3. Media strategy: Your approach on how Modi can correct his image may work in a limited fashion but There has to be a solid way to counter NDTV and CNN-IBN who seem to greatly influence voters in metros.

4. Change spokesman: Those who speak on behalf of the BJP in the media are either very poor at articulating why the party is different are individuals who don't understand the ABC of the cultural moorings of the BJP. Ask the Nalin Kohli's to packup and leave. Bring in individuals who understand what cultural nationalism is and why it is relevant in the 21st century. Explain this ideology of the BJP with a 21st century flavor. It is not at all hard to counter the Congress provided the BJP gets its media strategy right.

5. Educate the BJP about itself: The BJP and its leaders seems to have forgotten what they stand for. Why don't they take a re-look at what its ideology was, understand how Vajpayee conveyed that ideology to the Indian people, and then understand why Advani and others are failing in their efforts at conveying this foundation of cultural nationalism to the electorate in an effective fashion. the BJP worker does not seem to be very well educated about its own ideological foundations.

zoomindianmedia said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Prasanna said...


I have always held Shri Advani in the highest esteem for his remarkable espousal of right wing cause and single handedely catapulting BJP to the centrestage of Indian politics .But his conduct after this electoral reverses has been extremely disappointing .I am increasingly reconciling to view held by erudite observers like Pratap Bhanu Mehta - Advani was a man who promised a lot but squarely and miserably failed when he presented with opportunities to elevate himself to greatness.For the first time i sense that when history will be written he could be a mere footnote in history-.That he does not have the grace and humility to acknowledge the contribution of supporters and retires himself in to a shell is disgusting to say the least.

Going by media reports its clear that he had time to politick with those shadowy unelected operators from Nagpur but does not have the courtesy to communicate to committed supporters who have done their bit in whatever small way possible( i could empathise with the assionate outpouring of the poster0

Also another thing i find hard to digest is attempts to protray Modi as responsible for BJP's reverses especially coming from quarters close to Shri Advani.Okay Modi 's occasionally over-top style of campaign and crude rhetoric might have offended the beautiful Dilli elite but there is no evidence that his campaign either positively or adversely impacted BJP's electoral fortunes.Infact most of his speeches were actually an interesting blend of development and security.It was pretty clear that BJP was electorally irrelevant in around 300 seats across the country and only way that BJP could wrest power was hitting 90% strike rate in 180-190 strongholds and hoping for erstwhile Southern allies to perform remarkably well.Both didnt materilaise .And easiest thing to do now is find scapegoats and Modi appears to emerging as one

Merits and demerits of Modi's ascendancy to the leadership position (i for one have serious reservation on it)is a point for serious debate but give the man credit fo his energetic campaign across the country.

Also i find pretty amusing that otherwise perceptive commentators like Chandan Mitra making unsubstantiated claim that "Modi as PM' theme in the middle of campaign contributed to BJP's marginal drop in seats.ofcourse he might have scored couple of brownie points with the Ndtv journos who wanted to hear that

Prasanna said...

This is to commentator who took a crude swipe at Yossarin who blogs at Offstumped

Offstumped has been an exemplary blogger espousing the right of centre cause.He has been articulating his views indefatigably and has rendered yeoman service fighting the secular tyraany and socialist consensus that pervades the public discourse in this country.His excellent perspective and t incisive analysis are light years ahead of those paid professionals of MSM who come with their vested interest and dubious agenda.And given that he has a day job,his contibution is even more remarkable

Please desist from making such uncharitable comments unless you can prove that you have contributed something more worthwhile.Anyway given under operate under the garb of anonoyimity ,you are best ignored

MVR said...

Hi Swapan Da, Why is the party allowing the whole ideology to be highjacked by people like Varun, Muthalik and Sadhvi Pragya?? BJP leaders should understand that BJP is not just a party, but its an emotional part of many a people.Nobody has the right to sabotage the cause of this party. Why didn't the party come out strongly on these people?? Why is it that the party is being made to pay the price for all this extremism?? BJP is not competing against Muslim League or MIM, but it is competing against Congress, the lef to center party. Party should resist supporting or shouldn't take support from these people. Organization shouldn't be allowed to held to ransom at any cost. Please pass on this message. Thank You.

Rudraroop Sengupta said...

@arjun "5. Educate the BJP about itself: The BJP and its leaders seems to have forgotten what they stand for. Why don't they take a re-look at what its ideology was, understand how Vajpayee conveyed that ideology to the Indian people"

This is how, not with numbers crunched in the backroom:

Anonymous said...

Swapan da, we are reading about how Suresh soni is backing Rajnath Singh to be leader of opposition. If RSS is hell bent of pushing incompetent people like Rajnath Singh whom even BJP supporters dislike, then why are they surprised by the election results.

Maybe there is a need fora new center of right party without RSS backing.

RP said...

I think that strident Hindutva of the early-1990s variety is looked upon with disfavour by large sections of the population.

Agreed. But in this election BJP never talked Hindutva. Leaders (Advani, Modi and others)stressed on issues like development, black money, strong leadership, terrorism etc -- none of them are Hindutva issues.

Do you have any specific issue where you think BJP should change its stand ?

Anonymous said...

Unless BJP shows Rajnath Singh his place, we can say there has been no reform in BJP.

Anonymous said...

I think ppl like u will destroy the party further but anyway I don't care for this party anymore b'coz it has let down us on every instances and issues. I believe this defeat is a final death of Hindu nationalism and BJP. Perhaps this is mine last comment on ur blog as well. Ur latest blog dissapponited me utterly and I know our views/suggestions r not going to find their way to top leadership as u yourself accepted that debates and discussions have ceased to exist in BJP. So why should I waste my time commenting on ur blog ?

PS: In ur conclusion u might be right on development and economic issue but on Hindutva issue u r way off the mark. Ur center-right leaning is impediment to feel Hindutva effect. Ur views also prove that Hindutva is merely a tool for BJP to win election they is no real commitment towards Hindu cause. Like BJP its strategists r also charlatan.

Nitya said...


One issue completely ignored here in the discussion on the accuracy of EVMs. They are not fraud proof. In future the BJP must insist of a paper trail to ensure the accuracy of electronic voting.

In U.S., a few states like CA allow electronic voting along with paper ballots. But, for every electronic vote there is a paper trail of the vote. The voter sees his vote printed on the paper, then if it corroborates his voting preferences he pushes "yes" button on the touch tone screen. Then the paper trail is added to ballot box.

Paper trail is even more important now that fascist Naveen Chawla is at the helm.


Dinesh PC said...

Swapan-da: Read the top article on this blog to understand the real reason for BJP's defeat -

Anyone who disagrees with the article is living in an elitist dreamland.

Mehul J. Rajput said...

I feel we do not articulate our manifesto clearly, nor any party does. We can be the torch bearer and game changer here.

Start putting ads about failure of govt and then punchline of the ad what bjp would do when it comes to power. Each line item of manifesto should be fed to voters. Our manifesto had too many good things but it was never articulated well in the elections.

As far Modiji is concerned he is karma yogi. Make him PM candidate and it will do wonders to the party. Just portray his achievements and say what will happen if he becomes PM... think??? this kinds of brisk ad will appeal people.

Also, make people aware about caste politics by congress, if people do not understand, may be congress will amend its ways...

charuvak said...

Swapan da:

On your comment, that the Congress has stolen the march in inducting young and idealistic people. Seriously, who is young here ? Sachin Pilot, Scindia, Maken, Rahul Gandhi, etc. But they just inherited their positions, they did not earn it. How exactly is inherited politics better for the nation?

charuvak said...

Here are some interesting statistics:

1. Advani and MM Singh are about the same age.
2. Average age of BJP candidates is 52 years.
3. Average age of Congress candidate is 54 years.
4. BJP has 6 candidates under the age of 30.
5. Congress has 4 candidate under the age of 30.
6. BJP has 14 candidates who are 30+ < 35 years of age.
7. Congress has 11 candidates are 30+ < 35 yrs of age.
8. BJP has 46 candidates who are 35+ < 40 years of age.
9. Congress has 26 candidates who are 35+ < 40 yrs of age

charuvak said...

Just a thought. Your editor for posting messages, does not allow cut & paste. Could we do something about it ?


Anonymous said...

Looks like Rajnath campis attacking Modi and Rajnath by planting stories in the media.

S. Kalyanaraman said...

Why pontificate when numbers speak?

Raj Thackeray, Vijaykanth, Chiranjeevi have delivered the Lok Sabha to the Congress. See Arati Jerath's article.

Sure, BJP should establish its presence in AP, Tamilnadu, W. Bengal.


zoomindianmedia said...


Not sure why the earlier comment was removed.

If you strongly disagree with any point, you can mention that or moderate just the particular point. Throwing out the baby and the broken bathtub is not in our best interests.

I thought this is a free forum and we have to bluntly address issues.

Pls consider inserting the comment, after moderating the comment where required. I think this is a legitimate request.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I agree on most of the the conclusions but would like to add/stress/modify some

1> Modi is indeed the best option given the leadership in BJP. Rajnath, Sushma, Jaswant, Joshi are big no. Though a leader like Vajpayee to front end public is ideal but there are no options.

2> BJP cannot come to power if they follow idealism. They must take a look at Congress. Tricks such as influence on Media, TV distribution in TN, Supporting candidates who can cut through opposition vote banks. But the key here is not getting blamed.

3> I support RSS agenda. They must continue. You say BJP should distance themselves. I hope it is only for the media. I agree that all these organizations should now go back to background. It doesn't mean they stop functioning, but they should just not hog the limelight. I will give you an example: Shivraj Patil is nowhere seen in the media. They have shown the door to Moily too. The idea is - in media and in public, the image should be clear and ideal.

4> They must also work on Leadership roadmap. All of a sudden we see that there is a dearth of leaders. In this regard, Rahul Gandhi's plan is phenomenal. The leadership should not be pardoninng and non perfroming leaders must quit. Congress is quick on these things these days.

5> BJP should resist highlighting those weakness of Congress which no party can provide. For instance - national security. No matters who is at the centre, in a country like India it is very challenging.

6> We should accept that Congress is a party who have ruled over India for about 55 years. They had plenty of time to plunder and blunder. They are showing symptoms of getting matured. They are hard to dislodge. BJP doesn't have time nor they can afford mistakes and learn.

Satya said...

Why doesn't the BJP start by opposing Caste and Religion based researvations?

Anonymous said...

One disgusting thing about BJP on Hindutva is that they are not doing anything concrete for Hindus. Its all talks. Temple in Ayodhya will remain a dream forever.

They have ruined many temples in Gujrat. Jinnah is secular for Advani.

I get a feeling that they want to have a cut on minority vote bank by damaging Hindu sentiments. Let it be clear that minorities will never vote for them. They must work for their core vote bank which is good enough to keep them in power forever.

Why doesn't BJP also start casteism as a tool. Modi is OBC.

Anonymous said...

I think that strident Hindutva of the early-1990s variety is looked upon with disfavour by large sections of the population.You should elucidate this a bit more. I suspect strident Hindutva here is a reference to the violence that has accompanied Hindutva whether over the Ram Janmabhoomi agitation or after Godhra 2002.

Anonymous said...

The nautanki by LKA and his Chandal Chaukadi + Rajnath and general behaviour of last five days proved again that India's voters were so right in giving such a hard kick to BJP and, unless party changes its ways / behaviour -signs are BAD - it will become irrelevant as it will be the target of Congress for taking away seats and forming a full majority.
Here is a spectacle of a 81-yr old leader, who led his party to two defeats and still wants to be the leader - pl do not tell that they forced him to continue, who are you trying to fool? - even afetr such conclusive rejection. Here is a party leadership that has not bothered to even acknowledge the voters' rejected. Contrast this to the real introspection by CPM.
Another thing that has contaminated the whole parivaar is anti-Muslim (now Christians too) as being same as being pro-Hindu. But being a pro-Hindu party (which is a legitimate thing in a Hindu majority country) is NOT same as bashing Muslims, Christians etc. We blame media but the fault lies within. When goons of BD, VHP, ABVP go aroung bashing heads, Parivar leaders keep silent or, worse, justify such thokasahi - SS can get away with this, BJP can not. A good example of this was ABVP's conduct in Ujjain. It took Advani months to comment on incidents in Bangalore / Mangalore. A leader like Indira would have gone there immediately, apologise to girls / church in person, assured quick action and asked the idiotic VS Acharya to make sure goons of BD / Sene were given a thrasing they will never forget and let all see it. That is leadership. Similarly, do we ever see a leader of BJP / VHP comment / visit dalits forced to drink urine or get down from horse or killed for daring to fall in love with a high-caste girl? I would like to be corrected but I do not recall one such case. Simialrly, laks of cows died in Rajasthan many years ago for want of fodder with BJP / VHP were nowehre in picture. But one cow was found dead in Haryana and dalit was killed by angry mob and we had a VHP high priest justifying this killing by quoting from scripture. It was headline next day and we then blame media. I am sure it cost BJP few lacs of Dalit votes. Simialrly, the annual vandalism on v-day by goons of BD, VHP, ABVP. One can give hundreds of examples of total insensitivity by Parivaar outfits / leaders. And then we cry if we are labeled high caste, anti this or that. Finally, they speak too much on all and sundry matters-from top (Advani-Sudarshan) to bottom. Did you ever see Vajpayee pontificate on each and every subject under the sun even in his hey days? We mock silence of Sonia / Rahul / Singh but it does help - in many situations, silence is indeed golden. These may all look like small things but together, they did create waves that caused the tsunami of May 16.
So, pelase add one more item to alternatives - formation of new party which has free markets, national security / roboust defence, individual liberty, constitutional justice and Dharma as core ideology. We have got trapped into UCC, Sec 370 and Ram Temple but these were NOT the causes or issues for which RSS, BJS or VHP were founded. The late Sitaramji Goel told me this in 1994 that he had argued with you, A Shourie, Ramaswarupji that BJP-RSS were flawed vehicles but (according to him) you guys did not agree with him. Well, as with many other things, he prived to be right. This is indeed the largest collection of duffers in the history of mankind and we need not go back more than just a week to see his wisdom/prophecy. I still support for want of any alternavie but gave up on BJP, RSS etc long time ago. They will never be vehicle of Hindu renaissance. These are dead corpses and sooner these are burried or burned, better for a por-Hindu polity. Else, next time, they will ensure a 300+ majority for Rahul Gandhi. Gop Maliwal

Anonymous said...

One thing I would like to add to this discussion on hard/soft Hindutva line is that I think that 1990s are officially over in this election. Look at how Muslims voted in the election. They did not vote for RJD, SP and BSP and Left (especially in Kerala and WB) in large numbers. They preferred Congress in places where Congress was strong inspite of Congress cosying upto America (Karat actually thought that Muslims will punish Congress or it).

To me this means, that they would consider BJP also. But BJP has to drop its hard Hindutva line. Actually, I think nobody wants the rather turbulent 1990s back.

People have correctly pointed out that the Hindutva agitation catapulted BJP to power, but they forget that the same thing also allowed likes of Mulayam and Lalu to blossom. I hope BJP listens to the likes of MP CM in this regard.

Anonymous said...

Swapan da, It is incorrect to characeterize that NRI supporters of the BJP are all in favor of strident Hindutva. I spoke to a lot of pro BJP friends in the US today and all of them are obviously pained by BJP's loss and all of them feel that the time for strident Hindutva is over.

They all favor BJP toeing a line that is going to make BJP win again and if that requires moderation so be it.

The other thing that the BJP has to note is that has its conduct during the nuclear deal debate really helped it. If BJP genuinely felt that the deal was in India's interest they should have supported it keeping their ego aside (for not having been consulted by the govt).

I am reading that Suresh Soni was trying to make Rajnath Singh leader of opposition. I am not sure what is the stuff that these guys are smoking. So far I have not come across a single BJP supporter (in the upper middle class) who thinks highly of Rajnath Singh. Giving Rajnath Singh a high position in BJP just because he sucks up to the RSS, is a recipe for bigger disaster than what we have had now.

Anonymous said...

I agree that Jaitley Modi is the right duo for BJP. BJP is not likely to win in 2014 but it has to hold what it has in 2014.

So Jaitley Modi duo would work. Modi is the only one who seems capable of fighting the Congress though he has to tone down a bit.

I believe Rajnath camp is leaking stories against Modi Jaitley duo. Why is Rajnath Singh not taking responsibility and resigning?

hUmDiNgEr said...

Dear Swapan,

I think the clear signal for BJP is that they are not properly understood even by their core supporters. Many self proclaimed BJP supporters don't even know what their party stands for. Don't you think this is the failure on BJP's part.
I think it is time for BJP to stand in front of the mirror and question itself. Let them start with sending message across to its core supporters about what it stands for.I haven't seen a worse confused person than a BJP supporter in India.

hUmDiNgEr said...

Dear Swapan,
It is about your PS and other posters who are expecting "thank you" from LKA.
Please tell me why were you campaigning for BJP and LKA, was it something in return that you were expecting or you think that BJP is good for the country and that was the reason you were working your hear out.
I recommend you guys read "Yagnavalkya's talk on love" from the Upanisads.
You worked for your self and you worked for the benefit of the country, why are you cribbing for silly thank you messages??

Anonymous said...

A very sober critique by Gulab Kothai who used to be an admirer of BJP but a leading critic in Rajasthan now.

Everywhere nothing but ridicule / mocking, that is worse than criticism. But then who cares for odinary supporters. It has now become a pokcet party of /football to be kicked around by, few scheming leaders of BJP / Sangh; mere workers / supporters can take a hike to hell. And, what we have seen after May 16 is very depressing. Hey Ram.

Ghost Writer said...

Dr. Dasgupta
If by "strident Hindutva" you mean the Ram Mandir issue - then I agree. I would like to see the temple, but the BJP would look foolish and insincere to bring it up now (cash a cheque only once etc.). However, the BJP sould stick to it's other major planks - low-tax economy, strong defense, uniform civil code and Article 370 (dont throw a fit guys - there is nothing "Hindu" about the last two)
I think the BJP is served better by simply accepting a long "period of wilderness" a la the Tories in Britain. Use the time to develop ideological and organisationak base throughout India (as they have done in Karnataka). It must also find a way to coordinate and tie-in the intellectual work of these various think tanks now so prevelant in India. It must become the base ("Al Qaeida" ?) of ideation. No movement succeeds without big ideas - Thatcher and Raegan were made possible by sustained intellectual activity in the 60's and 70's

Swapan Dasgupta said...

Reply to zoomindia: You sent a very long post which you wanted to post in the Friends of BJP site. I forwarded it to the relevant people and understand that they have communicated with you. What are you complaining about? If you want to have it on this site please re-send it. But make it a little shorter.

Anonymous said...

Swapanji, please tell us that the IE article today by Shishir Gupta is a false planted article. He talks about Rajnath sabotaging the BJP. If true, what is taking so long for the BJP leadership to show him the door. In my book, Rajnath Singh and Kalyan Singh ran the BJP to the ground in UP, and it seems like Rajnath wants to do the same at the national level.

Anonymous said...

Swapan da, based on a story by Sanjay Jha in the The Telegraph it seems BJP leadership has rationalised everything to state level issues.

The question is after 5 years in opposition, how come their voteshare is declining and Congress voteshare is going up. BJP is losing appeal and if the party remains in denial, it will go back 50 seats in the next election.

Anonymous said...

Swapan da, How do you read LKA agreeing to continue as leader of opposition? Is it to put the squabbles to an end for now? Or to prevent Murli Manohar Joshi from becoming leader of opposition.

Please communicate to BJP leaders that BJ supporters want to see some genuine change in leadership not some token change as getting rid of Khanduri.

Also non performers who are close to RSS needs to be given some real work. How about making Rajnath in charge of UP?

Anonymous said...

Hi Swapan,
Most of your conclusions are spot on. The one area of debate is on RSS. You seem to imply that RSS itself is an impediment for BJP to grow. I think it may make more sense to view RSS as an organization that can help espousing the cause of hindutva, doing good work across the country and helping BJP get votes. Infact BJP and RSS should have a clear working arrangement on electoral politics without compromising RSS' key goal of doing social service. Three things that can be done -
- RSS to greatly strengthen ground level presence in BJP ruled states. Look at voting patterns and focus on a mix of areas where BJP is doing well and where it has lesser vote share. Ofcourse, there should be a need for RSS to provide its social services.
- RSS should start working in select areas where BJP is not ruling but where BJP MPs/MLAs have won if possible. It should also start using democratic means to raise issues such as conversion. Eg. not enough cases are filed in courts against illegal conversion. This should be done at a rapid pace. At no time should extremism or violence be ever used. Cases should be filed first in non-BJP states.
-RSS should spend money on sprucing up its image. This is extremely critical.
- Finally, in agreement to your point, RSS should focus on its core work but also realize that it is in India's and BJP's interest that it co-operates and does not merely try to take control of BJP.

No Mist said...

So Swapanda, it seems we all are in the same boat. You have alomst as much leverage with inner circles of BJP as we. The natural question to ask is - why do we support BJP if it does not listen to us.

Let me articulate my reasons for supporting BJP, along with the caveats in them and my view of how to set things right.

1. BJP is meritocratic. It nurtures talent and achievers. And as is natural with most self-made achievers, there is a trace of brashness in them. I personally do not have any problems with that but you can well understand that junta will not appreciate it very much. False or not, modesty counts in India and also in the world. In fact it is a smart strategy to be used as a weapon. Drummed as we are with Kabir's teachings, we equate modesty with competence so BJP must be seen to be humble. Else they will be wiped out.

2. BJP espouses good economic principles. It is the only party which is really comfortable with free market competition. Congress is doing it only because accidentally MMS has come to occupy PM seat. Professionally MMS belongs to BJP, but temperamentally to congress because (I have to repeat) BJP is prone to boasts. But BJP is seen to be uncaring towards rural folks, even though they worked for PMGSY, most rural folks believe that BJP has no affinity or well-intentions for rural India. There is an element of truth in it and personally I also do not have much patience with villages. But a political party can ill afford to do that.

3. BJP does not support dynasts. This is the single biggest reason that BJP has any acceptance in India. Any compromise on this will fritter away each and every other positive trait of BJP. So dear Jaswants and Vasundharas, if you do not want to axe your own feet, please steer clear of promoting your progeny. But we cannot deny that politicians will not want to do that. So BJP must have a creative approach to manage it. The kids of existing politicians must work at grassroots level outside their parents area of influence. If they prove their mettle, well they have earned the right to be in BJP. So send Jaswants son to Tamil Nadu to build BJP's base and Vasundhara's son to Arunachal Pradesh. But Varun Gandhi has no place in BJP. Just throw him out. His dad destroyed congress and he will destroy BJP.

4. BJP is nationalistic. This coupled with cultural adherence with Indianness (some wud say Hinduness) makes it very attractive for many of us. Homesick NRIs seem much more enthused, but they are to be endured not encouraged. Too much association with NRIs only make BJP look elitist. All this tamasha of Pravasi Bharatiya Drama was started by BJP and this makes their look alienated from Indians. Also too much insistence on religion does not do any good. BJP must be a liberal, educated, generous, open minded, intelligent Hindu like Swami Vivekananda and Mahatma Gandhi not a bigoted fool like it sometimes look like. I mean if Hinduism is defined by Varun Gandhi types ... then I am sorry I am not that kind of a Hindu.

Now I must say something about Modi. Modi must be seen as modest and down to earth. No ridiculing of other politicians. Modi must remember that nobody approves of smoebody with a wicked sense of humor. Nobody except me !

And last but not the least, no bad mouthing of Sonia/Rahul/Priyanka. Come on ... they lost their dearest ones to anti-national forces, you cannot make fun of them and also earn public sympathy. This even I do not approve. Modi must learn public posture from some one called A B Vajpayee. Fortunately he is still alive.

No Mist said...

@ hUmDiNgEr

thank you is not a reward for which somebody works. BJPs victory would be reward in itself. and then no need of thanks too.

this thank you is needed for emotional comfort. to know that lessons are being learnt. to know that BJP is not a bad loser. to know that BJP will get up again. to know that BJP takes things in its stride. to know that BJP will win next time.

BJP_supporter said...

Swapanji, a suggestion for a more structured discussion - consider using a 'internet forum' like phpBB - see link for more information.

For a sample of such a bulletin board, please view (i am not promoting the content here in anyway, only for you to get a look and feel of such a forum).

A forum would have several benefits. Particularly topics can be organized into 'threads' and discussion in each thread can be focussed to just that thread. viewers can see all active threads. Posters can be required to create an account to be able to post views (this would limit clutter). I believe phpBB also offers hosting in addition to software for a fee. I think raising the hosting fee should not be a problem at all (unlike starting a channel if you say 500 crores, cant believe that though. every party in TN has one).

right now we have several threads, all for long haul discussion already - Modi, BJP leadership change, Hindutva, role of RSS, ELM bias/need for nationalistic media, role of BJP in the present LS (pushing governance agendas through available parliamentary means).. Instead of letting all comments clutter a single blog post and moving from one blog post to another leaving the discussion half done, a bulletin board will work a lot lot more better.

You have said we have just about begun the process of discussion and hoped it will continue. If you are thinking of doing this for the next five years, then a forum like phpBB-powered will really be ideal.

On other comments in this thread, suggesting throw RSS/BJP out and go for a new party, please please dont let a election defeat make us say outrageous things. And for the criticisms on Advaniji, please please give the man some credit for what he has done that you willingly give to some blogger. You dont have a party today to criticize if not for him. It was he who raised BJP from 2 to 86 MPs in the eighties-nineties and then stood aside for vajpayeeji to take over.

Swapanji - please consider moderating some of the comments bordering on abuse on Advaniji and other leaders. Point taken, he should step down now, but no need to heap abuse.

Anonymous said...

Considering that the Congress won more than 50 seats by splitting the anti-incumbency votes in the large states of MH, AP and TN... Also garnered nearly 20+ seats from UP thanx to the 4 way split and tactical voting by Muslims...

I believe that by giving the credit of UP victory to Rahul factor the Congress maybe spelling its own doom...

Whats note worthy is that most of the seats gained from this spliting tactics is from the third front... and barring MH the BJP was not directly impacted...

I believe this same tactic can help the BJP more than the Congress in future... the Congress seems inclined to go it alone everywhere... so its the so called "Secular Vote" thats going to be split between the Congress and its current allies... so the BJP should tactically prepare itself for such battles and benefit from it...

At the same time the BJP has to strengthen itself in Orissa (where it had a vote share of 20+ % in 1999 before allying with the BJD), AP, TN, Kerala, WB, Bihar and UP... The BJP strength is currently the mid size states of MP, Karnataka, Gujarat ... and a sting of small states...

Its not rocket science to realise that UP+BH+MH+WB+AP+TN make up nearly 300 of the possible 543 LS seats... sadly the BJP has little or no presence in nearly 200 of these... how long can we depend on allies to bring in the seats??? some hardwork and planning has to be done to grow here... infact the more the BJP grows in these areas the easier to get PRE-POLL allies...

Infact Chandra Babu Naidu has realised his goof up in tying up with the TRS and the irrelavent left...

I also heard a story from a friend of mine... in AP the Congress Govt has developed a culture of farmer loans to such an extend that people in the villages have stopped working itself... his own relative who is an MBA has settled down in his village, taken many farming loans every year, hasnt repaid anything and is living happily... besides Free Homes are being giving... there are families that have got more than 2 homes free... infact one of them lost a home because the Grandmother died before the Home was handed over... so this sort of culture is going to lead this country into a huge mess... you cannot blame the villagers... they will begin to expect this....

Another point that I wanted to raise was why is the media dubbing this verdict as HISTORIC VERDICT??? the only thing about this verdict was that it was unexpected based on the predictions... The Congress hasnt come close to the halfway mark? it is still hinging on outside support so whats HISTORIC about this, can someone please enlighten me about this???

Swapan Dasgupta said...

Response to BJP_supporter: Thanks for the suggestion. I am not that techno-savvy but if the response to the blog remains as encouraging, I will ask for professional help to streamline the site and make it more user friendly. For the moment, indulge my amateurism. I am focusing on content. Design can come subsequently.

Venkatesh said...


I am a big fan of your intellect and objectivity, but I think your views are getting coloured by that of your friends in the media. Let me articulate my views -

Strident Hindutva should be rejected. i dont think the BJP ever was in strident hindutva. If you think Ram Mandir is strident hindutva, I disagree. The birthplace of Lord Rama, which was housing a mosque that was not used, what is the big deal in tearing it down and building a temple there. it has happened in Poland in Turkey. if hindus want to do it why is it such an issue? This becomes an issue because how the secularism debate is structured in India. Anything where the minorities have to cede is labelled unsecular and communal. The majority on the other hand has no rights. I think the main thrust has to be on debating this issue of secularism and putting forth the right viewpoint, to attract the middle class and the youth back. This leads us to the issue of the role of the media. the media has given up its role as a neutral watchdog, but acts as the congress B team. I would not care too much but I have seen cases where in todays world people seem to be blindly taking their biased views as gospel truth. This needs to be desperately addressed by not necessarily setting up a BJP channel as that would not carry too much credibility, but having media that support the right view. This cannot be delayed any more. AJ makes bombastic statements but I think that is a lot of gas and the reality is that we need a right wing media to counter the vicious propoaganda. The BJP is losing the battle of the ideas and it needs to start to win it not for its own sake but for the sake of the nation. Else in 25 years it is quite possible that the hindus have no rights and this could lead to a bloody civil war. History is proof of how christian and Islamic ideologies seep and try and overwhelm the native faiths. Look at S Korea, look at the baltics, the US and south America. to those who say times have changes, all I can say is that more the things change more they remain the same. We cannot live like ostriches

Points 2,3,4,6 and 7 I completely agree with.

Point 5, I am not sure why you think the RSS is an impediment? Karnataka was won because of the RSS. Lets not be under false impression that it was the BJP cadre. i am a native of karnataka and I have seen how the RSS worked tirelessly for years to build the base they have and vote in the BJP. Most politicians would not have the patience or the motivation to build an organisation from scratch. These RSS guys have the ideological commitment to do so. Lets give them their due. I think it is important to improve the cohesion between the 2. If the RSS wants to control the BJP, I would think that is not appropriate. They way I see it is the RSS can negotiate some non-negotiables and then leave policy and execution to the BJP. On the ground level RSS support is a must, else the BJP is doomed.

One point that has not received much attention is choice of candidates. In urban areas it is critical to field more educated and articulate candidates, this will help alleviate a lot of issues.

As regards NRIs, maybe they are remote but in most cases the attachment to the mother country increases with distance and also leads to more pride in being hindus as our education teaches us to be ashamed to be hindus, and when we get out we ironically learn more about our religion and respect it.

rone said...

I agree with your conclusions.
But regarding the section, divided opinion we can choose the right path very easily.
1.Hindutva-it should be moraly correct Hindutva,not soft nor aggresive.
Hate speeches ,beating up women,burning churchs, raping nuns are not moraly correct Hindutva.genuine democratic political campaign on minority apeasement,conversions,rama sethu etc are moraly correct Hindutva.awareness campaign among youth aginst drinking is Moraly correct Hindutva.
2.Modi-applying the above yardstick of moraly correct Hindutva,Modi has to clear his name in the investigations/cases before supreme court to aim for the nation's highest office.

now slightly offtopic, i googled 'bjp maharastra",the result i got..Pls check... have fun.
of course there is no content in the site just a still gif image of party symbol.And this is a state that is going to polls in a couple of months.

senthil said...

Except for Nitya, none of the commenters really doubted the credibility of the election process. There is every reason to believe, that the extra 50 seats won by congress this time had been manipulated.. the point is we need to identify what are those 50 seats..

In tamilnadu, the DMK and congress had widely rigged the election process.

I came across this link, on the counting day, where a sena person alleges that he got only 5 votes in one of the booths considered to be a sena stronghold..

I am really surprised, how most of the commenters never thought of conspirical angle..

BJP_supporter said...

Swapan, I was not criticizing your blog as being amateurish. And my suggestion on using a bulletin board style was related to organizing the content and not any fancy GUI.

regarding techno-savvy, these things might be easier than you would think.. The software (phpBB) is open source, downloadable, etc. and there are a lot of hosting options, fairly cheap too.

Still, glad you considered the suggestion. If this level of interest sustains itself for the next several days, it might happen naturally. On that, I dont know if this will sustain if the party so clearly buries its head in sand and conducts its business thru planted stories in the media.

Why cant any BJP leader or even one of the elected MPs read the comments and respond? dont they have anyone who can browse a blog?

Sanjay said...

Two points.
1. No point sulking, there's work to do. When and where are the next assembly elections. Then there is this important task of building the organization in AP, TN, Kerala, and all those places where BJP is not present and reviving it in Rajasthan, Delhi UP and UK.
2. ANY WORK, I repeat ANY WORK that does not get votes for the party is a useless work, that includes running from one studio to another taking part in televised debates or giving sound bytes. It only gets TRP for these channels. Of course they were laughing all the way to the banks throughout the last five years. BJP MUST boycott at least two of the prominent English news channels and keep the third on the tenterhooks. The only soundbyte they should get is “Sorry I/we need to rush for an important meeting/family engagement” or something like that. BJP must contact media at a point only where they get to set the agenda, not the media. Some of the unbiased channels may be equally rewarded with participation to send a stern and clear message. Due to reduced TRPs, within months these biased channels will be on their knees.

Anonymous said...

Are the EVMs tested any independent validation/verification organisations. What is the guarantee that they are not manipulated? Another fact is that last time in 2004 when TDP lost in AP, the officers in the polling booth rigged the machines in the pretext of showing the voters how to vote. EVM should be like ATMs, they should be giving a receipt once the vote is captured.

Anonymous said...

For few people who think congress is promoting dynastic leaders, you would be whacked right in your faces if you knows the parents of BJP MPs,

1. anurag thakur
2. Dushyant Singh
3. BY Raghavendra
4. Manavendra Singh

The list would definitely go up, if you see each MP lineage.

Now don't feel ashamed, all parties are shame, only those deny dwell in denial.

Anonymous said...

BJP/RSS leaders like to hear what they want; anything unpleasant is not welcome. This has been written by Kumar & Anil Nerandera, Surya Prakash, Gulab Kothari, etc. -none of them can be called a Sangh/BJP-baiter! No wonder, they are in such bad shape and looking into abyss.

Anonymous said...

Where are Nanaji Deshmukh, KB Thakre, Sunder S Bhandari, JP Mathur, Kalyan Singh, Mahajan etc to build party organisation? See the maramari in Delhi to position as next LoP and PM.

Indian Nationalist said...

Swapan I had to tell this to you.

The basic structure of the party BJP is slowly getting killed and I would not at all be surprised if the BJP gets wiped out in the next elections.

In fact, It is heading in that direction and unless something drastic happens that would be the eventuality.

I dont understand from where did Hinduism and Hindutva come up for the cause of defeat in the 2009 elections?.

If the BJP is going down, It is itself responsible for the debacle.

a. Why did the BJP give up the Ram Mandir issue?.
EFFECT: BJP party dissapears in the Hindi hearland.

b. Why did the BJP give up on the Uniform civil code, Minorityism, and Article 356?.
EFFECT: The middle class hindu got disillusioned and voted for Congress massively.

In fact, Give some respect to the only man who has done something good for the party who ironically is a Gandhi.

Yes, Varun Gandhi saved the BJP from complete Humiliation in Uttar Pradesh.

Else Congress would have got 60 seats in Uttar Pradesh.

I hope my message is clear to you.

(BTW, I was a NRI but I am now very much staying in India and I voted in May...So do not say that this is coming from a NRI).

Anonymous said...

Check out Subramanian Swamy's press release dated 4.4.2009 on the Janata Party website's press release section.

Any truth to those claims?

Balaji said...


Please consider Sushmaji's credentials over Modi before promoting him thru your blog.

1. Minister at 25 years age in Haryana in the Janata Party government formed in the aftermath of the Emergency (1977-79).
2. Founding member of the BJP (from 1980).
3. Elected 2 terms to the Haryana Assembly, 2 terms to the Lok Sabha and 3 terms to the Rajya Sabha. Currently the deputy leader in the Rajya Sabha.
4. One of the most popular party campaigners ever. Only Atalji, Advani and recently Modi are more sought after.
5. The most senior women leader in the history of BJP. (neither a royal nor a political surname).
6. A leader who has never said “no” to the party. Wanna contest in Bellary, a constituency where BJP has never won against a Gandhi? I’m ready. Wanna salvage one of the worst state governments in the history of the country and have 1 month to do it? And I have to give up my Union Cabinet minister post for that? Let me give it a try.
7. A leader from the Punjab/Haryana/Delhi/Chandigarh region, Congress citadels all, that BJP desperately needs to recover. Thats 31 seats. A bad performance here will get BJP 0 seats not 15/26 by default.
8. A darling of the media and a leader comfortable with opposition leaders (she was Parliamentary affairs minister in Atalji’s cabinet). No alliance leader is embarrassed about sharing a stage with her. Infact she will be a magnet for attracting new allies.
9. A leader loved by the party cadre. No one in Karnataka has forgotten her campaigning in Kannada with Jasmine in her hair. Ask Orissa BJP workers or Naveen Patnaik about her Oriya.
10. A Law and Arts graduate; a BJP mother who said she is ok with her daughter going to a pub at the height of Ram Sene non-sense.

Reply to criticism:

Someone said Sushmaji didn’t try to create a right wing media when she was I&B minister. How is this the job of a minister? Infact she should be credited for not abusing her ministerial position like Mahajan did.

Ability to get votes. What are Rajnath, Joshi and Jaswant’s credentials in getting us votes? Can Jaitley win his own seat let alone get party votes elsehwhere? Will Modi get us more votes (not counting hindu fundamentalists vote for BJP anyway) or less votes (counting the urban educated liberal middle class, which will certainly not vote for Modi)?

Rakesh said...


The least BJP top leadership can do is jointly come on a single stage and thank the electorate. Thank the BJP voters for supporting their mainfesto. Promise to work hard as opposition to implement BJP manifesto. Promise that BJP will support govt on all nationalist issues. Thank BJP supporters and promise them to come out with white paper on where BJP went wrong and steps being taken to rectify those mistakes. BJP needs to work immediately on following:

- Find a new and fresh face as LOP and President
- Re-connect with organisation and replace non-performers specially in Rajasthan , Haryana , Uttarakhand
- Have strategy for UP and Bihar
- Ponder on reasons for less performance in Gujarat , MP , Orissa , Maharashtra
- Emphasis on WB , AP , TN , Kerala
- ZERO tolerance to corrupt leaders and infighting
- somehow get support from ELM or encourage new ELM

JMT said...

Gulab Kothari is editor of Rajasthan Patrika. He has written an insightful article on the BJP. I found the link in comments section of Swapan Dasgupta's site - . Thanks. The article is in Hindi. I have translated it into English for the benefit of people who cannot read Hindi. The nuances of his writing are probably lost in my translation, so anyone reading Hindi should read the original here -

Here is the English Translation:

Anonymous said...

Are News Channels in India Part of the Congress Party Media Cell?

Read more:

Anonymous said...

The number of seats for the BJP came down by 20, almost the number of seats BJP lost only in Rajasthan. It shows BJP lost the final, because it lost the semi-final. The loss of Delhi and Rajasthan in the December 2008 elections made all the difference. On the top of it if BJP ruled Uttarakhand gives Nil to the BJP kitty, its but anybodys guess what BJP will end up with. BJP doesn't have the liberty like the Congress Party which compensates its loss in North in South India and vice-versa. But for BJP a solid performance in North India is the only option to come close to power. So, the prescription is a long-term one that unless you build the Party in South India or atleast form winnable alliances, forget about your past glory. The day BJP gets 200+ seats on its own it must consider itself a true national opposition Party to the Congress.

Sub said...

My Analysis of BJP's poor showing.

If we list down actions by Congress, its behaviour and the actors involved and compare them with that of BJP, I think we will be able to better understand. And the important element here is the context.

Both BJP and Congress are working in Indian environment. So first of all we need to have a clear understanding of Indian conditions.

These are the peculiarities of Indians (majority, if not all).

1) Are susceptible to bribe and can be bought easily.
2) Lack strong sense of loyalty towards abstract idea of nation. Rather identity is multi-layered such as linguistic, religious and of course caste.
3) Indians are mostly emotional creaures and can easily be swayed. Factual analysis is at a discount. If it is there then for me it is not making any sense at all.

Political parties are made of people having similar sense of identity and sense of purpose. BJP's identity is that of an abstract Hindu identity. But the weak link here is that not all Hindus are aligning with BJP's programme. Their votes are split on narrower identities. On top of this, BJP is ethical and somewhat moral which is incompatible with Indian mindset. In a nut shell BJP is working in a very difficult situation.

Unless people want to identify with the larger Hindu identity or become more ethical, BJP will be stagnant.

On the contrary, Congress (Nehru-Parivar) and similar corrupt and money minded parivars of Lalu, Mulayam, Sharad Pawar, Karuna etc , because they have stashed tons of illegal money in various number Swiss account are having an advantage. Initially when they were upstarts they whipped up emotions. And later when they came into Govt stashed tons of money and are both whipping up emotions as well using money power to win elections.

Sonia has done everything right at this time. BJP wasted an opportunity in 2004. Once Sonia could get a foothold in the Govt she has ensured that all key positions are filled with her agents. She did that in 1991 but then it didn't work out the way she wanted to. One should not underestimate the money power of Sonia. Per Subramaniam Swamy, she is a KGB agent and tons of money is there in her war chest. In addition to having money and agents in key posts, I suspect, she has even made sure that Electronic Voting Machines were tampered to deliver victory for her party. She could have easily got 272. But that would be dramatic. So this time around it is 200+ and more pliant allies. Next time it is going to be 272+.

The commonality of all the defeated parties in this election is that, they are all trouble makers to Sonia. Congress itself is as unpopular as Lalu or Mulayam or CPM. So it doesn't make sense that anti-incumbency applies to her trouble makers but not to her. It won't even benefit BJP which was not in power.

Money power has ensured Congress's and Sonia's victory. She also has ensured that electronic media sing her tune and shrieking Banshees of IBN and NDTV put proper spins on the so-called victory and also prep up the electorate before the victory with bull shit exit polls.


BJP has to be very smart if it has to be in the Govt. Only Chanakyas can rule. If greater good has to be done to the country, they have to ensure that there is an institutional mechanism for this. There should be a dirty dept that cannot be traced to the 'clean' leadership and the leadership should work through agents. This dirty dept should take care of doing dirty work for the clean leadership such whipping up emotions (point 3) or divide and conquer (point 2) or buying off people (point1). Once in power decimate your enemy and there should not be any mercy there. Tap root should be identified and cut off. But BJP couldn't do that while they were in power and their enemies keep multipying like Raktha Beejas.

Anonymous said...

BJP wants a war time leader who can rejuvinate the workers and charm the media. Who doesn't have any communal baggage and can go to villages, fight in the streets, live in Dalit houses, mingle with college students and articulate the Party's stand well and attract more allies. Do we have one??? Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj fulfill some of the above but not all. Shivraj, Raman Singh,Vasundhara Raje etc. are yet to get any acceptability outside their states. Modi carries the image that prevented LK Advani to become a pan Indian leader. So, Arun Jaitley should lead the Party and Sushma Swaraj should lead the Party in the Parliament at least she won't disappoint in one aspect that she will speak well and appeal the middle class.

Anonymous said...

Please read what Subramanium Swamy has to say about possible election fraud: - - press release of 4th April 2009.

Anonymous said...

Prasanna, if you want to ignore me, feel free to. But why would you attack me personally for being anonymous?

I did not take any crude swipe. I pointed out to the choice of words in his blog - using a medical condition that affects people in that kind of coarse way is infact crude. Given that kind of lead, the commenters - and many infact claimed to be non-resident themselves so I am not making that up - the commenters were passing jingoism as discussion.

To the other fan asking if I would like Praful Bidwai - no I had to look up who this gent was. and I haven't read him. But your reaction is yet another instance of deriding dissenting opinion. Okay, make me an anti-national, leftist renegade if you like. That kind of painting with a wide brush used to be the style of the Indian communists.

Anonymous said...

"Will Modi get us more votes (not counting hindu fundamentalists vote for BJP anyway) or less votes (counting the urban educated liberal middle class, which will certainly not vote for Modi)?"


They will not vote or support Saffron ( "Hindu" nationalistic party) even if we given them liberal Muslim as our PM candidate. Pls come out of fantasy, Sushma could be good candidate for LOP but for short term only. Problem is whosoever get the post of LOP will be the PM-in-waiting by default. This is the reason why war is going in the party. For long term Modi and Jaitley r the only option before party. MM Joshi, Rajnath and Sushma should be sidelined in the party like Arjun Singh. They r good for nothing.

Anonymous said...

Balaji, thanks for bringing out the points on Sushma Swaraj. My feel is, for someone with such a long career, she does not seem to have the record of winning a place, nurturing it, and retaining it. I would have thought differently if she had fought this LS from Delhi rather than a safe seat in Vidisha. Ofcourse, this applies to Jaitley too, I dont think of him very highly. May be a good campaign manager if other conditions are right, nothing more.

Modi does seem to have that record - win a state, nurture it in the midst of constant criticism, win again. there are criticisms like rhetoric etc, but those can be easily worked out. On the tough part of the job, he has a record. For Sushma or Jaitley given their age, building that kind of record is next to impossible if they have not done that already.

Democracy is about winning elections and then delivering goods to get re-elected. I think those need to be rewarded and promoted. High command style appointments or other extraneous factors (like promoting someone because of sex) could be avoided.

Deepak said...

All this talk of Congress splitting is exactly that - splitting straw. If BJP satisfies itself with the vote split theory - let them reconcile to 10 years in opposition. Kangress won 33/42 in AP, that is a decisive win! Remember Orissa, it is a wipe out and a total rejection of Hindutva politics. If BJP had Vajpayee (well then probably they would have won), they could have managed, but now the party is effectively leadership.

With due respect to Advanji, he should retire and the Budda brigade of Rajnath, MM Joshi, Jaswant should be sidelined. Modi should not be projected till he first gets his name cleared in the SC. Till then Jaitley as President and Sushma as Leader of Opposition would be a great combination. But the BJP today has become the Congress of the 90's, so this is never going to happen and the Budda brigade will continue and that's the end of the road for the BJP.

I pray that good sense prevails and the BJP reforms itself and a NEW BJP emerges.

ghatotkacha said...

I firmly believe that hardcore hindutva will not bring more than 100-120 seats to the BJP. This was what the BJP got at the height of the Ram Temple movement.
Now, BJP need not get into minority appeasement in order to increase the tent.
BJP needs to create a wedge between the Congress and its minority voters not drive them closer. This is something the we saw the Congress do to the Left in Bengal through Sachar committee.

BJP needs to start raising questions about what Congress has given to the Minorities when it comes to development.

Secondly, it should cast Congress’s vote bank politics as a slap on the face of Muslims. For example, instead of pointing to Afzal Guru as an example of vote bank politics, it should point out that Congress is doing a disservice to the Muslims of the country if it feels that it will garner more votes by not hanging Afzal Guru. Raise questions like “Does the Congress think that Muslims are not patriotic that it should protect people like Afzal Guru etc. ?”

One point about Narendra Modi. Please remember that his acceptability to a large number of people who support him as of today is on the basis of development he has done in Gujarat and not because of the 2002 riots

Bharath P.M said...

You are absolutely right in saying that the BJP must take steps to distance itself from extremist elements. Most important, it must be seen to be doing so.
Just take the pub attack in Mangalore. The state BJP leaders condemned the incident but in the same breath issued a caveat that pub culture is wrong. Things like these take away the weight in condemnation eventhough you may have genuinely condemned it. The entire national media went around showing this and led to believe that the BJP had a hand in this attack eventhough the Sri Rama Sene had nothing to do with the Parivar.

Anonymous said...

While it may be tempting to blame unwise BJP or clever Congress or biased media or whatever for the election outcome, the fact is that Hindus are inward looking, divided and interested in their own self interest. That is why foreigners subjugated them for 1200 years. Poor BJP is flogging a dead horse. It may sound harsh but introspect - it rings true.

Anonymous said...

Swapan da
Some random thoughts...

One positive that i read from this election is that inspite of the debacle BJP has been able to hold on to states it held in 2004 ie Guj, MP, Chattisgarh, Karnataka and it also has the state governments at its disposal in these States.
We should focus on Gujarat style colsolidation in all these states based on solid development plank and corruption free administration. The development parameters should be measurable like "..Guj has 24 hrs electricity supply in all villages.."

The party needs to build cadre in AP and Orissa. After 10-years rule in Orissa I dont know what achievement BJD has to show except good-will towards Chief Minister (they may have made strides but I dont know).
The way Karnataka was won similarly the space has to be created and occupied in these two states.

TN may be harder to penetrate so Amma may be the best bet as a near to mid term strategy.

Maharashtra was lost because of vote split. Somehow western Maharashtra needs to be won over. Something needs to be done to resolve Raj.

Rajasthan was a mess of patry's own making. I dont understand what exactly was the problem between Sh Shekhawat an BJP. How can they lose inspite of Shekhawat, Jaswant and Vasundhara.

UP is by far the most complex phenomena.

The reason why we dont win Delhi is that there is NO face of BJP in Delhi so TINA factor works in favour of Sheila Dixit. VKM needs to go and you leadership need to step in.

We need to infuse back the cultre of "vinamrata" while remaing steadfast on what we believe in. (..remember K R Malkani how lucid and clear thinking he was while being most polite, Also Arun Shourie's style is very good). The party should not be seen as cribbing on every issue.

All leaders must look physically lean and fit (and not over-wt and lethargic - dont look like politicians).I think it will convey an energetic and non-stereotypical image of the BJP politicians . Yourself Arun Jaitley, NaMo and others need to lose weight.

Please dont take any of the comments personally.

Anonymous said...

See the list of Congress MPs: Rahul Pappu’s Meritocracy indeed about whihc our media has been going ga-ga. These ones I know but I am sure there are many more in Congress. Other paties do have relatives but a handful in each –all parties combined will not exceed Congress’ PLS.
Ajay Maken
Jyotiraditya Scindia
Sachin Pilot
Milind Deora
Sandeep Dikshit
Ashok Tanwar (?)
Ratna Kumari
Deepender Hooda
Naveen Jindal
Shruti Chaudhary
Mausam Noor
Hamidullah Sayeed
Priya Dutt
Y.S. Jagan Reddy
D Gogoi (?)
Meira Kumar
Jitin Prasad
Bharat Solanki
Avtar Bhadana (?)
Rao Inderjit Singh
Meenakshi Natrajan
Arun S Yadav
Preneet Kaur
Jyoti Mirdha
Meritocracy indeed!

Anonymous said...

Folks The BJP is mix of Republican and Democrates. Republuicans in the sense the no minority is going to Vote. Democrates that media and so called vocal india is not supporting it. They really need some very good leader with whom left over india can identify like Obama or Vajpai or Chavej(Venejuela).

Anonymous said...

ourself Arun Jaitley, NaMo and others need to lose weight.

Please dont take any of the comments personally.


Oh! come on India isn't Delhi. This is the most funny and useless comment I've read on this blog.

Itsdifferent said...

I think there is an urgent need for Radio/TV stations around the country, to present the right wing views.
2. No pandering to Muslims, at the same time, no big time hoorah on Hinduism. Its there, and no one can shake it. Hindus are a majority, and they expect the party to respect that.
3. Develop grass roots. Let the RSS and BJP work together, at every temple, school in the local community, do all kinds of things that are local. Dont have huge banners, pictures, slogans etc. Just do your duty, and subtly let it be known, that it is all being done by BJP.
4. Let the state governments (BJP) run a clean, progressive government, and publicise that in a big way.
5. Be high tech, use all the latest and greatest technologies available. The youth are a majority, they dont hinduism, or our culture, but they dont let it bind them from enjoying the freedome. Example: Drinking and going to the bar is not a sin (as made out by some of right wing groups). Dating is not a sin. Today's youth know what is right and wrong, what is practical, where is the limit, so dont be a cultural police. Create ways to engage them, they are ready to help, do any kind of social experiment with them. Provide them leadership, make them part of all action. Let them have fun doing this. Respect to elders no more means, standing up, when they come into the room, or falling on their feet. Treat the youth as friends, encourage healthy dialogue, debate.
I can go on and on, but you can read my mind on these lines. Thats the only way to grow the party.

Sreejith said...

I don't agree with your argument "RSS is impediment to change in the BJP". I don't know whether you noticed,
1. Weeks before the elctions, In one of their regular yearly meeting, RSS completely revamped their top leadership, including the chief, with in half an hour time.
2. Though it's such big organisation, and RSS chief is regarded as the chief of the whole "Parivar", They cahnged, with out any media speculation, or debate or groupism!
3. The most fascinating part is, the new team of RSS is aged below 60 on average.

If they can bring in a generational change, so smoothly, why can't BJP learn from them!! I have seen fierce fighting in BJP even to elect a district president, forget national president!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Swapan!

aw said...

Hi Swapan,

I find it difficult to understand why everyone wants BJP to be on Center-right as understood from a Western model. I do not think Congress is any more Center-Left than BJP is center right. The political parties say something and implement whatever works/ is convenient. So before BJP rushes to occupy center-right we need to understand what they mean by that.

India requires a higher pace of change than what is being delivered presently with the benefits spreading deep down the society. What does right and left mean in practice? What delivery systems are required? BJP has to show through policy and then practice ( in States they are in power) how they intend to do much better than the Congress driven model which the Congress cannot copy without violating principles that their supporters expect them to honor. That is a truly differentiating system and helps people understand why one is better over other.
BJP's current problem is that they are not sure what they represent / should represent. Out of power they were iffy about the NDA model itself.