Total Pageviews

Follow by Email

Friday, June 12, 2009

Junking the Ugly Hindu image

Whether some people like it or not, the discussions over the outcome of Election 2009 has been enlarged into a debate over the future course and direction of the BJP. This is heartening. It shows that there are people who look at the BJP as more than a political party: it is an emotional commitment.

There may be some collateral considerations behind the positioning of some individuals but this does not distract attention from the one common concern: the need to rejuvenate the party and, indeed, the wider movement associated with it.

The question that necessarily follows is: does rejuvenation demand a reinvention? It is on this question that there are sharp disagreements.

It is very important that the focus remains firmly on the issues. In the ultimate analysis, the procedural aspects are not terribly important. Does it matter if someone writes an article or circulates a private note or makes an intervention on TV? To date, those at the organisational helm of the party have not delineated a framework and forum for debate. The party president is quoted in the media as saying that there will be a debate if the "need for it arises". It would seem that he is living in a cloistered environment where "need" is unrelated to the environment.

The suggestion that an unnamed three-member team is already assessing the damage and will suggest remedies is a non-serious one. As far as my information goes, there is a three-member RSS team that is studying the election. Their conclusions will no doubt be worth studying. But this committee shouldn't be a reason for the BJP to abdicate its political responsibilities. The BJP must look at the defeat from a political perspective.

I don't want to repeat my arguments about the so-called ideological parameters for the future. It is important, however, to clarify that shedding the H-word does not imply discarding the ethical and cultural compass that has guided the party so far. What I am insistent on is the effective dissemination of ideas and the image of those articulating it.

Effective image management does wonders in politics. For the BJP to become appealing once again, it must become contemporary. There is, unfortunately, a face of the BJP that is both reactionary and retrograde. If you want elaboration, just look at some of the comments to earlier blogs.

I think that in the next year or two, the BJP has to recover its image of sobriety and become the intelligent voice of nationalism. As a starter, the party could consider sustained interventions on the following themes:

  • Strengthening institutions of the state such as Parliament, judiciary, Election Commission.
  • Opposing the political protection of corruption through a malleable CBI
  • Arguing for prudent fiscal policies and an end to state-run inefficiencies
  • Highlighting the achievements of its state governments
  • A watchdog role to prevent weak-kneed responses to neighbourhood troubles and arm-twisting by the superpower
  • A more equitable federal arrangement that devolves more resources to the states

I think it is important that the BJP imposes a two-year moratorium on elevating sectarian and identity-related issues to the top of the political agenda.The point is to demonstrate that BJP takes an interest and has views on subjects other than (what someone called) Mickey Mouse issues.

The BJP's Hindu credentials don't need reiteration. Its Ugly Hindu image has to be washed off completely.

Meanwhile, go full steam in the task of overhauling state units and trying to secure a meaningful foothold in the southern and eastern states. There has to be generational change at all levels.

PS: THE TEHELKA ARTICLE OF MINE THAT IS AT THE CENTRE OF A CONTRIVED MEDIA CONTROVERSY

158 comments:

offstumped said...

Bang on, though I think a 2 year moratorium on sectarian is silly for it seems like the issues are legitimate but let us artificially put a lid to appear clean rather than ugly. I think the reinvention must be thorough and complete. It must not just put sectarian issues into perspectve but also must unambiguously articulate the process by which they must get resolved within the ambit of constitution and rule of law. A reinvention is about charting a bold new path and that cannot happen with a cosmetic cleansing and timidity in facing up to contentious issues which have been the bane of the movement.

The themes look fine but without a coherent ideological anchor will not inspire credibility and confidence. There needs to be a uniting ideological umbrella theme within which these issues must be pursued.

BJP_supporter said...

I would expect the BJP to do something constructive and right on the reservations issue. If we are going to deny access to 50% of the seats (more in some states) to some sections of the population, we need to atleast make sure that we are doing that for real social justice. Not because a politician represents a particular group and will protect its position in the BC list for his votes.

Do you see this as a sectarian and identity issue, and thus dont want to comment? I think this is not. This is at the core of our constitution, equality and equal opportunity.

Not that I do not agree with the other suggestions. On strengthening institutions, we can add all constitutional positions (like Election commissioners, CAG etc) - they need to have a mechanism for appointment rather than being a one-party political decision.

Fiscal prudence will be a tough call in a climate when everyone is into 'stimulating' at the cost of humongous deficits, and even US is discovering the virtues of state control of business. The government has clearly said they dont care for deficits, and that is what Dick Cheney said a long time ago too. I do not agree with this (being a real conservative), but this is a tough call.

The issue I hold important - reservations - is unique to India, it touches our lives in a way that no other issue does.

Think about this - every boy and girl turning 18 going to vote is also going to be faced with this issue, one way or another.

may be i expect too much.

Shankar Iyer said...

Swapanda

Agree with you. In sectarian issues, the distrust on the other side vis a vis BJP is so much that the moment it takes up any such issue, people (not just minorities but 'progressive' hindus too) percieve it to be 'communal' or with ulterior motives. No sensible indian would have a problem with Uniform Civil Code, but he has a problem because BJP took it up! So be it!!! This way, the issue itself is dumped by both sides and nothing really moves forward on that front. You can't change them, you can change yourself to help them understand you better!

Thanks
Shankar Iyer

Balaji said...

Calling the H-word as bad, but refraining from identifying Hindutva as Fascism seems like the perfect way to fall between the stools.

Besides talking in vague terms doesn't help. Lets be specific on what BJP needs to do in the next 2 years.

Party:

1. Abolish organization secretary posts and send RSS men back to social work.
2. Remove term limits on party presidents (esp at the state level). Let them serve as long as they keep winning party elections.
3. Break the alliance with Shiv Sena and INLD. Get out of the Punjab govt and provide outside support.

Policy:

1. Introduce Uniform Civil code in Parliament as a BJP sponsored private member bill.
2. Support women's reservation with a slight modification (males can contest as independents, only parties will agree to field women in 33% constituencies).
3. Support the government on Economic reforms. To begin with support GST.
4. Propose a constitutional amendment to introduce ratification of governors by state legislature. Also propose Parliamentary ratification for appointments to the posts of CBI director, IB, RAW chiefs, election commissioner, Attorney and solicitor generals, central vigilance commissioner, chief info officer etc.

Personnel:

1. Elect Bal Apte as President. Retire Advani from politics and hand over reins to Sushma.
2. Appoint 'czars' to build party at grass root level. Joshi in UP, Venkaiah in AP, TN, KL.
3. Keep Kulkarni, Chandan, Swapan and Balbir Punj away from Party affairs. They are welcome to be right leaning journalists.

Arun said...

Perceptions don't change easily. The hostile media will not help matters. Better to come up with a brand new sister party that will make its name on bread-and-butter issues.

zoomindianmedia said...

Swapanda

Bulls Eye. To answer one of your questions. Mere Rejuvenation will not do. Infection (some would say cancer) is chronic and requires serious treatment. Mere symptomatic treatment would not suffice.

Painful restructuring of BJP is necessary. And here is a framework for that.
http://www.samarthbharat.com/bjp.htm

And a more detailed perspective is provided here.
http://tinyurl.com/l8jr4j

A personality rooted in native Indian (Hindu) ethos while avoiding the totalitarian ugliness of church/mosque that some people hold as worthy
is the way to go. Hindu DNA of BJP is its greatest asset needs to be nurtured and treated as such.

No Mist said...

Swapanda what you say is correct ... BJP needs a serious image makeover and what you outlined will go a long way in making BJP what we want it to be. Currently BJP seems to be hijacked by the wrong set of people ... it must be wrested back from the rabble rousers and restore India to BJP and BJP to India. Unless the right people take charge no image makeover is possible. With Rajnath trying for a second term I feel the time for action is now for those who want to save the soul of BJP. I am not making Rajnath a scapegoat ... but he is part and parcel of that image which must be discarded and his removal is as much symbolic as realpolitik.

Now coming to some prosaic issues. I feel that BJP must concentrate on urban environment. BJP must elaborate and spearhead a sustained campaign for improving urban India. I think everyone appreciates that the future of India (and indeed the world) is urban. Out cities are in shambles .. it is no secret. I think every state unit of BJP must concentrate on 10 cities of that state and see to it that city governance improves. By improvement I mean cleanliness and sanitation (first and foremost), drinking water availability in each house, electric lighting (which must be paid for by the pocket of consumers, not subsidy), efficient public transport, corruption free city governance.

True that our legislation does not provide for such wide ranging measures, but what is a political party which cannot campaign for it. It is my (and everybody's) dream to see a clean India. If BJP can work towards it, it will do wonders for India, BJP and us too.

Along with image makeover measures, I feel the above provides something concrete ground level issues to work for too.

zoomindianmedia said...

Shankar

Your comment on Uniform Civil Code is factually wrong.

Muslim opposition has nothing to do with BJP. Even when there was no BJP, muslims opposed it and will always oppose it.

And please dont use the word 'progressive' loosely. It means different things to different people;).

Deepak said...

Swapanda

You have made a very good suggestion, a two-year 'unpublicised moratorium' on Hindutva will be a good option. Also required is a moratorium on all and sundry talking to the press. The recent shenanigans of Jaswant Singh, Vinay Katiyar and Sudheendra Kulkarni have have not helped the party.

Strengthening party at state level is very important and organisational people should do it, not people like Rajnath Singh. Already in Karnataka, dissidence has erupted and is hurting the party's image. Lots of work has to be done in the next 2 years and BJP can't afford to waste time with sectarian issues which can further alienate the middle class and youth. Most important is to play the role of a constructive opposition - supporting reforms and exposing the seamy side of the UPA.

No Mist said...

@BJP_supporter

You say that reservation ought to be proven such that it is to the real benefit of some community (or social justice as you put it) not because of whims and fancies (along with self interest) of some neta.

True pal ! But how do we make sure that your concerns are not motivated by your whims and fancies (along with your self interests). How do we convince ourselves that your motives are not guided by 'sectarian and identity issue' ? I have been to some anti-reservation protest meets of (extremely well educated, more than you can imagine) students. And very often I have seen that their language turns to resemble hate speeches, though only the unsphisticated ones are fool enough to truly speak their mind. But after just 15 minutes into their conferences, anybody with a clear and unclouded judgement will understand what is the meaning of such gem of tirades - "they produce so many children so that they can take advantage of reservation", "they would overtake us and leave us to begging primarily by their fecundity not by their skill (which they have none)", "first you should give low level unskilled jobs to them like washing streets etc", "skilled jobs are not for them, they have to gradually come to that level and that takes generations, not years" ... I should have warned that it gets ugly ... I myself felt like puking the first time I heard all this shit.

Dear BJP_supporter unless you work really hard to convince many ppl, you will be lumped among the type of people I have just described. Because the issue you raised is one that arises out of one of the most unjust social systems ever devised in history. And please do not be a fool and spill your minds ;-) Do not make the assumption that others will be as bigoted as you (if you are).

Please get real. Reservations are here to stay. They are not here because of some political neta. The exist because of shortage of educational opportunities. And caste based discrimination also is not the "really real, truest of the true blue" reason ... else why the otherwise well enough OBCs latched on to this reservation bandwagon ? They latched on to it coz they saw it as a shortcut to an otherwise tough world of getting into seats of better colleges which are in short supply.

The solution is to implement educational reforms and not to fight against reservations. The solution is to deregulate universities, and allow private sector to enter this area uninhibited.

I hope you understand this well enough and not be a chicken mind to just rake this issue because of a visceral hatred of other people which happen to be born into other castes.

I may be being slightly judgemental about you, but after seeing scores of ppl like you I have to generelize.

mpanj said...

Swapanda,

How about something simple: ‘India First’.

Fight against corruption - Serve India First
Fight against Terror – Protect India First
Fight for resources – Provide for India First (not caste, not religion, not language)

If India wins – BJP wins.

There seems to be a real groundswell of support for an India-centric political agenda.

The defeat of Mayawati, Lalu and CPM does suggest a scenario where voters have begun seeing through the cynical use of caste and politics of negativism.

India First Vs. Family First
India First Vs. Caste First
India First Vs. Minorities First
India First Vs. Afzal Guru First
India First Vs. Corruption First
India First Vs. Friendship with Pakistan First
India First Vs. Kashmir First
India First Vs. Regionalism First

An India First agenda helps counter BJP’s adversaries (both internal and external) at several levels.

Uniform Civil code must be implemented as India’s future comes First – its about developing India as a modern nation and not about imposing Hindutva on minorities.

Kashmir must be fully integrated with India as India’s integrity comes first, not political correctness.

Law and order infrastructure must be overhauled as India’s safety comes first.

States must be allowed greater autonomy as India’s progress comes First.

One last point.

An ‘India First’ agenda is both easier to communicate and difficult to counter.

doubtinggaurav said...

Swapan Da,

I am a bit puzzled so I hope you will help me here.

1. You said that H word (modified to ugly H word in this post) is a hindrance to pursuance of power. Hence

2. You suggested that

a. BJP drop H word and
b. BJP adapt programs for reforms and good governance.

Keeping the tenability of the premise aside for the moment, on what basis do you think reforms or governance will be such a vote getter. If the aim is to get votes whats wrong with good old bribes like free color TVs or free Gold rings or even reservations after all they have worked.

BJP_supporter said...

Swapan,
I hope that this interaction with BJP supporters on the net would influence your thinking too. As a person with access to the media, there are things that you can do to represent these voices.

From 'Farewell to the H-word' to 'Junking the ugly Hindu image', and "It is important, however, to clarify that shedding the H-word does not imply discarding the ethical and cultural compass that has guided the party so far." - there has been a subtle shift which is probably due to the volume of comments. Democracy probably prevails on the Net too. Thanks.

Let us kindly remember that to many, Narendra Modi is also our 'ugly Hindu image'. Modi was the 'Hindutva poster boy' for CNN-IBN and Express until they found Varun. Even after Modi challenged the premise of Sachar report by highlighting with statistics the condition of Muslims in Gujarat and another 'secular' state, He will still remain communal.

I do not know RSS much. But Modi was apparently a RSS pracharak until 1987. If that is what RSS contributes, I would think we want more of that, and not less.

In 2014, BJP should face the elections with Shourie and Modi - as Krishna and Arjuna faced the battle in Mahabharatha. Many other elder leaders have made their contributions, we are grateful to them for that, and now it is time for them to step aside.

Tathagata Mukherjee said...

Poet Sudhindranath Dutta once wrote- even if you are blind, will the Pralaya stop?

Congress and its client media thinks like the blind. Author thinks, Congress will stop pandering Jihadis, appeasement politics for next two years.

Amarnath Yatra is yet to start- media is keeping mum as if its a non-issue.
Reservation for Muslims in some form or the other is coming very soon.
US is toeing Pakistani line on Kashmir in Delhi - not a single statement comes from UPA.
China is openly threatning- not a single statement from UPA.

I agree with Iyer. Till bJP articulated its position on UCC in mid 1980s, CPIM used to support UCC. Ask Brinda Karat how many times she spoke on equal rights for women. As soon as BJP spoke, they took opposite position. It has become 'communal' issue.

DADA- ITS MUSLIM VOTE. THAT'S THE REASON CONGI WON THIS ELECTION. THAT'S THE REASON CONGI IS SOFT ON SO MANY ISSUES AFFECTING INDIA TODAY NEGATIVELY.

This creation of Muslim identity by psuedos doing greatest damage to the country and to them. But till that laxman rekha is crossed, with help of media controlled by capital, Congi/media will let this farce continue.

Arjun said...

Ok so all of what you say sounds sensible. Now tell us whether this sort of sensible thinking exists within the BJP? It is irrelevent what all of us think should be the right direction. What is important is whether the BJP will do anything about its decline.

harish said...

Swapan da,
I don't understand what you are talking. Do you think the indian voters are so mature to think of fiscal prudence etc??
Do you even think that the media will cover these issues if BJP takes it head on??
Do you think the media will not derail the efforts of BJP moving away from its hindu credentials??
I think the death of BJP is imminent if it doesn't know to handle media. After all perception matter sir.

Anonymous said...

"It is important, however, to clarify that shedding the H-word does not imply discarding the ethical and cultural compass that has guided the party so far"
==========================================

Shedding the H-word means what ? Pls make clear once and for all. With that word would u also drop ur commitment for Ram Mandir, article 370 and uniform civil code ?

I know u have already given up these commitments and u've no credibility left on these issues either. But still there r some hardcore BJP voters(morons actually) who believes BJP will fulfill its commitment one day so at least for them tell us: r u now going to give up these commitments formally, since u hate word Hindutva these days ? This is everybody want to know I guess. Ur reply will put the confusion to rest.

No Mist said...

@shankar iyer

who will benefit from uniform civil code ? clearly the muslims who have the most backward of codes. so why are 'hindus' so agitated by it ? coz they percieve it to be the reason for exploding musilm population. they fear being overtaken by muslims ... so they must restrict their population growth and hence they demand for UCC ...

now this is an absurdity ... the demand for UCC should come from muslims not hindus ... untill that happens everybody who raises this issue will be called 'communal' and i think it is justified ...

basically the first demand to be raised to human standards must come from those who are living like sub humans ... nobody can (or should) try to pull somebody out of the gutter if they are not even raising the first call of (even a feeble) demand. anybody who does so will naturally be seen as a manipulator ... and in most (actually all) cases they are ... think about it all prophets claimed to do it too ... and all were demagogues of the highest order ...

and on the population issue ... UCC or no UCC the population ratio will continue to change (or not change) as they are now ... UCC will do nothing to it ...

Anonymous said...

Last election most of the votes came from hardline hindus.Next elections you plan to alienate even them!
Very good you guys will take BJP to 2 seats again.

Anonymous said...

Swapan,

"Strengthening institutions of the state such as Parliament, judiciary, Election Commission" you say. But you must we aware that the Sangh stands high on the number of police/court cases and law violations for things like hate-speeches, moral policing, communal violence, incitement etc. How can the promoters of “Hindutva mobocracy” who say saying things like "Christian maoists killed swami, so hindu mob reaction is justified" or that "Gujarat riots are a natural fitting reply by hindu mobs" etc? Such attitude is exact opposite to the strengthening of the state institutions like judiciary etc that you talk about. The Islamists also do such things and promote communal mobocracy, but they do not pretend that they are supporting/strengthening the institutes of a secular democratic state.

Then you say, “Highlighting the achievements of its state governments”. Even there, they cannot talk of social welfare, inclusive economics, human development, empowerment etc. An abstract “development” has no value whatsoever – they should be able to talk of people development and that is what people are interested in.

You then say that "it is important that the BJP imposes a two-year moratorium on elevating sectarian and identity". But why just for two years? If sectarianism is wrong, why not discard it forever?

And then you say" The BJP's Hindu credentials don't need reiteration. Its Ugly Hindu image has to be washed off completely". Can the BJP tell if Varun is a hindu role model? Let them decide on that first (http://fresheyesindia.blogspot.com/2009/06/is-varuns-speech-hindu-role-model-or.html)

BAALU RADHA KRISHNA said...

it is totally a betrayal shame on you

Anonymous said...

shame on you chidanand dasgupta utter shame with all your experience dont you realise that in Rajasthan people voted for congress because they did not like the ex-lady cm it mattered at the centre, sou imilarly from AP 30 congress MP's would have been defeated if TDP AND PRAJARAJYAM had an pre =pole alliance so the center fate would have been changed by now so where is ideology ./ y

Anshul said...

Hi Swapan
The contours of debate you have set out in the posts and your own thoughts are spot on(atleast in my opinion). I would like to know your reading of the state of affairs in the jostling in BJP's second rung as ultimately (unfortunately or otherwise), the few important personalities available to be the future face of "ideological" stances the BJP adopts are as important. If the BJP is to emerge as the 'Conservative Party' of India (as you appear to be advocating), it will need a "Pan Indian Face" to foil the Gandhi scion in 2014. I do not think that debate can be postponed for too long either as we are unlikely to have a'Obama' equivalent acscendence of a new face in the BJP. Which leaves us with pretty limited choices - Mr Modi, Ms Swaraj, Mr Jaitley are the only credible names which come to mind (in order of likelihood - i am too partial an observer to even contemplate the menangrie of Rajnat,Joshi, Singh et having any bearing on the ultimate outcome). Unfortunately, the brand identity of all three appears to be suffering from serious lacunae to be able to carry the positioning you have advocated (due to various reasons like Mr Modi's "unacceptability quotient amongst the 'secular masses' despite reality being otherwise, Ms Swaraj's perceived lack of intelectual depth or Mr Jaitley's lack of a mass base etc etc). My fear is without a credible brand to sell the value proposition, there is going to be problem ultimately at a pan india level against the Scion and the GOP. Your thoughts on how you see the ultimate resolution of the above as a political observer (rather than an advocate of you prefrence say) would be very interesting in a future post

Thanks
Anshul

Anonymous said...

So Swapan , what aggravates you , is I seek to use Nirad Babu's name and Sir you get fidgety , atleast he stuck to Go' Ol' Swaraga & pity ,You are left with offstumped kulkarni and anti tent wallahs!

Nothing personal.

So let me come to the crux.

Let Arun Jaitely on your behalf tell us , what he has achieved all this while.

Where did Sudhhendra go wrong in your opinion..

Nirad Babu was more honest, but what it adds to people who live here ..


Have grace , repl to mere 2 q raised above.

Kenny Chauhan said...

That's the spirit. Keep it up. Although there are only three comments so far (the guys are either mourning the Indian loss to West Indies, or they are enjoying their weekend, not a Hindu concept though!), all are spot on, just as Swapan is Bang On! (thanks offstumpted, that was my reaction just in the begining of the article).

This is what actually matters. The image. The image of the BJP. An image not to please the ELM and the like but an image to connect to the people of India. Shankar Iyer has put it beautifully, in fact he has hit the bull's eye when he says that whatever BJP does, it is seen with ulterior motives. Ever wonder why?

This situation is present because of the image that BJP carries. This is a baggage, a handicap for the party. And one does not have to be a genius to understand why this image has come to stay. Swapan himself observes that comments to the earlier blogs show the reactionary and the retrogade face of the BJP.

I too said this, in the last blog. This led to a derogatory and retrogade remark from the zoomindianmedia. Hey Mr.noname that was hitting below the belt. I do not approve of such behavior, that's not my upbringing, not my values. I feel one should have a name, a face and one should stand up for his beliefs, whatever they are.

And Swapan the BJP sure needs the "effective dissemination of ideas" and the "image of those articulating it". And the BJP also needs "a generational change at all levels" ( the Congress has a 28 years old minister and a below 40 Rahul as General Secretary)and ofcourse "task of overhauling state units".

Swapan please don't stop at the state level, the national level needs the most change. Things are leadership driven. Look how the leadership has behaved since 16 May. I feel 'Nero....while the rome burns'. The present dispensation does not inspire me, in fact it never did. I think the party should advance the party elections from november to now. This is the basic need. The roots and the grassroots have to be cleaned up and strengthened. We not only have to be ready for 2014, but also be ready for local and state elections that will be coming in the due course of time.

Taking up issues like strengthening democratic institutions is a very well thought out strategy. It sure will divert 'both' sides from what we discuss here. Things will look more sober and will go a long way in improving the image of the BJP.

Anonymous said...

What's with Jaswant Singh? What kind of ambitions is he nursing? The guy cannot even win an election in Rajasthan and has to go to Darjeeling to win a LS seat.

Anonymous said...

First of all BJP has to stop this fighting going on.

Jaswant Singh seems to be the leader of the camp that wants to prevent the rise of Jaitley. I am not sure what these guys like Jaswant Singh, MMJ, Rajnath bring to the table.

But Sudheendra Kulkarni needs to be kicked out.

Anonymous said...

I am not sure why Swapan Dasgupta is making Hindutva the main reason for the defeat of the party.

This is ridiculous. There must have been multiple factors and he keeps harping on Hindutva.

Was there nothing else wrong with BJP? Only Hindutva that led to the defeat.

Anonymous said...

I am completely confused by the factional wars in BJP. I cannot seem to figure out which are the main factions and who are the leaders of these factions. What is even more bemusing to me is that none of these factional leaders can really be called leaders-- they on their on cannot even in their own state (in some cases they do not even have a state). Could you please enlighten us on these factional wars.

Sanjay said...

Swapanda,
Sudheendra Kulkarni and some others are being ostracized for the electoral loss. If they were assets before the elections, just because bjp lost an election have they suddenly turned into liabilities? If there are some liabilities, and I am sure there are a few of them, they must have been liabilities even before the elections, and the party would certainly be better off without them at least in key positions. How come one electoral loss has turned all the parties’ assets into liabilities and all liabilities into assets??
What the party needs is more assets, the party no doubt has an impressive line up of talented people in the present ranks but I wouldn’t say that enough, and what about the generation next? Is anything being done to make the party an attractive proposition for young talent to get attracted towards it, of course it can’t match the financial strengths of some other parties, but that is all the more reason to do that something extra to neutralize that disadvantage.

Tathagata Mukherjee said...

Just a comment- Rajiv Rudy may not be a top BJP leader- but he spoke the truth. Sudhindra Kulkarni suddenly becoming journalist from LKA's closest aide that too in Tehelka is not acceptable for a ideologically and cadre based party.

Something is seriously wrong in top leadership.

I can never imagine how a person of the stature of LKA (whom I personally consider much more important, bigger than ABVajpayee, or for that matter bigger than Gandhi/Nehru) could put such a person at such a sensitive position.

Sanjay said...

Swapanda,
On to your question “does rejuvenation demand a reinvention? It is on this question that there are sharp disagreements.” We are only arguing over “Angrezi”. A forced reinvention is neither possible nor desirable, since we all agree for the need for rejuvenation, and in the process if the party finds itself reinvented for good, so it should be.

Oldtimer said...

Dear Swapan,

I don't think there's a great deal of opposition to your position from your readers. Playing the effective opposition on issues of governance is good enough to cpature public imagination.

But the point you've been dodging: The BJP's image is driven to a large extent by what its detractors determine it should be, because they have sources of information dissemination in their control. On Shourie's account, the previous Manmohan government has been the most corrupt and venal that India has ever seen. There just is no public awareness or debate about this loot because of the suppressio veri suggestio falsi method of media reporting. There actually was collusion between the government and a section of the media in covering up the cash-for-votes scam.

An intent to reinvent image is all good, but is pointless in the absence of a strategy to counter a concerted effort by establishment media to sully that image.

Karan said...

Hey Swapanda,
I completely agree with you on this post. BJP should shed the ugly Hindutva image. However it should also try to see that this image is not being attributed to the BJP by the Media.
Regards,
Karan.

zoomindianmedia said...

Mr. Me too Kenny

You call my remark derogatory. You find the Kanhaiya word derogatory and below the belt?

You are abusing ZoomIndianMedia a noname while claiming to have 'superior' upbringing and values.

Take your feeling about how other people should behave and shove it up. Others dont have to behave the way you deem fit and live by your rules.

ZIM

PS: I am being extraordinarily polite to you

doubtinggaurav said...

Many commentators are blaming Arun Jaitley for loss. While I am sure some share of blame must go to Arun Jaitley, the reasons for defeat go much beyond follies and foilbles of individuals (even Rajnath Singh) and are due to structural inadequacies not just in BJP but also Indian polity, foremost of which is the tendency to circle the wagons, I hold no brief for Mr Kulkarni but finding fault with him for publishig in Tehelka. Which is why I find this debate over Hindutva disappointing, and I speak as someone who supported booting Varun Gandhi out before elections. Whatever the merits or demerits of Hindutva, it was secondary if hardly any cause. The primary cause is CCC or chronic credibility crisis.

zoomindianmedia said...

Swapanda

Good response to Sudheendra Kulkarni @ Tehelka.

I wish you had also pointed the nature of his mea culpa.

Sunil Kulkarni would have been worthy of some sympathy had he been specific with his mea culpa rather than sweeping it under the carpet while pointing fingers at Modi, RSS et. al.

zoomindianmedia said...

Swapanda

This single pointed focus on Hindutva, many are inclined to believe helps deflect focus from the mal performance and to obfuscate the real reasons and individuals responsible for BJP's failure. BJP cant wish away its core strengths, support of RSS cadre, its legacy grounded in native Indian wellbeing.

Other more serious issues such as why Jaitley/Rajnath could not enhance BJP vote share in UP, why BJP got crushed in Rajasthan have not got the kind of importance they deserve.

Anonymous said...

@no mist

"""basically the first demand to be raised to human standards must come from those who are living like sub humans... nobody can (or should) try to pull somebody out of the gutter if they are not even raising the first call of (even a feeble) demand."""

i disagree here... i believe that those with the power to do something for the opressed, have the responsibility to do it..the problem with ur statement is you assume that the downtrodden's voice (be it feeble) will be heard..this premise is flawed..if someone can see their countrymen in distress, then if they have the power to help them they also have the responsibility to help them..
if nobody should even help the weak just because they are not in a position to shout for help
the weak will never be empowered..


on the reservations issue dont you think it is more prudent to give the benefits of reservation based on the handicaps that a person faces at an individual level???? in terms of the kind of schooling he/she has had, the educational background of his/her family..the parental occupation..the access to specialized coaching..etc??? dont you believe that now across caste and community lines we have an elite , middle class , poor population groups..
so when caste is not a homogeneous grouping of individuals how can it be used as the only criteria to judge backwardness???

the medical college im studying in has 12 general merit seats and 18 reserved seats.. and of the 18 only 2 ppl have genuine certificates.. the rest 16 have faked either their caste or income certificate to claim reservations..(im not exaggerating) in my junior batch is one of my schoolmates who studied in a boarding school paying 2.5lakhs Per yr, and his claimed family annual income is Rs 50,000 for getting reservation...these are just a few examples... what point im trying to make is that no body will have a problem with affirmative action as long as it benefits the actual socially, economically underprivileged individuals...

the system in the current form lacks efficiency...the goal must be inclusiveness of the real poor and downtrodden into the mainstream and not create more caste based elitism...not only is the current system unfair to the poor people belonging to "forward" castes but its more unfair to the real socially disadvantaged individuals...all that our quota brigade does is demand more and more reservation but never does it tackle the fundamental problems..all that they have been doing is to create a vote bank based on caste identity and are doing all in their power to keep the actual backward people eternally backward so that they can keep eating their votes promising them to bring them into the mainstream..

this whole concept in the current form promotes only more and more caste/community ghhetoisation...instead if the whole debate is shifted to assess backwardness at an individual level then it will promote unity among the underprivileged and will force the system to give them a fair share..only in this way will the fundamental problems facing the poor be addressed..

there is another line of argument that people present, that reservations are a means of increasing the representation of all castes and and not a poverty alleviation measure.. to all these people my only question,, would this be necessary if caste identity can be made irrelevant by not allowing any caste community group to display their caste/ religion in the selection process??? and instead ensure that a unique national identity number is the only source of identification of an individual for all official purposes..???

the "sab jaati samaan , sab jaati mahan" slogan used by advaniji is fundementally flawed in the sense that it keeps the concept of "jaati" alive perpetually... i would rather suggest "jaati todo..bharat jodo"..

Anonymous said...

now this is an absurdity ... the demand for UCC should come from muslims not hindus ... untill that happens everybody who raises this issue will be called 'communal' and i think it is justified ...

basically the first demand to be raised to human standards must come from those who are living like sub humans ... nobody can (or should) try to pull somebody out of the gutter if they are not even raising the first call of (even a feeble) demand.


Exactly. Nobody should be bothered if the Muslims want to be 2nd class citizens surviving at the margins of society. People are only bothered when the progressives start down the path of using the 2nd class status of Muslims as an excuse for dispensing special favors as if the 2nd class status wasn't chosen willingly by Muslims. Those Muslims who do not like the 2nd class status can always convert to another religion - and isn't it something to wonder why they are not choosing to do so?

BJP_supporter said...

DoubtingGaurav,
"on what basis do you think reforms or governance will be such a vote getter. If the aim is to get votes whats wrong with good old bribes like free color TVs or free Gold rings or even reservations after all they have worked."

Spot on in my opinion. If I can vote for a particular party and get some special benefit for myself, how do you ask me to vote for a 'larger interest like governance or better roads or lesser deficit' that I share with everyone else? In effect you are asking me to be irrational. People are not irrational. Let us all kindly wake up and smell some Coorg coffee (like oldtimer said before).

Would an employee of Air India vote against a 3 Billion USD bailout because that widens the deficit? Funny, no? If one party proposes this bailout, why would you expect BJP to be irrational and stand in the way, thus potentially losing votes of all Air India employees, their friends, and families?

reservations is much much much larger.

No_Mist,
you use a cheap strawman tactic to call me a Bigot and few other things. I will still respond because the issue is more important. It is very unlikely though that you will follow up the thread for a response.

I have been commenting on this threads for a while now, and in most comments I mention reservations. There is a specific suggestion in one earlier comment - http://www.swapan55.com/2009/06/what-in-word.html?showComment=1244622033205#c8903317635799063489

'Presence of abilities' has figured in some Supreme Court judgments. You can also google.

You say OBCs latched into reservations benefit to avoid a tough competition. Would that make you a bigot?

Several states impose caste based reservations on private educational institutions also.

A review of both the backward classes list and reservations policy are part of 'Backward classes commission' and supreme court judgments. The executive has to do this, and they do not. And they will not for obvious reasons.

Anonymous said...

All this open introspection advocated by Swapan Dasgupta is going to harm the party. Sudheendra Kulkarni runs the campaign and now blames everyone but himself. I really do not know what is the claim to fame of this guy.

Jaswant Singh is peeved by Arun Jaitley's rising and goes ballistic. All in the name of honest introspection.

How is this helping the party? This kind f stuff happening before the elections (Kalyan Singh, Shekwwat) only hurt the party and it is going to hurt the party even more.

Which party has open debates? IS the CPIM having such debates. Jaswant Singh is such an indispensable leader that he has to go to the media to air his views.

BJP has to curb it. People like Jaswant and Brajesh enjoyed power when BJP was in power and now giving lectures when BJP is down.

Anonymous said...

The biggest problem with Swapan Dasgupta's analysis is his over reliance of Hindutva as a problem with the BJP.

I am not a supporter of rabid Hindutva but I do not think that Swapan Dasgupta's analysis carries much weight if he is fixated only on Hindutva.

It is pretty obvious that the Ram fervour of the 90s is not there and it is natural for that to happenn. That is why BJP has made good goverance its plank in all the states it governs.

Stating the obvious is no analysis and we need to see some more insightful analysis than just this.

This offstumped guy used to write about Hindutva 2.0 earlier and now writes about Shweta Chatra or something, talks about white color and bhagwa colour as an issue. Does he have any idea under what circumstances the movement was formed. Why would they pick white and not bhagwa.

Ram Srinivasan said...

Swapanda,
A war seems to have broken out amongst the BJP leadership (just saw the newsflash abt Yashwant Sinha resigning), would appreciate if you could share with us a sense of what is going on inside the party? Who is winning the war of ideas? Will BJP end up moving forward or backward? Maybe it is too early call, but am sure all BJP supporters are keen to know where BJP is headed.

Ram

Deepak said...

Swapanda, We are having a great introspection. But unfortunately, it seems to be of no use. Because, it is the BJP which should do the introspection and they seem least interested to do it. As I am typing this, the news is that, Yashwant Sinha has quit as VP and demanding that all office-bears should quit. The way things are moving, If BJP has to return to power, they have to either stage a coup or hope that the Congress makes a royal mess of things!

Pranav said...

Swapan da,

When Kashmiri Hindus become refugees in their own country, it is not a "Mickey Mouse" issue. When the Prime Minister can declare with impunity that people of a particular community have the first right on the money coughed up by taxpayer's, then it's not a Mickey Mouse issue.

And people like Modi don't become "ugly Hindus" for pointing out how the PM indulges ministers who want to give citizenship to Bangladeshi infiltrators.

These are all life and death issues and nobody (not even the BJP) is addressing them with the seriousness they deserve.

There is nobody in India who can attract a people like Modi can (not even Rahul Baba or Advani). There is nobody in the BJP who can communicate as effectively as Modi. The media will criticize Modi no matter what. But why is the BJP so determinded to abdicate the media space to Congress-supporting media owners? Why is the BJP so determined to keep mum on the dangers of EVM rigging under a compromised CEC?

Would India be best served if genuine people like Modi were liberated from the dead-wood of the BJP, and became the nucleus of a truly nationalistic party.

Anonymous said...

OK. So now Yashwant Sinha has resigned. Good riddance. All these Yashwant and Jaswant are hankering after posts and are upset that the new generation is taking over.

BJP should not try overhard to keep these guys. BJP will go through churning and a new leadership will emerge and these disgruntled old leaders are free to join any other party where they can be so indisciplined.

Anonymous said...

So these two dinosaurs, Jaswant and Yashwant are unhappy that Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley have been promoted.

Do they think that they inspire the people? They should float a party to satisfy their egos and see how much support they have without the party.

Anonymous said...

Swapan Das Gupta wrote an article in Tehelka last year that India was becoming increasingly Hinduised and a year later he writes that there is no Hindu consciousness.

What should we believe? Are we going to get a new theory next year.

What changed since last year?

Iyer said...

The BJP needs a voice:
1) As a national party, it needs a voice in every state. Build presence, in the South and East. Expand the base in the West, Centre and North.

2) It needs a media voice, too. Newspapers, TV channels in both Hindi, regional languages and English.

3) It needs representative voices: male and female, young and old, from a variety of castes and religions.

It needs to show that it is best to govern India as a civilisation and not as a family business.

It needs short, cogent arguments that are punchy, fact-based and crystal clear to the electorate.

Every leader in the BJP needs to undergo media training.

Retain the election momentum. Here's to a victory in 2014.

Congressi said...

Swapan Ji,
Even with all these plans the revival of BJP looks remote. BJP should forget about 2014 and start thinking about 2019. It is the Congress Party that is going to get absolute majority on its own in 2014 under Rahul Gandhi. Today where is BJP present in India except Gujarat and 2-3 other small states and there are doubts whether the Karnataka and Uttarakhand Govts would last their full term. Now there is unipolar polity in India again. Jai Ho.

Anonymous said...

Yashwant Sinha the man of principles resign today. In his own words, " "Our reluctance to introspect and introspect comprehensively and openly is unacceptable to a large number of people within the party. So is the rat race for posts. If we are a party with a difference, let us set an example in abnegation," Kudos to Sinha for calling spade a spade. Down with Jaitley and Sushma (party killers, media friendly and cowards). I agree with those who say BJP is finished.

offstumped said...

To Anonymous who had a question for "Offstumped Guy".

Yes I do understand the circumstances quite actually from the age of 3 attending a Shakha and exchanging letters with the Sarsanghachalak at the age of 16.

This reinvention is imperative.

Those who claim to be inspired by Hindutva or the "essence of Hindu Thought" are well advised to get a copy of Mackenzie Browns' book on the Shveta Chhatra and Dharma from Manu to Gandh.

Only then will they better understand where the Sangh and BJP missed the point on deriving a coherent ideology for Governance from centuries of Hindu thought.

Arjun said...

So with Yashwant Sinha stating what he has it is obvious that the BJP is finished. Imagine a party being led by Rajnath Singh and Advani! Its leader in Rajya Sabha is someone who has always shied away fighting elections. forget about this party addressing any of its issues. Its finished.

Anonymous said...

Expel Jaswant, Sinha, Shourie and anyone else who raises voice of dissent? They did same with Kalyan, Uma, Khurana and look where they are today. It is ludicrous to hear Rudy say no actionagainst Jaswant is planned. Is Advani some kind of Paramount Leader that no one can say anything against him? I find a readers' comments on Jaswant very offensive. He won and lost elections from Rajasthan (Chittor, my home town) and went all the way to Darjeeling to fight LS election as per party's wish. Contrast that with conwardly / manipulative Arun Jaitley! People like Jaswant, Sinha, Shourie, etc are asset to any party and even more for an intellectually bankrupt party such as BJP. But, then this is waht you have. You raise voice against "Ashikaris" or ask question abt party orthodoxy and you are a Jaichand! LK Advani built the modern BJP and he will also do Shradhkram of BJP before he leaves party / world. - Gopi

Pavan said...

Swapan Da,

Can you highlight the role of Congress-ish media in the whole election process? Also it's effect on BJP now? They sure seem to be celebrating.

Jitega Bharat said...

Swapan Da:

Can I invite you and the readers to a new website JitegaBharat.com with Forums & Blogs for the “Winning Ways” of 21st Century India.

I believe that any ideology, for it's exposure to the common man needs to coexist with common interests of Aam Admi, e.g. with Cricket, Bollywood, Business, Arts, etc - which is what JitegaBharat.com intends. Below is the announcement. Thank you.

Announcing the launching of JitegaBharat.com – Forums & Blogs for the “Winning Ways” of 21st Century India

We are pleased to announce the launching of a “Forums & Blogs” website about all things Indian at http://www.jitegabharat.com/
That India, along with China, is the story of the 21st century is stating the obvious. What India needs to do along the way is to influence and shape the world with it's values, attitude and behavior rooted deeply in it's sense of history and culture. This website is an attempt at helping define the "winning ways" of India in the 21st century..

In addition to extensive Forums on wide variety of topics related to India, we are also happy to provide you with the ability to create your own blog to unleash the hidden creative writer in you. Not many sites offer such a congregation of Forums AND Blogs but we are delighted to provide you with such an experience.

Another unique feature of JitegaBharat.com is that it will provide (create) a forum (FREE of charge) for any associations of Indians (in India or abroad) to serve as the platform for interaction among its members. These can be cultural, social, religious, charitable organizations, country, state, city or community-specific associations, hobby groups, investment clubs, Alumni Associations of your school or college, etc. After registering at JitegaBharat.com, you can send a message to the user "Admin" requesting creation of a forum with the desired name. After we create the Forum, you can inform members of your association about the forum.

Feel free to make suggestions to add different categories of forums or to improve user experience. If you would like to moderate certain forums let us know.

We welcome your participation and look forward to years of informative and entertaining interactions on any and every subject that will enhance your and India's strengths, diminish our weaknesses, overcome any threats and explore all opportunities.

The inspirations that we will take from this forum will naturally translate in to action in every sphere of life that we participate in. Similarly, do bring your own unique perspective to the forums and blogs and enlighten us.

So have a go at it and enjoy the ride as much as the destination!

Have a nice day & a satisfying life

- Administrator,
Jitega Bharat ... The Heartbeat of "India Uncaged" !
Forums, Blogs & Much More for the “winning ways” of 21st Century India

Anonymous said...

Rats are jumping the ship.
Whether ship sinks or not, it is alway better without rats.

Vikas

Tathagata Mukherjee said...

Yashwant Sinha has shown rare courage and did right.

All the central office bearers of BJP should resign and it should be reconstituted from scratch.

Anonymous said...

On a different note, Casteism is in mind not in religions. A worth reading article

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8090009.stm

Kaushiki said...

Dear Mr Dasgupta,

For the BJP to revive, there needs to MAJOR rehauling of not only its image but also its core philosophies. Right now, BJP is the worst of the lot: it is regressive on both economic front (espousing swadeshi) and social front (moral policing, hooliganism and hate speech). As a woman, I would never vote for the BJP because I would always be scared that it would try to bring in Taliban like moral policing into the country. Its and its sister organisations, the Sangh Parivar, have a totally regressive view on women and their role in society. Whatever its shortcomings, Congress is not socially regressive in the way the BJP is (btw...am no major of Congress either). However, unless the BJP is able to re-make itself into a strong nationalist but inclusive and progressive party, it is never going to win the minds of most Indians.

Sanjay said...

Swapanda,
Predictably there was a debate on BJP coming apart on NDTV which had your presence as well. The point I want to make is that in this debate (and a debate of similar nature) there were 5 speakers including the moderator, and in the “one-prime-time-hour-debate” every speaker got 5-10 minutes to speak with the bulk going to, but of-course, the moderator himself, so here is a situation where you are on a mainstream national platform with millions of eyeballs on you and you only have 5-10 minute window, so what would you rather do. Do you really want to respond to these neophytes and their questions who can’t even figure out which is more important – the country or their getting “Padmashree”? Or use this platform for what it is best meant for, convey your message to YOUR audience?
The real hero of the “big fight” was Shaina who used her time to connect to the masses with the party’s message like a true-blue political debater and probably didn’t even listened to what Vikram Chandra had asked, he was actually bewildered when his dim-witted and predictable “specific” questions went unaddressed. Shaina actually utilized the “10 minute window” to convey the party’s message to the voters instead of wasting her time in actually answering the dim-witted moderator. In fact you and Nalin were only responding to the moderator and giving more importance to him than he actually deserves. You not only wasted your 10 minute window, you made yourself look like a criminal defending yourself in court. Do you think these novices-moderators are worth answering to? I thought you were insulting your own stature.
Unfortunately, our nouveau media barons/baronesses and knights don’t understand the gravity of their position or the platform they are on, and think of it as a means to curry favor with the establishment for their dubious ends. They only deserve contempt and disregard. I suggest you should see when Mehbooba Mufti takes part in tv debates, do you think she actually answers their silly questions? She knows that the mainstream platform is only for the powerful in center and she can use this platform only during the five-minute window she would get under adverse conditions in debates like these.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Congressi. India's polity is unipolar and Congress will rule for a least 10 more years.

BJP should target coming to power in 10-15 years.
That is why it should groom young leaders and not keep the dinosaurs like Jaswant etc.

Siva said...

Swapanda,
As BJP_Supporter said, there has been a sinificant change in ur stance over the last couple of posts, rightly so IMHO. In Your 'Farewell to the H...' article, you were asking the BJP to dump Hindutva in its entirety in the Ganga and wash it off. Hence the sharp reaction questioning your commitment to the BJP. In 'Whats in a word', you mellowed. Now in this article, youve advocated sticking to all the principles of Hindutva, but not using the word Hindutva. The party hence loses nothing. THis is the best position to take IMO. Hope that this is the route the BJP takes. Maybe in hindsight, you could have worded your 'Farewell...' post better, and articulated your views better.

BTW, nice to see you take on Vikram Chandra on NDTV tonight. His glee at NDTV faciliatating the turmoil in the BJP was evident. I wish you had asked, what on earth was Manish Tiwari doing there on a debate exclusively about the inner working of the BJP? It was just an opportunity for Manish to gloat and show how the Congress was better than the BJP. You were great on the show, and the points you made were the best among all speakers, despite Vikram cutting you off every time. Please do appear on a lot more shows, turns out you are the best spokesperson of the aam BJP supporter.

In all your blogs, you have talked about the what the BJP needs to do to move forward. Now please talk about how exactly to achieve it i.e. how do we both stick to our principles and yet drop Hindutva. THat is much easier said than done. Hope you have some good ideas on that. That is sure to set off another firestorm of comments on your site, but I think it would be helpful. This article of yours, and the points you suggested are good starting points, but not enough. Remember that we still have an implaccably hostile media waiting for the BJP to even take a baby step away from Hindutva so that they can gloat about how the BJP/RSS ideology for hte last century has been flawed. And if that happens, we might actually end up losing ground - a concern of many other commenters, a finite possibility atleast in the short term. Your ideas on that?

BTW, any info on whether your thoughts are atleast being considered by the higher ups in the party chain of command? Otherwise, we are just wasting our time.

Deshabhakta said...

Namaste Swapan ji,
I totally agree with the contents of this blog. I am not sure whether you planned it to be so, but this blog note concludes that it is basically an 'image' problem and not 'Hindutva' or 'ideology' problem. You have mentioned that BJP should look at image makeover. Absolutely correct; I agree as long as it does not mean giving up Hindu/Nationalist identity politics but only means presenting its identity in a better and effective way. I look at it from better media management perspective. They should consider running a BJP backed TV channel. 'Image' is built more by the e and p-media now than the object itself. How much ever the object is good, if the media keeps projecting it as bad many/most people will percieve it to be bad. Media keeps bashing RSS; what wrong has the Sangh done?
I have no issues with this proposed moratorium on so called sectarian issues (should have been termed religious issues). But has this moratorium been not in place for several years now? Well Varun ji's speech was exception; on which other occasion did BJP talk of Hindu interest? Mangalore attacks were not by BJP; they were attributed to BJP by the media. The Amarnath Sangharsh was handled locally by the Hindus there; BJP did not side with it. Same is the case Ram Setu agitation; BJP's support was not visible to the common man. It might have been involved in the background and even if it so it amounts to moratorium on sectarian issues. We have a BJP government in Karnataka here for more than year now but the Datta Peetha issue has not even been talked about. BJP needs to present itself better and media needs to be fair in presenting BJP.

Haan Swapan ji, BJP is an emotional issue for many of us. I want the BJP to be a sensible political party with nationalist agends and would not accept any compromise on the ideology it was started with.

Anonymous said...

Swapan,
Not related to this particular post but here goes.You have been championing the abandoning of Hindutva by the BJP and simultaneously pushing for Modi to be at it's helm. Is it only me that notices this glaring contradiction - to state the obvious Modi is widely 'perceived' to be the champion of the very Hindutva you would like discarded.
I am not able to reconcile the 2 but would love to hear your thoughts on the issue

Anonymous said...

What will Yashwant do? If he is a man of principles, why so much dramabaazi? Like writing a letter and sending it to the media.

Anonymous said...

Does the BJP stand for secular democracy or hindutva mobocracy? Let them decide on that first.

Siva said...

Continuation to my earlier comment

1) I remember reading an article somewhere, writte in 2007, talking of the BJPs abysmal performance as the principle opposition party. Basically the article said, after 2004, 6 years in govt, the BJP had forgotten what it was like to be in the opposition. And the article ended with "whether or not the Congress deserves a second term in govt in 2009, the BJP deserves a second term in opposition". That is quite true. If the UPA govt was bad, our performance as the opposition was frankly worse. This has affected us indirectly as the party became potrayed in the media more interested in politicking than development, completely contrary to the facts, as can be seen in Guj, MP etc. But when ur in the media, why would facts matter? :) The BJP should concentrate on being a strong constructive opposition party, while still putting the govt on the backfoot wherever possible. There will be many opportunities, like you said the mandate given by the Congress High Command to this Cabinet is to make the path for His Highness Rahul easy in 2014. So there are likely to be many pitfalls with a govt trying to outdo itself with populist measures. We should be ready to combat this.
2) More importantly, where do you see the BJP 5 years from now? IN a post before the elections, you said "for 2014, my vote is unwaveringly for Narendra Modi". Do you stand by that? Any incremental gains the BJP might have made as a secular / less vocally Hindu party till then, even if they were to follow your advice, will be lost the day we announce Modi as PM candidate. Like you pointed out in your debate with Vikram Chandra today, tying Modi with Varun Gandhi is a grave injustice to Modi. But the media will have a field day saying the BJP is returning to hard Hindutva. Now will that hurt or help, God knows. But any gains the BJP might make following your ideas would be washed away.

My vote for 2014 is still unwaveringly with Narendra Modi. How about yours? Doubtless you too feel that that question can be answered on a later date, not till 2012. But that is a question we inevitably have to face. And if we announce Modi as a candidate, all hell will break lose in the ELM, atleast in their eyes we go back to the hardline party image. And unfortunately, they reach millions more that you or me, especially in urban areas, one of the key reasons the BJP lost this time.

3) Any concrete suggestion to tackle the Rahul persona. He has it easy, he never makes an concrete speeches in parliament, never shows strong views on any topic (take his vacillation on reservations), didn't even reply to the Presidents Speech etc. He is slowly but surely building up a demi-god status, a person above us mere mortals. How do you tackle that? Any attack on him is seen as an attack on the youth, or an attack on a sincere politician. Any attack on him faces retaliation from the ELM. What do you do?

In an election campaign, discrediting your opponent is key. And that starts much before an election. Advani was discredited thanks to Jinnah, Kandahar, Babri etc - some were self goals, most from the Congress. The Congress started the discrediting of Modi long ago, truth be told, they have it easy there. We failed in discrediting MMS, and we need to discredit Rahul Gandhi. Even statements lke 'I can solve terrorism in 15 mins' are given a pass from a friendly media. Discrediting is different from a negative campaign. Any suggestions on how to weaken Rahul over the next 5 years? That would be essential if we are to entertain any hopes of winning 2014.

The Maverick said...

Swapan da, long time reader but first time I am commenting

Anonymous said...

Rajnath Singh is not able to manage the party. Why did he not hold a post mortem after the defeat.

A lot of leaders are going to the media precisely for that reason.

I have mentioned multiple times that this Rajnath Singh will destroy the party and I am sure he will do that if he has not done that already.

And yes, he is looking for another term and maybe RSS will give him that.

According to media reports, another senior leader will quit on Sunday. Great going.

Part with a difference, bipolar polity is all BS. They should try to get 50 seats in the next election.

Nikhil said...

It is sad that Yashwant Sinha has resigned his party posts. He is one of the truly respected senior partymen, and his knowledge of worly issues is vital for us.

What is suspect is how NDTV got the letter and the info before anyone in the BJP top brass did. If there has been a leak, it has to be plugged at once. If the leak is from Yashwant Sinha himself as seems likely, then I am sorely disappointed.

If you have read his letter, it actually makes a lot and lot of sense. All the points he has raised are valid. Only going to the media is not.

In any case, he has not quit the party, and has promised to continue to work for the party. I dont know if others agree, but I think it would be wise to have him as party President atleast for a short term, say till 2012. He can quit the post before the next elections. This will ensure a smooth transition between the old-guard and the new-guard of the BJP.

I know many wont agree. But upon reading his letter on the NDTV website, I cant help feel all the points he has raised are correct.

But if he is the one to have leaked, then I take all of the above back. He should face disciplinary action immediately. Nothing weakens our party as much as leaking to the ELM.

Kumar said...

Dear SwapanDa,
You are focusing only on “Ugly Hindu image” of BJP in the last few blogs as if is the sole reason for the defeat. But you failed to explain why this image did not affect BJP when it won series of state elections and in few states it won good number of seats in this election also.

For me the main reason for BJP’s defeat is the bunch of selfish leaders who have completely neglected the party affairs. They thought that they are inching towards gaining power soon and focused on strengthening their own position within the party. This led to,
- Factionism and infighting within the party. This is not stopped even after the defeat.
- Lost long term vision for the party. Not focused on strengthening and expanding party base. Congress won most of its seat where BJP is weak.
- Failed to act as a responsible opposition and failed to fight for people’s issues. BJP should have conducted demonstrations country wide against issues like price rise. It only raised the issue during election time. Voters lost faith in the party.
- Unable to counter hostile media. Some BJP leaders are keen to improve their self image, not of the party and are conspired with the media.
I do agree that the Hindutva related issues (Varun and pub attack) did affect the party to some extent but not the extent you have now focused on. If it was not due to the biased media, I don’t think just a pub attack and Varun comment would have dirtied the age old Hindutva so easily. But I am very much surprised that you are only talking about Hindutva and not other important issues hunting the party. I am not sure of your intensions.

You wrote
“I think it is important that the BJP imposes a two-year moratorium on elevating sectarian and identity-related issues to the top of the political agenda”.
Could you please detail these “sectarian and identity-related” issues? Please be specific, there are lots of confusion among your readers regarding this. Are they Ram Mandir, UCC, and illegal immigration? If yes, what did BJP do on these issues in last 5 years. How it will help if the party imposes a two-year moratorium on these issues? Are they not in moratorium already?

What you think BJP should do on issues like Ram Sethu, Amarnat Yatra and Hindu sentiments (declaring Ram is a myth). What you think BJP should do when Congress practices vote bank politics?
These are the issues, BJP differ with most other parties including the Congress. And this difference gives BJP its separate identity. Please be remembered that all of these issues are not created or raised by the BJP. It was mostly congress creations, BJP just reacting to it. When you asked for moratorium on identity-related issues, How you think the party should react on these issues?

I request you to answer these questions in your next blog. Few readers have asked these specifics earlier but you have not responded. I think your response will clarify some of the misunderstandings between us (we, the BJP well wishers).

Thank you
Kumar

Anonymous said...

Wow. Rajnath Singh deserves to be given another term for hopw beatifully he has has managed the party after the election results were announced.

Another term should be given to him by ammending the constitution.

More seriously, BJP is gone, at least that is the impression among ordinary folks like. Just imagine the morale of the cadre.

Anonymous said...

well said sudhir.u echo my thoughts.also remeber they were doing this all thru the camapign and before,pretty much a 24-7 agenda.reporting and undermining the bjp by cooking up exagerrations about bjp problems when they were not talking pink chaddi and muthalik under,u guessed it bjp state govts. modi was screaming vikas v votebank,ladli yojna,swiss bank for development etc.but that was hidden because that would hurt congress.

these guys are congressmen there is len den behind the scenes,bribes rewards etc between congress and elmedia.period.sonia singh of ndtv is a congress ministers wife.prannoy has oldtime congress-mms connections( he got his break from congress-dd from 80's.

that they are claiming neutrality frauding us and defaming bjp-modi hindus with false propaganda is disgusting.

u say The entire media acts as a watch dog of BJP even when it is in oppostion when it ought to act as the watch dog of the government.only in india truly

i have written this too and everything else u said and some get it,many dont.

beisdes blanking out major national issues,these guys have double standards against hindus and bjp and pro congress becaues they are on the payroll of anti-hindu forces worldwide such as evangelists and islamists who have the money-muscle to fund them and also because they lobby with this money.eg bush denyiong visa to modi from pressure form south asian muslims including pakistanis who deviously call themselves an areligous body just like teesta gang who are a front for these forces.media will hide teesta's visits to the usa to conspire against modi's visa.

this media does not report on cbse= madrasa degree,fatwa by mullahs against coed madrasas,owaisi who was let off by upa who is an ally but tasleema was banished and charged.

hindu leaders killed in orissa dont get justice and are hushed up but graham staines was drumbeatedworldwide even if dara singh was convicted expeditously.

Anonymous said...

someone said
"I am not sure why Swapan Dasgupta is making Hindutva the main reason for the defeat of the party.

This is ridiculous. There must have been multiple factors and he keeps harping on Hindutva."

i agree.swapan u pointed to the islamic veto.that was factually accurate.out of 28 % congress vote most is muslim vote 8 out of 10 congress voters are muslims.

and yet you write articles like modern india abhors bjp values.

how modern and nonugly is the fatwa driven muslim vote for congress that reelected it with people like owaisi and shai imam who said we will do 1947 again,or with the mullah who banned coed madrasas or the congress decision to give madras degrees cbs e status.

u do not write about anyof this and keep talking hindutva.

how does h matter if the muslims will never vote for the bjp and the congress owned media will keep defaming bjp because of bribery by congress,and anti-hindu forces.

hindus are incapable of defence against islam as history proves.

and worse they dont even know who the enemies are,let alone being cowardly to fight them.

it seems the enemy is some obscure geriatric called muthalik as per u and your media pals.

even your facts are wrong.u go on tv and pay compliments to mms about honesty when a casual commenter presented several facts about his dishonesty in last upa govt.

as a professional media u are supposed to fight the evils of the congress which has ruled us for 70 yrs and we are still poor and third world.

instead u are joing the elmedia mafia in bashing hindutva even if there are a dime a dozen congress bribed media who will write such every weak for last 20 yrs and running even if this is false propagnada by a bribed media.

are you different or what?at least do not let media call u a bjp guy when they are congress gang mebers,frauding a s media.

Anonymous said...

Swapan Das Gupta wrote an article in Tehelka last year that India was becoming increasingly Hinduised and a year later he writes that there is no Hindu consciousness.

What should we believe? Are we going to get a new theory next year.

What changed since last year?

swapan da is a confused man.he does not have the focused hatred for the bjp and hindus like the elmedia congress mafia posing as neutral,but they are his pals so he plays along for a little attention and for his livelihood
so that olook can spin his article s by calling it india abhors bjp values when the truth is 7th century islamic values made congress victorious.

does swapan write about that? no?
does he write about congress
misrule?how is he different from the elmedia bjp-hindu hating media-mafia

Anonymous said...

“This offstumped guy used to write about Hindutva 2.0 earlier and now writes about Shweta Chatra or something, talks about white color and bhagwa colour as an issue. Does he have any idea under what circumstances the movement was formed. Why would they pick white and not bhagwa.”


Shweta Chatra is the reinvention of “Vasudev Kutumbakam”. What offstumped forgets is, it is not the lack of good ideology and need for the new one is the problem. The real problem is the commitment to the ideology. This is a problem in all the parties including Congress and BJP. Therefore, leader(s) with true commitment, without self interest, to the party ideology is what needed to overcome crisis is BJP.

Anonymous said...

Oh so, Yashwant Sinha is very principled. Read the following.

Didn;t he lose the elections earlier and had to accomodated through Rajya Sabha and became a minister.

This guy was nurturing ambitions of being the leader of opposition and now he is complaining.

Anonymous said...

All these ambitious folks with no base or contribution are couching their ambition in great language and concern for the party.

Sooner they resign the better it is for the party.

Ankan said...

"The BJP's Hindu credentials don't need reiteration. Its Ugly Hindu image has to be washed off completely."

I could not agree more.

Anonymous said...

Could you in the next post address the question whether it is time for BJP to split into whichever entities it breaks into. That way the real leaders will emerge. Who cares about the likes of Rajnath, Swaraj, Jaitley, Joshi and Sinha. They are all leaders without a base.

Arjun said...

Dear Swapan,

why do you squirm so much everytime the NDTv asks you about Modi? that quesion is not going away no matter you and Jaitley wish it to!

msr said...

looks like VHP is starting a news channel

http://navbharattimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/4643644.cms

Anonymous said...

Dear Swapan,

I am sure you see the rich irony in an "unnamed three-member RSS team" analyzing the BJP's electoral debacle: one of the problems analyzing all the likely problems.

And as shallow and empty something no one can define is, the Hindutva non-ideology per se is not the main issue. What the voter has rejected is the ugly behavioural manifestations of Hindutva. So, why only a "two year moratorium" on sectarian issues? If sectarian issues are bad, why not jettison them altogether? Shankkar Aiyar makes some blunt points regarding this on his blog. Moreover, he draws attention to the apologies the Cong (I) has made, for the Sikh riots, for Operation Bluestar and the Emergency.

Getting rid of the lumpen Bajrang Dal is no longer a choice, it is a necessity. That is, if the BJP wants the votes of a generation of self-confident young voters who aspire to be able to afford arabica at the nearest Barista (and then move onto Jamaican Blue Mountain, if they can). The BJP should consider apologizing for Ayodhya and the Gujarat riots. Taking a leaf from the Republicans' and Tories' books, they should consider electing a Muslim party president and introduce a fast-track scheme for women, minorities and capable young people of all sexes, religions, castes and ethnicities (Southern Dravidian, North-Eastern Mongoloid, Indian Ocean and West coast Negroid etc) to become legislators. This fits well with an inclusive big tent approach, such as the one Offstumped is advocating. A government of all the talents, regardless of religion, ethnicity, caste and gender.

Though Kanchan Gupta makes some good points on his blog, he errs grossly in equating ideology with ethics/principles. This is best, an oversimplification and at worst, a straw man. After all, both communism and fascism are/were ideologies. And despite their failures, considerably more sophisticated and far better developed in form and content than Hindutva.

And lastly, I take some exception to the phrase "Ugly Hindu". "Ugly Hinduvati", yes. I am a Hindu and there's nothing ugly about me, most of my peers and our religion. Unfortunately, my religion has been hijacked by a bunch of ugly Hinduvatis who are obsessed with the laughable premise that "we think everyone has been screwing us over for centuries, we want retribution for this and we won't allow anyone to move on until everyone accepts that we are right and we get our retribution. So there ". What these people need is a good dose of self-confidence, training in social skills and plenty of sex.

BW

Suren

neelakantan said...

Well, right now, the party has to prove to be united. Everything else comes after that. Can they do some real cleaning up of the house.

It saddens to see a party or the party which had hoped to rule India in a state like this. There are issues requiring to be highlighted, but right now, everybody is gloating over why the party deserved to not win. And, can we get some real leaders up front and can old foggies retire to non executive positions?

Anonymous said...

To the person defending Jaswant Singh. Please go and find out how many people understand what he says and what people think about his role in the Kandahar incident.

I used to respect the guy but with this revolt he is showing how petty he really is. The problem he has is that someone from the younger generation will become the party's numero uno. He in fact said that in the NDTV interview.

I do not think BJP needs him or Yashwant Sinha. Right after the defeat, Yashwant Sinha does an interview with NDTV sort of throwing his hat into the ring. Yes, he has written a great letter but what is the real reason. He is talking about accountability. Didn't he lose an election and became a minister through RS route.
What happened to accountability then?

BJP is better of without Jaswant, Yashwant and their ilk. I mean these guys are so frustrated that Jaitley is rising and they are trowing tantrums that are hurting the party.

What kind of appeal do these people have? Arun Jaitley is popular among urban BJP supporters. No one even cares about what Jaswant and Yashwant say.

Anonymous said...

LK Advani "strong, decisive leader". Hahahahahaha!!!

Swabhimaan said...

I support BJP_Supporter. We want people like Modi not Rajnath Singh. Can the Loh Purush please stand up and make the BJP a democratic party?
India cannot be truly democratic until the political parties are democratic. The rebels have a point...their voices should not be ignored. If the Loh Purush, the Rajnaths and the RSS bosses turn a blind eye to this, let them goto the next elections alone. I too will not support them. If they cannot act upon issues raised by Arun Shourie...they deserve a tenure out of power even the next time. I am not happy with the way comments are being censored even on L.K Advani's forum. The same Varun Gandhi link was censored even there too. Anyways, the Vande Mataram episode made it clear why this happened. We don't want this kind of BJP.

Swabhimaan said...

Anonymous said 'BJP should consider electing a Muslim party president'. Then how does it remain an election? It is the very kind of reservation we don't want in India. There should be no apologies for Ayodhya or Gujarat. Any right minded person would not agree with Congress's apology for operation BlueStar. That operation was reasonably justified. This Anonymous (can we have anonymous1,2,3 etc...it is getting confusing). seems all to be for reservations and appeasements...the very issues Hindutva fights against.

Mridula said...

>>Unfortunately, my religion has been hijacked by a bunch of ugly Hinduvatis who are obsessed

I understand that Comrade Suren intended the above as a flame-bait, but I take serious exception to his projection of my faith as something that was "hijacked". He cleverly ended up painting it as "ugly", while purpoting to oppose that projection. I am familiar with the canned"I am opposed to Hindutva not Hinduism" rhetoric, but I should admit that there's a touch of genius about Suren's "I am opposed to Hijacked Hinduism but not Real Hinduism" line. Which is kind of like, "I am not opposed to my opponent but only to his beating of my wife".

To judge whether Hinduism was hijacked, you have to go visit the institutions that nurture it. I visited a popular, bery busy temple on saturday, and noticed the following:

1. No loony priest spoke of any act, alleged or real, of killing of innocents by Hindus, by stating that "they" (ie the vicitms) were paid in their own coin.

2. And therefore, there was no occasion for a loonier priest to come along and claim that killing innocent people doesn't discredit Hinduism.

3. There was no priest breathing fire against any great satan or the Jewish pigs; drawing out a sword and screaming feversihly "off with their heads!"

4. Nobody delivered a speech on imaginary "temple attacks" by Christians, using those imaginary attacks as an excuse to urge Hindus to vote against Christian candidates in elections.

5. There was a book stall on the temple premises that sold books on Hindu spirituality. None of them advocated any bloody revolution that needed killing millions of people or raping hapless women in rice fields, while wrapping it all up with, you guessed it, "it doesn't discredit Hinduism" line.

6. Nobody passed a collection plate asking for funds to convert the unbelievers of Burkina Faso to Hinduism.

I saw no signs of hijacking.

Suren also sees people needing plenty of sex. My friendly advice to him -- given he is seeing stuff -- is not to base any business plans on what he is seeing.

No Mist said...

@BJP_supporter

> You say OBCs latched into reservations benefit to avoid a tough competition. Would that make you a bigot?

I do not understand this ... how does my pointing out at a fact makes me bigoted ? Have OBCs not latched on to reservation ? I was not supporting or criticizing their opportunistic move. I believe I have no right to prevent others from doing something that they truly think is good for them. The line to be drawn is at the doorstep of legality (and wherever possible at the credo called 'you r free to brandish your sword as long as it does not threaten me'). Going by this OBC are right to take advantage of reservation.

But we can go on and on about the previous argument. This was not my central point. You completely missed what I had said.

My point is that instead of fighting reservation why not campaign to make it unnecessary. If there are more good colleges and more seats, nobody would bother about reservations. Think of the way things happened in telephony. Before the private companies came into the picture, we had widespread culture of favouritism based on phone. Now nobody bothers about the difficulty of getting a phone connection. The same we can try to replicate in education. True it will take time. But a start is the only thing we can do at present.

Also I agree with someone above (why cant you all have the basic minimum courage to come up with a identifiable face rather than hiding under your mom's skirt) who said "jaati todo ... bharat jodo" ... the question is how do you do it ???

Think clearly ... the only solution is preventing caste based marriages. Howzzatt !!

Sudhir said...

Seems like India revolves around BJP. That is the view I get looking at all the news channels. All the news channels from past 4 days have a common headline - Divisions in BJP.

Its like India has no other damn problem to solve except the division in BJP. Sometimes I feel that BJP should demand royalty from the media groups for allowing it to cover BJP. Without BJP Indian media is bankrupt. If there is no news from BJP then news reporter will poke some BJP guy, twist his statements and there is news for an entire week.

1.3 million job loss possibility in export sector makes for a 2 minutes report, Indian Pilgrims dying in Nepal (9 already) is news left for some B-grade news portals, CPM and TMC clash killing each others cadre is barely a whisper ....

No matter what the re-invention or rejuvenation of BJP the world on news channels will always revolve around BJP.

Anonymous said...

Another thoughtful article on BJP by Gulabb Kothai, the editor of Rajasthan Patrika. He is not someone who can be accused of being a habitual BJP-baiter! Sorry, it is in Hindi.
The million rupee question is: Is anyone listening?

- Gopi

http://www.patrika.com/article.aspx?id=11144

Sanjay said...

Swapanda,
In any political party in the world its human nature that even a small change is resisted, and leadership change by any measure is no small change. After the loss in general elections, the writing on the wall was clear, and leadership change was pretty much on cards. Here I must add that the appointment of Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley as Leaders of the Party in Parliament was more or less unopposed, it’s not that the entire rank and file of the party was up in arms, whatever differences of opinion have appeared, it was expected. And that is a “big positive”. Some would have liked a ballot, but I guess that is too much change in too little time, may be they need to incorporate this provision for subsequent changes. I bet you try this kind of change in any other party, last time when Congress had a change of president, the party broke into four pieces. Having said that, the party cannot afford to ignore debate, and the questions raised by some senior leaders can not be disregarded.
The new leaders should take charge of the party post haste, and get cracking with whatever required to be done to rejuvenate it. What are they waiting for??? all stakeholders are looking up to them, it’s now up to them to prove that their selection was not wrong.

Balaji said...

Revive and merge erstwhile Janata Dal and Swatantara Party into a new non-RSS, non-Congress (preferably center right) party.

1. Let Atalji give the clarion call to shun RSS and Hindutva.
2. The Atal bridage and the non-RSS elements in the BJP join hands with JD(U), BJD, Lok Satta, Marandi, Bishnoi to form a new party.
3. Nitish Kumar, Naveen Patnaik, Sushma Swaraj, Yashwant Sinha, Vasundhara Raje, Jaswant Singh, Sharad Yadav, Jaiprakash Narayan, Shatrugan Sinha, Babulal Marandi, Suresh Prabhu, Madanlal Khurana, Kuldeep Bishnoi, Bhajan Lal, Shantha Kumar, Thirunavukarasar, Sarath Kumar, Brajesh Mishra, Sudheendra Kulkarni, Smriti Irani to start with. Yeddyurappa and B C Khanduri to join later.

Anonymous said...

BJP nees to first retire Advani, get rid of Rajnath and ban on TV appreance by ANY BJP leader for one year. And, then organise a free-for-all session of all leaders, workers and supporters / sympathisers and some thoughtful intellectuals (you, MJ Akbar, PB Mehta, R Jaganathn, etc - even if some of them are not friendly, they have many useful ideas - but absolutely stay away from the likes of media Narad Munis and Shakunis such as Vir Sanghavi - they are pure toxic) and other professionals and let the top leaders be at THE receiving end. From this Samudra Manthan, all the posion will be churned out and BJP will emerge stronger and toxic-free.
- Gopi

Anonymous said...

Mr Anonymous, I put my name there.
About Jaswant Singh, may be, you can not understand what he says but that does NOT mean others do not. Just read his books or his interview by Tarun Vijay in Panchjanya many years ago and see how thoughtful he is. Why is it petty if one asks quetions about the party regardless of his/her motives? Or is BJP now a personal property of Advani and his coterie, and he is Paramount leader whom no one can question even if he is ruining the party for his sectional interests? If so, then, what is the difference bwtn Congress and BJP? About Kandhar, he did what was he asked to do and, unlike the wimp Advani (I was not in the loop) took full responsilbilty for his act. And, BJP does not need to be apologetic about the realse of terrorists to get passenegrs freed. What were they supposed to do? Get all of them killed?
Finally, please get your facts correct on Mr Sinha; he did NOT lose election in 1998. He lost in 2004 and went to RS in 2005 (he should not have but so did many others before him - Vajpayee, Shekhawat, Mahajan, Joshi. And, unlike Jaswant, Sinha, Joshi and others (except Shourie) and very much like another Advani crony, Naidu, Jaitlety shies away from elections! He is a backroom manipulator who uses his media contact to besmirch many a rival in BJP. Advani-Jaitley & Co will do the kriya-karam of BJP before they reitre.

Anonymous said...

Another point for many blind Sanghis here: which are ministeries that shine vs dismal record of UPA? Finance, foreign affairs, disinvestment, highways, the first two handled by Sinha-Jaswant, the last two by Shourie and gen Khanduri. Which ones that get the most blame: home, held by the Loh Purush. What was one signal deed by Home Ministry under Advani? Or, law and compay affairs under Jaitley? Or, education udner Joshi? Or, civil aviation under another Advani crony, Ananth Kumar? They were all average or just sub-prime performers! That is why I believe, people like Sinha, Jaswant, Shoruie will be asset to any party, more so for intellectually bankrupt BJP!

- Gopi

Sundararaman said...

Just as BJP needs moderation, the well-meaning critics also need moderation. You current blog is one in that direction. For BJP power should be a medium for its socio-political goals, but the 1998-2008 period has made people believe that for BJP it is the other way around. However people know and are quite aware that for Congress power is the objective and this they achieve through power only. Power as a means and end in itself is much better than articulation of some spectacular goals as ends but only becoming a vehicle for power for a few individuals.

Anonymous said...

BJP can come to power only after 32 years. Rahul Gandhi has hijacked youngsters vote. No sane youngster will be voting for BJP.
BJP should sack people like Modi, Varun, Rajnath, Jaitely and promote sushma swaraj, Kohli.

BJP should shed its Hindutva crap. No youngster today thinks about religion. He wants job, security and prosperity.

I made a mistake of voting for BJP ut if i am satisfied with this government then i will vote for congress next time. Unless BJP sack modi, varun, jaitely i will not vote for them.

I, Me, Myself ! said...

Along with junking the H word, I also think BJP should take a bold step and promote Sushma Swaraj as the PM candidate.

She is the only person who has the image to become the next Vajpayee of BJP. This is something that they need very badly, and BJP should not shy anymore from taking this step.

Let's accept the fact. Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Venkaih Naidu and even Modi do not have an all India appeal.

I wrote in more detail in my blog.

http://serious--fun.blogspot.com/2009/06/next-vajpayee-for-bjp.html

Sudhir

Anonymous said...

For the guy defending Jaswant Singh: There is no doubt about the guy's intellectual abilities and book writing skills. I have one of his books.

So, what should the BJP do? Make him the leader of opposition when people want a generational change.

Now that he has a problem with that, he is going ballistic. That is a really bad.

Advani may not be perfect but he is the one that made BJP come to power. This fact is well known to the people inside BJP and that is why he is respected within the party.

Arjun said...

Swapan,

There has to be some sort of an ideological foundation to this reinvention of the BJP. Frankly, the concept of cultural nationalism and service to the nation as espoused by Golwalker is a liberal and well intentioned idea that is absolutely relevent to the India of today. So I dont accept that this reinvention of the BJP should happens sans any belief system of any sort. That will only make this process hollow and fleeting in nature. Now you may state that nobody knows what that belief system should be and hence why bother but al you have to do is look at Modi himself. His life as a political leadersis exactly this ideology in action.

Dhruv said...

A simple solution to so much of confusion in BJP regarding what to take and what to dump ....

Just make Modi the supreme leader of BJP .. and follow his ideology ... .. jyada dimaag naheen lagana ... just follow him blindly and everyone will automatically follow the right-path.

Whatever ideas swapan's and other progressive writers are stating now, which are good for BJP , Modi has been practising them for a while now !!
In the recent past elections .... He didn't raise the Mandir issue , he said court will decide on Varun and wherever he went he talked of development.. He said the people who have first right on India's resources are the poor whether of any religion ...appeasing none ...

What is wrong with BJP or for that matter India ? Is it ghar ki murgi daal barabar (italian murga preferred ??) or is it chiraag tale andhera ?? Why can't people understand Modi's potential ... He is light ages ahead of the rest in terms of being progressive and doing good for India ....

Comparing swarajs or for that matter any other leader, past or present of any party, to Modi doesnot make much sense !! If people are so much worried of Modi's criticism by ELM ... Congress might be a good party for them to follow !!

Anonymous said...

Jaswant Singh lost elections in 1999 and 1998 and became a minister through RS.

Where was his accountability then? Why did he choose to become a minister even though he could not win elections at a time when BJP was doing well nationally.

And now he wants to talk about accountability just because he is bypassed for the leader of opposition position. Talk about petty leaders.

What was he doing Rajasthan all these years. Destabilising Raje's govt and we all know what the result is.

Anonymous said...

This whole PM candidate thing is bogus. BJP is not coming to power anytime soon. So what is this PM candidate business.

Work hard for 10-15 years, expand the social and geographical reach and then think about having a PM candidate.

BJP should not declare a PM candidate for the next elections.

Arvind said...

Ugly "Hindu" image? Et tu Swapan? BTW how will it be different from Congress then?

Anonymous said...

great comment sudhir.indian media get ratings by bashing bjp modi.modi gives them highest trps and hits.
in any developed country the referundum is on the ruling party's performance and here we have congress ruling for 60 years and still we are poor and corrupt without water and power,but congress mafia masked as media is trying to hid e that even before and after elections.

and see the nuber of literate idiots blaming bjp when it is in theopposition and not even realizing that congress won because of 7th century muslim vote as someone pointed out.

the indians cannot even look up the vote share of congress which was 28 % only and most of it was the so modern muslim vote and swapan first called it islamic veto which was the only accurate thing he wrote.
who are the ugly hindus swapan.here is the list sonia singh posing as neutral media when her husband is congress minister and campaining for congress just like all other media-mafia selfish corrupt hindus posing as media to fraud india because they get bribed by congress.otehr ugly hindus are barkha,prannoy,rajdeep,sagarika,vir,shekar gupta, arnab,dipankar gupta and otehr seculars poster boys of media.

feed them a few bones and crumbs and they will call india ugly and pakistan and arabia lovely.so hindus are ugly for just asserting their right to equality and self defence which is what modi and varun were saying.even muthalik was saying that muslims do jihad for preying on hindu girls and converting them and not vice versa .

what is ugly here?it is the doublestandards and fraud against india and hindus by jihadi sponsored teesta and her media pals and congress votebank.

and this is never discussed by elmafia.only hindua and bjp are ugly.congress and muslims are so modern and beutiful.now wonedr all the mullahs vote for them and ban coed madrasasas and supprt shahbnao and cbse = madrassa degree and some idiots
think congress is modern and youthful and bjp is not.

first get factual evidence and then analyze if you guys have any brains.shame on india for being so backward on everything except cricket where merit will count.

what is modern about congress,the muslims who voted for it and congress is youthful juts because media congress dogs lie by showing rahuls face to u idiots.

ronald reagan was more popul;ar with youth than anyother prez even if he was 80.guys here dont even know who ronald reagan was.

Anonymous said...

any hindu calling a patriotic,incorruptible,non dynastic,steelar performing workoholic cm like modi an ugly hindus is the ugliest hindu ever conceived and these inclde all the jihadi funded elmedia mafia and congressis who have ruined this country after 60 yrs and the idiotic hindu raeders who fall for their propaganda and are equal to being traitors against india.eveen mullahs are better.they are honest and loyal to their religion

Anonymous said...

Loved your and Kohli's barbs to NDTV the other day. I hope spokespeople of BJP develop some spine to give it back to them some more. They won't stop batting for the Congress, but the public needs to know that they can trust this channel only as much as Congress spokesmen themselves.

Anonymous said...

i hope some one would advise Congress to give up pseudo secualrsim as well. Hindutva is a mere reaction to pseudo secualarism and it will keep coming up in some name even if BJP drops the hindutva ideology. We need to come to terms with the 1500 year slavery to islamic terrorists, colonial racist and pseudo sacrifice claiming politicians running a pseudo democracy on the basi of vote bank politics.
[14 Jun, 2009 1652hrs IST]

Anonymous said...

came across this by swapan on muslim ghettoes just before 2004 elections.

( my take :the muslim vote has not changed and has just consolidated behind the congress to defaet the bjp.ugly hindu or not,muslims will not vote for bjp and mnedia mafia will help congress by pouncing on varun,mthalik,pink chaddi again in 2014 to mobilize muslim-christian vote because they stand to profit from congress bribes that way, and it is the secularist congress media-mafia hindus who are disgustingly and rabidly ugly unlike a harmless stray muthalik,because of their fraud agenda to defame bjp-modi hindus just to help their masters here and overseas.some of these guys write and broadcast in arabia and pakistan.


anyway swapan writes about muslim ghettoes below


If you need a textbook illustration of how secularist intervention can create discord, sometimes out of thin air, you need only look at the Uttar Pradesh government's order last Thursday to declare Friday a half-day in educational institutions of the state.

The order, modified after protests in the state assembly the next day, was a shameless act of tokenism aimed at reinforcing Muslim separateness and using the community as communal fodder. It was an act of provocation that may yet end up needlessly vitiating the atmosphere between Hindus and Muslims.

The issue is not, and never was, the right of Muslim students to offer Friday prayers. Like those Hindus who privately observe a fast on Tuesdays, most Muslims have happily used their lunch break to offer Friday namaz without that religious observance becoming an issue of State policy.

There are public holidays for special occasions such as Id, Mohurrum and, following V P Singh's grandstanding from Red Fort in 1990, the Prophet's birthday. Being a faith-driven country, India has an exemplary record of readily accommodating the religious rites and rituals of all its citizens. The right of worship has never been an issue, not even during periods of
intense communal tension.

Indeed, there was no real demand from any quarter that teachers and students enjoy an extended weekend from Friday noon. If there was any universal Muslim demand, it was that the community should have more access to modern education so as to get over its colossal economic backwardness. Muslims, as the ever loquacious Arun Jaitley put it, 'need education, more education not more holidays.'

It was a truism that was lost on Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav. Now, Mulayam enjoys a reputation of being uncompromisingly secular. Translated into political terms it means that he has the ability to mobilise the support of large sections of Muslims on polling day.

In the past this support has been built on the strength of his no-holds-barred opposition to the BJP and his perceived advocacy of Muslim interests. Dating back to his image as a doughty crusader against the Ram Janambhoomi movement in 1990-91, Mulayam has even earned himself the sobriquet Maulana.

Yet this image has undeniably been eroded in recent times. The Leftists and progressives who dominate the chattering classes and exercise a disproportionate influence in the media have never forgiven Mulayam for his stubborn refusal to support Sonia Gandhi as prime minister in 1999, after Atal Bihari Vajpayee was brought down by a single vote. Their impatience with Mulayam has increased with his continuing refusal to ally with Sonia for the coming general election.

Anonymous said...

swapan ghetto article part 2

Desperate to secure the removal of Vajpayee and the NDA, it is the country's ultra-secularists who have also put out the whisper that Mulayam has entered into a secret understanding with the BJP. The intensity of the whispers has grown with Mulayam changing his political style over the years. From being regarded as the general of a lumpen army, he has become a darling of Mumbai's big business houses and has also made some inroads into the Hindu middle classes. Even on the vexed issue of Ayodhya, Mulayam has actually encouraged a process of Hindu-Muslim dialogue to resolve the issue.

For anyone who cared to notice, there was, until this controversy erupted, a marked difference between the secular politics of today's Mulayam and the secular activism practiced by him a decade ago. This didn't suit the secularist agenda. They sought to destroy the new Mulayam and chipped away at his Muslim base with a highly effective whisper campaign. A nervous chief minister chose last Thursday to send the signal that he can still be counted on to take up Muslim causes fearlessly, even when the cause itself is dubious.

Tragically, secularist politicians have always chosen the route of separatist appeasement to court the Muslim vote. Whether it is the Muslim personal laws or the bans on books by Salman Rushdie or Taslima Nasreen, secularists have always appealed to Muslims as a religious community that is somehow different from their Hindu neighbours. They have either played on Muslim fears or pandered to the most regressive sections of the community.

In return, narrow minded community leaders have ensured that on polling day the Muslim turnout is significantly higher than the rest of the population.

Either way they have encouraged the Muslim community to believe that their political clout lies in sticking steadfast to the ghettos and wearing the badge of separateness. It is one of the monumental contributions of secularist politics that Muslim self-interest has been tied, not to better roads, better living conditions and better education, but to the triple talaq, to beef, to a hatred of Israel and America, to glorification of Osama bin Laden and suicide bombers, and to holidays on Friday. A regressive agenda has been promoted to keep Muslims apart, backward and frightened.

Mulayam succumbed to this agenda because this is the only path familiar to secularists. The onus is now on the Muslim community itself to show there is an alternative to secular fundamentalism. The alternative is mushrooming local movements to pressure district magistrates into closing schools and colleges on Friday afternoons. And that, inevitably, will trigger a backlash giving secularists another opportunity to become apoplectic at the menace of Hindu communalism

Anonymous said...

gopi what about the congresssrecord of 6o yrs.nda was far better.u dont have to analyze only nda ministers who ruled only for 6 yrs and keep quiet about the 60 yr congress misrule jai ho slumdog and garibi badhao agiribi hatao and amiri badhao only of corrupt congress chamchas and dynasty.

Anonymous said...

So Yashwant Sinha thinks he is a match for Advani. He had jumped on Advani after the Jinnah comment and now he is again trying to act holier than thou.

Seems like more people wanted to send their resignations but are now backing off because of what happened to Yashwant Sinha.

Just who are hese people who were planning to resign; Shanta Kumar, Vijay Goel and Gopinath Munde.

Sure these guys have a lot of ability and can take BJP to great heights. LOL.

Sanjay said...

Swapanda
BJP seems to be focused on the section of the society which have access to media, who have TVs in their homes and perhaps also blog which is typified by the people on your blog. Although this population is huge, but they comprise what percentage of the voting population can be debated. A huge part of the voting population does not have access to mainstream media. The voting population can further be segmented on the basis of region, castes etc, but BJP seems to be focusing on one segment which is not even the biggest at the expense of the others. A lot of supporters have been harping on the need to correct this, in different words, some call it different strategy for “Bharat” as opposed to “India”, some call it coming out of AC rooms and reach out to the masses on ground.
The fact is that the party needs both, the AC room strategists as well as mass based leaders. Regional parties can afford to neglect the mainstream media but not a national party like BJP, though after their drubbing in the recent elections the regional parties will also understand the importance of some presence in the mainstream media at least during general elections. As someone put it, giving up the entire media space even if it is biased may not be good. On the other hand just winning the mainstream media debates is not going to be enough, remember that at least a section of the media was pro BJP and had written obituaries for Congress in 2004 and they won entirely on the population which media doesn’t concern with. BJP also needs mass based leaders which have become a scarcer commodity after Vajpayee and Advani. The media battle can be left for media managers and spin doctors, Arun Jaitley and some others can focus on that, but Sushma Swaraj and other leaders must focus on the masses on ground and they don’t need media for reaching out to them.
A national party has to be inclusive. It can’t neglect any segment of the population and yet nurture hope to win elections.

Swabhimaan said...

no....please not Sushma Swaraj as the PM candidate. People don't connect with her.. the other way round is also true. Let him build the organization and then he should be the PM candidate.WE WANT MODI.

aw said...

Hi Swapan,

It seems to me that out of the six points you have mentioned BJP can really differentiate on the #3 if they declare a more right-wing approach to the economy. All the other issues Congress can easily decide to claim as their own if they so desire.
The point I am trying to make is that the suite of solutions presented must be well thought out and would result in a systemic solution to the problem. Take the case of CBI misuse. You can be a government that does not do it or even better set up a system which makes such misuse extremely difficult. Otherwise like response to terrorism you will be left rubbing your hands with a unfriendly media twisting things around.

Regards

Atul

Anonymous said...

Your point about junking the image is spot on. It is getting in the way of debating the more
substantive issues on which the BJP differs from the Progressives. Here's some more issues that the BJP can use :

1. Economy - The progressives believe in a statist economy and MMS has gone on record to state that the public sector will continue to be controlled by the government. As a result we can
expect the economy to underperform - the BJP should explain this to the people as a matter of
economic freedom.

2. Shortages - The progressives believe in continuing with a shortage economy. Probably the
most visible issue here - and one that will resonate with the youth - is education - the progressives are going on about creating 10 or so
IITs when something more like two or three hundred IITs are needed.

3. Constitutional reform - The lack of separation between the executive and the legislature is causing real harm. BJP should explain how things would be better under a presidential system.

4. History - The BJP should raise the fact that the progressives are peddling a version of
history concocted by the British. If this can be developed further, the progressives can be
shown to be occupying the same political space as the erstwhile British Raj and the BJP can
play victim similar to how the Congress did during the freedom movement.

Anonymous said...

"i hope some one would advise Congress to give up pseudo secualrsim as well."

No one will. That is not to say that junking regressive Hindutva is not the right thing. The reason no one will ask Congress to stop supporting Muslim fundamentalism is that the secularists support that agenda. They control the whole media and they have successfully made Hindutva the topic of discussion while sweeping pseudo-secularism under the carpet. They have a stranglehold on opinion making and frankly, I do not see it going away anytime soon.

Shankar Iyer said...

Swapanda

The reference you made on your earlier post on ‘creative politics’ got me thinking.Moving forward, to bring upon a fresh perspective within the BJP think-tank, it needs to ask one simple question to itself in every issue concerning the nation each time: What is more righteous than “right”? At the very least, a section within BJP, a minority it may be, should raise its voice constantly ask this question. It should act as the conscience for the top leadership. It’s a matter of setting up the standard, it’s a matter of culture ( and not stage-management) and needs to be set by the top leadership by promoting free, frank, bold and not necessarily beautiful voices of concern. For instance, when did the party asked this all-important question to itself: If pseudo-secularism is what is to be fought, are we to fall trap to majoritarianism? The last I checked there was not even a hint of this. Most issues, even within the rightwing, are viewed through the majority-minority and its corollary consolidation-appeasement prism, (which reflects regularly even in this small forum) the same premise in which pseudo-secularism operates .Complete consensus is a typical congress culture, borne out of their long-standing reign in power-dom and a sycophant culture perfectly systematized by the late Indira Gandhi . Slightest difference of opinion is immediately suppressed and killed. Not even the PM ( supposedly a technocrat and not a politician ) is spared, when he raises a very valid, ‘not-yet-politicized’ issue about the rising of regional parties vis a vis the health of democracy concerning the nation. This is precisely the culture we abhor and hope not to see in BJP when in power or out of power. When is the last time you heard any one within the party raising a valid point which might not go well with the conventional line of the party without being attributed motives or his/her intentions questioned? The party should be unmindful of the hasty & anxious conclusions by the media of making it look like ‘infighting’ ‘divisions’ 'rift' etc. Consensus is often confused for unity. Consensus only mean death of “creative politics”, to use your phrase. Fear of problem-creators with vested interests raising issues of non-concern and ruffling some feathers is no reason to fallback on an inherently undemocratic culture. Problem-creators need to be fought with the only rightful weapon, with rationality, logic and a bold heart in its right place. Speculation on other’s intentions and motives is a stupid intellectually shallow psychological game, which seems to be the order of the day in all parties. This culture arises out of decaying belief across the political spectrum that Evil is intelligent than the Good.A whole new mindset, a whole new idiom and language will organically evolve within the party from the inside-out ( which is not a far-fetched ideal ), which would connect to the informed and politically aware citizens of this country, and the only hope for the once-upon-a-time party with a difference to regain back its identity.

BJP_supporter said...

There was a report of an RSS leader's article daring BJP to 'cut the umbilical cord with RSS'. That may be exactly what the BJP need to do - cut their relationships with RSS and VHP. A 30 year old political party needs no umbilical cord. Just that choice of words is funny.

Any organization needs a defined structure. An amorphous form with different organizations trying to be under one tent is impossible for a political party. This is independent of ideology.

BJP's stand on ideology or issues like Amarnath, civil code, Ayodhya etc can be independent of the party's association with RSS/VHP.

There have been repeated reports of RSS and VHP trading votes - in Kerala, and recently in gujarat. There were many media reports of VHP using Gujarat government's eviction drive to support congress. Look at Advani's margin. An ex-CPIM MP in kerala (now expelled) said his party had dealings with RSS for votes.

If there is such vote trading, these other parties will not be seen in daylight with such vote traders from RSS/VHP.

A lot of senior leaders, and chief ministers in BJP, are from the RSS. That can continue. IF anyone in RSS/VHP wants a political career, they can join the party *as individuals* and work their way up. (they can feel free to join any other political party too). BJP can insist that these activists can hold no posts in RSS/VHP if they want to join BJP for a political career. Those activists who are in RSS purely for voluntary service (there are thousands of those who dont get infront of the cameras) will anyway continue to do their work. It will be more than enough if the BJP makes itself worthy of those sevaks' votes through its practices and stands on issues.

BJP need not 'announce' that it is dropping the H word. But it can announce that it is going for a organization change and will cut formal links with RSS/VHP, and be an independent political party.

Arun Narendhranath said...

The ugly Hindu image is more of something that is imposed by BJP's opponents on the party and less of BJP's creation. The answer lies in a simple survey. When you leave home tomorrow to office, ask the following question to the people people you meet.

Question 1: Do you know the significance of 31st Oct 1985
Question 2: Do you know the significance of 6th Dec 1992.

8 out 10 people would have answered the second question when only 1 or 2 would have answered the first. Its all about marketing. BJP's opponents would not stop marketing BJP as a communal party even if the party sheds the H-Word. The BJP's success lies standing by Hindutva and by starring back both at Muthalik and at Congress.




History has shown that most of India's awakening has always been spiritual and not political. Probably the communist failure (across all era's) in a poverty struck country lies in the same. 1857 revolt was more of a religious revolt and less of a political awakening. The success of Mohandas Gandhi was rooted in his spiritual values and not in his political acumen. The rise of BJP was more because of a religious awakening (Ram Janmaboomi Agitation) and less because of its political values (Good Governance, Morality. Infact BJP was less corrupt and had better moral values before 1989). Hence BJP should be patient sticking to its Hindu credentials and wait for the next religious awakening to happen (even if it dumped with ugly images by its opponents).

The last act in the Hindu uprising would be when Taliban starts slaughtering the millions of Hindus in Pakistan. When those images hit the Indian television we would see an urge in the people of India to bring BJP to power. I think Modi would be catapulted to top position as a "Hindu Hriday Samrat" and not as a able governor.
Regards,
Arun Narendhranath

Anonymous said...

With our media going after our cricket team, they too will have to rethink their "ideology" pretty soon, meanwhile they can start preparing for 2015 world cup 'cos with this media they can forget about 2011.

BJP_supporter said...

Arun, I would not wish a worse fate than what they already have on Hindus in Pakistan or Bangladesh. But even if such things happen, depending on indian television to show such images with any neutrality is not going to happen. I doubt if BJP's political strategy should depend on factors like those. The Hindus in Sri Lanka are going thru a very bad phase right now.

Hindu Pilgrims in India visit their shrines year after year, with no basic amenities in many places. That can be a better issue to work on.

Rather than picking adjectives like 'ugly' that are surely going to inflame (Like Swapan's heading), we can just focus on facts. Both a Kerala CPI-M MP (who lost his job because he dared to praise Modi's record on governance) and the ex-state chief of Kerala BJP have said the Kerala RSS traded votes. Those kind of immediate organizational issues - why should BJP depend on other organizations - are probably the first ones to solve.

rone said...

It is sad that no BJP official site is of any help to BJP sympathisers looking for a way forward after this election rout.All are camping at your blog, Kanchangupta's blog,offstumped blog etc with hope that you people will show some light.
And the one thing that is striking amidst this is the passion of the BJP sympathisers in the site's comment columns, which is a positive sign.
Further I request sombody to get all content- news,columns ,forumns etc in to one site like
-www.townhall.com.

Anonymous said...

BJP as a political party should restrict itself to issues that are permissible under politics and leave the religious issues to be dealt by Hindu religious organisation. Mixinf too much of religious issues with day to day rotten political issues makes religion look silly and stupid. Religion is a very big and wider concept, while politics is transitory and driven by small political gains and at times opoortunism. So, inclusive nationalism and Bharatiyatwa instead of Hindutwa should become the objective of BJP for creating a nation of patriots and self less workers.

Anonymous said...

BJP is finished; if not yet, LK Advani and his gang will ensure that. If they can't keep the toy - BJP -in their control, they will rather destroy it than let anyone else get it.
So, instead of wasting time on BJP, people should start thinking on how to organise a new party which is:

pro-Hindu but NOT obsessed with "Others"
NOT remote-controlled by unelected people
NOT pseudo-nationalist
for strong defence/national security, free markets, meritocracy but also aware of the need of those who are at the bottom (Antyodaya)
constitutionalist, sober, libertarian
practices in genuine internal democarcy

BJP is not and will never be allowed to be one like that! More you spend time on BJP, more disappointed you will be. I am reminded of the words of a wise, genuine Hindu intellectual of Daria Ganj (Swapanji knows who) said about Advani in 1995 and Jaitley in later years. He was acerbic and I was sort of taken aback by his bluntness. But, his opinion of Advani-Jaitely & Co has tunred out to be prophetic. Until BJP gets rid of both such leaders and the baneful remote control of RSS (who live in other world - I know as a family memebr is a local RSS something)- it is a dead horse. The fight we see is for the corpse!

zoomindianmedia said...

Dr. Pravin Tagodia is much smarter than what people credit him with (MSM perception deception). Here is the proof. http://tinyurl.com/kjl7pm

The cancer surgeon's analysis is far superior to anything that Jaswant Singh or Arun Jaitley or Sunil Neandral Kulkarni have come up with.

ArbitThinker said...

It may be a good idea to bring back the ideals of Swatantra Party to the fore. Those ideas were ahead of time when they were concieved but I do feel their time has come now.

http://liberalpartyofindia.sabhlokcity.com/writers/writings.html
http://www.cambridge.org/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=9780521049801
www.indiapolicy.org/party/swatantra-erdman.doc

Anonymous said...

Hence BJP should be patient sticking to its Hindu credentials and wait for the next religious awakening to happen

It does not have to wait for a religious awakening. I think the economy will provide a good opportunity in 2014. India's growth in the last 5 years was a flash in the pan caused more by excess global liquidity than by any actions taken by the progressives. The economy is already slowing, and should grow below 5% for a couple of years between now and 2014. Also, the country is overdue for a drought which may push down the growth rate further.

The party should prepare for this by getting a credible economic team in place so that the progressives can be shown for the failures they are as the economy continues to underperform.

Anonymous said...

Swapan has been doing immense damage to BJP than anybody else. When he looks back to history he would recall his blogs similar to Advani Jinnah fiasco post 2004 debacle. Not only u r reacting as an immature guy but also playing into the hand of ur enemies (BJP has no opponents or rivals, it has "enemies"). We r a party with a mission. Leave the question of dropping Hindutva which will bolsters ur enemies and bring joy at NDTV even talk of dropping H-word would kill the remaining enthusiasm of the cadre. U power hungry man u have no right to blame Hindutva when u've used it like a condom. Right-wing parties doesn't survive on defensive attitude. Their main attributes include aggresiveness and defense of ideology at any cost. When did u do that ? Have an example then share with us. Promise I'll support u. Ur arguments r so shallow that I a former worker of the party can rip apart ur shallow arguments in minutes. But I know it's of no use. So don't wanna waste my time. Like every BJP leader u r also numb.

No Mist said...

Arun Narendhranath is absolutely right in his assessments that India's 'genetic codes' do not allow for much politicization to succeed a la Russia ... rather spiritual movements are much more likely to take lasting root here as opposed to west where it always is a passing fad ... this difference is primarily due to Hindu India and Chruchist west. Islamists mid-east are of course prone to fighting with everybody (including themsleves) and this is due to Islamic legacy ... forgive me for being so dismissive of Islam but any objective analysis of Islam must club it with loutish groupism only ... the reason India's muslim are the most benign among rest of the muslim world is because of influence of hinduism and has nothing to do with any good in Islam (if there are any) ... but I am getting astray ... I should resist rubbing my hands with glee whenever the subject of my favorite whipping boy Islam comes up :D :D

coming to India ... BJP's mistake was to assume that hinduism can be morphed into a sustainable political movement ... it is just not possible .. hindus are too individualistic, spiritual, civilised and of course money loving (we are perhaps the only civilization which has a major festival -diwali- for the Godess of wealth) to coalesce for political motives ... this trait permeates to indian muslims too ... you have to admire that most of the muslim votes stay away from Muslim League type parties ...

so the right thing for BJP is to restore hinduism is to its rightful place that is in our hearts not on the podium ... of course it is already so but BJP has to say that explicitly to convey fully that it will do no more politics in the name of religion ... instead BJP should strive to get rid of eternal faults of hinduism like caste system. BJP can use its organizational muscle to provide a fora for spiritual leaders like Baba Ramdev and Sri Sri to spread the message of 'good hinduism' .. of course no word about politics should be uttered in these meetings, which must confine itself to harmonious prayer, music and dance festival ... no doubt it will benefit BJP politically but they should not explicitly try for it.

Sudhir said...

Check this article by Dr. Pravin Togadia on organiser. It makes a good read and also one end of the idealogical debate (opposite of Swapan's view)

http://www.organiser.org/dynamic/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=296&page=11

(Hope Swapan will write why Dr. Togadia is wrong)

Right Angle said...

Swapan,

I think, you still are omitting a larger issue.. When the media is causing havoc by twisting, manipulating, BJP's views, and by projecting them as villains, your solutions, doesnt seem to work, even in the farthest of the chances..

The only solution is to institutionalise the party, where when a president of the party is elected, he should not be disturbed till his term ends.. and if his performance is not satisfactory, he should be withdrawn at any time.. there should be clear line of command and control, and individuals should be projected as leader and given responsibility..

RSS is causing greatest damage to the party by imposing their concept of "Collective responsibility".. IT may work in a social organisation.. But it will never work in a political party..

BJP_supporter said...

The Togadia article says this - "Has this party provided the benefits of its so-called development and governance to all people in its core constituency totally? If not, then on what basis, such a party went ahead and started saying that it needs to give development and governance to those who are anti-this core constituency while its own core constituency was without such development and governance."

There are some references to how the Hindu-core-constituency voted in the 2009 elections.

"The Hindu core constituency was not only hurt; it was angry. It did not abstain from voting. It voted decisively. It locked its Hindu sentiments, intellect and aspirations within its heart and voted for any other party that at least took care of some local issues."
.... [ snip ] ...
"When this happens, the networks of the workers who were attached to the party due to the core constituency and the organisations that were instrumental in nurturing the core constituency feel hurt. It shows in the real life, in voting patterns and in loss of percentage of votes."

I guess readers can interpret what these mean on their own.

Right Angle said...

Also, again you have used very negative terms in your title.. it in some way misleads the reader..

Btw, i party agree with "NoMist"..

However, why BJP failed to woo hindus is because it doesnt understand the true structure of hinduism..

Hinduism is not the identity that our indian hindus refer to.. Rather, every hindu's primary identity is his caste.. the spirituality of Hinduism is wound around Kulam and Kula temples..

Each Kulam has many kothrams with specific kula temple..

BJP and RSS failed utterly, by buying the western bogus and conspiracy theory of "Caste as Evil" and hence ignored this important part of Hinduism..
That's why, it could play an effective caste equation..

BJP needs to identify itself with as many caste as possible, and work closely with them.. But it should not simply rely only on caste leaders.. rather, it should reach out to the common caste people, and should make them part of the party...

BJP_supporter said...

Right Angle, I have seen some articles regarding caste and its role in some businesses in UP and Tiruppur by Gurumurthy. That was about how caste groups were able to tap into their networks for raising capital etc. But it is also increasingly true that the role of caste in determining occupations is becoming irrelevant in many areas (and it has to become).

Such transitions are part of a social change. A political party need not get involved in those.

Anonymous said...

I just completed reading Togadia's article I can just say he's very different than projected by Hindu hating media. This man said what every voter of the party possible want to say. The feelings he outpoured were 100% correct. From today I'm his fan. I'm ready to bet no so called party "intellectual" can counter him. After reading his article one can see the difference between Swapan's hollow argument and his factually correct arguments.

Vinay said...

BJP has to know how to handle the media. We need more of Swapan Dasgupta's. In absence of any sympathizers in current media, BJP would have to find and nurture ethical and savvy journalist. Just look at today's headline on CNN-IBN which reads "Surat Gang Rape: VHP activits jailed". This is so misleading, average reader will conclude VHP activits did the rape. Media will try to do this no matter how much change over BJP attempts.

Anonymous said...

swapan why did you say that varun was a disaster on ndtv?thus playing into their agenda which is to promote rahul and bash rival varun? bjp would have lost because of muslim vote uniting for congress( not splitting for thirdfront)
anyway because of the first past post system 80 % of congress vote is muslim)at least varun won his and maneka's seat.even if varun had not been there( muslims would have done same thing and u castes voted tactically maheshabhatt and gang were campaigning with muslims in up.so why make such false pompous conclusions for rahul pets like ndtv who love that.

why did you also confusedly agree with congress man tiwari when he called modi zenophobic? u rightly siad modi won twice but u could have said u disgreed with tiwari on the reason of zenophobia which is secularists congress-media false propagnda.media blamed modi for communalizing gujarat and deny him even development credit even if industrialists,people and wbank give him credit .( and u congratulate congress and praise mms what is zeno phobic about a man like modi who talks about 5.5 crore gujaratis and speaks 24-7 against vikas v votebank on his campaign unlike mms who loses sleep over a terrorist because he is a muslim and talks about first claim by muslims which even makes jaziya tax in the okld days look modern?

and someone pointed out that calling mms honest like u did is not based on factual evidence to the contrary during several dishonest acts in his term like brive for parliament vote.

god knows why u are behaving in this pro congress manner? and blaming hindutva when it really is islamitva that amd ebjp lose h or no h. bjp hindu vote is not influenced by muthalik being ugly.it partially stays at home watching ipl or because it is too hot.

so stop writing blogs that are dime a dozen in the pseudo secular congress english media like blaming h and calling bjp fundoos when modi advani were talking modern like ladli yojna and vikas and it was congress who was trying to impress mullahs with cbse = madrasa and casting doubts on batlia house martyr sharma

Anonymous said...

It was so funny to read Togadia - Sonia & Co should share some of her party's wealth with him and Ashok Singhal - but for the shenanigans and utterances of these two (plus Giriraj Kishore) and their thugs in VHP / BD / Sene, BJP would not have lost such a big chunk of urban/moderate Hindu votes.
And, his reasoning. They voted against BJP because they were angry with it for not being pro-Hindu but had no hesitation in voting for patently anti-Hindu parties/leaders! Is there any logic in this rubish? The only reason one can find for VHP doing what he claims to have done is petty pique! This thug, who used to threaten BJP-NDA every 2nd week, suddenly went silent after 2004. Why? Was the temple built in Ayodhya? If people have started asking to shun use of H-word, it is because of the association of Hindutava with thugs like Singhal, Togadia or loose cannons like Sudershan, Vaidya, etc. Just 75 years ago, Hindu Nation was associated with names such as Swami Dayanand / Vivekanand, Tilak, Aurobindo, Lala Lajpat Rai, Malviya, Savarkar, Shradhanand, Jaikar, Munje, Bhai Parmanand, etc and compare that to the current flag-bearers of Hindutva. No wonder, Hindu India is running away from the H-word. It is no use blaming ELM - they are undoubtedly biased - but if we don't provide ELM opportunities - with words and acts of violence,killings, thokashahi, vandalism, etc. they can not do much damage! Worse is attempt to justify such acts by top leadership/RSS media. When was the last time one heard any leader of RSS, BJP, VHP, BD, ABVP, etc say sorry or offer apology for wrong done, mistake made or moral lapses! Now, chickens are coming home ....! But until there is a change in their mindset / behaviour - Mansa, Vacha, Karmana (by heart, words, deeds), it will make no difference if they drop H-word or any word. Actions speak louder than words.

Anonymous said...

Here is a view, contrary to yours, on H-word by Shankar Sharan:

http://in.jagran.yahoo.com/news/opinion/general/6_3_5547965.html

Sorry, it is in Hindi.

Sanjay said...

Swapanda,
“Introspection” is the buzzword in bjp today. But when bjp says that they have carried out an introspection, what in real terms have the bjp got, is it a constituency by constituency analysis of election results, or is it a subjective analysis of the leaders on what in their hindsight could have been done differently, what is going to be the end result of this exercise. It would be wrong to think that bjp did not carry out introspection after 2004, but if the end result is going to be 2009 then I agree with Rajnath Singh that there is no need for “such” an introspection. Is there anything radically different in the process being used, or the people doing it this time? Why are we to assume that the introspection this time will produce a different result?
The introspecting people may not realize this, but there is something seriously wrong with the way they carry out introspection, which needs it first. Why can’t they take into account all possible waves as well during their introspection?? The phrase “Preparing for the last war” aptly describes bjp, whereas the opponent has moved to the next level. Bjp has to come out of this vicious circle otherwise it will once again find itself looking for waves to hide behind.

Anonymous said...

Which other party will tolerate this level of indiscipline? By what kind of leaders: Yashwant Sinha, Jaswant Singh, Shanta Kumar.

Is this how the party is strengthened? What are the achivements of these people as far as building the party is concerned.

How can we be assured that BJP will rebound if these guys are at the helm.

This over emphasis by people like Swapan DasGupta etc on Hindutva at this juncture is not the right way to proceed. Even if this has to be done, it has to be done in a subtle way. BJP will not make a song or dance about it.

This can wait and the need of the hour for the party is to stay united. Anyway who is grandstanding in order to further their own agenda needs to be shown the door.

Brilliant Yahswant Sinha has already shown his political acumen by being outwitted. Now he is asking everyone to resign. What a sorry spectacle and who does he think he is. Kamaraj's next avatar. He needs to be shown the door.

Anonymous said...

Balaji's suggestion of merging Janata Dal and non-existent Swatantra party is interesting. He actually wants socialists and liberals to join hands.. :-(

Imagine new generation Piloo Modis become a part of a socialist-led government :-)

Anonymous said...

Have few more likes of Togadia, Singhal, Sudershan, Vaidya, Joshi, Kishore, Muthalik, and thugs/goons of sundry parishads, vahinis, dals and senes, and India can kiss good-bye to pro-Hindu ploity for a very long time.

Anonymous said...

"swapan why did you say that varun was a disaster on ndtv?"

He said this because Right-wing idelogue and its media managers r billi ke gu. Sorry for using agrestic and bit awkward metaphor but I've no other words to describe these peoples. This metaphor means nobody keeps billi (cat's) gu(crap) for any purpose because it smells very badly. But in our party this things doesn't apply, in fact, it's full of these sort of people. These people think media is "hostile" to them! Nothing could be more wrong. Media is not hostile, see their past conduct and behavior,it seems (and I'm hundred percent sure) they have well thought plan, "agenda" and consensus on destroying BJP and projecting as anti-India, stone age party. But some "friends" and leaders of the party doesn't want to acknowledge it, if the do so then how will they ingratiate them ? These so called friends, ideologue and leaders now want to junk some "image" of the party --hehehe quite amusing and childish isn't it? -- do u think they will succeed ? I've said in my previous comment, I'm saying it again: BJP now can only be save by a leader who is firm on ideology, who can restore BJP's credibility and restore lost "trust" among people and its core supporters, must be a good orator, suave looking, bilingual, have bit intellect touch, capable of taking media head on, doesn't shy to give them sarcastic reply, unapologetic on defending Hindu rights, who shamelessly say I don't want be a secular soul, very less interview giver, etc. But question is do we have such kind of leader ? God alone knows. Swapan is a big dissapointment BTW so no hope from him. hehehe

doubtinggaurav said...

On second thoughts I have a feeling that centre right clique has really no idea how to go about this junking Hindutva (ugly or otherwise). Now BJP could do without enthusiasm of certain power peddlers regarding promoting bigotry of Varun Gandhi as ideological hallmark of cultural nationalism and should disassociate itself with such bigotry or thuggery. However secular liberal establishment and its propaganda arm, which is most of ELM, will persist in associating BJP and whoever professes to cultural nationalism with such sociopaths even if it protests to the contrary. In fact such pronouncement of disassociation and the ensuing pandemonium will just add to the secular media grist mill.

In my opinion the only effective to distance (and distance we must) from the nuts is by action. Come V Day or whatever tawdry western imitation there is bound to be vandalism by lumpen Hindutva, BJP government must ensure that safety of property whether private or public and anyone attempting to vandalize them are brought to the justice preferable in full media glare.

Ankan said...

"swapan why did you say that varun was a disaster on ndtv?"

He did the right thing. You cannot abuse, literally abuse, a set of people and justify that. Most people find that kind of speech off putting and viral.

Those of you who want the kind of politics based on visceral hatred of minorities ought to found a new party and ask for votes on that platform. It will be interesting to see where that goes. At the cost of repeating myself, being pro-Hindu is not being anti-minority. This needs to be squared up fully.

Anonymous said...

i agree the media is an enemy of the bjp because it is on the payroll of the jihadis,congress conversionits under the fake label of secularism or what people call pseudosecularism.

hostile is an understatement

These people think media is "hostile" to them! Nothing could be more wrong. Media is not hostile, see their past conduct and behavior,it seems (and I'm hundred percent sure) they have well thought plan, "agenda" and consensus on destroying BJP and projecting as anti-India, stone age party. But some "friends" and leaders of the party doesn't want to acknowledge it, if the do so then how

Anonymous said...

Gaurav,
You think the vandalism by Parishad / Dal type can happen without the implicit consent by BJP govt in those states? Absolutelty not. That is why ELM is able to paint the BJP with actions of those thugs and goons! Why do otherwise always voluble leaders keep silent when such things happne? We provide ELM with material to do mischief so the solution lies within. Imagine after Mangalore attack, Sene goons and their leader were given the (in)famous police thrashing (and later realsed on bail for all people to see their swollen faces). And, Advani with Yedy and Sushama/Heptullah visiting homes of those girls and apologizing in person. That would have left no chance in hell for ELM to do any kind of mischief and urban tide against BJP would been turned back. Instead, Loh Purush kept quiet for two months and BJP's Shivraj Patil there (Yedy) threatening not to allow "pub culture" to develope in the state. Rest is histroy. State after state, it has been the same story. Is there any wonder that urban India turned away decisively from BJP and it will take long time to get it back to support BJP, if at all.

doubtinggaurav said...

Anon@June 17, 2009 8:55 AM,

Assuming your comments was addressed to me, that is precisely I am saying, idiots like Muthalik deserve a good thrashing. By the way I will beg to differ on the matter implicit approval of BJP leadership behind likes of Muthalik. It is simply that BJP is bewildered on how to handle the lumpen Hindutva, it doesn't wish to be seen supporting them but nor does it want to be seen as acting against "Hindu" groups.

By the way assuming you are a regular commentator I will request you to get a handle it is really difficult to differentiate bet so many anons

Anonymous said...

Yes, it was in reply to you, Gaurav.
How to get "handle"? I regd my gmail account but did not help?
No, I disagree. Many in BJP do support these goons. A few like them get the whole BJP face blackened so they need to be fast and forceful or else 24-7 ELM will do the damage that will take years to fix.
- Gopi

doubtinggaurav said...

@Gopi

Just leaving your name is sufficient, though if you want to use your google account I guess you will have to activate your blogger service.

Anyway coming to the topic since we both agree that Lumpen Hindutva needs a good thumping, whether there are people in BJP who promote such thuggery is moot.

Anonymous said...

ankan says

swapan did the right thing by criticizing varun. You cannot abuse, literally abuse, a set of people and justify that. Most people find that kind of speech off putting and viral.

my reply

simple minded people like u dont get it.it is the double standards of dynasty pet ndtv,ec, elmedia that are at issue here.and swapan playing into their hands

varun denied what he said but congress leaders said the same thing (and simple minds forget that or are ignorant ) like maut ke suadagar,andhra pradesh leader said he will cut out hindus hands,owaisi a upa ally bashed up tasleema,congress'imran kidwai said something in punjab at same time.

it is the double standards of ndtv againt varun and bjp that is at issue here and swwapan shudl know better that varun,modi,bjp hindus are an agenda of ndtv .

are their different rules for hindus and muslimss,bjp and congress,varun and sonia who made the mautkesuadagar statement and even ec showed its doublestandards then in gujarat and later tried to save face

did u ankan or swapan say anything.do u guys eevn remeber anything or do u guys think we can have differnt rules for different sides based on your hidden motives and loyalty.

everyone with some brains knows ndtv elmedia doublestandards.

and even a kid knows rules shudl be the same.

if u cant rebut my post,dont post another till u meet the stnadrad of knowleddge,memmory and analysis.u r wasting my time .

so where was the concern for abuse when sonia and congress says it.rahul said we abused cbi and media hid it.abusing cbi is worse than what varun said.

cbi is an institution and where were u and swapan then.anyone with doublstandars shuld get lost.period.it is the same as cheating in a game with a corrupt referee which is what ndtv and ec are.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand Swapan's argument. Last two general elections (2004 & 2009) BJP ran on everything except Hindutva and lost miseralby and junking the Hindu image will bolster BJP in the future? Please explain.

One small request... please leave the poor Hindu, ugly or otherwise, alone. We have had enough of baloney's.