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Saturday, June 6, 2009

What's in a word?

Frankly speaking, I am not surprised that a majority, but not an overwhelming majority, of the responses related to my earlier posting have been critical of my suggestion that the BJP needs to abandon the H-word. There is certain to be bewilderment and even anger at the mere suggestion that the personality of the BJP needs modification. Over the years the BJP has come to be equated with Hindutva and any move away from this is, predictably, laced with suggestions of betrayal. It is understandable.

At the same time, I am heartened by the positive responses I have got for my article on the same theme in Times of India (May 4, 2009). I think it is worthwhile pointing out that my ideas weren't born in a vacuum. They have emerged from countless private discussions with BJP activists at all levels. It is their ideas which I have distilled and articulated.

The objections to my suggestions follow two broad streams:

  • Those who attribute motives such as peer group pressure or an itch to join the Congress bandwagon or, worse, to fall in line with the Jaichand tradition. The abusive responses need not be addressed except with the observation that profanities are no substitute for argument. As for peer group pressure, it is worth pointing out that I have endured ostracism of a far worse kind in the early-1990s, during the Ayodhya movement. I don't want to harp on my own credentials but I was one of the two or three writers in the mainstream English language media who were supportive of the movement. Naturally, there was a professional price I paid for this stand. As such, some of the comments from those who attribute motives to my present stand are hurtful.
  • Those who assert that the BJP will lose its "ideological" basis by straying away from Hindutva and become indistinguishable from the Congress. Many have claimed that there is nothing to be defensive about and that the problem is with the distortions of Hindutva by the "secular" media. What, I have also been asked, is my definition of Hindutva.

I will confine my comments to the second category of criticisms.

When someone is prompted to ask me what I mean by Hindutva, he/she bolsters my conclusion. When every second person has their own different version of the meaning of Hindutva, they underline the problems of using it for sustained political communication.

At one time, Hindutva was taken as the outpouring of Hindu pride and Hindu consciousness that accompanied the Ram Janmabhoomi movement. Hindutva than meant the resurrection of a facet of India's personality that had been submerged by "pseudo-secularism". Advani articulated this quite forcefully and the theme resonated throughout India in varying degrees. Hindutva was not regarded as religious consciousness, although that too played a role in the Ram temple movement, but the political extrapolation from the agitation.

In time, these were reduced to the distinctive facets of the BJP programme, viz. building of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, abrogation of Article 370 and the formulation of a Uniform Civil Code. It is noteworthy that the 370 and UCC issues stemmed from a literalist reading of the Indian Constitution.

It is the Supreme Court judgment that has blunted the political thrust of Hindutva. By interpreting Hindutva as a "way of life", in the same way as Radhakrishnan defined Hinduism, the apex court saved the BJP from a political witch-hunt in the mid-1990s. At the same time, it blunted Hindutva as a political weapon.

If something is a "way of life", how does it become an plank of a political party? It becomes either a lifestyle statement (which is patently absurd) or it becomes an intellectual orientation. The BJP has suffered from this post-SC judgment confusion. Hindutva doesn't figure as a term in its manifestos or political documents and leaders routinely say it is "above politics". If Hindutva is "above politics", then why is its inclusion necessary in a political party.

The honest truth that no one wants to admit is that Hindutva has in effect been banished from politics by the judiciary. The Hindutva some of the respondents are talking about is either religious or cultural. The religious dimension creates the type of complications which accompanies the vitriolic exchanges over OBCs and their modes of worship. A rigid culturalist definition leads to an examination of why a particular version of Hindutva hasn't found favour in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and West Bengal.

Hindutva in practice has come to mean exclusionary politics and assertions of Hindu superiority. This may well be a distortion of the real thing but that is the dominant perception. And Kandhamal, Ram Sene, the Malegaon mischief and Varun Gandhi merely confirms it. As Bhaskar Mitra put it in his comment, "Hindutva today stands for mobocracy" and worse.

Its nominal presence on the BJP platform deters the modern Hindu and frightens non-Hindu Indians. It raises a profound question in the minds of voters: "What sort of India does the BJP want?"

The answer, I am afraid, isn't very wholesome. Muthalik may be anti-BJP and Togadia may be on his own crazy trip but together they espouse Hindutva. The moment a political party has to explain that "their" Hindutva is different from "our" Hindutva, it has lost the plot.

Is it any wonder that BJP governments in the states want to dissociate themselves from Hindutva.

Finally, a comment on ideology. The term ideology suggests a codified set of beliefs which are constant. This may be true of religions based on textual certitudes but it can hardly serve as an intelligent guide to political action.

What is relevant is not ideology but ideas. Discussions are more meaningful when we get down to discuss concrete ideas and concrete issues of governance.

Postscript: Just in case anyone wants to read the article in Tehelka that the media has suddenly woken up to.

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213 comments:

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Arun said...

Why not another BJP? The party has no hope in 5 coastal states.

Vinay Khaitan said...

Hi Swapan,

I have read many articles propounding the idea like "snap ties with RSS", "go away from hindutva" etc. I wonder, why these people want BJP to exist at all ? What is in BJP today, which is not in congress ? Do they fear that the alternative political space may be filled by regional/communist parties, hence BJP needs to live on ? BJP and congress, both are equally corrupt or honest. Both of them are patriots and nationalist. I don't think that congressmen are not patriot enough. Their economic and social ideas are similar.
I ask you an honest question :- Given that your outlook is modern and somewhat liberal, mostly bereft of our ancient cultural pride, Why do you want BJP ?

The right wing requires to attach itself with some kind of traditional pride, which is in the case of India known is hindutva. I know that this word has been truly maligned by mass media but it is also of BJP's fault. Ask to BJP cadres/leaders, what is their definition of Hindutva, cultural nationalism and why should future of India depend upon these ideas. I can guarantee that they wont be able to even articulate it properly , forget about consensus.

BJP thinks that it can create some slogans at the time of elections and win over people of India without a proper organization to teach Indian mass about its ideology, its programs. When even their cadres are not properly educated about "Why BJP's ideology", then you should not expect BJP to win election based upon ideology.
A very very important point of an ideological party is to demonstrate the goodness of its ideology in practice too, which has never been done by BJP, because its understanding of its own ideology is too shallow. Ultimately it also harps back to Governance,bereft of any ideological factor. So people do not have any reason to choose BJP as a party. Instead, they choose regional leaders, able to give good governance.
This election was not fought on ideological factors, because none of the parties were able to present any cohesive ideology. Congress never has been ideological party anyway.

BJP has long left "Integral Humanism" as its base ideology in practice. As koenraad elst had pointed out in one of his book, "Integral Humanism" is a beautiful and promising ideology, but it requires development. Sadly BJP's ideological think tank has dried up since then.
I can't find a cohesive ideological kick-start in last 20 years of BJP's existence. It got catapulted to national scene only because of
1. Ram janmabhoomi movement
2. Then onwards, as a plausible alternative to Congress misrules. (People never understood the Rao's statesmanship. Anyway, statesmen are never understood in their time, only history tells about them).
In the end, I really want to understand your attachment to political right. What is wrong with center ?

Swapan Dasgupta said...

Dear Vinay,
To suggest that my outlook is "mostly bereft our our ancient cultural pride" is presumptuous. But you may be right in suggesting that my pride in being Indian doesn't stem from a sense of the "ancient" alone. The real question that confronts a political party (as opposed to cultural organisations) is: how can we make India a better place? I don't believe that the Congress emphasis on statism nurtures the creative potential of India. Plus, I am not defensive about my Hindu identity which may be (and presumably is) different from your sense of Hindu identity. To implicitly denigrate my identity and assume for yourself the monopoly of the "ideological" truth is arrogant.
As for "integral humanism", I am still to understand why an outlook that calls for a harmonious balance between man and his environment constitutes ideology. It is a loose principle of wholesome living. I would suggest you get out of this fixation with "ideology"; focus on ideas.

Dr. Karan Thakur said...

Dear Swapan,

I think this blog entry this makes perfect sense. You reason that the judiciary has in a way blunted Hindutuva as a political weapon, that I think along with the differing versions of Hindutuva makes it political incoherent. Ask any promoters of the fabled ideology, what they mean by ideology and the reaction is either grand posturing taking us back to the Aryan days or it is one of anti-minorityism. I think the new leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley, has made it abundantly clear that India is aspirational and we must change according to the times. Hardliners fault this as dithering from one principles, but then how different are they from other religious extremists?

Proffesionals like myself truly believe in the BJP and I think they are a force for good. But when I sit with my peers, all talk of the good work done in the Vajpayee era or those by current BJP states is drowned by issues like Muthalik, Varun Gandhi and the general hooliganism that is witnessed in the name of a great religion.

I am a Hindu and I am proud of it, but I do not support false ideology that relies on creating fear and insecurity and use religion as a pretext to violence. The BJP needs to become a traditional centre-right party, one that this country deserves and it must do so sans the religious thuggery being bandied about which sullies the image of common moderate Hindus.

Keep writing
Karan

offstumped said...

Swapan Da - Kudos for being unrelenting, good call again. But I must disagree with you on ideas bereft of ideology for that is where the incoherence begins. A good example of that is your esteemed colleague Kanchan Gupta who made a good call too on the need for ideology to only go off on a tangent on onstentation of private wealth.

Ideas are important and inspiring. They also need an ideological anchor so one call tell the good ones from the bad ones as well as one can extrapolate the kind of choices one would make in the future on similar ideas.

Without the broad ideological anchor, incoherence will follow making the vulnerable to charges of opportunism.

The debate must continue nevertheless and it is good to see veterans belling the cat.

Anonymous said...

I think it is high time for BJP to clarify it ideological orientation sometimes their leader are using word like cultural nationalism sometimes they are using integral humanism or in the other time when they interact with RSS or VHP activists they indentify themselves as Hindu Nationalist ! It is very confusing and disgusting for me
In my personal belief Hindu Nationalism means protections of the my religion form the clutches of Muslim and Christian imperialism and run the entire Indian society and state on value of Gita and Veda yeah it can be exclusionary if somebody tried to undermine these s principles However I strongly believe that If BJP wants to rejects this nature of aggressive Hindu Nationalism than they should openly snap their all ties with VHP and RSS and carry on their own path in Indian politics but they don’t have any rights to confuse normal voters and Hindu nationalist by espousing opportunistic jargons
I think Hindu nationalist activist should focus on developing their own party instead of assists BJP in the election may be reviving the JAN SANGH or rename it Hindutvai JAN SANGH would be a wise start !

Anonymous said...

I still do not know what Hindutva as an ideology actually stands for, what is the core of Hindutva? Does Hindutva stand for better governance? Does it stand for National Defence? Does it stand for Economic Prosperity? Hindutva can be a part of the BJP but it will have to remain in the background. BJP has to concentrate on policy related issues in order to win the votes of the people. I guess the BJP can no longer function as a party which is a combination of both the National Front and the Conservatives in the UK. The Conservatives in the UK have never supported the National Front's racist agenda, I guess the BJP can also not only sever its ties with groups like the Ram Sena but also criticise its actions. However at the same time the BJP will also have to look after the welfare of Hindus in India. The BJP has to highlight the plight of the Hindus in places in India where they are in minority or face agressive threats from entities belonging to fundamentalist groups of other religious denominations.I think the BJP has to come forward in criticisng ultra right wing groups which use violence to achieve their aims. Swapanji I have a question, do you think that ultra right political parties might rise in India and eat into the share of BJPs votes if BJP vacates the plank of aggressive Hinduism.For example the National Front in Britian is winning several local elections, who knows one day the National Front may have a credible vote share in the House of Commons, such a situation would threaten the position of the Tories in the UK. Thus, the BJPs vote share may diminish with the rise of ultra right political parties if it does away with Hindutva altogether. Varoon

Sundararaman said...

I feel the problem of BJP is its credibility and not its ideology or governance related. Any honest independent observer would agree that its governance record has been fantastic and even now it is revered in many states where it is in power. In my view instead of debating whether this ideology should be dropped or that ideology should be added. How credibility can be restored to its stated ideas of nationhood, national governance. For this first and foremost some structural changes should take place. Every body is saying or at least agreed that the media is bad mouthing BJP or is doing it in. How to show the party's credibility to be greater than media's credibility? This has to be pondered. I have one idea that is have an ombudsman sort of person at various levels. That ombudsman could be a party sympathiser but should be seen as apolitical. Say somebody like Soli Sorabjee, Rama Jois, Ajit Doval etc. Refer any issue of moral turpitude raised in the public domain to such person. Take action honestly based on such findings. Such a mechanism could have saved the BJP lot of blushes in the Varun Episode.

Arjun said...

Dear Swapan,

So here are some concrete suggestions:

1. Expel Varun Gandhi. Let the BJP not sit with this taint in the opposition.

2. Hammer away with sound logic and facts the internal security issues India faces today. Arun Jaitley made a good start.

3. There will be serious issues with respect to the Economy and corruption in due course. Also, politics will provide the BJP withample opportunities to restablish itself. it must prepare for the same properly.

4. Nobody knows what to do with Modi. He walks around with baggage and your whole argument will be undermined in case he does not address the issues surrounding his personality.

Very good to know that this is what BJP activists feel. It is an excellent start and I thank you for sharing their views with us. I am fully in agreement with this approach suggested by you.

msr said...

Swapanda bit off topic.
I found this link in offstumped blog about e-voting, so I just wanted to share this here.
http://www.newsweek.com/id/199102/

"Numerous electronic-voting inconsistencies in developing countries, where governments are often all too eager to manipulate votes, have only added to the controversy. After Hugo Chávez won the 2004 election in Venezuela, it came out that the government owned 28 percent of Bizta, the company that manufactured the voting machines. Similarly, the 2004 elections in India were notorious for gangs stuffing electronic ballot boxes in villages".

zoomindianmedia said...

Swapan-da,

I have argued that we are probably barking on the wrong tree with the exclusive focus on Hindutva.

Hindutva is being made the fall guy for what was essentially poor leadership - both strategic and tactical in the BJP.

It is a fact that BJP's leadership's contribution for Hindu mobilisation after Ram Janmabhoomi movement was luke warm at best.

And Hindutva will be an albatross across BJP neck. Our enemies will ensure that. They will try and ensure that liberal Hinduism itself gets a bad name while totalitarian dogmatic beliefs (islam/church) despite their historic omissions/commissions is projected as a benign force.

Right approach, should have been to defend the pro Hindu position as actively as Congress defends its muslim/xian vote bank. (Despite serious costs to national interest, congis refused to consider POTA even after 26/11). BJP never showed commitment to its core voter base.

The big idea is for BJP to publically articulate Modi's position as first among equals. Orchestrate troops and win Maharashtra.

We cant wish away BJP's Hindutva legacy. The right way to address this is strongly defend it while ensuring congressi groups like rama sene are attacked and not allowed to run riot.

A blueprint for action is available at http://zoomindianmedia.wordpress.com/2009/05/17/election-2009-analysis

PS: Dont be disheartened by criticism. Many would not know your legacy and would not know much about Rama Janmabhoomi mobilisation.

Anonymous said...

Debate seems to be coming back to square one.
Again, whole discourse on Hindutva or BJP identity is being defined in the realm of agenda and the terms set by pseudosecular media. So in this realm, while assault on George Staines is assault on secularism, assassination of Swami Laxamananda in Kandhamal is an homage to Secularism. In this realm, massacre of 5000 sikhs is an affirmation of your secular credentials.

Hindutva seems so strident and unpalatable because media projects it so. While Rama Sene is associated with BJP and becomes a stick to beat BJP with, Congress's associataion with Muslim league is secularism.

I think debate would be better organized if it becomes issue-based.

-Which issues are that concern you and you think are important for the future of the country?
-Would "YOU" call them Hindutva, (Regardless of what media would term them?)
-Which party- BJP or Non-BJP party is addressing them? For example

-Uniform civil code
-J&K Accession
-Rampant Missionary activity.
-Ayodhya Temple
-Detoxification of Textbooks
-Freedom of Speech (e.g., Taslima Nasreen Vs. M. F. Hussain).

Of course there are many more issues that can be added to the list.

To me it seems that there are many people who, at their gut level and instinctively, feel that such issues are important and BJP must address them, but as soon as BJP starts to do something about they start to get weak-kneed and wobbly. And their posture becomes why are you raising these issues now, don't you have poverty, development, corruption, law and ordere, bijli, sadak and paani to take care of first.

In conlusion, before BJP is asked to redefine itself and their well-wisher would be well-advised to decide- what is it that you want? and more importantly do you KNOW what you want?

charuvak said...

Nice rebuttal.

Let us say, for the sake of the argument, we abandon the H word, we still need to ask how do we articulate abrogation of article 370 and implementing directive principles of the constitution, while the rest of the media and good number of political parties consider these two policies fall outside the realm of 'secular' ?

BJP_supporter said...

May be there is nothing in a word. In that case we can apply this equally to those who want to cling to it and those (including you) who want to drop it.

When you say BJP drop the word, what other things you want the party to do? Surely you do not mean merely dropping the word and carrying on with business as usual.

In a issue like Ram Setu where the Supreme Court and before that the High Court have emphasised on the question of 'monument' - should the BJP involve itself? The opinion of the Chennai High Court was particularly blunt - they made a remark on secularism using the Taj as reference. Taking an issue to the judiciary or people is among the legitimate options of a political party.

In a issue like Amarnath land, should the BJP express any opinion?

In an issue like reservations for minorities based on religion, how does the new-improved-BJP without the H word handle it?

Sachar report - ditto.

In these issues, can any stand that the BJP takes (after duly dropping the H word and getting it notarized) still get headlined as 'communal' by Times of India?

It is very possible that the stand the BJP takes on some of this issues is also the same stand that Pramod Muthalik takes for whatever reasons of his own. Should it mean that the BJP not take any stand that Muthalik or Togadia or any yet unidentified villain could potentially take?

Times of India is a particularly dangerous example. You had once written 'visceral hatred' of the media to BJP. Times of India best fits it.

There was a charlie chaplin statue issue in Karnataka. The Hindu reported on March 19 that the local deputy commissioner had not given permission for shooting/building activity in that area. ToI wrote on March 15 that 'Intolerance will not ebb in BJP ruled Karnataka' promoting the theory that Chaplin was Christian. This detail of lack of necessary permission was totally blacked out by ToI. This week, local New Indian express reported that this movie is being released without that song. This report also exposes some more stunts of this director - he had claimed (falsely) that Sidhu will appear in the movie; the cast of the movie later said they were cheated into appearing in a 'protest' this director organized. None of this appeared in ToI.

It is good they carried your article. But the fact that your posts are now only about words and not any real 'ideas' could point to the standard that sets.

Anonymous said...

I think it would be right to say that Congress has a better understanding of nature of hinduism and hindu society, than the BJP. The fact is, that the hindu community, ranging from upper castes to OBC to dalit, tribals etc is a very diverse community (in a much more fundamental sense than any other religion). The needs, sentiments etc of each of these sections are vasty different (and the sentiments sometimes even going in opposite directions at times), and the social-educational-politcal-economic conditions are highly diverse. If the arrest of Shankaracharya is an offence of religious sentiment to one section, for most others Sankaracharya never figured in their sentiments and for some, Ambedkar is much more revered figure etc. The Congress takes into account this diversity of social-educational-politcal-economic needs/sentiments etc and attends to the various needs of various sections in the best possible manner as situation permits - instead of painting all with one broad brush saying that they are all "hindu". Many people resent such a broad brush. And since it is virtually impossible to provoke a common "hindu sentiment", hindutva leaders have taken an easy recourse to creating a negative commonality like a common hatred/fear/threat of muslim etc. Varun did not proclaim any positive ideology of hinduism, but he chose the easy way of bringing that hindu commonality/unity as a common hatred/fear/revulsion of musilm. While it works in small pockets, it is positively repulsive to people outside that pocket. The reason BJP could not counter Varun is because many hindutva ideolouges themselves take recourse to same simple way of almost defining a hindu as one who hates/fears a muslim - they do this because they do not see any other way of uniting the various castes/classes/sections of hindus. They cannot even define a hindu unity without referring to muslim/christian. The Congress approach of facing the true nature of hinduism and hindu community and addressing the diverse social-educational-economic-political-cultural needs and sentiments of various sections in a harmonious/cohesive manner is a lot better, true and genuine. The Congress recognizes and is tolerant/accommodating to the hindu diversity. The caste/class profile of the leaders and ministers of each party tells the whole story. There is no caste/religion that is not prominently and significantly represented in the Congress.

Dhananjay said...

Swapan Da - I completely agree with you. Whether we like it or not, whether we claim "Hinduism" as a way of life and not a religion, for 90+ % of population (including in India), the word Hindu (and hence also the word "Hindutva" implies association to a specific religion.

There is a difference between dropping the H-word and dropping the ideology it stands for.

When the H-word has been converted in to a 4-letter word by the media and vested parties, Congress and pseudo-secs do not even have to answer serious queries about why it is not in national interst to have a Uniform Civil Code and to abrogate Article 370. All they have to do is cliam that these issues are part of "Hindutva Agenda" and that they have no intention of letting Hindutva agenda succeed.

Thus the very H-word is coming in the way of BJP's ideology becoming more acceptable to the common man and failing to force Congress and others to engage in a serious debate on these "national" issues.

Also, if we are true Hindus, who believe that my prayers to Ganesha and your's to Lakshmi eventually reach the same god, why are we getting so hung up here on the H-word? Why are not the same ideals (as implied by "Hindutva") acceptable in the name of "national interest"?

To be honest, if the very ideals that "Hindutva" stands for were to be market as "Christian Ideals" (just to pick a name), majority of those who support ideals of "Hindutva" (as relevant for political discourse to BJP & India) will not overwhelmingly support those ideals and mayy in fact oppose them.

To me, dropping the H-word should be about "better branding & finetuning" of BJP's ideology to make it more acceptable to the Common Man rather than about abandoning the ideology itself.

Anonymous said...

Swapan, I like what you said, that ideas is what we need and not a ideology (at least in the sense of a stagnant ideology). But the ideas need to be anchored in certain basic moral principles like rights, justice, freedom, liberty, welfare etc for all citizens equally without fear or favor. With that anchoring in place, what we need is ideas. Anf the ideas needs to be subjected to a healthy, open, free and fair debate for thier merits/demerits etc and new/better ideas will constantly evolve. This is of course threatening to the blind traditionalists who deliberatly choose not to accept any new ideas even when it is patently clear that the new idea is better. Islamic majority countries inability to move towards secular democracy is an example of this. While on the other hand, the American ability to be always in forefront of innovation is an example of being open to all ideas and letting the best of ideas to prevail. The question is, can the BJP match the Congress in such a open and progressive approach of ideas? For the Congress, such openness itself is it core competence (in general).

Dhananjay said...

Offstumped wrote - "Without the broad ideological anchor, incoherence will follow making the vulnerable to charges of opportunism."

While this statement is nothing to disagree about, it's implication that Swapan Da is implying that BJP let go of its ideology is incorrect.

He is only implying that H-Word may not be the best way of anchoring that ideology & that the H-word is hurting more than helping propagate the very ideology that BJP stands for.

Balaji said...

and talking of UCC, you should urge Arun Jaitley to draft the UCC and present as a Private members bill in Parliament. enough talk and lets get stuff done.

praveen said...

Hi Swapan

I partially agree with you, there is no need for bjp to panic and publicly disown hindutva over the 2009 defeat. it has to analyze the results and take steps to become a competent oppositin party in the first place and work on winning back the confidence of people especially women and youth.
As for hindutva its definition is different depending on who you are, for minorities and minority haters it is anti-minority, for the intellectual idealists among sangh parivar it's a wholesome way of life, for many dalits it's a concept of upper caste hagemony, for women of feminist type it's an expression of male domination.
The biggest failure of hindutva way of life proponents is their failure after ayodhya movement to evolve a constructive programme based on hindutva as a way of life, they took up swadeshi for propaganda and abandoned it when they came to power.In power they never even pretended that they were working on healing a wounded civilization. If hindutva is about dharma, ram rajya,harmonious living , village development, village self-government and antyodaya they haven't done anything remotely to materialize these ideas even to a small extent, instead they behaved as if they just want to prove congress that they can be in power for five years.
On the other hand recent elections prove that congress is still being regarded as a credible platform for the interests af all sections of society. It's welfare schemes and minority appeasement at the cost of majority played a decisive role in its victory. Bjp instead of learning from the defeat is congratulating itself for bringing bipolarity in indian politics.
To evolve as an alternative to congress throughout the country bjp should become platform for all anti congress and communist forces in the country, these forces are strong and active throughout the country since 1950's but they lack single credible national platform, these forces will not tolerate remote controlling from rss as it's leadership doesn't represent india.
bjp should see r.s.s as one of the stake holder and democratize its organisation in favour of youth and women, they should walk the talk and take up non controversial aspects of hindutva like serious economic and environmental issues related to food, land and water before serious taking up the injustices to hindu civilization.
RSS should restrict itself to nation building and allow its affiliates freedom in their functioning, it is also time for rss to restructure its organisation and should not brain wash or encourage individuals to be pracharak for life-time, after 3-5 years as pracharak they should be encouraged to get married and settle down.
It also need not degrade west to show the achievements and greatness of hindu civilization
many office bearers in rss have children and relatives settled in west especially U.S and U.K , but they denigrade western civilization in their baudhiks and schools. every civilization has its own positives and negatives, accepting positive ideas is the essence of hindu civilization.
Also their emphasis on anti materialism and simplicity cannot be a guiding principle for hindu civilization since hindu civilization supports all kinds dharmic expressions of life

Oldtimer said...

Dear Swapan,

The belief that explicitly dropping "Hindutva" from its manifesto will allow BJP to fend off attacks arising from distractionary issues is naive at best. In fact, doing so will make the party even more vulnerable to calumny because the detractor would have scented more than blood. I can visualize my favortite boob-tube interpreter of two-day stubbles asking Jaitley: "you claim that you're discarding Hindutva. Will that mean you will apologize for your divisive and communal stand on Amarnath?" Or a hysterical reporter screaming her lungs off from a riot scene: "the BJP claims Hindutva is no longer its ideology. But as I speak to frightened Muslims here, what emerges cearly is that the Hindutva reality on the ground is uglier than as ever".

You get my drift. As long as one party is always levelling allegations, and the other is forced to be perennially on the defensive, siatuation is not going to change much. Instead of issuing one type of denial ("our hindutva is different from their hindutva"), the BJP will have to issue another type ("we aren't hindutva-vadis any more! why don't you please take note!").

Let's consider a parallel. The CPIM's core ideology -- the party's "democratic" mask notwithstanding -- is no different from that of Naxals. How come then every time the leftwing extremists kill a dozen more innocent people, the CPIM doesn't have to provide explanations distancing its ideology from the barbarism? The answer is simple: because nobody asks the CPIM any questions. Even the terminology used in public discourse is designed to help them: the Maoists rarely ever get called "leftwing extremists" or "leftwing terrorists" (which is what they are) lest that should imply any association with the "democratic" Left. (As an aside, I see Mr Shourie consistently using the phrase "leftwing extremism" to refer to Naxalism -- more power to him).

To have used "hindutva" is a mistake in the first place. To me at least, the word suggests defensiveness. The enemy knew it pretty well, and that's why he succeeded in making it a term of abuse. It even bestows a cloak of respectability on Hindu-baiting ("I am only opposed to Hindutva, not Hinduism!"). To distance from it in the face of defeat makes it worse. It's too late for BJP to correct its mistake. The way out is not to discard "Hindutva" but to "upgrade" it, if you will. Upgrade to a label that's politically injudicious to attribute dark charasteristics to.

Anonymous said...

Swapan Da,
I tend to agree with you mostly on your ideas but also see vinay's point (without the implicit name calling)
For a confused guy like me (on this strain of thought)
I am waiting to hear the ideas and way forward for BJP from now on.And even the guys who are calling you names come here to write on an issue they are really passionate about(nation).
Hindutva needs to be redefined and recouched in a new avatar which would play out well in the24X7 media.Its all about perception.Who cares about ideology ?BJP needs to stop the infighting asap.

Arun said...

"In Gujarat, the vote gap between Congress and BJP is just 3.3 percentage points. All that it will take to unseat Mr Modi is a 2% swing in the state’s vote."

http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/t-n-ninan-pre-emptive-defeat/20/44/360205/

T N Ninan: Pre-emptive defeat

If Mr Modi has not re-invented himself by next elections, he might find that history has passed him by.

Anonymous said...

One Congress inclined editor commented that BJP has lost its mojo. It was a painful but true statement about BJP. Once BJP leaders used to speak truth that struck a chord with Middle Class.Alas that was missing for last five years.

Vikas

Anonymous said...

congress won because of muslim votebank cbse = madrasas (and no coed madrasa fatwa far worse than muthalik rsene was not important to media congress goons)and bjp will keep losing because of growing muslim votebank nationally,so discussing hindutva and rss as defeat of bjp is nonsense and just rozi roti for elmedia gasbags and anchors to fill in time and some idiots fall for it.

remember bjp won in states where muslims cannot influence the vote.So you cannot have it both ways.
u cannot lose because of h in some states and win because of h in some.bjp won because it is better at governance-development which is the only issue for hindus who are nonreligous unlike muslims for whom heaven,religion hatred for non appeasing hindus is all that matters. so these reults have to be analyzed as a win for congress votebank or islamitva and congress media know that.

to blame hindutva is just to allow hidnu hating media to push their agenda and some gullibles are falling for it.

footnote

liberal arts majors are bottom ranked in school and have no choice but arts instaed of competitive sc,engineering,commerce,law,business and it is these who are dominating public discourse like most english media and their poster boys from jnu like dip gupta from jnu whose insight was that we shuld have a muslim pm after obama won on merit despite his race,not because of it.And nandita das B.A in geography,oh even more comptetitive than iit major ,the great poster girl of elmedia whose intellectual genius comment was that there was only one side to gujarat 2002 and thatw as only muslims were killed and no hindus were not kiled in train to cause riots.

Indian psephologist said...

Swapan,

I have a different view. The broad political spectrum in India is:
Extreme right wing (religious groups and parties) ----Right wing (??)--Right of centre (??)- Centre (BJP/CONGRSS)--Left of centre (? Congress) ---Left Wing (Communist) ---Extreme Left (Naxallites)
It is a misapprehension (created by media - according to BBC BJP is a right wing Hindu nationalist party!!) that BJP is a right wing party. Yes, during a brief period of Ram Janmbhoomi movement BJP occupied that place. But afterwards it started paying only lip service to Hindutva for electoral gains. By paying lip service it was able win elections once or twice but people of this country are intelligent enough to understand the duplicity. Now days BJP keeps changing its colours and political from Right of centre to centre according to political opportunity. In real sense there is no real national right wing party. Swapan you are suggesting BJP to dump the 'H' word. But for an average Hindutva follower like me, BJP neither adopted Hindutva nor did it ever try to genuinely defend the Hindutva (except for a brief period of flirtation which catapulted it to political prominence). Yes, there are individual leaders in BJP who would like to promote and defend Hindutva, but perhaps because of their political compulsions most of them have never aggressively defended Hindutva (except perhaps NaMo). Most of them appear apologetic while trying to defend Hindutva. The apologetic behaviour occurs because they appear confused. Despite judicial pronouncements and so many debates they are perhaps not sure what Hindutva is.
And here comes the question what is Hindutva? Hindutva is a way of life that our ancestors and we have followed in this ancient land from times immemorial. Hindutva identifies Ayodhya with Ram not with Babar. It identifies Krishna with Mathura, Vrindavana, Gokul and Dwarka. It identifies Siva with Kashi and Kailash. Hindutva is based on Vedas, Upanishadas, Itihasa (Ramayana, Mahabharata etc.), Puranas, Dharma Shastras, Angmas, Darsanas and on Buddhist and Jain scriptures. It has its roots in Bhakti movement, in Hindu renaissance and in teachings of great saints and seers. Hindutva teaches ahimsa but it also tells how to uphold 'Dharma'. Hindutava teaches that whenever the Dharma will be threatened it will be protected not by miracle or magic but by the proactive action of the people of this country guided by the human divinity. Hindutva teaches us to be peaceful and strong. For historic and geographic reasons most followers of Islam and Christianity living in this country do not identify with Hindutva but most followers of Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism do.
Because Hindutvas is a way of life of people therefore those people must have some political leanings. Since Hindutva is intertwined with the ancient religions of this country which are predominantly peaceful therefore it is likely that most of Hindutva followers will have a natural right wing political leaning. A party that decides to protect Hindutva without resorting to unnecessary violence should occupy that right wing place

Most Hindutva followers would like to maintain and protect their Hindutva identity. They understand that their way of life faces a threat from hardliner Islamists and Christians, but most do not like the ways of extremist Hindu right wing organizations. Most of the Hindutva followers are basically peaceful. They sincerely wish and hope that a peaceful but strong right wing political party will defend their way of life and their rights in their ancient land. If BJP seriously takes up the issue of defending Hindutva in India and does not think about short term electoral gains then it will be a winner in the long run. That would mean it would have to become a mass movement rather than remaining just another political party. But does BJP really want to become a people's movement? Does it really want to defend Hindutva? Or it just wants to be another political party that looks like a little pale but otherwise identical twin of Congress party?

Indian psephologist said...

Dear Dr. Thakur

Let me first state that I am also against hooliganism and religious intolerance. Yes, religion is being used to create fear and insecurity and religion plays a role in communal riots. However, only by living in the areas where communal riots take place one can understand why they occur. It is important to see the demographic changes that have occurred in those areas. These demographic changes are real and easily verifiable. They cause immense problems in everyday life in these areas. Some people talk about it loudly others talk in hushed voices. You may or may not notice it if you go for a short visit. But imagine living in those places day after day, where there are virtual borders based on religions inside cities. Moradabad, Meerut, Rampur, Aligarh, Saharanpur, Hyderabad, Ahemadabad, Jaipur, Hubli, Kandhamal, Dhubri are some of the notorious places. But there are many other places with similar problem. You may call it jingoism, religious intolerance, but it is a fact that serious demographic changes are occurring. So what do you expect natives of those areas to do? Just move out as they did out of Kashmir? Or get converted? It is easy for us to say sitting in an AC room in a safe metropolis about evils of religious intolerance. But there are millions of people who face a threat to their very existence (religion, culture and life). Extreme right wing groups appear evil but often there are real reasons why they exist.

Vijay said...

Swapan,

I would agree with Offstumped. We shouldn't abandon ideology just because one particular type of ideology hasn't worked out for us.

Nationalism as an ideology should always motivate the BJP.

I do appreciate what you're trying to do however. You speak sense and you've set the correct terms of reference for the debate.

The defeat in the 2009 elections presents the BJP with a stark choice: It can become a genuine party of the Right or stick to the old certainties of obsolete Hindutva and continue down the path of electoral irrelevance.

Sachin said...

Here are a few points
1. Hindutva has been definitely been tarnished by fringe groups probably in collusion with Congress. Question is how do you respond? I think there is no need to publicily disassociate from Hindutva. But there is definitely a need to denounce and disassociate from the fringe elements and hopefully not give them a platform in the party. Note how the congress did a 180 degree U-turn from socialism to free market economics in 1991, but Sonia still paid homage to her mother-in-law's bank nationalization during the recent election campaign.
2. The congress does not have a fixed ideology and is very adept in leaning either towards the Right or the Left. In the 70s it was very cosy with Soviet inspired economics. Now it is very cosy with Washington inspired economics. This should be highlighted very subtly.
3. BJP should come up with its own foreign, secutiry, economic and governance policies and play the role of constructive opposition i.e. support the government when it pursues policies in sync with BJP's stated position, but oppose in a calm manner other policies.Also it should highlight the current crony capitalism of the congress regime without making personal attacks or coming across as shrill. Instead it should highlight how such favouritism affects smaller entreprenuers, customers and taxpayers unfavorably.
4. In BJP ruled states, it should implement police, legal and local government reforms and highlight these as its USP.
5. In states where BJP does not have significant presence like TN, AP, WB, Kerala it should expand its presence by opening up internal elections and holding primaries. The congress is already doing something similar in Punjab and Gujarat.
5. And the BJP has to sooner than later anoint its PM candidate for 2014 and let him/her take over as LOP and act as prime ministerial in the intervening period viz. Limit direct media interaction of the LOP to the minimum; Make well timed and substantive interventions in parliamentary debates; Impose strict discipline on atleast his own team and those holding leadership positions without stifling internal debate while acknowledging significant differences if any within the party.

Anonymous said...

Swapanda, I agree with you that Hindutva is identified with aggressive Hindu supremacy and BJP should try to differentite itself from this.

I think that you are too focussed on Hindutva as the cause for BJP defeat. While that might have hurt them to some extent, other factors are also at play.

Did Advani really inspire the people of India including Hindus? Did his age was a factor? Did he appear as a tired old man rehashing the same stuff. Or did he appear as a hardliner trying to be secular.


Was the Jaitley Rajnath spat a factor too? Was BJD pulling out of NDA a factor too.

Was BJP position clearly articulated throughout the five years or was it left to some pre election poll promises which seemed opportunistic,

You should expand on these themes as well.

Anonymous said...

Swapan da, One question I have for you is that, how come you are proposing Modi as the next leader when he is heavily associated with Hindutva. That part I have not understood.

Random Dude said...

Swapan da,

"Advani articulated this quite forcefully and the theme resonated throughout India in varying degrees. Hindutva was not regarded as religious consciousness, although that too played a role in the Ram temple movement, but the political extrapolation from the agitation."

Do you really think Hindutva was the reason behind the victory in 1998/99 ?

I think otherwise. The common man was frustrated with the congress party ruling the country for
50 years and desperately needed a change.
Thus the BJP wave.

The common man has never/will never care about hindutva. Period.
This is not the USA. In USA people have all other basic necessities of life like bijli,sadak and Paani met. So, they have the time and energy to talk about issues like abortion,race,religion etc etc.
But in India, the common man's basic necessities are not met. He does NOT HAVE THE TIME/PATIENCE TO TALK ABOUT HINDUTVA.

ALL HE CARES ABOUT IS HIMSELF => HE VOTED FOR THE CONGRESS PARTY WHICH GAVE HIM THE MAXIMUM THINGS FOR FREE.

The worst aspect of this was that the BJP was not even in the same ball park. The BJP was fighting in a different world altogeter.
While the congress was talking about the common man's issues (even though giving billions of rupees of free stuff is against basic economics)
the BJP was raking up stale non issues.

I am not at all saying that the BJP should also promise freebies. But the BJP should have taken up the economic plight of people, standard issues like development, created awareness about the billions of freebies given by the UPA etc.

I am also not saying that the BJP should give up hindutva. But U got it right in your last post.
HINDUTVA IS MERELY THE ICING ON THE CAKE/SPICE IN A MEAL.

IT CAN NEVER BECOME THE MAIN COURSE.

IF THE COMMON MAN DOES NOT HAVE BASIC REQUIREMENTS MET, HE WILL NEVER THINK ABOUT HINDUTVA


PS : Please ignore the people who advise a return to hardcore hindutva. I am sorry to say, but they have no idea what they are talking about.
People who are staunch BJP supporters will always vote for BJP irrespective of the degree of hindutva adopted by the party.
It is the people outside this sphere that we have to attract.

We need an image makeover, but one of a different kind.

WE HAVE TO BECOME CHAMPIONS FOR THE LITTLE GUY.
THAT IS THE ONLY WAY FORWARD.

mpanj said...

SG,

I have always believed that NDA should have used the slogan 'India Rising' instead of 'India Shining'. Even mentioned it to several BJP workers. Oh Well.

If Hindutva is to be replaced it must be replaced with a set of principles. An uncompromising adherence to these principles must be a prerequisite to joining/working for the BJP.

Lastly, your latest column in the Pioneer has a great suggestion.

"To strengthen the quality of democracy, a system of constant interaction involving the top and the bottom is imperative.".

BJP must implement a structure of 'Continuous Engagement' with its workers/supporters/potential voters.

BJP in its current state resembles Congress of the 90s - a club of like minded individuals gathered together by prospects of political power.

It must once again represent a movement for change. A movement to correct all that is wrong with our nation.

Ghost Writer said...

The Mandir is understandable – but how in heaven do 370 and UCC “frighten” the non-Hindus. With Pakistan imploding – one would think this is the perfect time to press the case with the Kashmiri’s. As for UCC – even the consummate Congressman M J Akbar is asking for it (except he calls it a Muslim code Bill). The problem with the BJP is that they rode the tiger with Ayodhya, but did not know when to get off. They also did know have the spunk to face up to the demolition. They fell in between two stools.
While I am all for moderation – there is one other issue you have not addressed. The Muslims and Christians use the state strategically - as a community. They vote as a block with a community identity – and inevitably in opposition to Hindu interests. There is a genuine fear among Hindus that while they may not lose their religious identity; they will lose the only state that they call home. There is a genuine fear of encirclement – by Islamic fundamentalism, by China and by communist fifth-columns. There is a fear that giving up the H platform will dishearten the Hindus even more.

Raj said...

1. Parties with a strong state leader have an advantage and win. YSR in AP, Navin in Orissa, Mamta in WB, Yeddi in Karnataka and Modi in Gujarat. The BJP will do well to nominate 1 leader and build a brand around him in each state that it wants to focus on. Similarly the BJP should continue to keep Vasundhara Raje and Maj Gen Khanduri despite their losses and build a brand around them. IMO the BJP does nothing great in Chattisgarh but the clean image of that portly Raman Singh helps them keep winning just like Navin does nothing in Orissa but his clean image returns the BJD to power!!

2. The BJP needs to return to Hindutva. There is no way that it can beat the Congress by following Vajpayee and now Advani's ideology of "soft hindutva". Muslims will vote against the BJP no matter what and the only counter that the BJP has is mobilizing Hindus and this only happens in a polarized environment. Otherwise the BJP will be a "nice" loser. Here are some facts:

People espousing Hardline hindutva won handily. Varun Gandhi, Yogi Adityanath, MM Joshi, Dileep Judeo. The BJP won in Azamgarh the epicenter of islamic terrorism and lost in cosmopolitan areas
Muslims and Christians voted en block to defeat BJP candidates from Kanyakumari to Gurdaspur to Eastern UP.

The BJP should pick a hardline and young hindutva leader to head UP. The choice is between Yogi Adityanath and Varun Gandhi. I would pick the latter because of his charisma.

3. The BJP is growing in new areas but it has to quicken the pace. The results of grass roots work by the Sangh affiliates are bearing to show results in states where the BJP has little or no presence. It will take a lot of time but the clear pattern of a break through is visible.

Raj said...

Focus on Orissa.: The BJP won 17% of the Vote in Orissa. The Congress is declining in this state. People will need an alternative to the BJD. The BJP and the Sangh Parivar should exclusively target Orissa. As a first step they need to project a CM candidate in 2014 like Juel Oram or Kharbela Swain.

In Andhra and TN the BJP needs to get to 10% of the vote to be able to make a difference. In Andhra even in this fragmented scenario the BJP managed 3.7% of the vote. If the BJP and the TDP had an alliance they would have won 10 more MP seats. Check out the voting in the following MP Seats:Chelvella Karimnagar, Malkajgiri, Nagarkurnool, Nizamabad, Peddapalle, Tirupati, Rajahmundhry, Vijayawada and
Zahirabad. As a first step the BJP and the TRS need to come closer and drag the TDP or the PRP into an alliance. The BJP is a formidable force in Telangana. At its hey day, contesting alone, the BJP won 18% of the popular vote in andhra in 1998. The common myth that the Communists determine the winner in Andhra is false. The Communists have more often been on the losing side and contribute lesser votes than the BJP. Again the BJP or its partner need a charismatic leader.This is not Venkaiah Nadidu..

TN: the BJP needs to just wait. Amma is now all alone and the CPM is likely to ditch her and blame her for the party debacle. The BJP won 2.5% of the vote. One of the questions that none seems to be asking, is what after Amma? Unlike Karunanidhi she has no heir apparent. Vijaykanth stands a chance.

Maharsashtra: The BJP and Shiva Sena were extremely unlucky. Their chances of a great victory were spoiled in the following 9 constituences by the presence of the MNS candidates. Again check out the polling percentages in the following seats: Bhiwandi, Mumbai South, Mumbai North, Mumbai North East,
Mumbai North West, Mumbai South Central, Nashik, Pune, and Thane. Raj Thakre is a one time wonder and the BJP shouldnt do anything foolish by jeopardizing its Sena alliance.

Incidentally the BJP won about 6.5% of the vote in both Bengal and Kerala.

There is a great opportunity for the BJP in Tripura. The Congress is withering there and the CPM needs to be taken on in Tripura.

4. Winning in the areas surrounding Delhi is crucial for the Congress and the BJP : These areas are NCR, Harayana, Uttaranchal, Punjab, Jammu, HP: These seats are crucial for the BJP. There are 40 seats in this region and this region is like a big state in itself. The BJP has been consistently losing to the Congress. Here are some suggestions for the BJP.

A point leaders for state units. The choices would be Dr.Harshvardhan for Delhi
Sushma Swaraj should be asked to lead the revival in Harayana. She should first win Harayana if she wants a meaningful role at the center.

The BJP needs good party heads or leaders in small states and areas. Curiously the BJP is ignoring the great potential in Jammu, Udhampur and Ladakh and again needs a strong state Satrap to take up this cause here.

Raj said...

Some other interesting points from the analysis:

1. The BJP helped the Communists win in W.Bengal. The Communists would have been down to single digits - 9 seats instead of 15 seats. Check out the vote pattern in the following seats: Alipurduars, Balurghat, Bardhaman Purba, Cooch Behar, Jalpaiguri, Purulia. The BJP got 6.5% of the vote in Bengal. Its best performance in Bengal was 10%

2. The BJP did likewise for the Congress in Kerala. Seats like Kannur have gone to the Congress party thanks to some massive cross voting by the BJP. The BJP got 6.5% of the vote in Kerala. At its peak the BJP once did close to 15%.

3. The Congress returned the favour in Bihar. Without the Congress party the JD(U) and the BJP would have lost some 7 seats in Bihar. There is a good chance that Nitish Kumar would read this as well. If Nitish aligns with the Congress and the LJP, he will probably be the king of bihar for another 5-10 years but Bihar would lose the performance edge. In both Bihar and Orissa the BJP's participation in Government and the Sangh affiliates grass roots work is a large reason for the lack of corruption and good governance. The big losers with that move would be Laloo Yadav and the BJP!!

4. The BJP needs to be wary about MP, Chattisgarh and ensure that Modi doesnt shoot himself in the foot in Gujarat. In both MP and Chattisgarh they are creating strong personas in Shivraj Singh Chauhan and Raman Singh but Governance is not where it needs to be!!

5. In Jharkhand, there is a crying need to take back Babulal Marandi. Similarly the BJP needs to accomodate Uma Bharti at the National Level!!!

Finally some food for thought and out of the box thinking?

Should the BJP open back channels with the CPM? Most CPM cadre and middle level leaders have lot of sympathy for the BJP cause in W.Bengal. The CPM leadership is totally out of touch with this reality. While this is probably a long shot: a split in the CPM party with one party aligning itself with the BJP should solve the Bengal and Kerala problems once and for all.

Anonymous said...

People who are against dropping hindutva, does not realise that eventhough the word may mean lot of good things, people belonging to other religions cannot accept it. It is not suprising that non-hindus don't vote for bjp, because of this word. Do these people, who want to pursue with hindutva, vote for any political party which talks about ideology of Islamism or Christianism, however good that ideology may seem. If not, why ideology of hindutva is justifiable? What BJP should stand for is equality of all and non-appeasement of any - that is true secularism - which other political parties do not practice currently and that is why BJP will not become a clone of congress. I am sure even lot of minorities will also support this. To demostrate this, each time when people like mutalik or togadia attack minorities, BJP should openly condemn them and if they do it in BJP ruled states, apply NSA against them. Why Mutalik is still free in Karnataka? If BJP does this, all parties opposing BJP, will lose their potent weapon. People also know that BJP Can provide good governance. At the same time, BJP should continue its support for Ram Janmabhoomi, Ram Setu, UCC and abrogation of Article 370. This will prove that BJP stands for all and is not against anybody. Support to hindu cause does not mean - they are against minorities. But, reference to hindutva will always mean suppporting a religion - you will never be able to convince people about it.

Gaurav said...

Hi Swapan,
Hmmm...in your words:If Hindutva is "above politics", then why is its inclusion necessary in a political party.
By same logic, why indeed then it's exclusion necessary?
I don't think that H-word has proven itself to give diminishing returns politically.Please bear with me.

1.It's a moot point now on this blog that weakness in 4 major states & absolute failure in articulating ideas with urban voters has resulted in all this exercise. Nothing more & nothing less. Now with regard to second reason your point may have some traction but is it so?

2. What do you tell your foot soldier in BJP who does door to door campaigning to talk about to a voter?.. policy?development?economics?promise of prosperity?..this is no way to distinguish your party & persuade people.

3. The nationalist aspect of the "H-word" in my view still remains a potent tool in conveying the party ideas in a convincing manner. Moreover it is no longer in BJP's hand to dissociate itself with it. It has been tagged whether anyone likes it or not. The day we utter a word on uniform civil code alone,the "hindutva brigade" medallion will don our chests!So just change the presentation & the way of conveying in tune with its expectation. Surprise & delight your voters.

4. Its all about basics. A personal experience as an aside...During local body elections in my hometown in Uttarakhand a BJP candidate came to ask for my vote. I said I will if you tell me why I should. His party supporters immediately said.."arre yeh to bahar ke log hain, na garwali na kumaoni..yeh to dilli ke hain chalo chalo"...talk about quality control !! Thankfully the guy lost..so the lesson...if you leave your fortunes in hands of such people..H word or not, outcome is going to be the same..& i am not extrapolating.

P.S.-This "H word " thing reminds me of Harry Potter...one which cannot be named !!

Ajay said...

Swapan,

BJP problem has been that it does not fulfill the promises it makes. Ayodhya is rediscovered only when BJP is out of power.

Another example is the promise in BJP manifesto to free temples from state control. Why can't BJP implement this in states where it is already in power?

Nationalism and Hindutva have not been blunted as a political weapon, only BJP has lost the credibility to be flag bearers, thanks to their rethoric and inaction.

sub said...

Dear Swapan Das:

This discussion would not have come had BJP performed well. Failure as well as success generate a lot of theories on both sides. People usually bark at the wrong tree. I think that is what is happening now.

There is no guarantee that one thing that worked once or many times will work at some other circumstance. Rajeev Gandhi got a huge majority and then within five years deteriorated very badly. Hindutva and even mobocracy worked during Ramajanmabhoomi time but is not working anymore. Though Congress could improve a lot, still the dynasty doesn't have the same power it once had. I mean..atleast they won't be able to get away with an emergency anyway. Looks impossible.
My point is..something will work only when its time has come.

Hindutva is still relevant. In no other country will the symbols of the majority religion be thrashed and adherent of the majority religion ridiculed by mass media and minorities. Left/Nehru and their ilks are generally anti Hindus and have no problem in mistreating Hindus. They will arrested Sankaracharya on trumped charges, give unfair handouts to minorities for votes and destroy Rama Sethu and the actually the list is endless.

The sin BJP committed was that when they came to power at the center, they couldn't deliver on Ramajanmabhoomi. Generally people won't trust promise breakers. Excuses won't work. Now how many times will BJP try to get votes on the basis of Ramajanmabhoomi? I think that is why some voters are frustrated with BJP.

It is a difficult situation for BJP now. They are more or less like Congress. In a situation where distinct USP between your rival is lost, then the outcome is not so certain. That is what has happened to CPM too. Nobody is a winner here. The wheel of fortune is at this time favoring a little bit on Congress.

Steadfastness should be there. Congress never had any doubt at any point of time, even when their chips were down during the whole of 90s to mid 2000 of their destiny... that their destiny is tied to the Nehru family. There is no need to doubt about the charecteristics of BJP.. and that is Hindutva. Hindutva for fringe people mean rowdiness towards minorities, but for some cultural pride and for some fairness in the governance (not favoring a particular family for the top job) etc. That is all ok. Just that this time voters didn't find BJP that inspiring. But the issues that Hindutva represent are very much there and all BJP need to do is to work out various strategies and see which one will work.

Anonymous said...

There are people who think that "Hindutva" is a bad thing. Let me please have my say on this.

I was brought up in a Christian (Roman Catholic) background, though my parents were not very religious, and I was taught to respect all faiths. As a child, I did not understand why my father was angry when the topic of Mother Teresa came up, and he referred to Missionaries of Charity as "thugs". As an adult, I had to take up a job abroad and I stopped visiting the church altogether. It was during this time that I observed that the Christian churches are different - a Protestant won't visit a Catholic church, and the Baptists are a different kettle of fish altogether. However, most churches with the exception of the Eastern Orthodox Church, seek converts aggressively. The Eastern Orthodox Church came across as more of a religion like Hinduism, since nobody stops you from visiting their churches even if you are not one of them (nobody ever stopped me from offering flowers to Shiva in India, and I used to visit Vishnu temple as well). In the last 11 years, I have read the bloody history of Islam and Christianity - and I know that the latter is more dangerous than Islam, because it hides its intentions behind so-called charity and love. When Christians say that all that they want to spread is the love of Jesus, they mean that they want every other single belief system destroyed, every single temple torn down, every single mosque destroyed. The Church, whatever the denomination (except Eastern Orthodox Church) wants to rule the world, and given its past history, will do so unless stopped with force. The Europeans have woken up and are abandoning the cult of Christianity enmasse, and Asia therefore is the soft target of the Church. The different churches own a lot of media houses in India, and are spreading propaganda about Hinduism in India. I see a lot of Hindus hating their own religion and have only pity for these people.

No issues with Hindutva. Before bashing Hindus, please read the bloody history of Christianity -

http://freetruth.50webs.org/

The history of jihad -

http://historyofjihad.org

India remains secular so long as Hindus are powerful. Hindus need to get this into their heads instead of the propaganda of the Church funded Media. Google to find out who owns NDTV and CNN-IBN. Also google to find if Prannoy Roy is a Hindu or not.

M. Patil said...

You Said
“Hindutva in practice has come to mean exclusionary politics and assertions of Hindu superiority. This may well be a distortion of the real thing but that is the dominant perception. And Kandhamal, Ram Sene, the Malegaon mischief and Varun Gandhi merely confirms it. As Bhaskar Mitra put it in his comment, "Hindutva today stands for mobocracy" and worse.

The more important question to ask is Why? Why the perception of ‘Hindutva’ did become negative? Does the rabid 24X7 media has anything to do with it. I use the word rabid deliberately because, watching the NDTV/IBN clips on the internet; I am amazed at the lack of reporting. Their lack of reporting has been replaced by innuendos, gossip and opinionating.

Suppose there was a news channel called Aasta News and it framed the issues of Kandhamal, Ram Sene, Malegaon in the following manner.

(i) A Revered seer Laxmananada and four of his associates murdered in cold blood and then focus on the yeoman service provided by this seer.

(ii) Ram Sene: Fact check, Ram Sene opposed to BJP, they fought against BJP. Yedurappa decries Ram Sene.

(iii) Malegaon: Hindutva Terror or Trial by media.

If the issues were framed in the above manner, the framing of these issues would be neutral. The perception of the viewers would have been entirely different.

By focusing on the ‘h’ and ‘n’ word you are missing the woods for the trees. I sincerely hope that for the sake of the nation the BJP media cell has a plan B beyond name change.

No Mist said...

Dear Swapan da,

Just from a cursory glance at the troll suggest that the comments are getting better. The abusers have probably left for other fora where they have more chances of a fight.

You said "what is in a word" ? I would go further than that. What is in fixing any idea ? We should get inspiration from science which does not peddle any fixed dogma, instead it is dynamic .. it changes with any latest experimental data ... theories are mere "names of concept" given to the accumulated body of knowledge just to organize it into assimilable chunks.

In the same way BJP must organize itself into actual work for enhancing India's pride, prosperity and respect ... 'ideologies' are merely akin to 'theories of science' ... they are dispensable, but our devotion to India and Indianism is the only thing non negotiable.

Looking forward to hearing more from you.

No Mist said...

Let me also point out the example of Gandhi. All along the freedom struggle, he was not really focused on political independence from the British. Instead most of his emphasis was on preparing Indians for impending independence and coming democracy ... independence according to him was just an accident albeit an inevitable one ... it was more important to teach Indians the value of cleanliness, tolerance, peaceful negotiation, integrity, willingness to stand up to injustice, courage to face whatever hurdles comes in the way of rightful conviction.

If BJP also focuses on the basics before aiming for political power, it would also endear itself to the masses and winning elections would be a forgone conclusion. But for this we need to clearly identify the basics ... for my mind there is no confusion. The basics is India, uncompromisingly India ... not a way of worship, however ancient or exalted it may be.

So off we throw away the H-word from our politics.

ArbitThinker said...

Dear Swapan,
As BJP finds itself at crossroads today, can the idea of the right leaning Swatantra Party floated by great Raja ji be the solution. Raja ji was one of the most respected Statesman of his times who was a proud Hindu and obviously secularist in true sense. His idoelogy was for the positivity and not to denagrate other religions. Thus he found friends and admirers from Shiek Abdullah to John F. Kenedy. Can you please give your views on the idea of Swatantra Party and is it an idea whose time has come now?

Anonymous said...

Assembly elections and LS elections are two different things. Congress did well in Gujarat in 2004 LS elections and based on that, it thought it will win assembly elections in 2007.

Similarly, voting % was very low in 2009 LS elections in Gujarat and that cannot be used to predict Assembly election results in 2012.

Vote share keeps changing from election to election.

Anonymous said...

Instead of harping too much on Hindutva, it appears that BJP has run out of fresh ideas and fresh people.

Barrack Obama won because he seemed like a fresh thing a new thing. BJP won it the 90s because it was a new phenomenon.

Rahul Gandhi is a new, fresh thing as far as Congress is concerned.

What did BJP have in this election, same old stuff, same old leaders. No new ideas.

BJP has to appear fresh, have new leaders and come up with new ideas and appear like a young dynamic party.

Anonymous said...

Talking to a lot of middle class folks, IT types, Rajnath Singh is not not someone who appeals to them. Jaitley makes a good impact.

It is imperative that BJP project a modern face as its mascot.

senthil said...

Swapan,

This article is equally disappointing as your previous one.. YOu didnt address the core issue that i raised in your previous article..

1. Suppose if we abandon the H-word and adopt a new word, what is the surity that media will not again equate that to hindutva?

2. If clarity of ideology and reasoning is the main reason why this H- word has to be abandoned, then what is the surity that new word will give that much sought clarity and reasoning?

3. If we had left the word "Hindutva", the media will again create a hype that "BJP had abandoned Hindutva", thus driving away the core votebank of the BJP..

In one way, it would be win-win situation for the media, if BJP abandons that H-word. One, to malign the party even if it had abandoned, and the second, by making BJP's core votebank, to lose confidence on it..

So, in any case, whatever suggestion you are making, you need to first explain the behaviour of the media, and how to counter them..

Unless this core issue of Media bias and manipulation is fixed, no matter, how many new words we adopt, they all will always be equated to Hindutva..

If the media could equate "Uniform Civil Code" with Hindutva, then they can do anything..

I want you to address my question, either in the comments or in the next article..

Anonymous said...

Swapan's argument is:

1. Hindutva was tarnished by fringe groups, and BJP's opponents used that it to tarnish the BJP's image. This is correct.

2. To redeem itself the BJP should officially dissociate from Hindutva. This is wrong. Right diagnosis. Wrong remedy.

The ideal solution is to fight those tarnishing its image, not to submit to their tactics. If in doubt, listen to your enemies. Are they cheering you on as you change course? Then you are doing something wrong.

senthil said...

Swapan,

I dont agree to your line.. Even if Hindutva is a way of life, why cant it be adopted by a political party?
Dont politicians have a way of life?

Secondly, its a known secret, that the Hindutva way of life is being threatened and undermined by the congress..

And BJP has every right, to work towards protection of this hindutva life..

Infact, if Hindutva had been imbibed by BJP without being apologetic, BJP would have been much stronger..

zoomindianmedia said...

Swapanda

Adding on to earlier message:

Someone should Jaitley and others - Thanks to their influence, BJP did not represent Hindutva at all in the last elections.

It will be height of deceit to argue that Advani/BJP led a Hindutva campaign. Hindutva was indeed given a quite burial long ago by vajpayee.

So the argument centered around Hindutva is missing, ignoring the real reasons for BJP loss.

Stand firm on ideology (commitment to native Indian beliefs and people). Polish the rough edges. Generate the big ideas centered around ideology. Carry out mass mobilizations. Party has to be built brick by brick. Shape the wider canvass in which party operates in your favor. Show leadership.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PaHJ-d-dUpQ

How many people know that E Sreedharan (Metro) has named NaMo as an example of outstanding leadership. These are the facts that need to be propogated. At least those that care for Indian Right/Hindu cause need to speak in one voice projecting and repeating such facts.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywV5cn62bnE

senthil said...

IF congress has the every right to polarise muslim votes and get them, what is wrong in BJP doing the same with Hindu votes..

I feel, if Hindutva polarises votes, then BJP should pursue it vigorously, and polarise Hindu votes..

This will drive congress on the backfoot, as it will lose Hindu votes considerably and may abstain from leaning towards muslim and christian votes fully..

In Politics everything is fine, as long as it gives the winning edge..

If we lock ourselves in being a good boy, we are the worst fools of this modern world..

Ankan said...

Dear Swapan, I appreciate your continuous engagement despite the occasional flaring of emotions from some of the commentators.

It would be great to get an articulation of what, in concrete terms, would shelving of Hindutva mean? Are you just suggesting getting rid of the word and the negative connotations that have come it has come to be identified with? Would the BJP, for example, fight for the Amarnath issue when Hindutva is shelved? Would it show displeasure at the Sachar committe report in such an instance? How about asking why the Government filed an affidavit saying that Rama is fiction? To me these issues do no belong to "exclusionary politics and assertions of Hindu superiority", although I fully agree that Ram Sene, Varun Gandhi etc. do! In essence, I agree with you that the BJP needs to fight elections based on a set of more cohesive ideas than the much vilified word Hindutva.

I wholeheartedly agree with Oldtimer when he says "As long as one party is always levelling allegations, and the other is forced to be perennially on the defensive, siatuation is not going to change much.". The fact is that despite being in the opposition, the BJP was put on the defensive throughout the campaign. Every BJP attack was defended at the gate by the media instead of being defended by the government. For God's sake, they termed the BJP shrill for raising the Quattrocchi pardon! Even when the BJP gets rid of its loony fringe and the regressive baggage that comes with it, the media shall keep putting the party on the back foot. How do we fight that? Much like the Hindutva question, the BJP will have of confront this question head on to go any further.

viswanath said...

Dear Shri Swapan
I agree with your points which are derived from a practical approach. As the word 'Hindutva' has got very negative interpretations due to media and some elements, my practical suggestion is that: - BJP should rechristen 'hindutva' as something like 'bharatva' and spell out its position without ambiguity, deliberately or otherwise- and live upto it. This will help it to shed the negative image while still retaining its inspiration from indian cultural values.

Anonymous said...

Dear Shri Swapan
Your views are derived from practical approach of the issue. My suggestion is that BJP should drop the word and rechristen hindutva as something like bharatva - spell out its views without ambiguity, inadvertently or otherwise and live upto it. This will help shed the negative image, while retaining the inspiration from our broader cultural values.
viswanath

offstumped said...

Friends - The general angst is understandable but most of you continue to miss the point.

- Its not about what the media will say or wont say, media will always be asses, dont waste your breath trying to impress them.

- Its also not about appearing to be politically correct to the Minority Community, those who suffer paranoia will always find refuge in the vote bank brokers.

The fundamental issue is incoherence in the ideology resulting in a failure to consistently guide when in and when out of power in making choices on issues, policies, morality etc...

I challenge all the "conscious and awake" Hindus on this forum with 2 questions.

Qn1. If the essense of Hindu Thought or (Hindutva) is Dharma or Rule of Law or Justice, why all this nervousness over a reinvention if such a reinvention puts Dharma on top ?

Qn 2. If Dharma or Rule of Law or Justice has been the common moral bulwark in all works of Hindu Political Thought from Manusmriti to Shantiparva to Arthashastra to Sukraniti with ultimate accountability to Dharma, shouldnt the party that considers itself the natural alternative for Governance be steadfast in its ideological commitment to Dharma and to its practice when in and out of power ?

What kind of essence of Hindu Thought (Hindutva) is it that condones acts of violence in its name ?

The BJP's problems with Hindutva arise from a simple reason.

The Sangh's choice of Bhagwa for a symbol and Hindutva for a credo are rooted in an unfinished culture war.

They prepared the BJP for fighting an agitation, they never guided it on what ought to happen once the war is won and stable governance moves in to replace the agitation.

There in lies the problem.

The BJP needs a metaphor and an ideological anchor that guides it on choices to be made on issues of Justice and Governance.

Thus if the BJP starts to talk more about Dharma and less about Hindutva as it is commonly understood, it would not be abandonment it would be a natural evolution from an agitation to stable governance.

Thus if the BJP embraced the Shveta Chhatra instead of the Bhagwa it would not be abandonment it would be a natural evolution into a party that will always stand for Justice, Rule of Law and Dharma in Governance. For every Hindu symbol of Justice Rama, Krishna, Yudhistra, Chandgrapupta Shivaji etc have always been identified with it.

This alone will not earn the BJP credibility, it needs to clean its act at all levels of the organization and leadership.

However this would be the first step for it to bring coherence to its claim on why it is the natural alternative for Governance.

Tathagata said...

Dear Swapan, thank heavens and thank you for your blogs, because the truth must be hidden somewhere in the massive outpouring of informed thoughts from well-wishers of the party that your blogs have generated. Now let me add my bit as a BJP activist. We simply cannot drop Hindutva just like that, however much you perceive it as an albatross round BJP's neck. We have too long been associated with it, and now jettisoning the word simply because we have lost two elections in a row would seem extremely opportunistic. I remember, when in the early 1990's the Congress was jettisoning Nehru's 'Commanding Heights' theory of economic development, in reply to a reporter's query one of its spokespersons painstakingly denied that they were doing any such thing. Similarly, they still swear by the spirit of NAAM in a unipolar world. I believe that we must persist with it and by our conduct -- not by mere words-- give it the meaning that we want it to have. I absolutely do not agree with you that the moment we try to say that our Hindutva is different from Muthalik's or Togadia's Hindutva, we have lost the plot. CPI, CPI(M), CPI(ML) (at the last count there were 27 factions), SUCI etc. all claim that their brand of Marxism-Leninism is the genuine thing, and happily coexist, even flourish. The parallel of the British Labour Party dropping their Clause 4 is inapplicable to India. It is my perception that in India one thought merges into another like a fade-out and fade-in in a movie -- there is no abrupt change, like the transition in Russia from Communism to Democracy or that in China from Mao's thoughts to Deng's.
But I have often wondered why no one speaks of the need to do something about the way the mainstream media has ganged up against the BJP, and continuiously tries, mostly successfully, to paint the BJP with a tar brush. Can it all be out of conviction? I do not think so. I was given a list, by a very senior retired intelligence officer of the Government of India, now dead, of the scribes in Kolkata in the pay of the Director General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI), the external intelligence wing of Bangladesh. Saudi and other middle eastern money is pouring into West Bengal for construction of mosques and madarsahs, and the ones that are coming up in out-of-the-way places are nothing short of immense and breathtaking. I have raeson to believe that quite a bit of this money is finding its way into the journalist's world. Should we let this happen? Shouldn't we do something by way of 'Media Management'? No less a person that Justice G.N.Ray, the Chairman of the Press Council of India has recently spoken about the 'Paid News Syndrome' in Indian Journalism (Chandan Mitra was present there).
Another thing that foxes me is why were we so much on the defensive about Jaswant Singh's trip to Kandahar to fetch the hijacked aircraft and release Masood Azhar. Weren't the relatives of the 180-odd passengers and crew crying their hearts out before Atalji, entreating him to bring their kin back? Would the Congress spokespersons been so vociferous about it if there had been a Nehru, a Gandhi or a Vadra among the passengers? If no, why didn't we say so? Why didn't we show shots of the crying relatives? Atalji did an act of great humanism in doing what he did. It is another matter that we could have shot the tyres of the aircraft while it was in Amritsar.But once the aircraft was in Kandahar, what else could have been done?

Tathagata Roy said...

Dear Swapan, thank heavens and thank you for your blogs, because the truth must be hidden somewhere in the massive outpouring of informed thoughts from well-wishers of the party that your blogs have generated. Now let me add my bit as a BJP activist. We simply cannot drop Hindutva just like that, however much you perceive it as an albatross round BJP's neck. We have too long been associated with it, and now jettisoning the word simply because we have lost two elections in a row would seem extremely opportunistic. I remember, when in the early 1990's the Congress was jettisoning Nehru's 'Commanding Heights' theory of economic development, in reply to a reporter's query one of its spokespersons painstakingly denied that they were doing any such thing. Similarly, they still swear by the spirit of NAAM in a unipolar world. I believe that we must persist with it and by our conduct -- not by mere words-- give it the meaning that we want it to have. I absolutely do not agree with you that the moment we try to say that our Hindutva is different from Muthalik's or Togadia's Hindutva, we have lost the plot. CPI, CPI(M), CPI(ML) (at the last count there were 27 factions), SUCI etc. all claim that their brand of Marxism-Leninism is the genuine thing, and happily coexist, even flourish. The parallel of the British Labour Party dropping their Clause 4 is inapplicable to India. It is my perception that in India one thought merges into another like a fade-out and fade-in in a movie -- there is no abrupt change, like the transition in Russia from Communism to Democracy or that in China from Mao's thoughts to Deng's.
But I have often wondered why no one speaks of the need to do something about the way the mainstream media has ganged up against the BJP, and continuiously tries, mostly successfully, to paint the BJP with a tar brush. Can it all be out of conviction? I do not think so. I was given a list, by a very senior retired intelligence officer of the Government of India, now dead, of the scribes in Kolkata in the pay of the Director General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI), the external intelligence wing of Bangladesh. Saudi and other middle eastern money is pouring into West Bengal for construction of mosques and madarsahs, and the ones that are coming up in out-of-the-way places are nothing short of immense and breathtaking. I have raeson to believe that quite a bit of this money is finding its way into the journalist's world. Should we let this happen? Shouldn't we do something by way of 'Media Management'? No less a person that Justice G.N.Ray, the Chairman of the Press Council of India has recently spoken about the 'Paid News Syndrome' in Indian Journalism (Chandan Mitra was present there).
Another thing that foxes me is why were we so much on the defensive about Jaswant Singh's trip to Kandahar to fetch the hijacked aircraft and release Masood Azhar. Weren't the relatives of the 180-odd passengers and crew crying their hearts out before Atalji, entreating him to bring their kin back? Would the Congress spokespersons been so vociferous about it if there had been a Nehru, a Gandhi or a Vadra among the passengers? If no, why didn't we say so? Why didn't we show shots of the crying relatives? Atalji did an act of great humanism in doing what he did. It is another matter that we could have shot the tyres of the aircraft while it was in Amritsar.But once the aircraft was in Kandahar, what else could have been done?

Amar said...

Though BJP tried its best to highlight all development related issues during 2009 elections and presented its approach towards economy, infrastructure, internal security and social sector, ultimately the failure was pointing to Hindutwa. It is easy to lose your hindsight when you are gripped with consecutive political defeats. Without Hindutwa, it will be very difficult for BJP to identify itself from Congress and the bi-polar politics would strategically shift towards Left which is currently occupied with BJP/Congress. Unless the motive is to make BJP a fringe players along the lines of SP, BSP, RJD, JDU etal.... They all are considered as ‘seculars’ by the media (ofcourse, only when they support Congress) but do they really have any role at the national level other than offering support during commercially viable confidence motions for few crores, I doubt?
When BJP contested big time during 1989 elections, all BJP supporters gave 50 years to form government on its own. But within 10 years, BJP became the single largest party. Which by itself was a great achievement considering the political realities and environment under which BJP ought to perform? Unless BJP plays Hindutwa as a long term game and start becoming like Congress II, it will lose charm even within its core supporters.
Today’s Young voters would definitely become informed when they reach certain age group and if BJP can tape these voters effectively, it can sustain itself first and start thinking of expansion.

Sanjay said...

Kya Swapan da, itne jaldi haar maan gaye?

By use of propaganda, Hitler made Nazism attractive to the German people--so much so that they were willing to die for it--and here you are splitting hairs about such a benign concept as Hindutva.

BJP's biggest failure is to have abandoned the media space to congress and tring to curry favour with Englih media charlatans who are died in the wool liberals and communists. This was a stupid strategy.

Regardless of what the BJP uses as its central plank, the English media mafia will ensure it gets a bad name and BJP stands condemned for it. It is the media control which should be BJP's objective. You are barking up the wrong tree.

mpanj said...

Folks,

If Hindutva is to be replaced. What do we replace it with - Hindutva Lite?

Or are we saying that Political outfits dont need a set of core values.

And Congress is not a great example. They have sold every principle down the gutters.

Do we stick to a set of principles even if voters have given up and turned cynical?

For example if BJP refuses tickets to principles - would people support us.

Where is the happy medium between practical political considerations and principles.

Why bury Hindutva when anything replacing it is likely to meet the same fate?

Rakesh said...

Swapanda,

I still feel the reason for BJP's loss was not Hindutva but it was combination of following factors:

- Overdose of Weak PM argument
- Defensive handling of Kandahar controversy
- No significant presence in WB,AP,TN,Kerala
- Infighting in Rajasthan , Uttaranchal
- Badal's bad record in Punjab
- Poor performance of INLD , TRS , TDP , CPI
- Less than expected seats in Gujarat(Modi hardly campaigned), MP (infighting)
- MNS's better performance in Mumbai

BJP expected 165-70 and the above were responsible for loss of 50 seats. I would prefer BJP to do the following:

- Change of central leadership
- Take up aam admi issues like inflation , tax slab increase , internal security
- Focus on developmental issues
- Good governance in BJP states
- Hard hitting debates in Parliament
- steps to increase presence in WB,TN,AP,Kerala
- Stop inflighting in Rajasthan , MP
- Change of leadersip in Haryana , Delhi , Orissa , AP
- ZERO tolerance to corruption

BJP can get 50 seats atleast more if above is done. Some steps are also required to improve brand perception:

- articulate spokesperson
- dissassociate from Ram sene and their ilk
- Unequivocal condemnation on any attack on women , dalits , minorities
- Concentrate on Nationalism (INDIA First)
- No infighting

I hope and pray BJP will go aggressive in upcoming assmebly elections in Maharashtra and bounce back.

offstumped said...

All those bravehearts who want to wage war against the media, ought to face up to some stark truths

- BJP won in Gujarat and Karnataka despite media bias

- Previous NDA Governments were elected despite media bias

Media bias is a reality but it is neither the reason for why the BJP failed in 2004 and 2009 nor is elimination of media bias the magic medicine or Sanjeevini to revive its fortunes.

Media Management and PR is merely an instrument to pursue a larger goal.

That larger goal needs to be defined with clarity and coherence when in and out of government.

Wake up to reality and ask yourself why Hindutva is so important to you.

You will find the answer in deep rooted insecurity and lack of credibility and confidence in the Institutions of the State to guarantee Justice fairly.

All this lofty talk about Hindu anger and Hindu consciousness is rooted in that insecurity and lack of confidence.

It is that insecurity and lack of confidence that fuelled the agitations of the 80s and the 90s and catapaulted the BJP to power.

It is time to realize that negative emotions can only sustain agitations to a point. Those who harbor fantasies of an unfinished culture war ought to wake up to this reality.

You want to be seen as the natural alternative for governance you ought to think and act like one.

Yes the movement needs closure, but more agitational politics rooted in negative emotions will not deliver that closure.

That closure will only come when Justice is delivered through Stable Governance to restore credibility and confidence that the Institutions of the State will not act to the detriment of the Hindu Faith or for that matter any faith in India.

The moment calls for a moral leader to rise and look the movement's foot soldiers in the face and deliver this stark truth.

zoomindianmedia said...

Dear Offstumped

Hindutva and Shweta Chatra are two sides of the same coin. Dharma is implicit to both. These are not either/or constructs as you seem to argue.

Main issue is clear enunciation of dharma and its practice where there were serious shortcomings at BJP end. Accompanying this, reason why BJP failed was its ineffective organizing (not tuned for success) and skillset gaps.

I dont think even a single Hindu here is taking cudgels on behalf of congressi lackeys MNS/Rama Sene.

Our concern with letting go of "Hindutva" is it is being unnecessarily flogged despite BJP jettisoning it long ago. In the view of many Hindu position of BJP, a dharmic position deserves further propogation and support. Inability to deliver the above were reasons for BJP's poor performance.

Similarly the Bhagwa Jhanda represents, India's cultural legacy. It surely is not a symbol for culture war. Bhagwa Jhanda far more than Shweta Chatra as a symbol communicate's BJP's cultural moorings.

It looks like you too are mixing up BJP's skills short comings with Hindutva Ideological mooring. By undermining BJP's Hindu (native Indian) commitment, we will be playing even more by the rules set by our enemies, something responsible for BJP's sad state of affairs.

Ideological anchor and its accompanying values is necessary. That has to be wedded to clearly identified objectives/goals.

Central issue is to address BJP's weakness in shaping up in its side, the ecosystem where it operates.

Anonymous said...

Swapan da

In politics all variables count which affect people. You are mesmerized by Congress victory and changing sides, in fact questioning BJP's ideology.

H word is not the cause of defeat. This mis myth number one. There are other valid reasons.

Similarly, Congress has not won on secular lines. This is myth number two.

And if BJP changes its ideology and try to appease Minorties, it is doomed .Congress is already there for such stuff.

Leaving all these apart, it is good that Congress in fact has improved a lot. Thanks to BJP. Overall a victory for India.

charuvak said...

Swapan da,

I have a very serious question to ask.

I have been reading your articles for a long period of time. Where did you learn to write like this? I am in awe of your writings, the use of words and thoughts. Is there a school or something, where one goes to learn to write like this !

I just finished your article in Sunday Times, "Don't tar all of Australia as racist". It is so pleasant to read a disturbing topic.

There are two favorite columnists, I make it a point to read and I am always educated each time I read them.

One is you, Swapan da and the other is George Will.

:-)

Sudhir said...

Swapanda,

I agree 100% with oldtimer (June 7, 2009 12:47 AM )

It does not matter if BJP abandons H-word or does everything thing to fight the election only on economic basis. Perception has been created and associated with BJP that it is so and so. Look at the instance and how Congress and BJP appear in same instance

1) Varun Gandhi case - Advani is held answerable to what Varun said. But almost similar thing uttered by D Srinivas, the AP congress comittee president. But Sonia or Rahul or MMS are not answerable

2) Parliament behaviour - BJP is accountable for bad behaviour in the parliament but congress along with SP purchasing the votes for saving the government are not even questioned for violating the Sanctity of the parliament

3) Sohrabuddin case - Modi is answerable for the encounter of Sohrabuddin encounter but no one questions Maharashtra CM for the encounter of Khwaja Yunus. There is no case filed by Javed Akthars or Teestas against Maharashtra government. Worst part is Sohrabuddin had cases against him in 3 states.

4) Rama Sena Case - BJP is answerable to Rama Sena even though it fought against BJP in 83 constituencies in Karnataka assembly election because both are on the right side of the political spectrum. But left parties are not answerable for Naxal violence even though both exist on the left side. (Look at the entire situation - Couple of days before the election there were daily reports about the violence against women by some looney right wing group. But now after the election all these groups have just disappeared in thin air - What is the gurantee that these groups will not re-appear again during the 2014 election)

Looking at all this I feel that BJP is fighting with its hands tied behind. Whatever you do the perception will be created that BJP is more dangerous than the terrorists who were responsible for Mumbai 26/11.

Dhananjay said...

Offstumped...well said about Dharma or Shveta Chatra replacing the H-word. It seems that a lot of people on this blog seem open to evolve from Hindutva to some thing different as long as it is more an effort at better branding & fine tuning of BJP's ideology & ideals and NOT at the expense of them.

I will caution though that the new terminology needs to be clearly thought though. As much as we know & believe that Dharma implies Rule of Law & Justice, 90+% people even in India will translate "Dharma" to again imply "religion".

While BJP need not coin terminilogies with the primary objective of appealing to the Media, it does need branding of ideology that resonates with the common man. I am afraid that any nomenclature using "Dharma" the word as an anchor will be perceived by the common man AND media as grounded in Hindu Religion and therefore as "Hindutva" again.

Oldtimer said...

Dear offstumped,

Your argument is extremely pedantic. People who attribute BJP's problems to Hindutva are grabbing the wrong end of the stick (and so are those who insist that an official commitment Hindutva is vital to the party's survival).

The BJP earns support for two main attributes.

1. One is this "Hindu" identity of the party, conveyed through the "Hindutva" code word. The party is seen as the representative of a Hindu constituency that wants to be politically represented.

2. The second is its commitment (in comparison with Congress) to deliver good governance and assure India its place under the sun. The second attribute is reflected in the (again relative to Congress) sincerity, commitment and clean record of its leadership.

The same two attributes also earn the BJP its two kinds of adversaries. The first attribute makes it a sworn enemy of minority communalists and other political parties because their interests lie in furthering faux secularism, minorityism and divisive votebank politics. They are not going to be appeased by dropping "Hindutva" from BJP's manifesto. They will keep demanding that the BJP, in order to prove its "secular" credentials, must join their "secular" club and live by the totality of its membership rules.

Then there's the group of people who are beneficiaries of the ancien regime's patronage system, and so aren't willing to get off the gravy train any time soon. Our media fatcats, many businessmen and bureaucrats -- in short, those who can influence election outcome with either money or propaganda -- fall into this category. The BJP's second attribute is unpalatable to this group. They are willing to do business with the BSPs and SPs of the world (which are essentially Congress-like) but the BJP's holier-than-thou airs are despised by them. They also hate it because they have a feudal mindset: They suck up to the Congress, the feudal lord who in their reckoning is entiteld to be sucked up to, but they expect the BJP to suck up to them, the vassals. In orer to legitimize their amoral preference for Cong, they use "hindutva" as a convenient stick to beat the BJP with. To beileve that dropping the word will earn their good graces is to live in fool's paradise.

So what is mouthing "Dharma" instead of "Hindutva" going to achieve for BJP? Will it earn it brownie points from either of the afore-mentioned adversaries? If it should end up being accepted by either of them, reducing itself at best to a "kind of Congress, but kinda better than Congress" party, it surely will not be merely because it jettisoned the use of the word "Hindutva". The party will have to sacrifice either of the said attributes. What is the incentive for its current set of committed voters to vote for it, then? They won't, and they will join the ranks of those who believe that going out on polling day to vote is a waste of a good holiday. I bet that the above-mentioned second group of adversaries desire precisely that kind of outcome, their hypocritical campaigns urging you to go out and vote notwithstanding.

Anonymous said...

Senthil asks "IF congress has the every right to polarise muslim votes and get them, what is wrong in BJP doing the same with Hindu votes"

That is an extraordinarily simplistic statement. The Congress goes to Muslims saying that they are working for their welfare using Sanchar etc and that the state under Congress leadership will protect their right of dignity/religion. The Congress goes to dalits showing what they have done to them. They go to OBCs showing what they did to them. They go to uppercastes saying that they support their progress and that welfare schemes for under priviliged should not be resented and that secularism is the moral stand to take for the unity and progress of any nation. There is really no polarization there. The BJP tries to polarize on a basis of a 'hindu platform' that does not exist (except in pockets, that too managed with riots, hate-speech etc).

Someone else pointed that only aggressive hindutva works (like Varun, Yogi Adityanath etc). I agree with that, because there is no such a thing as 'hindu platform' or hindu sentiment etc that cuts across caste lines. A sentiment to a brahmin is not a sentiment to a dalit and so on. How long can you force a sentiment on people which is not their sentiment? So, a soft hindutva harping on hindu sentiments will never work. A hard hindutva which provokes a section of muslims to attack all hindus, may unite the hindus in small local pockets (out of fear etc). But of course, it then makes the party repulsive and on the backfoot in all other places. Does the party want to plunge the country into a communal civil war? But even then, it is doubtful that they will succeed because while it may work in pockets, if the same is extended wider, a majority of people from all religions will still vote against it.

Deshabhakta said...

Swapan ji,
Whether BJP uses the H-word or not, it does not matter much to me. My only concern is to have a political party which stands for Hindu welfare. This country has political parties to declare that first right on country's resources lies with muslims, 15% of the loans by the banks should be given to muslims, madarasa should be considered equivalent to CBSE, provide special scholarships to muslim students etc. An elephant walks in this country as the self-proclaimed messiah of Dalits. There are parties just for the creation of a state out of an existing state. Everywhere there is Identity Politics. Why should only BJP is being expected to follow Inclusive Politics? If "Hindutva" in the religious sense results in exclusiveness, does the Sachar committee represent inclusiveness? Police stations with muslim majority population should have muslim personnel it seems! Is this inclusiveness?

If giving up the H-word means, not talking about 370, Ram mandir, Uniform Civil code, Kashmiri Pandits, Amarnath Sangharsh, Ram Setu, Svami Lakshmanananda Sarasvati, the church-maoist nexus, Afzal Guru and the terror brand, illegal Bangladeshi musliim migrants, religious conversions, cow protection, Datta Peetha, anti-Hindu activities of the missionaries, taking decisions considering only national interest without consulting the USA etc, do we really need such a BJP?
How different will be a BJP government without these from a Congress government? May be a bit less of corruption but corruption will be there. We are seeing it in Karnataka; the corruption index is not less than that of the previous Congress and Janata Dal governments here.

Anonymous said...

It is amusing to see pro-hindutva blogs complain about media being against them. A similar complaint is seen in a pro-dalit/backward sites, where they complain that media always represents the upper caste views. All TV channels invite a BJP person in almost all discussions. What else is needed? Even if the anchor is not a indoctrinated hindutva person, there is a BJP man in the show to articulate. So I think the complaint by hindutva groups is invalid. The complaint of the pro-dalit blogs may be actually more valid. One is more likely to see TV discussions compising of the anchor, the Congress rep, BJP rep and the left rep, all belonging to upper caste.

karthik said...

Swapanda,
I absolutely agree with you that BJP should painstakingly rebuild its perception and forget 'H' word.But to supplement your view,my only concern is about people like majority of politicians in Sonia Gandhi’s closed circle who are either Christians or Muslims. She seems to have no confidence in Hindus.Ambika Soni, a Christian, is General Secretary of the Congress and a very powerful person, with close access to Sonia Gandhi. Oscar Fernandes was Union Programme Implementation Minister. Margaret Alwa is the eminence grise of Maharasthra. Karnataka was once virtually controlled by AK Anthony, whose secretaries are all from the Southern Christian association. Valson Thampu, a Hindu hater, is Chairman NCERT curriculum Review Committee, John Dayal, another known Hindu baiter, has been named by Sonia Gandhi in the National Integration Council ; and Kancha Ilaya, who hates Hindus, is being allowed by the Indian Government to lobby with the UN and US Congress so that caste discrimination in India is taken-up by these bodies. ( One can also add to list Ajit jogi, and Digvijay Singh both christian converts & also Pranoy Roy, his niece Arundhati 'suzanna' roy ).I agree with ideological revamp but this unfortunately is cultural erosion.BJP should take care of this aspect along with a modern,enlightened image.

Anonymous said...

It appears that the people are missing the big picture and the impending danger to the integrity of India. The issue here is not about Hindutva. It is about the autocratic, communal, discriminatory and divisive policies practiced by Congress that will destroy the liberal, tolerant and democratic nature of the society that has prevailed so far. So, the outcome will be either an one party rule in India for a foreseeable future similar to Saddam's Baath party rule in Iraq OR a clash of civilizations between Christianity and Islam each of which are trying to dominate and divide the world on religious lines for political gains. If this is not communalism then what is? If this does not breed fascism then what will?

Annihilating the tolerant and democratic culture of the society is the easiest way to achieve the above goal. If you are watchful, you might notice that the Christians in India are being radicalized slowly and this is really worrisome. The most worrisome developments in the past few years, is the Goebbelisation of the media with all its ferocity for misinformation and disinformation campaign.

While one party dynastic rule or monarchy can hold the country together for a while, the other scenario which is the clash between Islamic and Christian politico-religious forces, is more likely to happen. I do not think BJP or any body else has any power to reverse the coming doom and gloom.

Anonymous said...

swapan, h has nothing to do with it and you were bang on target with the islamic veto analysis but then you shifted to hindutva and played into the waiting elmedia's hands.that is why people are saying you are being pushed around and coopted.

congress won because of islamitva due to voting math.just check it out.total congress vote 28 %,muslim vote can be anywhere from 22 % to 25 %
because the turnout is high in the overall 50 %
vote and they had no choice but to vote upa.
to bring in h or middleclass or youth or shrill campaign is bs.

it is islamitva votebank and the fact that bjp has no base in 5 major states.

elmedia is on congress,islamic and christian payroll,so anyone who beleives elmedia and brings writers like tn ninan etc here,is a gullible ignoramus.the problem is there is no elmedia but only mafia.

to some who say that bjp is identified with h and h is bad ,please remember it is the devious congress elmedia which is doing that to consolidate the muslim vote and it will do so again and even if bjp leaders start wearing skull caps, muslims will not vote for it.

some say bjp did not take a stand against muthalik. bjp supported congress govt in goa and banned muthalik from goa.NO one in media reported this as no one reports deaths of hindu ledaers in orissa,kerala,tripura etc just like
they hid the kashmir genocide and the godhra train fire cause.

Anonymous said...

to add to sanjay comment ,see how devious and cuning this media mafia is.

they take advantage of vajpayee liberalization when the communists (related to ndtv roy)opposed cable tv to campaign against bjp and modi.

my problem with hindus is that it is intheir character to allow themselves to be pushed around unlike minorities who are aggressive.

so media is owend by money and muscle of islamists and christians.A hindu mahant died killed recently in orissa like swami and 4 disciples before and it is hidden by media who will pounce if any retalaition occurs.

Compare with staines murderdrumbeating for weeks with dara singh punished unlike the culprits of hindu ledears.

this is a win of islamitva-missionaritva over native hindus and india, a replay of 1000 yr history.

to the extent you are allowing yourself to be pushed around and playing into evil media mafia hands,even if inadvertently, u are responsible.

it is amusing to see elmedia screaming you are a right wing bjp idealogue when they are rabid bj phaters but deviously hide it and shamelessly
proclaim neutrality.

hindus,bjp swapan etc are too goody goody
like sanjay said,and the arrogant minorities dont care about development and goodiness.

the congress and their devious cunning media know
how to win hook or crook.

the cec is doing a first in jharkand to help congress win both RS seats but the elmedia is hiding this.

it is the congress elmedia crookedness-wickedness and the minority vote math and nothing else

h or no h,congress would win and will win.

the crooks have the ec,media,cbi and guvs ( remember jharkand,bihar,goa) on their sied.

some democracy and with confused toothless right wingers like these the game is up.

by the way the evm contracts should be investigated.

congress will do anything to win and it did.

that is why these articles about h is aredherring and plays into the hands of devious media mafia

Anonymous said...

to add to sanjay comment ,see how devious and cuning this media mafia is.

they take advantage of vajpayee liberalization when the communists (related to ndtv roy)opposed cable tv to campaign against bjp and modi.

my problem with hindus is that it is intheir character to allow themselves to be pushed around unlike minorities who are aggressive.

so media is owend by money and muscle of islamists and christians.A hindu mahant died killed recently in orissa like swami and 4 disciples before and it is hidden by media who will pounce if any retalaition occurs.

Compare with staines murderdrumbeating for weeks with dara singh punished unlike the culprits of hindu ledears.

this is a win of islamitva-missionaritva over native hindus and india, a replay of 1000 yr history.

to the extent you are allowing yourself to be pushed around and playing into evil media mafia hands,even if inadvertently, u are responsible.

it is amusing to see elmedia screaming you are a right wing bjp idealogue when they are rabid bj phaters but deviously hide it and shamelessly
proclaim neutrality.

hindus,bjp swapan etc are too goody goody
like sanjay said,and the arrogant minorities dont care about development and goodiness.

the congress and their devious cunning media know
how to win hook or crook.

the cec is doing a first in jharkand to help congress win both RS seats but the elmedia is hiding this.

it is the congress elmedia crookedness-wickedness and the minority vote math and nothing else

h or no h,congress would win and will win.

the crooks have the ec,media,cbi and guvs ( remember jharkand,bihar,goa) on their sied.

some democracy and with confused toothless right wingers like these the game is up.

by the way the evm contracts should be investigated.

congress will do anything to win and it did.

that is why these articles about h is aredherring and plays into the hands of devious media mafia

Anonymous said...

amar said
Today’s Young voters would definitely become informed when they reach certain age group and if BJP can tape these voters effectively, it can sustain itself first and start thinking of expansion.

June 7, 2009 7:16 PM

the problem amar is that they will be replaced by another huge block of immature youth who will be swayed by elmedia fraud propagnada like muthalik,rsene,valentine,pink chaddi.

while
the cbse = madrasa,taslema and no coed madrasas which are far worse than resistance to pub culture,but concern education of muslims,will be hidden away while islamic votebank and islam takeover of india continues thanks to elmedia
frauds propaganda aginst bjp only to get the minority hate-hindu vote to turn out.

iamfordemocracy said...

You have presented your arguments very well indeed. Equally, those who write that it will be difficult to drop the word have a point. The need now boils down to a new language, a new set of words. The mob might not like it at first, but Advani will be able to convince them. In the meantime, let a younger leader take over the frontline.

n said...

see desi english mafia disguised as media hindsight conclusions,all pushing their own agenda and advising bjp as if enemies' advice shuld be heeded.

1.sardesai says people hated muthalik and dont care about terror and pushing 26-11 issue.(muthalik was falsely linked to bjp by the same media 24-7 with tehelka's pink chaddi stunt joining in as usual with some tape stunt before elections and now they blame bjp,heads they win tails they win) theese guys must have bribed muthalik for that mangalore pub stunt with cameras waiting.indian bollywood-cricket drugged unaware short memoried gullibles fall for anything

2. wife sagarika ghose says voting congress is voting for nation and by implication voting bjp is not.
now analyze this most of the congress vote is the muslim vote which puts religion,shabano,nonfamily planning and palestine and bush above nation.

3. barkha says modi appeal only in gujarat but never said that sonia-rahul have no appeal in states they lost even after campaigning eg kntaka,gujarat,mp,chattisgarh,himachal,bihar,jharkand and winniing wb and kerala due to vote against left and up due to tactical muslim vote against bjp. yet dynasty has appela and modi has no appeal ouside gujarat even if actual dta shows that many constutuencies in knataka voetd for bjp in may assembly elections after modi campaigned and many in recent elections did just that after modi campaigned.

guys instead of falling for media-mafia fake hind analysis trap against bjp and hindu assertion against conversion and jihadi threat,please think.out of 28 % congress vote 20-25 % was minority vote.The rest was CORRUPT BABUS WITH SWISS BANK MONEY and people wh has stake in congress win like media and ofcourse some idiots who believe that muthalik is bjp thanks to media 24-7 false fraud congress paid propaganda to make minorities come out to vote against bjp and sway some pub culture ignorant middleclass youth.muthalik rsene contested against bjp and there are rumors that he has links with congress and media and the entire mangalore pub deal was staged like earlier tehelka stunts.

amazing no one questions this.everyone forgets the steps congress toook for power.use governors in jharkand,bihar goa.install cec and prez for 2009,abuse cbi for bsp and sp support in parliament.22 july cash for vote which media hid while playing varun tape 24-7. an all this recently not counting emergency,1984 nt rama rao
coup etc etc in 60 yrs.

so why cant muthalik be bribed and evms tampered anyone.ane we are discussing hindutva when islamitva is repsonsible for congress win.no wonder teesta can keep filing petitions in sc which appointed nanavti and now sit till modi hanged.

these desi english mafia disguised as media are unadulterated evil which is a combination of arrogance due to congress bribing and backing and worldwide muslim christian agenda against assertive non appeasing hindu leaders eg modi and bjp against muslims first and pro conversion
congress policies.

no wonder vir sanghvi and ndtv-barkha gang have been pals in arms against patriots modi and admiral mehta after 26-11 when they both called him a lier.ofcourse they have business links and write for ht and appear on ndtv.

night walker said...

Swapanda,
Good post. The crux is clear ,the ability of BJP to change itself is the only way it can be back in power.
Hindutva is a image issue when you are associated with the Ram Muthalik's and like thugs.
And we had X Sanghvi opposing your idea in his HT column which definitely means its a brilliant plan.
People want civilized leaders well at least ones
who give that impression ,so we give it to them.
I should say dont junk Hindutva definitely not
but put it in the background ,dont ever mention it and still stay true to it. The word im looking for is be covert about it.
In the next five years the congress government
will goof up sooner or later ,BJP will have to
capitalize on that.

Anonymous said...

so far liberal arts hindsight hidden agenda driven analysis.

sagarika: voting congress is voting for nation,voting bjp is not

barkha: modi's appeal limited but rahul-sonia appeal not limited despite congress losing many states before and now whre the mother-son campaigned.

outlook's headline spin to swapan's article: modern india abhors bjp values.so modern india( 28 % congress vote) love congress values like corruption,power-water scarcity,abuse of institutions,votebank divide and rule,60,000 dead in terror, and giving madrasa degrees cbse status.

remember in congress vote most vote is muslim vote which had no other choice.So TO liberal arts genius analysts, 7th century religous vote based on bjp-hatred and not development is modern and swapan allows this spin.

Anonymous said...

heres another liberal arts genius hindsigt analyst pushing their own agendas whther sycophancy,hindu-hatred,or plain money motivated bribery from anti-bjp forces and pro congress proislamic

"On the other hand, the pro-people policies of the UPA government, the mature and competent image of Dr Manmohan Singh and the magnetic charm of star campaigner Rahul Gandhi helped the Congress party increase its all-India vote share by 2% to 28.6%. "

AMAZING congress misruled so called democracy india the winning party gets 28 % and the losing bjp gets 19 %
(in the usa,winning party gets more than 50 %)

and the liberal arts bjp hating geniuses that make up the english media mafia who propagate lies like rsene-bjp link and hide facts like godhra train fire and murders of hindu leaders in orissa,get to analyze
the results too to further the propaganda.

7th century congress vote is modern but modern india abhors bjp values despite the facts that in 19 % there must have been youthn and middel class unlike in congress vote where the 7th century fatwa dominated.

and people are blaming bjp's hindutva with media-mafia directing the agenda as usual and many gullible hindus (who can be pushed around not only physically but mentally too falling prey) to the devious media mafia's agenda.

remeber most of theese bottom ranked liberal arts guys could not enter a competititive field like science,mathematics,law business whre honest intelligent analysis counts.

most of these elmedia guys are neither honest,they hide facts such as recent mahant's murder( previously swami's) in orissa unlike the screaming graham staines headlines.nor are most of them intelligent based on their school rankings.

reporting facts needs honesty.ANALYSIS NEEDS BRAINS,like in law school and business school and logic like maths and sc and engineering.

barkha,sagarika,roy,sardesai are lucky to be patronized by congress sarkar.

Anonymous said...

If Hitler was live and supported Hindutva that does not mean that H would become bad word.
Guys like Togadia need to be exposed .

But I have to agree with you that a Political Party has to subtle about an ideology that sacres the minorities.

Vikas

Anonymous said...

a hindu is killed whether mahant in orissa or in commmunal violenece in kashmir or gujarta or etc,it is no news but if a minority nun or graham staines is killed,there is screaming and his culrprits are punished.WHEN WILL THE SWAMI and his 4 disciples' murderers be punished?

what is the media poster boy naveen patnaik doing?

obviously hindu lives and rights dont matter as much as minority lives and rights.
Why does not swapan prod his media peers about their obvious cmmunal doublestandards?

instead he writes an article about defeat of hindutva when it is simply the victory of an islamic veto or proxy minority rule of dhimmi hindus.

ANd even bjp so called hindutva merely seeks appeasement for none
and equal treatment of hindus in their own land AND DEELOPMENT AND NATIONAL SECURITY.and we r being told hindutva was defeated when tuth is islamic votebank won,plain and simple.

ANd swapan's media peers dont even want devlopment,national security and appeasement of none.NOwhre in the world do the majority get pushed around by a minority that divided
the country for pure land,gotit,and stayed behind to rule the majority by proxy.

how many countries have created a separate country for religion?cyprus has greeks on one side and turks on another as alogical division requires..

AND even after this the muslims stayed behind (ladke liya pakistan,haske lege hindustan eh)and refuse to vote for development which was bjp's plank for the whole nation but voted congress for cbse equals madrasa degree,oh so modern swapan,tell ur olook pals this.

and we r told bjp is not modern
and modern hindus did not vote for it and the very modern 7th century mullah fatwed muslims voted the congress in.

give me a break.I Am not smart but i am not as stupid as these elmedia unscrupulous mafia with hidden agendas and zero honesty and brains for analysis.

Shailesh said...

Hi Swapan,

I have always been a great fan and have been following this blog regularly. This is the first time I am commenting. I completely agree with you that the days of political mobilization on hindutva and related issues are over. What the BJP needs to become is a party of the right without the attendant hindutva mumbo jumbo. But I want to comment on a more important topic than this. I think the main problem of the BJP has been succession planning. BJP more than the congress since it does not have the dynasty needs to create an institutional mechanism to create leaders. And its leaders should come from the states. The mechaniism should be such that state chief minsters or state presidents will be selected according to their performance and then pulled up to the national level. This will ensure that new ideas are always put forward in the party and young fresh faces get a chance at leadership.If only Advani had spent his time and energy in creating this the last five years than having ambitions of becoming PM at the ripe old age of 81 things would have been different for the BJP.

LG said...

Swapanda,

The point about ideology and ideas is not correct.

Actually both play their respective roles.

Ideology is the moral compass that circumscribes the dos and don’ts. It is never ossified or cast in stone, but changes over a longer time frame. In that sense the durability required for an Ideology is relatively long.

Ideas are very important for the revisionist force (I mean this in a positive sense - as a force that challenges the status quo) to break current paradigms. These cannot last long. Repeated reference to them can be boring. Ideas are those that have the potential to win elections, and guide governance priorities. A great example will be the Four Modernisations of Deng.

Ideology is the inner core, living code, immutable in the short run. Ideas are the communicated exterior, lives with the times, but always in sync with Ideology.

In this sense, Hindutva can neither be an ideology nor an idea! More so the way the current Parivar folks and the extended family dwell upon it! (eg reducing it all to Valentine day protests or selling bottled cow urine)

BJP's ideology should be rooted to principles of Dharma. Drawing heavily from Hindu paradigms it should be inclusive, Indic in character and should be India focused. As Off-stumped points out, everyone in the party should be able to demonstrably live by the principles. By definition this should not be malleable although revisitable.

Ideas should be wider in appeal – such as an articulation on the lines of the Four Modernisations appropriately crafted to the Indian context.

Anonymous said...

Bjp and you look so eager to get the power. Let them wait buil base and then try to come to power. Leran the failiour of this election rectify then only they can win.
Rest all Hindutva,Development etc in india are crap. Look how Vasundhara Raje lost despite so much work,how Atal govt lost despite his work, and this election also you see NRGEA etc they worked only in parts of india. Basically its organization + caste + good leadership.

Ram Srinivasan said...

I request people who are unhappy with the suggestion to move away from Hindutva, to consider this - Why do large sections of Hindu society find the RSS, BJP, & the Sangh Parivar "unacceptable"?

Many of us commenting here (in addition to Swapanda) have shared our experiences of talking to non-bjp hindu voters, who find the BJP's message unacceptable. If we cant appeal to larger sections of the Hindu society how can we win elections?

Please do not shoot the messenger & react emotionally, but consider that to win elections we need to create a large enough base of voters, if the young & hindu voters, do not find us appealing we will only become smaller & smaller. Ultimately let us not forget democracy means making compromises to build a coalition of voters with diverse needs & preferences.

Ram

Ankan said...

Offstumped,

I have two quibbles with your characterization of those who are talking about the media bias:

1. No one is asking to 'wage war against the media', as you put it. That would be just suicidal, since the media has the big microphone and they will come back with even more hostility. My quarrel is that people in BJP seem to be living in total denial of this bias and seem to believe that if they suck it up to the ELM, it will somehow grant them a fair deal. In this whole process, they keep making a fool of themselves.

2. I do not know too much regarding Karnataka, but I disagree with you about both Gujarat and the elections of 1998-99. In Gujarat, there was an excellent media management by the BJP whereby the ELM was marginalized by the party. When it was engaged, it was mostly Arun Jaitley doing the talking who was always tough in answering questions. In effect, the party took a lot of sting out of the ELM by not granting it the amount of legitimacy that it desired. In 1998-99, the media was not this hostile owing to the image of Vajpayee and excellent personal rapport that he had with people in the secular media (e.g. Vir Sanghvi and Shekhar Gupta).


It is not my case that media bias is the primary reason of BJP's losses. In fact I agree with Swapanda's thesis that the BJP needs to come across as more inclusive and modern, it will good for the party and good for the country. Nevertheless, if BJP continues to espouse an outlook that objects to the current trend of Hindu baiting (and I hope it does) it will continue to face intense media hostility! What do we do about that? How do we take the message to the people without getting through the secular filter? The answer to this question is, in my opinion, as important as the articulation of the clear ideological plank.

Sanjay said...

Swapanda,
You are correct that “What is relevant is not ideology but ideas”, even if BJP gets its ideological equation right, that will not solve all its problems, the party’s ailments are multiple and deep rooted so much so that it will take much more than rethinking of ideology, especially when all odds are against it. Answering ideological question will not automatically provide an answer to the following questions:
•Will BJP’s amateurish media management be able to deliver their message to the masses especially when the medium itself is prejudiced?
•Is BJP really interested in an honest introspection, yesterday there was a statement from Shahnawaz Hussein that when the senior leadership will meet they will introspect their defeat. Of course they are yet to start their introspection.
•When they find activities which in their opinion hurt Hindu sentiments like conversion or indecent portrayal of women, will they use lawful means to register protest and correct the wrong, or resort to instant mob justice.
•If a candidate thinks that he needs to whip up communal passion to win his assembly seat and delivers yet another speech on those lines, will BJP withdraw his candidature, or be found wanting in decisiveness?
•Will there be accountability, democracy and meritocracy in the way the party functions or will there be only responsibilities and no accountability.
•Will leadership have the courage and vision to reinvent itself or will it fall back on the same message with added shrill.

Sanjay said...

Swapanda,
You are correct that “What is relevant is not ideology but ideas”, even if BJP gets its ideological equation right, that will not solve all its problems, the party’s ailments are multiple and deep rooted so much so that it will take much more than rethinking of ideology, especially when all odds are against it. Answering ideological question will not automatically provide an answer to the following questions:
• Will BJP’s amateurish media management be able to deliver their message to the masses especially when the medium itself is prejudiced?
• Is BJP really interested in an honest introspection, yesterday there was a statement from Shahnawaz Hussein that when the senior leadership will meet they will introspect their defeat. Of course they are yet to start their introspection.
• When they find activities which in their opinion hurt Hindu sentiments like conversion or indecent portrayal of women, will they use lawful means to register protest and correct the wrong, or resort to instant mob justice.
• If a candidate thinks that he needs to whip up communal passion to win his assembly seat and delivers yet another speech on those lines, will BJP withdraw his candidature, or be found wanting in decisiveness?
• Will there be accountability, democracy and meritocracy in the way the party functions or will there be only responsibilities and no accountability.
• Will leadership have the courage and vision to reinvent itself or will it fall back on the same message with added shrill.

Tatha said...

Ram Srinivasan has raised important points, but they go to reinforce what I had said earlier. Large sections of Hindu society find the RSS, BJP, & the Sangh Parivar "unacceptable" because they have been so persuaded, conditioned, brainwashed. And by whom? By the great Indian secular media.
Offstumped is way off base, with his flawed arguments -- simply because we won in Gujarat, Karnataka and in 1999 despite media bias, we should do nothing about media bias!
I have met sensible, informed, upper-middle-class Bengalis who have asked me in all seriousness "But why does the BJP want to kill off all Muslims?" This perception has been created by the media; and in politics it is perception that works, not facts.
Media Management is a necessary tool in politics. It is not sufficient to ensure political victory. Without media management a political party remains at the mercy of the media; and as BJP's experience shows, not much mercy is forthcoming.

Anonymous said...

The SCREAMING question today is not hindutva but, who is the REAL COMMUNALIST in India? When the ruling party runs its hate campaign against a particular community (the hindus) through the media which is under its full control and sponsors the murder of hindu saints, it is literally a HOLOCAUST. Someone who can report these cover ups to international human rights commission, will do a great favour to the humanity.

Now that a right wing communal party is in power, expect more terrors unleashed through its foot soldiers called the Maoists.

By the way, if you go to Wikipedia, you will find that NDTV’s Pronoy Roy is a cousin of Arundhati Roy. That explains NDTV’s role.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prannoy_Roy

People who are still debating about HINDUTVA are just wasting time. This might just be a trap to divert attention. Please try to comprehend the bigger designs.

Anonymous said...

But once the aircraft was in Kandahar, what else could have been done?

In hindsight, perhaps nuking the airfield using aircraft staged from Iran followed by creation of a memorial for victims of terrorism would have been the way to go. In any case, this is going to haunt the party unless they offer an explanation or alternatively accept and apologize for the mistake.

I have been truly shocked at the depth of feeling people have about this episode.

Karan said...

Hey Swapanda,
Looks like I am little too late in replying to the post. I more or less agree with your blog. But there are a few points, that I need to debate.
1. The image is distorted by the media. BJP on it's part got a bad PR, when it did not announce it loud and clear, that they were against Ram Sene. They are facing problems because either they refrain from using media or media is unfriendly to BJP leaders.
2. Agreed that Pravin Toghadia has his own class of rhetoric and Hindutva, Cannot BJP distance itself or use it's clout to mellow such leaders which are present in the sibling parties.
3. BJP needs to change it's outlook as a modern Right Wing party in India. Can't it also redefine Hindutva in a way that it is not "Shrill" and does scare the non-BJP voters away ?(Using the new age Spiritual Gurus in this campaign could be useful).
4. I disagree with you that a party does not need to have an ideology. Ideology is something that anchors the party and based on this ideology new ideas are formed/debated. The party needs to have a meter to measure their cadres and leaders. A leader without an ideology, would be a person who shift his allegiance from one party to another.
Hoping to read your comments on this.
Regards,
Karan.

Anonymous said...

As the Sachar committee showed, Indian governments - predominantly Congress - have successfully reduced Muslims to 2nd class citizen status while paying lip service to Muslim aspirations to keep their votes. One thing to learn from this is that even if you believe in some far right version of Hindutva in which Hindus prevail over Muslims, BJP does not need to shelve Hindutva - it only needs to practise it like the Congress does. Another aspect that needs to be understood is that people prefer the subtle communal behavior of Congress to the overt rabble rousing of the BJP affiliates.

Pradeep said...

Sir,

BJP lost elections not because of Khandhamal, SriRam Sene, or Varun Gandhi, it lost because it had not behaved like an aggressive opposition party, it hardly agitated over issues like Price Rise, Economic slowdown, Corruption cases against UPA Ministers, slow work on Infrastructure projects. The only issue it was aggressive on was Terrorism which does not have a face, where as Naxalism, Kasmiri muslim leaders discrimination against Hindus, which have a face of identity.
One should analyze the victories of Mamatha Bannerjee and Raj Thackeray to understand the meaning and importance of Agressive and agitative opposition.
Advaniji should vacate Opposition leader's possition and i agrre with your suggestion of Sushma Swaraj, who is acceptable to RSS, but does not have the baggage of Hardline Image, and moreover She is a woman, and that will force congress and other parties to be modest and dignified when they attack her on various issues.
Rajya Sabha Leader can be Arun Shourie who is a born fighter and gets aggressive on many issues and even hits back agaist media if they are unreasonable to him without using objectionary language.

Change BJP President immidiatly, Make anybody who can quietly work on Party building and strenghtening and who has zero tolerance for Corrupt ministers and members in its state governments.
I think Mr. Narendra Modi stands out among all others.
RSS should move from Hindu protectionism to "SEVA" as their primary goal, this is not a radical idea as they have been following this in Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, and some parts in Orissa.
RSS should associate with day to day problems of the Indians that represent various sections. should not shy away from using Media to communicate its ideas to public.
It is not necessary to wear Khaki uniform and Lathi to become a believer of RSS ideology, and it should aggresively establish Education istitutions to imbibe nationalism among the youths.

doubtinggaurav said...

I believe what Oldtimer wrote by Oldtimer is certainly one of the the most articulate and coherent rebuttal not only of the article as well as the clique of centre- right.

I will just like to add a bit of my thoughts on this. I believe the first point (i.e. of Hindu identity) is what many secularists advocate discarding in favor of a vague adherence to secularism. This would be a mistake. Even though both Hindutva and Secularism are vague terms, to me the essential argument behind Hindutva is that Hinduism* forms the core of Indian identity and which is why it must be treated uniquely of all the other religions as far as civilizational perspective is concerned. I would note here that civilization is different from state. Further I do not advocate any discrimination among citizens on basis of religion, only an imperative to recognize distinction between different traditions (how to apply this recognition in matters not abstract is admittedly not an easy task). Secularism, on the other hand, shorn of all flowery platitude and saccharine rhetoric is a refusal to recognize Hinduism ** as the mainstay of Indic civilization, which leads first to disavowal of our history and civilization and ultimately de-recognition of group identity and tradition as the prime mover behind social instincts and responses. This is as impoverishing and emasculating of society spiritually, intellectually and morally, as other Utopian ideologies such as Islam, Christianity, Marxism and Objectivism (or even its lesser cousin libertarianism).

* Perhaps using Dharmic tradition instead of Hinduism would be less contentious and more palatable, however I use Hinduism because a. it is the most prevalent tradition at present (and to a lesser extent historically) b. Once the other traditions detach themselves from Hinduism they lose their vigour and enlightenment (The unpleasant business in Vienna being a recent example)

M. Patil said...

Swapanda,

You must explain if perception of Hindutva is an issue or the reality of it. If the perception is the problem, what stops the media mob from distorting the new Bharatiyata or Nationalism word?
As Sanjay noted BJP giving up the entire discourse space to its baiters is having disastrous consequences. BJP is a National party with 19% vote share (compared with 28% Congress vote share) and is the ruling party in significant states like Gujarat, Karnataka and MP. It also has with significant presence in Rajasthan, UP, and other states like Jharkaland. It is quite untenable that it has no media presence.
The real issue is that they have no agenda setting influence. As long as the BJP lets others its enemies (EL mafia) define it, its agenda, it will always be defensive fighting with its arms tied. It should get its message to the people directly bypassing the ELM. Let’s not forget the best defense is offense.

In other words, BJP MUST have a media presense.

Also, for the upcoming elections in Maharashtra and other states, all liberals must demand a paper trail for each ballot cast like in California or a plain paper ballot.

offstumped said...

Two sets of responses from my comments above, one of which has made it to Twitter. I dont want to hijack Swapan da's blog and make it a debate on Offstumped. Will try keep my response brief, pls forgive.

- On media bias and media management, its a tactic and the BJP as a party can do better than it did this election.

The reality is the election is over and the next one is not due for another 5 years so all the bravehearts must get over the battle to waged against media bias. Save all this angst till before the next election as far as media bias goes.

To Oldtimer and DoubtingGaurav - Yes a revision of the ideology will start with the pendantic. You need to articulate the abstract first and then derive from it concrete ideas to address contemporary issues.

If you do the reverse then it would be a case of forcefitting ideas and policies to ideology as was the case with the BJP Manifesto. It was not short on ideas or imagination but it did not inspire credibility due to its incoherence.

Leadership is not about the electoral landscape as it exists and pandering to it.

Leadership is about remaking the electoral landscape as it ought to be through a missionary zeal and a visionary appeal.

Both will not happen as long as the ideology is moribund and incoherent.

Hence the need to start with the abstract from which shall flow fresh thinking to remake the landscape as it ought to be.

Kenny Chauhan said...

Dear Swapan,

At the outset I should congratulate you for starting this debate on the 'H word'. This was long overdue.

I am an office bearer of the BJP and a nominated Director on a Board in my state.

I must admit I was very uneasy for quite some time now, with Ram Sena, Shiv Sena, Togdia, Kandhamal and the like organisations and incidents really coming across as shameful acts in this modern India of ours. And the Varun Gandhi outburst was the last nail in the coffin. See how the whole of India polarised!? The result of the polls shocked everybody, but I saw it coming.

When people like me, a part and parcel of the BJP, start repelling, think what an ordinary citizen is thinking. More so with the majority of the electorate being young. People today want governance, development, decency and something to identify with. What did we offer them? A confusion, created by Varun? Media reports screamed that Varun is in demand in the other constituencies, was BJP spreading hatred?

Why don't the cadres and the 'paranoids' understand the Vajpayee phenonemon. They have to understand why was and is Vajpayee more acceptable to the Indian masses? Only if this is understood can the BJP emerge as a frontrunner and form governments at the centre and this is what all of us wish.

You are right on target when you say that the state governments are distancing from this H word. The states being won by the BJP are actually won on the planks of development and governance.

See I, like you and others, am a Hindu too. We all follow the religion in our own ways. For me, religion is very personal and for my development and my behaviour in the society. I cannot tolerate this God's gift being used for furthering one's own ambitions by creating hatred and divisiveness.

My only response to those hell bent on spreading hatred is that "if these thekedars of the Hindus cannot tolerate a liberal democracy, why should the liberal democracy tolerate them?" This is what the result of the latest polls say.

Please keep up this debate. Do not be deterred by the unreasonable voices. My BJP has to change and change for the good. We missed an opportunity this time, we should be ready for the next time. Let the H-word be banished and let the BJP be a modern and youthful party, able and capable of leading the Indian masses to prosperity and happiness.

Anonymous said...

Someone wrote, "it is simply the victory of an islamic veto". That is as silly as to say that Obama's win is a veto of blacks/Muslims or as as silly as to say that only blacks are opposed to racism. Even Modi, who has an unparalled skill in a shrill hindutva rhetoric is not using it. That is due to a better understanding of ground realities. Sections of upper castes reject hindutva for its communal content - they reject hindutva for the same reason they reject racism/regionalism etc. Most dalits/OBC etc do not even identify with the alleged 'hindu sentiments' that BJP claims (different section of hindus have different sentiments). The BJP cannot be blamed for that because it is impossible to state something and call it a 'hindu sentiment' as hindu sentiments are varied/diverse. It is Congress that understands/respects/tolerates this diversity and acts accordingly to satisfy the sentiments of all sections of hindus as best as possible.

Let's face it, hindutva does not represent "hindu sentiments". At best, it represents the "sentiments of some hindus", and that too a section whose blind traditionalism overwhelms all other moral/logical considerations.

Another poster wrote that hindutva means lot of good things, but people belonging to other religions cannot accept it!
But why? when people of other religions/nations can accept good things like humanism, secularism, freedom, liberty, justice etc, why can't they accept "hindutva"? All good things can be acepted by all good people in the world cutting across religious lines (unnless one is talking about some exclusive religious belief).

zoomindianmedia said...

Old Timer and Sudhir have hit the nail.

As you yourself noted both in Gujarat and Karnataka, BJP won despite media hostility. Both the states had influential local media outlets supporting BJP, a luxury BJP did not possess in many states. Media certainly did their bit to create a negative Hawa about the BJP (Hindu fundamentalist).

BJP's mobilisation too had serious gaps. Infighting, wimpish behavior in the face of pseudo secular(anti-Hindu) offensive, lack of strategic response to congressi divisive hate politics in Rajasthan (Gujjar-Meena), Maharashtra (MNS) et. al.

BJP giving up its already tenuous links to Hindu cause will lead to greater disaster. A Swatantara kind of conception did not survive in India while Hindu Jana Sangh thrived. Jaitley, Swapanda and others would do well to read on How Swatantara Party performed, how nehru routed it and the party folded post 1971.

The fact remains that native beliefs of India are under threat from predatory foreign ideologies. Christianity/islam have a history of using deceit, violence, money power, coercion to undermine native beliefs in many parts of the world. The insecurity is real and based on ground facts such as church being the largest real estate owner in India and its annual investment in billions of USD peddling jesusware. It is Hindu/Sikh/Jain population proportion that has been coming down since 1947.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ByLI4nM4C40

While your perspective is an idealist one, you must remember that BJP operates in an environment where 500Rs delivered a day before elections, can influence voting preferences. Ground realities just dont support BJP giving up on its Hindu anchorage.

I fail to understand why Hindu idiom should be perceived as negative, unless of course you too have internalised propoganda of our enemies. BJP can and should project Hindu perspective in positive ways. I also fail to understand your allusion that speaking up for concerns of native Indians (Hindutva)and BJP being thinking and acting as natural alternative for governance are mutually exclusive.

BJP's, Sangh's Parivar's action plan should be to set up an effective command control structure, enhance base in the ground, leverage the skillsets of Friends of BJP and larger civil society to influence the ecosystem and effectively organize for electoral win.

Tinkering with DNA needs to be eschewed. It has already resulted in enough undermining of BJP in elecoral eyes. Let us cut our losses now.

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doubtinggaurav said...

FWIW, here is my *warning link plugging* take (to be continued ...)

Anonymous said...

Someone wrote, "it is simply the victory of an islamic veto". That is as silly as to say that Obama's win is a veto of blacks/Muslims or as as silly as to say that only blacks are opposed to racism. Even Modi, who has an unparalled skill in a shrill hindutva rhetoric is not using it. That is due to a better understanding of ground realities. Sections of upper castes reject hindutva for its communal content - they reject hindutva for the same reason they reject racism/regionalism etc. Most dalits/OBC etc do not even identify with the alleged 'hindu sentiments' that BJP claims (different section of hindus have different sentiments). The BJP cannot be blamed for that because it is impossible to state something and call it a 'hindu sentiment' as hindu sentiments are varied/diverse. It is Congress that understands/respects/tolerates this diversity and acts accordingly to satisfy the sentiments of all sections of hindus as best as possible.

Let's face it, hindutva does not represent "hindu sentiments". At best, it represents the "sentiments of some hindus", and that too a section whose blind traditionalism overwhelms all other moral/logical considerations.

Another poster wrote that hindutva means lot of good things, but people belonging to other religions cannot accept it!
But why? when people of other religions/nations can accept good things like humanism, secularism, freedom, liberty, justice etc, why can't they accept "hindutva"? All good things can be acepted by all good people in the world cutting across religious lines (unnless one is talking about some exclusive religious belief).

Anonymous said...

doubtinggaurav writes, "Secularism, on the other hand, shorn of all flowery platitude and saccharine rhetoric is a refusal to recognize Hinduism ** as the mainstay of Indic civilization ..."

Move over from the world of ideology of blind traditionalism to the world of ideas. Every idea is to be subjected to public debate on merits and demerits. An idea does not win just because you claim it to be part of "hinduism which is mainstay of Indic civilization" (whatever that means to different people). Put forth your ideas of what constitutes "mainstay of Indic civilization", and if an idea has merit in terms of providing the best of human rights/justice/liberty/freedom/welfare etc, the idea will win. Let the best ideas win - that is the principle of secular democracy. This of course rings alarm bells to blind traditionalists who cannot face up to it.

Anonymous said...

M. Patil writes "BJP MUST have a media presense"

There is a BJP spokesperson represented in every TV debate. If that is not enough, nothing else is. Dalit websites bemoan that they have no media presence and their views have no representation in debates etc and they are more justified in their complaint.

Anonymous said...

M. Patil writes "BJP MUST have a media presense"

There is a BJP spokesperson represented in every TV debate. If that is not enough, nothing else is. Dalit websites bemoan that they have no media presence and their views have no representation in debates etc and they are more justified in their complaint.

Swabhimaan said...

Swapan, you said that it is difficult to differentiate between our Hindutva and Hindutva of the Ram Sene. But why did this happen? It happened because the BJP (the state unit here) did not know how to react to it. The initial statements and actions of the Karnataka CM gave it all away. The problem is not as much with the H word. It has more to do with what the BJP wants it to mean. It hasn't drawn the line - the Laxman Rekha itself. I am your middle class Indian from a metro. I see a 50-50 divide in my own team (industry: software). Half of the 50 who are opposed to BJP are now standing against it because they don't trust it. Why they don't trust it:
1. BJP choose power over Mandir. It could have opted for an opposition role. Not doing that and sacrificing the Mandir was its biggest fault.
2. It still does not know how to respond to a Muthalik, to what the Bajrang Dal does on 14th Feb. The Sangh needs to do some serious thinking. It is high time...as if the issues they raise get resolved if the BJP is out of power.


Ofcourse, there are also the ones who don't understand what the Mandir issue was all about and still see it as only a poll plank. Basically, they are normal TOI reading people don't know anything about the conversion issue as well.

The point is that without the Lakshman Rekha the BJP with or without the H word will perceived to be the same.

Sanjay said...

Swapanda,
Let me recount a story. Ones Chanakya attempted a coup on a kingdom by attacking it directly with the help of his small Army led by Chandragupta, since at that time his army was a minnow against the existing king he was forced to retreat. While on the run he overheard an old lady inside a hut telling a child that one should not be a “Fool like Chanakya” and eat from the center of the bowl of rice when it is hot, instead he should eat the rice from the periphery and gradually work towards the center.
Of course BJP needs to rethink its ideology, but that alone is not going to be a panacea. There are a lot more peripheral issues which can more easily be sorted out and when combined can have a huge effect in rejuvenating the party, may be we should deal with them initially.

Anonymous said...

except for handful of comments,i have not seen one objective voteshare math analysis

we have colorful headlines and verbose blindmen discussing an elephant called hindutva just because the englishlmedia has this fetish about the dreadful hindutva bogey .

too many complexed self appointed liberal arts intellectuals (when the truth is the opposite) around.not one of these gasbags have actually looked at the voting stats but instead are more interested in
pushing propaganda like olook that said "modern india abhors bjp values".



anyway i came across a comment of a school kid with iit aspirations who did this simple objective numerical analysis as it shuld be.

the congress vote share is 28 % of total.

muslim legal vote share nationwide is 16 % not counting illegals.
add christians and this will be 18 %

so now assuming most minorities turn out which they do with their energized hatred for bjp thanks to devious motivated congress owned media cheerleaders drumbeating muthalik,mangalore churches, valentines,godhra,varun,orissa etc especially before elections and they do it with selecting most effective snippets and photos.(eg the bad saffron head banded stubbled hindu youth vs the poor crying muslim qutbuddin in gujarat 2002)

also remeber minorities have no choice but to vote for upa.THat is the reason why bjp cant win kerala with 50 % minority vote and has such a hard time getting power with the significant christian vote in goa.

so here is the math

assuming most minorities turn out and most vote for congress -upa out of this national 18 % and remebering that the overallvote turnout is only 50 %,

it is easy to calculate that the vote share of the minorities in
the totla vote could be almost 25 %.

therefore out of the 28 % congress vote 23 % ( not counting christians)or 8 out of 10 votes cast for congress are from muslims who vote 7th century religion eg shahbano,cbse = madrasa,polygamy, etc etc.

so it is islamitva that rules and gets its way in this wretched land divided once already with 35 % land given to islam and the rest being ruled by an islamic veto.THANKS TO the great first past the post system.

congress-media know this head start advantage against bjp and they can loot,and not develop india,just make empty drama of promises with media trumphets,take terrorism casually,and they will still win because muslims care only about religion.

AND we are discussing hindutva when even hindu lives are not as valued as muslim and christian lives in the cradle of the indus.

ask the dead swami and disciples and the mahants killed in orissa or the rss mebers killed in kerala or the hindus of kashmir.

the media hid godhra train for days and are complaining that modi shuld have hidden it too.

ha ha get lost wretched hindus.
first make sure your lives and rights are as important as minoriies in your own land and then discuss the hindutva redherring.

it is the 7th century muslim vote for congress and yet outlook spins swapans article with a headline that reads modern indi abhors bjp when modi was sxcreaming about vikas vs votebank and talking ladli yojna,swissbank for vikas and has shown it in gujarat.

the congress and elmedia is celebrating in some 5 star hotel
with public money from swissbanks and u bet there is enough to go around for the congress elmedia mafia.4 YRS ON THERE WILL BE ANOTHER MUTHALIK,pink chaddi tehelka type stunt 24-7 on media.all have forgotten that no one knows who taped the varun tape,it was a congressi and the elmedia had it immediately.

Anonymous said...

swapan what is hurtful is the falsehood that the bjp is not modern when congress wins because of its vote being mostly based on a 7th century religion and its mullahs issuing fatwas and sops like cbse = madrasa and noone rebuts media cunning in hiding this along with tasleema issue and fatwa against coed madrasas which is far worse than muthalik's action against pub culture.the pubs are still running,the coed madras as and the shahbanos are vetoed by mullahs.this is bizarre and reflects on the nonsensical propagnada of the congresselmedia mafia

good comment patil.Off stumped i also thought the media cannot influenec based on gujarat.

But the flaw is that the minority vote is important nationally (unlike gujarta and knatka where it is 2 party contest and the muslim % is lower) especially in multi cornered contests and in india u can win with 25 %.congress won only 28 % despite having more presence than bjp (bjp had 19 %) in 5 states.

i have realized that the minority anti-hindu vote can be mobilized by a 24-7 motivated campaign like valentines,pink chaddi,varun,godhra,muthalik,kandahmal and development/performance is nowhere,for good reason because minority vote is enough to win as long it is mobilized.And some macaulayed youth-middleclass fall for the media-mafia's bag of dirty tricks like pub and valentines when the cbse = madrasa degree congress sop is far less modern

the muslim vote is growing with population and bangladeshis.

Anonymous said...

pradeep u are wrong.u r ane xample of how india is being held hostage by the elmedia from whre u get the news.
bjp was running an agitation in kashmir but english media hid it.

elmedia filters and controls the news.it played up terrorism becauae after 26-11 ith 60,000 dead it could not be hidden and made trps and hits and it was important for bjp.

on corruption bjp was screaming about swissbanks and if u see modi-advani speeches inflation was an issue because it brings votes like bjp losing during vajpayee for onion prices.

as long as 8 out of 10 congress 28 % votes are from the growing muslim votebank which does not care about any of the issues u raised except religion,all qualitative speculative analysis is off the mark.urs is better than the h-word red herring favorite of the media hindu-haters

Anonymous said...

what is this stuff about shweta chatra or whatever? As if that will solve the problem.

When the white umbrella stuff was around there was no Islam and when Islam was ruling India, there was no white umbrella.

In any case, simple word play or abstract concepts taken from some history books will not help solve BJP's problems.

BJP should continue to stand for nationalism and cultural nationalism. It needs to fix the organization, be consistent in its message and counter the perception the media is creating in young people.

In any case, it will be a long wait before BJP can come to power. Use that time to rebuild and not become a Congress clone.

The party is conducting a post mortem, let;s wait and see what they have to say. How come you are zeroing in on Hindutva as the culprit. There are several issues and no pointing in jumping on Hindutva.

doubtinggaurav said...

Anon Sez

"Move over from the world of ideology of blind traditionalism to the world of ideas."

Only after you move from world of vapid rhetoric and vacuous platitudes to any substantial ideas

doubtinggaurav said...

and here is the concluding part

Oldtimer said...

To the anonymous who wrote:

"There is a BJP spokesperson represented in every TV debate. If that is not enough, nothing else is."

This reminds me of the famous commie bromide: "to each, according to his need". Except that it is not defined as to what constitutes "need" and what one's needs are. I guess the politbureau settles that question. Speaking of a roof over head, is a four bed-room Italian marble floor apartment with a terrace pool and hot tub in the master bath a "need"? It definitely is for a party apparatchik like Brinda Karat (no sexist pun rhyming with "chick" is intended). But why does the comrade living in a thatched-roof hut need it? He does have a roof, doesn't he?

So having People's Democracy and Ganashakti is not good enough for the commies. They have to have NDTV, The Hindu, Frontline and Tehelka too. ("Got NDTV - Will Flaunt It": the Karat philosophy). Not to mention numerous hacks in numerous media outfits taking salaries from their crony-capitalist Congress bosses.

Why shouldn't BJP aspire for such luxuries too? Here's what it can do with a media outfit of its own:

1. Run a documentaty on the Emergency. Interviews with victims, visits to the Bangalore prison, screenshots of newspapers illustrating the infamous "we don't bend, we crawl" editorial policy, tales of resistance and heroic defiance, the whole works. Message: electing Congress to power is to choose a return to fascism.

2. Run documentaries on the Soviet Union, gulags, iron curtain, ceausescu, Tiananmen Sqaure etc, with the footage interspersed liberally with experts' comments on Congress'/Left's genuflection before the said entities. Host a debate on "The Blackbook of Communism". Follow it up with: "Have Indian communists really turned their backs on blood-letting?" Invite Karat to have his say.

3. A documentary on 1984 massacre of Sikhs is especially important.

4. A story on Bofors can be a compelling one too. Afterall, this scandal had a great infuence on the course of Indian history. Does the name "Martin Ardbo" ring a bell? He had a diary with far more explosive content than Chacha Nehru's. If you can hire talent of the Discovery channel or History channel kind, it is possible to make a very riveting docu-drama on Bofors. Attenborough's Gandhi begins with Gandhi's murder. The Befors TV series will start with a mugshot of a smiling Quattrocchi. "This man has a reason to smile", is the caption.

Of course, don't focus only on the past. Connect it seamlessly with the present and draw lessons for the future. Contemporary issues (eg: Nandigram, CPIM Vijayan's preference for Canadian MNCs, the (Nationalist) Congress Party's alleged murderer MP etc) are gold mines offering endless possibilites for chat show topics. Take the last. A coupe of good discussion points are: "Is the Congress Culture Still Alive and Kicking?" Or "From Tandoor Sharma to Padamsinh Patil: Is the criminalization of Indian politics complete?" Tell the audience about Tandoor Sharma at the beginning of the show, and after every commercial break talk a little bit about luminariues like Taslimuddin who were in the MMS' cabinet.

Just having a spokesperson represented in TV debates won't cut it.

Tarun Malaviya said...

It should be the Ganga now
While Ram temple agitation symbolised the awakening of the Hindu society to deterioration of secular values (what Advani called Pseudo Secularism). Today it has lost its usefulness. And I don't mean as an instrument for political gain, but as an instrument to take forward the Hindu society to the next level and as a force to unify the Hindu society.

I heard a political commentator attacking the BJP on TV post election results saying that it was our duty to provide leadership to the Muslims who chose to stay back in India after the partition and the BJP has failed in that duty.

My view is that we can leave much of that task (of providing leadership to the Muslims) to the Congress and so called secularist formations. As a right wing party, we have a more important task of providing the leadership to the Hindus.

I think that while the RAM temple can and should wait for an amicable solution to be worked out, saving the Ganga (and all the rivers in India) cannot.

There is a need to move in a new and the more urgent direction. The Hindu people have to move beyond yesterday’s issues and grievances, towards the kind of society we want to build for the future based on our values and traditions.

Ganga represents the urgent concerns of today and tomorrow an in, the Degradation of our natural wealth; Poisoning of our water, food and air; Failure of the management of our cities and towns’ Unsustainablility of the present pattern of development; Unbridled development, Degradation of our forest and farms, with the huge economic cost of that burden falling on the poorest. Indeed our very survival is as threat. The dying of our rivers are the ominous signs of it.

Ganga is as much part of our traditional, spiritual and religious symbolism as Ram is.
Indian people are as much emotionally attached to the Ganga as they are to Ram.

Ganga symbolises what the young, the intelligent and the ordinary people in India would find easy to connect to. It is also something that cannot be dismissed as a divisive agenda. If anything it will be an even greater unifying force. Saving the rivers will benefit as much the Hindus as the Muslims and Christians. It will be the Hindu society fighting to save something that benefits all, reaching out to not just a larger Hindu society, but the whole nation and indeed the world at large.

The social & political causes (represented by article 370, Ram Janmabhoomi, Common Civil Code etc.) that the BJP fought for in the 90’s must now become subservient to the more urgent environmental, health and economic causes. Represented by the drive to save Ganga (rivers), the drive to popularize Traditional (and Preventive) Health Care, to arrest the spiraling health care costs; Equal Opportunity & Benefit to all, to check the kind of Crony Capitalism practiced by the current government that benefits a few with least regards to the common good; and so on.

Swabhimaan said...

Has the BJP tried itself to be seen as different from the Muthaliks? Not really. It was evident from the way the Karnataka CM initially reacted to the whole issue. Corrections were made later but then too much had been lost in the initial days. That is why I say that the BJP is confused. It has not drawn the Lakshman Rekha. The Sangh Parivar (and not just the BJP) can bring about this change. The BJP still cannot stand up against what the Bajrang Dal does on 14th Feb. So the Sangh (including the BJP) are partly to be blamed for the rotten image of Hindutva, an otherwise beautiful concept/idea/ideology.

zoomindianmedia said...

My earlier comment was for Offstumped.

Mr. Kenny

Please remember that Congress Lackey Ramasene's impact was nil on ground zero. BJP swept not Just Mangalore, but all the urban seats in Bangalore. People could see thru the pseudo game. So Hindutva being a reason for BJP failure passe.

Vajpayee rode on Hindutva Ram Rath to power. When he peddled Gandhian Socialism in 1984, BJP got 2 seats. He himself lost from Gwalior.

Varun, it is believed by many energised BJP's moribund organisation in UP.

Moving BJP away from its Hindu roots will result in disaster. BJP has to enhance its appeal. Throwing the Hindutva baby because its bucket is leaking (infighting, lack of effective organizing, mobilizing) is not the way to go.

BJP_supporter said...

DoubtingGaurav and Oldtimer are still sweating it out but I dont see much else useful. There was one anonymous comment who started off with a right question (look at the vote shares stupid) but meandered into meaninglessness.

We should all still thank Swapanda for not censoring comments.

I like Shveta Chhatra. Sounds like a good word. Could be a little troublesome in Tamil Nadu though. Folks down there might think it is a new B-grade mallu flick or the latest item-girl import from Bollywood.

I said this back in a previous comment - "We need not try to be what we are not, merely because media forced us. Our opponents (media and parties) will continue to scare voters by blowing out of proportion Mangalore type issues or a local campaign speech. If we choose to do this, then the next step can be 'forget about trouble with any ideology, the congress does not have any anyway'."

And Swapanda says - "What is relevant is not ideology but ideas. ". Hopefully ideas are not generated in vacuum. but think again.

To the BJP office bearer blaming it on Varun Gandhi, Kandhamal etc - Sir, how do you explain BJP's 17% vote share in Orissa, and what do you propose to do with those people? How do you use Varun Gandhi to explain BJP's debacle in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh and even Gujarat? Did Varun Gandhi force the aging BJP politicians in Rajasthan to prop up their kids and do proxy battles? Did Varun Gandhi use time-travel to screw the BJP in Delhi 2008 assembly polls? Did Varun Gandhi determine the candidate selection (congress cross-overs the week before elections) in Gujarat? Did Varun Gandhi force the BJP to align with Apna Dal in UP in 2007 and lose it big? The rot, Sir, runs deeper.

Imagine this - BJP's 17% vote share goes unrepresented in Orissa. If we had a true representative system rather than a first-past-the-post system, Orissa will have a hung-house and this 17% vote share will have to be accommodated. Like some 'words' being good and some not, and some set of parties being secular and some not, now we also have a set of 'good,pretty' voters and a set of 'bad, ugly' voters. Let us together condemn the 17% voters of Orissa for being ugly communal Hindutva people, and carry on with our fool's errand.

mpanj said...

Folks,

Instead of indulging in 'H-word Vs F-word Vs...' argument - how about we make this really, really simple.

BJP from here on will represent national interest first and last.

If religion (any religion) gets in the way of India's interest it must be set aside.

Ofcourse we need to define what is in National interest. But that is a tangible goal. We know what is right for the nation.

Nationalism is the only true ideology/religion.

Everything else is just noise.

Anonymous said...

Please go through this link.
http://rss.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=105

zoomindianmedia said...

Offstumped,

You have written that the bravehearts must wait for 5 years boefore the battle is to be waged against media bias.

This observation is short sighted.

Perception on governance is formed over a period of five years. The voters who change their minds during the campaign (final days) are only a minority.

The battle to shape perceptions is continuous. So the time for BJP's response to media bias is now onwards and not wait till 2014.

zoomindianmedia said...

Adding on to what Oldtimer wrote.

1. Reposition Naxalites by their true names Communist Terrorists.

2. Show the true face of Evangelicals/Islamic Fascists

Islamofascists in Congress I (islami-isai) ruled Mumbai beat up a pakistani girl for sporting a tatoo. Corrupt Indian Media censored the news. Imagine a channel speaking up for native values showcases this story, interviews the victim, and one mullah and then with a finality comments, “These sort of things are going on for a long time. Let us bringin Uniform Civil Code; Muslims have to be brought in to modernity”. Such messages need not win for BJP muslim votes. But moderate Hindu certainly would be more tuned for the BJP.

Similarly Pedophile Catholic Priest from Missionaries of Charity, Brother Alan was running amok in Orissa, AP amputating limbs and raping children. Corrupt anti Hindu Indian media as usual censored this important piece of news. Imagine the impact if a nationalist media says, Foreign Catholic Missionary in Orissa is a serial pedophile. Or a channel speaking up for native values showcases this story, interviews the victim, a pastor and then with a finality comments, “These abominable activities are going on in Xian organisations for a long time; Xian NGOs need to be banned”. Again such a situation would ensure BJP’s message is more receptive to the normal voter. And the communal sting will get appended to the congress.

All this calls for lot of work on ground. Chintan Baitaks will not suffice.

Ganpat Ram said...

What the BJP should do is very simple: defend the interests of the Hindus in India. If they don't do it, no-one will.

Hindus got a raw deal at Partition. The Muslims received their homeland. The Hindus were left with none. They were told the India that was left had no special place for Hinduism or Hindus.

Thus Indian governments did nothing to look after Hindu interests. No-one cares a hoot about the fate of the Kashmiri Pandits, for instance, and Assam is being taken over by Muslims from Bangladesh, with help from the Congress.

The BJP should point these things out relentlessly. Say that India is the Hindu homeland, but with equal rights for others. Drop the rubbish about rebuilding the temple at Ayodhya and baiting Muslims.

Simple.

All this euphoria about Hindus feeling safe will be blown to smithereens as jehadi strikes pick up.

Sundararaman said...

BJP Supporter,
Shwetha Chatra has a tamil equivalent which "Venn Kudai Venthar". If I am right there is a king, in old tamil literature by name "Venn Kudai Venthar neduncheralathan".

doubtinggaurav said...

Some further thoughts on the post.

Swapan Da does a disservice to concept of ideology by dismissing it summarily. True in India what passes for ideology is nothing but sclerosized dogma, but in true sense ideology provides the big picture or outlook specific policies. It is easy to be seduced by the notion of piecemeal policy proposals (or ideas as Swapan Da puts in the post), but absent bigger picture there is a tendency for intellectuals to be bogged down in the implementation without realizing how the big picture is doing. Of course even ideology doesn't work in vacuum. Rather the difference between ideology and policies is better understood by considering them to operate at different granularity.

BJP_supporter said...

Tarun Malaviya, Thanks for saying this - "Equal Opportunity & Benefit to all".

But it has been attempted in this blog before in a few previous comments. It appears extremely unlikely at this point that either the commenters or the blog author himself are inclined to pay any attention to it. We are very focussed on choosing some good words that can win us elections (and yes, ideas too, but make sure they are baked in vacuum).

There are some anonymous comments that repeatedly say this stuff is all settled in the model of the 'Western democracies', and we have nothing to complain about.

Even then, it would still be worth the effort (or not) if you can expand on this line. If we start doing that, I believe we would be working on the single biggest issue that our democracy (?) faces, and potentially the single biggest determinant of election results. If we sincerely do it, we will soon realize that *this* is the big white elephant in the room, and not the word-plays that we are allowing ELM to make us imagine.

Once again, I apologize for being such a sourpuss.

Anonymous said...

Dear Swapan ,
Get grip on self, time to let go of filmi journalist, as we abhor tentwallahs...

Anonymous said...

The problem with dwarfs is that while they are very good for boosting
one's ego, they have limited use when one faces a war-like situation.
In the recent elections, LK decided to fight it all alone. LK and his
family and coterie thought that their rag-tag army of laptop
professionals could substitute for the well-oiled and tested machinery
of BJP, ABVP and RSS. The irony is that the blame for the defeat is
now being put on the doors of the organizations that were treated most
shabbily when LK and his team were dreaming of victory. LK and his
team are now complaining that no one from BJP top leadership stood up
to defend him when he was under attack. The fact is that among BJP
leadership, the ones who command any stature were always ignored,
attacked and pushed to the sideline by LK and his gang. So when LK
came under attack he looked around for support and found none. Of
course, there were many rats who were raising their feeble voices in
his support. Unfortunately, the voices of rats do not count. This is
something that LK should have thought before he appointed rats in all
the key positions

That from some post .. chew upon in it "Sir"

BJP_supporter said...

This could be off-topic, but it is relevant because a lot of the comments are about media.

Why would media, in particular Times group, go after M.S.Dhoni?

The Times Now channel was running a panel discussion tonight. They showed a clip of the team press meet with caption 'Dhoni lost his cool'. But in the clip Dhoni was cooler than a cucumber. A reporter was suggesting that some one in the Team was leaking information to press, and Dhoni took him on, and Dhoni was still very cool.

The anchor was trying to get others to say something negative about Dhoni. They did not seem to oblige until I couldn't take it anymore and switched channels.

Do any of you think the Times group is credible at all in anything they report? do you even consume news from the Times group?

Anonymous said...

Swapan Babu please take it ..

Here says Shri Anil Chawla

"I regret that the party for whom thousands shed
blood and lives became a tool in the hands of some who want to live a
seven-star lifestyle. I regret that personal ambitions and aspirations
of one man became the focus of many organizations that are known for
the sacrifices of their leaders."


Think abt it...

Anonymous said...

How Swapan DasGupta transformed into Sir Nirad Chaudhary. aka Nirad Babu .. merely gives insight about person. Good Luck

Anonymous said...

Swapanda,
Does BJP gain anything by participating in debates like “Has Manmohan Singh changed the way we look at Politicians?” or “Has Rahul Gandhi redefined Indian Politics?”. In debates like these every participant is in there for something, the Congress gets free good press, the moderator has his/her eyes on Padmashree, the independent participant has his/her own career to push through the corridors of power. And the BJP spokesman is there to give credibility to everyone’s agenda, he is damned if he says “Yes” and damned if he says “No”.
No doubt BJP needs media to convey its message to the masses, but Media also needs BJP for their TRPs and Padmashrees, it has to be a “Win-Win” kind of an equation, unless the BJP speaker gets his daily wages from CNN-IBN. BJP won’t lose much by missing a few debates in the EL media, it must learn from much smaller regional parties which are able to convey their message to their masses without the EL media, but for an inclusive party like BJP of-course every vote counts, but that no way means that they should make a clown of themselves when everyone else is having his cake and eating it too.

Anonymous said...

So Nirad Babu , its not abt a word , its abt the intent abt making a path into Sonagatchi.. its okay for you not for me

M. Patil said...

Anonymous posted at June 8, 2009 9:33 PM

M. Patil writes "BJP MUST have a media presence"

There is a BJP spokesperson represented in every TV debate. If that is not enough, nothing else is.

Having a BJP spokesperson at TV debates provides fig leaf of respectability to the TV studios, more helpful for the studios than the BJP party. Even before the BJP spokesperson arrives at the studio the battle is half lost. The topic of debate is already framed which puts the BJP in a defensive position. Besides, the not so neutral anchor cuts off the spokesperson and along with the rest of panelist’s gangs up against the spokesperson.

This Anonymous thinks that Hindus should be content with the invitation to the Studios, NO Thanks!

The Hindoos must have a voice of their own and not be under the thumb and control of the Dynasty’s friends and … . So, they can get their views across to the viewers directly without the EL Mafia intermediaries.

Headlines like the following would wake up even the TOI reading wallas.

Another Hindu Mahant brutally murdered. Is Orissa going the Kashmir way?

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/Seer-hacked-to-death-in-Puri/470208

Malavika

Kanchan Gupta said...

Here's a contrarian view:
We often look for profound reasons behind electoral defeat (or victory) while in reality they are very commonplace. The BJP lost the election because a)its leadership was uninspiring (even cadre were not charged); b)its candidate selections was all wrong (look at Gujarat results); c)it ran a lousy campaign; and, d)the leadership had no clue about what people want (Advani spoke of setting up internet cafes in one of the poorest, most backward constituencies where voters struggle to keep body and soul together).
Even if the BJP had done well in the States where it faltered it would not have been able to form the Government.
And, the leadership has wilfully weakened the party organisation and undermined its State level units by relying heavily on 'allies'.
You want the blunt truth? Here it is. The BJP will be dumped by the JD(U) before the next Assembly election in Bihar. That will have nothing to do with Hindutva or Muthalik or Varun Gandhi. Even if the party drops the H-word now, it will still be shown the door and it will perform as poorly as it did in Orissa. So whom or what will you blame then?

Anonymous said...

you say •The global terrorist threat has brought home the ugly face of Islamist bigotry. But this has also bred an intolerance of hate speech and moral policing which are now associated with Hindu groups. Hindutva has become ugly. It has repelled Hindus".

on what basis do you say this .any facts ,statistics or evidence to make such sweeping statemnets just to get an aricle accepted by the elmedia-mafia.ARe you not letting principles of rational analysis the goby
to the dismay of your readers here and worse creating a red herring,when the real raeson is
congress won because of islamitva.HAve u written an aricle criticizing congress for winniing on the strenghth of a communal 7th century religion motivated votebank .IS that modern?


this is the typical balancing act done by your media peers.For a TALIBAN that beheads people
there is a scary muthalik who was cowering before the kiddish arnab goswami.

a court of law would call this a conclusory allegation without factual and logical basis ThIs is delight to your other liberal arts peers in the media.

Please understand you are not allowed such leaps
if you want a rational discussion.you cannot sit in your arm chair and write conslusions about millions of voters.

the only thing this election proves is that most of the congress vote is the 7th century islamic vote and yet you have allowed outlook to say that modern india abhors bjp values.

AND what are congress values ?
7th century votebank like cbse = madrasa degree,banish tasleema,shahbano,triple talaq and burkha clad women,dont punish terrorists because they are muslim.Yeah very modern behavior from the congress votebank that put it in office.

you have no right to spread false and flawed analysis.ATleast have some humility and get your
analytical skills tested .Take law or a business entranse test.

as someone said you liberal arts guys in the elmedia are neither honest nor analytical.

honesty requires reporting facts,not hiding hindu leaders' deaths in orissa and hushing up hindus burnt in godhra train or killed in kashmir.

Analysis requires brains and liberal arts media like barkha with english lit degrees shud
have stuck to shakespeare critiques but hre they are telling INdia what is and what is not with a motivated hidden agenda

Anonymous said...

vajapayee lost in 84 becaues of indira sympathy.

IT cannot be construed as a referendusm on gandhian socialism one way or the other.

people need to take an analytical skills test before posting here especially the liberal arts types who think talking about hindutva being a factor for bjp's loss is the thing to do as always when the real reason is that the same cunning elmedia-congress team know if they can mobilize the minority vote thru votebank sops and tomtomming 24-7 how evil the bjp is with nonissues like varun,muthalik,pink chaddi,valentines,chaplin statue etc then more than half the battle is won and they are right.

islamitva made congress win and it seems no one is cocncerned about the growing muslim #s but are busy discussing 2 types of hindutva instead of one and even that is ared herring.

uniform civil code and kashmir's integrity and pota are not hindutva.

it is plain and simple patritism but only in topsy turvy secular india the public agenda is set by the media-mafia who are lucky to have a job after majoring in a low ranked english lit like barkha,sagarika,rajdeep etc who had no choice while the analytical brains make it elsewhere

ANd today she is telling india what to believ and some gullibleidiots fall for it.

Balaji said...

Good post from Kenny Chouhan.

I wonder whether any of the muslim haters here who support Hindutva have ever worked for the BJP. As for as I know there is overwhelming consensus among the BJP workers/leaders to throw Hindutva out.

To test this hypothesis, can anyone who supports Hindutva here, please reveal their party affiliation and when was the last time they worked for BJP?

Tathagata Mukherjee said...

There were, are, will always be fringe elements in any ideology driven movement who will speak differently (say Muthalik) when compared with mature, most articulate form (say LK Advani). It applies to Hindutva as well.

Did every small/medium leader of Hindutva speak the same language, with same conviction or carried same message of say LKAdvani during Ayodhya? Obviously no.

Political parties and sold out media hype up fringe elements of Hindutva to discredit the mature version of (say) LK Advani. Also, it ensures consolidation of minority vote. Not sure why Swapan Dasgupta suddenly discovered fringe elements of Hindutva though he is kind of close to it for over a decade.

"Kandhamal, Ram Sene, the Malegaon mischief and Varun Gandhi"-

They did nothing except rallying minoity vote towards Congress. Yes, to Indian ENglish media, Muslim Vote is Halal, while Hindu Vote is Haram.

What would have happened if God forbids a major local Muslim leader were to be brutally killed in a place where he is working for decades against frudulent, illegal conversion? What does it say about morality of Dasgupta's friend Naveen Patnaik? Why he could not implement laws for protecting religion of people that is in place in orissa for decades?

What applies for Muslims does not apply for Hindu tribals? Worse, why Congi does not take even remotest blame as they have promoted a top missionary with known agenda to become member of Upper House of Parliament?

Shiela Dixt shared dias with Rama Sene Boss 3 days after Mangalore. It makes no news at all. Why?

Being a senior and eminent journalist in English media, it was your job to explain the issues of fringe elements and media's obsession with Hinduta while completely disregarding treatment of Taslima, Statesman editor, Da Vinci Code ban by Congi state Govts, burning of tricolor in Kashmir, Amarnath, questioning Rama's existance........

Dada- unfortunately, RSS/VHP's sole job is not bashing of oppressed minorities, attacking women. It also runs world's largest ngo, trade union, student political group.

(FYI, I never attended any RSS sakha, but sick of supposed modernity, capital driven english press without any morality)

Will Congi deliver good goverance, rule of law, promote democracy, growth? I doubt. It will usher in Muslim reservation, demography change, more jihadi terrorism, more oppression of average common man. Who knows, your (and my) future generation will also have to vacate West Bengal earlier than anticipated. It will harden relations between Hindus and Muslims at the grassroot social level and country will pay dearly.

zoomindianmedia said...

Swapanda

This is an important precedent deserving further elaboration. Can we use the precedent to push the state back on its hostility towards Hinduism in pinko (communist/congressi mafia) lies thought as history in India.

http://news.rediff.com/interview/2009/jun/10/california-education-board-to-compensate-hindu-parents.htm

An organisation of Hindu-American parents, which had filed a law suit against California education board alleging that information about Hinduism was distorted in the school text books, has decided to withdraw its litigation in an out of court settlement.

The California Department of Education and the State Board of Education have agreed to pay US $ 175,000 to the California Parents for the Equalisation of Educational Materials (CAPEEM) � the organisation formed by Hindu American parents � to fight the case against the California State.

"Believing that its points had been clearly understood by the defendants, CAPEEM opted not to prolong the litigation.
The State entered into negotiations with CAPEEM and agreed to pay CAPEEM US $ 175,000 in exchange for a voluntary dismissal of the lawsuit," CAPEEM said in a statement.

CAPEEM had filed a lawsuit in the US District Court of Eastern District of California in 2006. It had challenged the process by which religious claims were incorporated into the textbooks used by public school students, as well as some of the religious claims, themselves, which had made their way into those texts.

"CAPEEM looks forward to participating in a review process free from biases, and to work with the State to approve textbooks that do not favour or disfavour any religious doctrines," the statement said "We are a group of parents residing in the state of California. We are deeply concerned about the indoctrination of Abrahamic religions and the negative descriptions of Hinduism in the History and Social Science textbooks of our state," the CAPEEM website said.

"For decades, the California public school system has presented insufficient, inaccurate and misleading information
about various religions to young Americans. These issues must be addressed urgently," it said.

CAPEEM said Hindu parents in California participated in the adoption process and conveyed that the proposed textbooks
contain factually incorrect information about ancient India and Hinduism while repeating derogatory, colonial-era clich�s
and perpetuating Eurocentric and Biblical views. Rather than consider the viewpoints of Hindu parents and experts on ancient Indian History and Hinduism, the California Board of Education, solicited the advice of hostile academics who carry political and ideological baggage against Hinduism and India and whose knowledge of ancient Indian history and Hinduism is both limited and prejudiced, it alleged. Consequently it filed a law suit in 2006.

In its lawsuit CAPEEM charged that Hinduism is not treated on par with other religions in these textbooks. Positive aspects of ancient India and Hinduism are ignored, while Euro-centric, colonial and Biblical views are given prominence in the textbooks, it said. Whereas Christianity, Islam and Judaism are presented from the believers' perspective, Hinduism is presented from the non-believers' perspective, CAPEEM alleged.

In its lawsuit, CAPEEM said the civil rights of Hindu school children are violated by advancing an inaccurate and derogatory picture of Hinduism in sixth grade school textbooks. The California Department of Education and State Board of Education meetings on the matter failed to address Hindu concerns. Hindus are being discriminated against, it alleged.

Anonymous said...

Has it ever occured to anyone that Congress might have won because four years of 8-9% GDP growth had a positive effect on their lives.

Arun Srinivasan said...

Nothing like this from the BJP, but then even if there were any, I doubt the media would cover it. Oh Well.

http://ibnlive.in.com/news/rajasthan-congress-out-to-enroll-professionals/94572-37.html

Rajasthan Congress out to enroll professionals

Jaipur: Congress youth wing National Students' Union of India is on a recruitment drive in Rajasthan and is giving professionals a run for their money.

Rishi Shanker Mishra has a B Tech degree and an offer from Infosys. But it's not the comforts of the corporate world that Rishi is looking for and wants to join politics.

"I want to join politics so that I can do something for the weaker sections of the society," says Mishra.

For youngsters like Rishi, a talent hunt launched by Rahul Gandhi seems to be the perfect platform.

Coming at a time when there are so many youth icons to look up to, the recruitment drive that has taken off in Rajasthan is finding quite a few takers.

With CVs vetted, a written exam and interviews, the recruitment drive is very professional.

Many like Sumit Kumar, who has done his masters in International Business and wants a career in politics, are hopeful.

"I think politics is the best career, because if you are a politician you can change the masses," says Kumar.

The Rajasthan unit of the NSUI is clear about the role the new recruits will play.

"They will be given a place in the organisation and they will also be able to make a name and place for themselves in politics," says state President, NSUI, Ranju Ranawat.

In a country where young people shy away from having anything to do with politics or even going out to cast their vote, to give it its due this drive is at least making a promise of change.

On an optimistic note it could well be the beginning of an end to the Gulal brand of politics.

BJP_supporter said...

Here are some specific tasks that the BJP can do. Ideas that do not readily translate into actions are mostly Gas. I hope everybody will ignore this list in favour of picking new words.

So, I want the BJP to do the following -

1. BJP will only field candidates with no black money. BJP candidates will declare that they have filed income tax returns for the last five years, and have no concealed income/black money outside the declared income during this five years. If this changes the party will force them to resign. (The cap of five years is like amnesty, and to take into account 'Indian' realities).

2. BJP will not promote dynastic politics. It will not allow a person belonging to a political family to inherit their seat. Such persons will have to work from seats that the BJP has not won for the last three elections. (this was proposed in another comment in swapan's blog, I hope I made it specific).

3. BJP will force for a parliamentary committee to review OBC reservations for the next five years. This committee will collect data on quotas in both employment and education. This data will be used to apply a 'presence of abilities' test, and find out which castes in the OBC list have sufficient abilities now to be able to compete equally with others. Suggestions from this parliamentary committee will be binding on the Backward classes commission in removing (and adding) castes to the BC list. BJP will work to remove social justice from the grip of politicians and deliver real data-backed social justice.

Shankar Iyer said...

Swapanda,

In the Karan Thapar's show, where you were arguing on the same lines as in this blog post, would you be honest and agree that your ambivalence (even your hindutva idealism, i would say) was betrayed when you compared the 'hindutva way of life' with 'the american way of life'? To be fair you employed the comparison to show there are varied interpretations across sections of the society. But don't Americans, in as much as they think themselves as American, take the 'American way of life' as an axiom and work or interpret towards it n their own ways and no one has a problem in each other's interpretation? Infact, you employed the comparison to justify (to your own self) and project 'hindutva' in positive light.

But here you are questioning the very axiom that has nurtured BJP to what it is today. This is not to say that axioms are not to be questioned or refashioned, but this is only to bring the point that how serious our job is while questioning the very fundamental axiom BJP stands/stood upon. (Serious only from the party's perspective. 'Hinduism' as such loses nothign gains nothing whether BJP survives or perishes.)

Yet, i better understand your approach or intention now after watching teh show, when you say BJP needs to put Hindutva in the backburner. When you say this, you perhaps are thinking of how the core economic ideologies are more or less now no more a political issue and similarly Hindutva needs to be relegated to some 'abstract social philosophical subject' outside the domain of politics or as a 'bipartisan issue' even when within the realms of politics. Essentially, your argument is, if i got you right, no party aspiring to build a national base, should cling to Hindutva or any such as its ideology. Let us no more bother, while wearing the political hats, on where the hindu society is leading towards etc...

(This approach sounds fair to me, worthwhile debating rather than asking provocative stmts such as you put in your blog of hindutva being a millstone just for the sake of provoking a heated debate which eventually ends up in non-constructive discussions on castiesm, majority-minoritysm etc)

contd...

Shankar Iyer said...

you surely are not suggesting the banal argument that religion is about personal faith and should be circumscribed within the private realms, for we are here not to talk about personal faiths, but actually talking about collective identities which each one of us, as a part of being a human, cling to, whether we like it or not. My personal faith remains intact whether BJP loses or wins in the elections. If it gets affected, it is highttime i introspect my faith and fix it asap or abondon it altogether. We agree on that, i am sure.

However, this collective identity that we cling to is as much real as any other human dimension. conflicts between the collective identities is what the bane of the problem here is and this you are suggesting is no more to be seen from the prism of politics.

Obviously i am presuming a lot of things here and i would only be happy if you confirm or correct me.

My own feeling is, India is not yet prepared for your kind of approach. We need our politicians to protect our collective identities and interests. There is no alternate in the democratic setup i can see for resolving conflicts between collective identities. It would be an ideal scenario if these politicians really shut their mouths and stop playing with our dear sentiments across communities. But even with so much cynicism i dont see an alternative. How much ever noble it might be we are not saints to wish away the boundaries we have created or addicted to nor can we wish away the so-called guardians we have appointed to safeguard our boundaries.

In short, I feel, strictly from a political strategic point of view, time has not come yet for decoupling hindutva and BJP. Idea in politics has an expiry date more importantly a critical / crucuial birth date. Politics is about timing, oppurtunism. ( oridinary men like us may view oppurtunism in a negative sense but thats how politics operates, i hope the idealits out here get this in to their heads )

Swabhimaan said...

Swapan, I think your blog is affected by a virus. Sometimes multiple windows open up and then I have to shut down my comp. This happens only with your blog.

india15august.blogspot.com/ said...

What is Hindutva?

It is the ancient culture of India - of its indigenous people. It is the lighting of a Diya on an official innaugration. It is the breaking of a coconut on a ship launch. It is the speaking of Hindi, Tamil, Marathi. It is the worship in a temple.

It is also the acceptance of all people who make India their home. Thus, muslims and christians who have made India thier home (because they were born here or because they came here) are accepted as part of the composite culture of Hindutva.

Why should a cultural concept be part of politics?
If Hindutva is the culture of India, should the BJP include it as part of its political activities?

Hindutva is not a political charter. The BJP should not make it a political point.

But, the BJP should practice the values of Hindutva, day in and day out. No discrimination. No foul language. Respect for the rule of civil society. No corruption. No sly deals. No dynasties. Openness. If you are a Hindu, go to the temple. Do not worry about the media. If you are a muslim. Go to the mosque. Again, do not worry about silly people. Fight against the caste system. Fight for the poor. This is the real Hindutva.

blog: http://india15august.blogspot.com/

Tathagata Mukherjee said...

Arun- ur link from CNNIBN on Cong's restructuring.....

Present dynastic congress becoming restructured based on peoples ability is like the joke our teacher used to say-

when your aunt will grow mustache, she will become your uncle :)-

It will never happen. No wonder, Congi and media now trying to promote smaller dynasties around India. Look at their youth leaders- all are product of dynasty.

Much hyped Congress effort to recuit people from grassroot by Rahul Baba in Punjab ended up with recruiting sons, grandsons of ex Congi CMs, minister as Punjab YC Chief, office bearers.

In Gujarat same thing was tried. In one place, they got few 1000s recruited, but Congi got much less vote in the immediate election.

Rahul Baba made remarks in Gujarat that will shame even my 5 grade daughter- "GUJARAT IS BIGGER THAN BRITAIN".

No patriotic India who is rooted in Indian nationalism will EVER BECOME SLAVE OF GANDHI-MAINO DYNASTY. EVEN CPIM IS BETTER AS IT HAS A IDEOLOGY. Congi has no ideology.

Anonymous said...

"BJP won in Gujarat and Karnataka despite media bias"
This is a wrong assumption. Locals in Gujarat and Karnataka knew what exactly happened there and English media could not influence much. My friend from Mangalore told me that one of the reasons for large voter’s turnout there is because Hindus are angry with the media.

But media was definitely successful in defaming BJP in the rest of India about the incident in these state. People at far have no firsthand experience about these incident and they only hear biased media versions.

BJP and Sangh Parivar need a strong media presence, else both of these organizations dooms to fail. Having done dedicated work for decades, RSS still has negative image. Anti-Hindu forces, including English media, are getting stronger by the day and if not checked, it leads to complete annihilation of Hinduism.

There are few in the BJP, who have good friendship with individuals in the English media and that prompt them to go soft on hostile medial. And these few are ultimately going to destroy BJP!

BJP was formed by RSS to safeguard Hindu interest, and those who have allergic to “Hindutva” should leave BJP. They better form a new secular party.

Kenny Chauhan said...

Dear me!

This is a forum for a healthy debate. This is not a me versus you. BJP is not going to decide its policy and its future based on what we say here. Only a hundred or a few hundred people will see this blog post. We are not here to score points or undermine and admonish the other. This is an exercise in outpouring our thoughts. You write your views and feel happy to express yourself, more so when this is shared with others. It is not for approval or disapproval. We are all within our rights to express ourselves. In fact I thank this medium of Blogosphere, which has given us a platform to express ourselves and interact with others - like minded or not.

Since I have been quoted in a few places, I am here again.

Zoomindianmedia and BJP_supporter have addressed me directly. I do not want to reply word for word, though I have answers for their queries which I believe are facts for me.

Hey! you guys, brothers I must say, though you are within your rights to appear under these names, I would appreciate if there were names and identity on you. We are sharing some serious thoughts here, which may one day shape the fate of the party and the country. These are our core beliefs. I am a bit uncomfortable speaking to an unknown, unidentified and faceless audience. Wish I could read your profiles and know more about you.

After going through the comments of various writers, my belief is strengthened. Anyone reading these comments can clearly see what ails the image of the BJP. That is why I mentioned Varun Gandhi and the others. It is not about the specifics of what they did, it is about the atmosphere which they created. It is about the image of the BJP getting a beating and making ground for Congress by polarising, not the muslim vote but the 'Hindu' vote (the masses) for the Congress. This is at the macro level

Two concerns are emerging from this group. One, muslim phobia. Two, media (ELM) phobia. This is why I say the BJP needs an image overhaul. An image where these two concerns will either be answered or will cease to be important. Let us divert our energies from muslims and ELM bashing to development concerns and able leadership.

Brothers you worry about muslims and the press. They have always been there and will always be there. If we keep crying foul, where will we reach? I am of the view that we have to overcome these 'handicaps' by our hard and intelligent work. Even if we cannot have them on our side, still we can win elections and form governments. You yourself rightly say Hindus are a majority. So think of ways other than Hindutva to win over the Hindus (the majority), I'll say masses (that's proper). How many Hindus relate to Hindutva is for everyone to see. It is not about sticking to the H-word or forgetting it, it is about BJP, a political formation which has its end as winning elections. We debate here the means to that end.

Maybe it is good for the RSS to espouse ideology, it not being a political entity. But why bound the BJP with an ideology which is not in sync with the present times and needs? Why stop BJP from growing? The only case where BJP can be halted from growing is when the means are not legal, moral, ethical or people-centric.

Brothers we are all on the same side and will be there ten or twenty years down the line and we all share a common goal of seeing BJP leading the country and we all are speaking because we feel and believe that 'our path' will help BJP reach its Goal.

Oldtimer said...

To the anonymous who has been throwing barbs at "liberal arts types":

It's not cool. I'm an engineer. You probably are one too. If you did indeed read math and logic at school, you'll definitely not make sweeping conclusions about rational capabilities of people based on what _they_ read in school. You'dn't make the same mistake as the fruitcake who wrote:

"Science, suggests Australian writer Dan Madigan, is particularly compatible with religious fundamentalism. The hard sciences, as opposed to the soft humanities, create an orthodox and extremist mentality....The technological mind-set is profoundly impatient with the tentativeness, the ‘softness’ and the endless ‘may-be-may-not-be’ of the humanities. Guess what Osama bin Laden studied? Engineering, naturally. And Mohammad Atta? You got it. Also engineering... Science is beloved of the Indian middle-class and particularly of the Hindu patriarchs of the Sangh parivar....The IITs are shrines to a certain high Hindu male technological libido."

Which dimwitted nutmuncher wrote the above? Google, and ye shall figure out.

zoomindianmedia said...

...vajapayee lost in 84 becaues of indira sympathy....

Some thoughts on 1984 elections and media spin:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPUOJ38Sz-U

I am sort of suspecting that Swapanda is ghost presenting Arun Jaitley's viewpoints on Hindutva?

Swapanda

Would appreciate if you can confirm/deny this.

zoomindianmedia said...

Mr. Kenny Chauhan. Is Kanhaiya your real name? You seem to have gone for a typically phoren remake! This as congressmen PL Puniya suddenly appended Chamar to his name before elections (and as tentative reports are emerging that he camouflaged his danuk identity)

...Readers would be interested to know your background especially since you are a public BJP figure want others to be explicit on the issue!

My legacy pertains to fighting the media bias so rampant in India against native Indians. You can get a perspective at

youtube.com/zoomindianmedia

BJP suffered on account of its incoherence in ideology, ideas and for its not being true to its Hindu DNA. This was compounded by both poor strategy and tactics.

BJP_supporter said...

Chauhan Sir, You made one set of sweeping generalizations that I reacted to. You make another set of sweeping generalizations in response, and in particular use 'Muslim phobia and ELM phobia'.

My comments do not show any such phobia. I did not even use the M word.

Some other comments have used the M word, but that is in the context of vote bank politics. That is a reality we can not deny. Swapanda himself used 'Muslim veto' in one post, that does not make him a 'Muslim phobic'.

Atleast for some of us commenting here, winning elections is not the end. It could be for BJP office bearers. We have some expectations that BJP has not met. I voted in two elections not because BJP showed any diference in the issues that mattered to me, but because the other group was even worse. In the future, 10 or 20 years, if BJP continues this way, I have the option of not turning out to vote too. And may be the BJP wont be around either, who knows?

Aryan said...

What BJP calls it core ideology does not matter, it will still face abuse from the secularists-media-wallahs. We dont need to please them, or try to win them over. We need to create our own media, Hindutvawadi media, as hysterical, as loud, as Saffron as they are Red or Green. We can come up with our own insults, Congress Christist Jehadis! Communist CHinese traitors ! Lalu, Mulayam ISI agents ! Then they'll have to defend that. We dont need to stop being hindutvawadis.

Aryan said...

Swapan Da,

can you also post links to your media interactions on your blog, to the benefit of unfortunate exiled ones.

sarathy.amudhan said...

Swapan Da,

I do not think the issue is whether 'Hindutva' should be given a go by or not. Hindutva is open to infinite interpretation across the entire spectrum.It is the clever bringing up of Hindutva as the central plank by the media and pushing the main economic concerns/ developmental issues into the background, in the media debates, that has made BJP appear as if they were taking up only Non issues. This can co exist with any and every issue. I dont think BJP should involve itself get entangled in Debates on Hindutva. It should rather concentrate on developmental and other issues which concerns the common man.

- BJP should do an honest introspection of the causes of defeat. Unless an effort is made to get at the truth it is likely that the same mistakes would be committed over and over again with the same results. A party should learn from its mistakes and move forward.
- BJP should learn to use the media properly. BJP participants in debates on TV are generally outnumbered by a ratio of at least 1:3, not counting the usually hostile anchor(s). You will also observe that the so called neutral observers are the usual BJP baiting intellectuals with leftist leanings. BJP should avoid such debates unless it is absolutely sure that it would be given a fair chance to espouse its views. BJP should not be running after the TV channels and give sound bytes open to negative interpretation.
- Some Senior leaders are airing their views through the very same ELM, which revels at highlighting BJP negatively, thereby playing into their hands. Already the media is rife with stories of ugly infighting within the BJP. This is not going to help BJP in any way. Some of these ‘foot in the mouth leaders’ open their mouth only to change their foot. Party forums should be the right place for such discussions and debates.
- BJP should work as a constructive opposition. To start with BJP can vote in favour of the Confidence motion. This will generate goodwill and also prevent the smaller parties from blackmailing.
- Nation should come before everything else any positive policy should whole heartedly be supported if it is good for the country.
- Controversial issues should be put on the back burner and development issues should be the main plank.
- BJP should set the agenda and avoid non issues.
- The urban electorate has deserted BJP. Efforts should be made to capture the imagination of this category.
- BJP ruled states should act like model states and invest heavily on education, infrastructure (roads, bridges, piped water supply, underground drainage, sanitation etc), and healthcare. Should be synonymous with Good governance.
- BJP should strategise to counter , neutralise / reduce media hostility.
- BJP should promote its own channel / Newspapers run by professionals minus the hostility and bias.
- BJP should cultivate interest groups, intellectuals, NGOs to take contentious issues through the Court, RTI, articles, letters to editors, seminars, internet etc. These interest groups can keep these campaigns alive throughout without these having to surface only at the time of elections.
- Should cultivate Journalists, who can present the party’s point of view.
- BJP should take part in all Bye elections (both for assembly and Parliament) especially in states like Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal Andhra where the party is weak by fielding a National level leader or sitting MPs ( People like Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Sidhu, Rudy etc). Even if they lose it does not matter as this will enable the party to get visibility, galvanise the cadres and develop a Base in those states. Party can draw upon its cadres from other states for these bye elections and run a focussed campaign, which otherwise would not be possible during the general elections.
- The party should expand its base. Should be broad based across all regions, religion, caste, class etc.

Anonymous said...

oldtimer,

There exists a subject called statistics for a reason.Data is objectively collected and scientific conclusions are drawn based on the sample and on the merit of the statistical significance criteria.

100 % or all members of a sample having a factual property is impossible,( amazed u are ignorant of this) but yet conclusions( what you call sweeping) can be drawn and is accepted in rigorous medical and business research.
eg smoking causes cancer but this does not mean that everyone who smokes gets cancer.

Similarly data shows apples are sweet,africans are dark,grass is green,birds fly,muslims are more religous than hindus, and admission to the liberal arts major is the least competitive and better marks are needed for science,engineering,law,business,commerce majors based on sheer hard factual data( not barbs).

Are you disputing this? Are you disputing the fact that english media are from the less competitive arts which require less analytical and logic skills?

Does that mean they are not good at a critique on shakespeare or even talented in dance or music or storytelling or fiction writing?

no.They may be geniuses at all this.

But these talents dont matter when discussing public matters and being fashionably bjp and hindu hating is pure propaganda .

Here in the public agenda you cannot afford not to have knowledge of facts and analytical skills because that is what makes a rational discussion.U CANNOT make muthalik into a monster in bjp ruled karnataka but hush up the owaisi attack on tasleema and attacks on nurses in upa ruled andhra pradesh.THIS is plain dishonesty of facts let alone bad analyis which is a higher skill.
owaisi even said he is a muslim first and he is a mp or mla.

that you call hard facts barbs shows you are bringing petty emotions here.i have no stake in not calling a spade a spade Unlike the elmedia that has not written any article actually studying the congress 28 % vote
if 8 out of 10 congress voters are tied to a 7th century imported religion and have voted congress in because cbse = madrasa degree,shabano,polygamy
and yet no one comments on those
primitive values and yet THEY write 15 articles against bjp values (even if bjp did not talk about civil code etc in this campaign) then sorry this can only be liberal arts media stupidity and dishonesty and bash-bjp agenda.sorry owaisi and the mullahs who banned coed madrasas are far worse than muthalik.the pubs are running in knatka but muslim girls live in burkhas and are kept uneducated and these are the congress values that are appeased by it not counting 60 yr misrule,corruption,empty promises and divide and rule.

all engineers are not knowledgeable and analytical either.there are exceptions especially with quota raj nomeritocracy.But our personal majors are irrelevant here.this post rests on hard data and logic.

that school kid's vote share analysis is far more scientific and rational than the gasbagging in fluent english by guys like you.flowery english does not make you superior to vernacular people who will score higher than u in language neutral iq test.

If i say shobha de and mahesh bhatt and nandita das ( b.a geography)should stick to their fields and not lecture more intelligent 1 billion people only because they pander to pakistan and make movies on post godhra forgetting godhra train,and because the lmedia abuse the airwaves by promoting such propaganda,u have a problem with that?

Anonymous said...

so oldtimer i get it engineering made atta and osama into terrorists.

i was wrong all along and so were billions of others.We all thought it was islam and those 72 in heaven.

great analysis oldtimer,i rest my case.

and no one is blaming anyone for what they read in school.it is the data of the skills required for admissions to the more competititive majors.everyone knows that except you it seems juts like the atta-osama motivations.

so all engineers are terror prone. including nitish kumar,
narayana murthy,einstein,bill gates,nandan from infosys,etc etc.

happy.

teesta setalvad,nandita,sagarika and barkha are just favoring gods religion over the idol worshipping boors that live here,a billion of them.

Anonymous said...

on the suresh bhalla ndtv show.
u again made some conlusions without any evidence or factual basis.

mms is a man of integrity principle, which has been the promo of the congress elmedia mafia agents.

where was mms when bribes were paid to save his govt,when criminals were in cabinet and soren was absconding,when jharkand goa,bihar guvs were abused eg kalam called at midnight in russia,when antulay was let off for a treasonous statement on 26-11,quatrochi accounts were defreezed,quatrochi case was bungled by cbi in argentina wasting taxpayer money,abusing cbi with taj corridor ad mayawati only to buy parliament support,pmo letters to help balu,raja scam

I have offered several factual behavioural evidence to the contrary.What is your evidence to back up the glowing certificate of honesty?

remember mms was babu from the corrupt congress licnece raj days.
his daughter went to law school in the usa?where did she get the money for such expensive education.

engineering majors get aid? but law school? congress and children of babus go to the usa for undergrad degrees and mba with their illgotten wealth,some of them are in rahul's baba log.

again you have no right to further the agenda of the elmedia mafia and let down your fans who expect factuala nd analytical rigor at the least.

the mafia on the other hand do everthing to deny bjp cms including the stellar modi any credit for gujarat.toi had an article by dip jnu gupta headline "the gujarat credit is misplaced".ibn and ndtv do everything to hush up gujarat development raking up the 1 % glass empty criticisms when they are not drumbeating gujarati muslims criticizing modi for everything.

and i thought you were positioned as different from the elmedia pro congress-antibjp gang.

Anonymous said...

swapan,yes it is only a word.yet your pals in the elmedia keep using it to campaign against the bjp when it spoke only about development.modi was screaming vikas vs votebank.and vikas lost and votebank muslim communal politics won with help from media pink chaddi-muthalik-varun-godhra campaign. most 80 % of the congress vote is muslim.

and yet the elmedia( with u chiming in) is using the communal defeat of development by islamic fatwa and crores of islamic soldiers, as a referendum of hindutva whatever that is( blindmen discussing an elephant)and now we have two types of hindutva.heavens how intellectual can u pseudos get.

the elmedia can be excused,they know their bread is buttered on the side of islam and congress,thus bashing hindus and bjp has been a constant for them english mafia for last 20 yrs.

but you seem to be playing "if u cant lick them join them game".

its amusing to hear sgarika screaming that u are a bjp idealogue when the elmedia-mafia are congress men and henchmen of the marxist-missionary-mullah teamsters gang.

sure its only aoword yet media writes about it dayin day out when islam won as usual against india and hindus as it did in kashmir in 1990 and in pakistan,bdesh in 1947 with 40 5 indic land in its possession not counting minipakistans inside india.

i am sure the hindus in this 40 % land,AT SOME POINT OF TIME IN HISTORY, were lecturing each other about good secularism and evil hindutva with pandit nehru joing in .TODAY THEY ARE EXTINCT and even the muthalik hindutva has nothing to do with it.it is all part of islams darul harb and dar ul islam doctrine.

hindus r worse than turkeys at thanksgiving.atleast turkeys dont have pseudo gasbags discussing non-issues like the h wod when the real issue is the growing islamic grip on india's poltical life.no woner everyone except bjp talk secularism for muslim vote.remeber osam look alikes,advani arrest,karsevak killings,varun arrest,shahbano,cbse= madrasa,madani,fists claim,losing sleep overterrorist,muslim reservations,bangladeshis shuld be legalized courtesy paswan etc etc.

h or no h as long as hindus do not unite to counter muslim mobilization by congress -elmedia mafia secular gang,bjp will lose nationally.

even anti-incumbency did not work against upa despite inflation,recession,terror,corruption etc as it did in all elections since 1777 exception being 84.

of course this asumes evms were tamperproof but congress is capable of doing anything with prexz and cec and ecs all in place and its past jhrkand-goa-bihar abuse of govs,cbi etc record.

Ankan said...

Swapanda, I think the word Hindutva has just become mind-boggling. As you can see, it means different things to different people. Similarly, when you say that the BJP needs to move away from Hindutva, that also means different things to different people!

Perhaps you should articulate what do you mean, in terms of ideas and policies, when you say that BJP should move away from Hindutva. It will drive the discussion in a more concrete direction.

Thanks.

Sanjay said...

Kenny,

Its not "Media Phobia", it's about how to deal with a biased media. If english cricketers discuss about how to deal with spin bowling that is not spin phobia which will go away by taking a pill or two. You probably think that media is goody-goody towards congress because of some good work that they have done? The fact is that BJP has an amateurish/ad-hoc approach to Media management. It's not an "image makeover" that they need, they need professionalism. What if the "image makeover" proposed by you fails to change the media bias? Another "image makeover"?

Anonymous said...

BJP should throw this Media Publicity seeker Jassoo out of the party.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/182221/Sparks-fly-at-BJP-meet.html

Swabhimaan said...

"Why should a cultural concept be part of politics?
If Hindutva is the culture of India, should the BJP include it as part of its political activities? Hindutva is not a political charter. The BJP should not make it a political point."

Here is my response:

When the principles of this cultural basis are violated, it becomes a social and hence a political issue. When the injustice is political, the resolution also has to come through politics. Amarnath issue is a good example. So, please don't ask again why we are mixing religion and culture with politics. How do you counter CBSE = Madrasa education?

BJP_supporter said...

Open Challenge for all of you Swapan included -

Sarathy Amuthan says -
"BJP ruled states should act like model states and invest heavily on education, infrastructure (roads, bridges, piped water supply, underground drainage, sanitation etc), and healthcare. Should be synonymous with Good governance."

I say that as long as politicians are allowed to bestow special privileges on chosen groups -
- add caste X into backward classes list
- add caste Y into most backward classes list
- add caste Z into scheduled tribes list
- provide reservations to religion A by marking that entire religion as backward
- allocate funds for special pilgrimage for religion X
- direct banks to allocate loans for religion Y

Good governance will lose *every single f*cking time* to the above. I will vote every single time for the party that gives me that something special, in addition to 'development' that I share with everyone else. If I dont get development and live in a cesspool like Dilbert's Elbonia, I will still vote for that something special.

Please pardon my french and prove me wrong if you can.

Anonymous said...

There are some bad apples in the BJP. Let me thrash this out

(1) Sudheendra Kulkarni. Of all the forums available, this neandethral writes about against the RSS and Modi and Varun Gandhi in TEHELKA. What a joke, and people here want the BJP to start an alternate channel, when Advani's chief advisor is hobnobbing with TEHELKA to put down others in the party.

Lesson learned: Sudheendra Kulkarni is a commie. Once a commie, always a commie. You do not rise to the highest circles in the commie party without being a hardened commie. My guess is that Kulkarni is a commie implant and a sabateur.

(2) Arun Jaitley. This fellow plants stories in all newspapers against his opponents in the party. Uses the anti-BJP ELM to put down his opponents. Moreover, this fellow refused to lead the BJP in Delhi, because he had national pretensions.

Lesson learned - donot let selfish power mongers to hijack the media image of the party.

(3) Rajnath Singh. This fellow has destroyed the party in UP, through relentless infighting with Kalyan Singh. It would be better, if he retreats to UP and serves as a mentor for the two stars of the UP BJP,Varun Gandhi and Yogi Adityanath, and help the party capture its former glory.

Rajnath Singh and Jaitley should be disciplined, but Sudheendra Kulkarni is like Saturn in ones horoscope, bringing doom and misfortune. The sooner the BJP gets rid of this commie, the better it is.

srinivas said...

There are some bad apples in the BJP. Let me thrash this out

(1) Sudheendra Kulkarni. Of all the forums available, this neandethral writes about against the RSS and Modi and Varun Gandhi in TEHELKA. What a joke, and people here want the BJP to start an alternate channel, when Advani's chief advisor is hobnobbing with TEHELKA to put down others in the party.

Lesson learned: Sudheendra Kulkarni is a commie. Once a commie, always a commie. You do not rise to the highest circles in the commie party without being a hardened commie. My guess is that Kulkarni is a commie implant and a sabateur.

(2) Arun Jaitley. This fellow plants stories in all newspapers against his opponents in the party. Uses the anti-BJP ELM to put down his opponents. Moreover, this fellow refused to lead the BJP in Delhi, because he had national pretensions.

Lesson learned - donot let selfish power mongers to hijack the media image of the party.

(3) Rajnath Singh. This fellow has destroyed the party in UP, through relentless infighting with Kalyan Singh. It would be better, if he retreats to UP and serves as a mentor for the two stars of the UP BJP,Varun Gandhi and Yogi Adityanath, and help the party capture its former glory.

Rajnath Singh and Jaitley should be disciplined, but Sudheendra Kulkarni is like Saturn in ones horoscope, bringing doom and misfortune. The sooner the BJP gets rid of this commie, the better it is.

Oldtimer said...

To the liberal-arts fixated anonymous:

>>admission to the liberal arts major is the least competitive and better marks are needed for science,engineering,law,business,commerce majors based on sheer hard factual data( not barbs).

True. But there was a time when the best and brightest Indians sought Oxbridge education more than they valued IIT degrees. Swapan's generation, for example. The boxwallahs of that time did not need to have an IIT stint followed by an IIM degree, as is the case today, though they also had to analyze sales data and balance sheets.

>>so oldtimer i get it engineering made atta and osama into terrorists...great analysis oldtimer,i rest my case.

Putting all your superior analytical skills to work, can you try and comprehend what I wrote? That was not my analysis, but of a person possessed of a similar mindset as you. For every engineer genius who thinks liberal-arts types can't analyze this, there's an English major genius who thinks engineers can't analyze that.

Takes all sorts of people to populate the earth, I think.

Anonymous said...

I think Kanchan Gupta has a great rejoinder in Rediff to Sudheendra Kulkarni and Swapan Dasgupta's.

His analysis makes more sense than Sundheendra Kulkarni's and Swapan Dasgupta.

Wonder why Sudheendra Kulkarni is given such a big responsibility.

All this focus on Hindutva is an attempt to divert attention from people who ran a terrible campaign and that includes Arun Jaitley.

What is wrong with Jaswant speaking the truth? Why are failed people being rewarded? Why an honest post mortem not being done in a transparent manner.

Anonymous said...

It is pretty obvious that Swapan Dasgupta is presenting Jaitley's point of view.

All this is a very clever attempt to highlight the mistakes of the campaign itself. It absolves the people who ran the campaign and focusses on Hindutva.

We would like to know who was responsible for the strategy of attacking on Manmohan Singh. We would like who came up with the campaign theme of Bhay Ho.

That is the analysis we need to do and not deflect blame by talking about Hindutva.

Kalyan Singh is right when he says that BJP makes strategies sitting in AC rooms. What political clout or acumen does Sudheendra Kulkarni have? He was just a speech writer and now he is running a campaign. Wow!

Balaji said...

Swapanda,

Being a member of Advani's coterie, would you like to respond to Anil Chawla's open letter?

Swapan Dasgupta said...

Balaji, Whoever gave you the impression I was part of the Advani "coterie"? I haven't had a personal interaction with the man since late-January. My response to Kulkarni is being carried in the coming issue of Tehelka. They commissioned the article.

I hope my writing for Tehelka doesn't constitute a capital offence for those who spew venom against the ELM.

Oldtimer said...

Dear Swapan,

>> I hope my writing for Tehelka doesn't constitute a capital offence for those who spew venom against the ELM.

It doesn't. But it lends a veneer of respectability to a trashy outfit whose least malodorous produce includes such gems as a user manual on how to seduce one's neighbor's wife.

Granted that's not something you want to hold against one media outfit when there are bigger offenders -- there was this publisher summoned to court for popularizing school porn mms videos -- but it's just that when people dish out either trash for public consumption or paeans for their masters' consumption to make a living and yet put on airs of striking a blow for public weal, it sounds very very cynical and hypocritical.

Expecting people to live by the principles they advocate for others does not constitute "spewing venom". "Journalism" -- or what passes for it in India -- is open to public scrutiny the same way any other profession is. I'm all for "balance", "moderation" and "objectivity" in criticizing the media, but why does media deserve a privilege that is not accorded to, say, doctors or politicians, especially when it confers on itself the right to sit on judgement of others but is scared witless of turning the gaze inward, let alone allow others to examine it? Please do not trivialize criticism of media by pejoratively dismissing such criticism as "venom spewing" or "bashing".

zoomindianmedia said...

Swapanda

Your credibility is beyond reproachment. We know your motives are not suspect.

You never had the authority that the neandral communist rogue sudheendra kulkarni had in BJP. At best you position yourself as a person sympathetic to BJP and right.

My point is this. Your writing on Tehelka will not and can not be deemed an offense, though many of us would have preferred you to stay away from known rogues.

Jaitley has to come clean if not in public form but inside BJP to the satisfaction of his detractors.

While it should not be witch hunting, collective responsibility cant be an excuse to affix responsibilities for failures (we do know when things succeed, many of the BJP worthies rush in to take the credit).

It is quite obvious that Neandral Sudheendra Kulkarni indeed needs to be shown the door. If I get time, I will post our perspective on the neandral's tehelka BS.

Anonymous said...

"Expecting people to live by the principles they advocate for others does not constitute "spewing venom". "Journalism" -- or what passes for it in India -- is open to public scrutiny the same way any other profession is. I'm all for "balance", "moderation" and "objectivity" in criticizing the media, but why does media deserve a privilege that is not accorded to, say, doctors or politicians, especially when it confers on itself the right to sit on judgement of others but is scared witless of turning the gaze inward, let alone allow others to examine it? Please do not trivialize criticism of media by pejoratively dismissing such criticism as "venom spewing" or "bashing"."
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I also wanted to reply on this but after reading ur comment I decided not to. Very good reply,indeed. Swapan treats our replies as "emotional" outburst and "spewing venom".

Balaji said...

Swapanda is not part of Advani's coterie? hmm.. that must be one exclusive coterie then.

damn, everything in the BJP is so confusing. everyone is blaming everyone. and the funny thing is, all the chargesheets sound true!

Anonymous said...

"Balaji, Whoever gave you the impression I was part of the Advani "coterie"? I haven't had a personal interaction with the man since late-January."

--------------------------------------------

Hindutva hater Balaji Swapan babu isn't the part of Advani coterie he's an "admirer" of him. He belongs to clever Arun Jaitley coterie who is much bigger admirer of Advani than him. Any wonder why this party is going in mire ? "Right-wing" Gorbachev turn sycophant.

Swapan Dasgupta said...

In response to Oldtimer. Let me admit that I write for a fee and negotiate my rates to the best of my abilities. I don't control the editorial content of publications (and TV channels) and criticise them when I feel it necessary. I know that most of these channels and publications are hostile to everything I stand for and give a platform because they want to convey an impression of pluralism. However, to date I have never been told what to write nor have I been censored.

The only occasion I had a problem was with a business weekly whose editor told me that I could not write a piece on Gujarat (which they had commissioned) without alluding to the 2002 riots. That was the last time I wrote for them.

Let me also reveal that many of the anti-Hindoo presenters on TV happen to be personal friends, even family friends. We keep friendships and politics firmly apart.

Let me also confess that the only time I came under pressure was during the NDA regime, after some sharp criticism of Vajpayee. The powers that be put pressure on propreitors and the editor to withdraw a regular column on politics. Needless to add, both these notables were honoured by Padma awards subsequently for larger services presumably.

I concede everyone's right to lampoon the media but I have my reasons for blending criticism with an extra dose of tolerance. If it had been left to a pro-Hindu media, I would have had to abandon my writing career a long time ago. The Hindu activist impatience with the orphans of Macualay and the "liberal arts" types verges on the hysterical.

As illustration see the uninformed comments by Anonymous (June 3, 10:32 and 10:34)on Nirad Chaudhuri, one of the finest scholars of the Indian inheritance.

Anonymous said...

"I think Kanchan Gupta has a great rejoinder in Rediff to Sudheendra Kulkarni and Swapan Dasgupta's."

------------------------------------------

Kanchan Gupta is a right-wing God. If anybody want to know how to be a right-winger then he/she must read Kanchan Gupta. The only exception I saw in his writing that was when he suggested in The Pioneer that BJP should move toward center-right. Perhaps he was swayed by the likes of Swapan and Kulkarni. But later he corrected his approach thanks to the comments he got from the readers and genuine voters.

Anonymous said...

DEFINE HINDUTVA WITH THE HELP OF SPIRITUAL LEADERS/ PHILOSOPHERS
--------------------------------------------------

I have just one suggestion for the BJP. Please define your position regarding Hindutva once and for all. I don't expect anyone within BJP to be able to successfully do this. A better way would be to consult eminent spiritual leaders across the country regarding what may be a possible ideological position to take w.r.t Hindutva that would make sense in a modern context, and appeal to the country at large without dividing it.

Anonymous said...

"I concede everyone's right to lampoon the media but I have my reasons for blending criticism with an extra dose of tolerance. If it had been left to a pro-Hindu media, I would have had to abandon my writing career a long time ago. The Hindu activist impatience with the orphans of Macualay and the "liberal arts" types verges on the hysterical."

Itni choti si baat par itna gussa, dada ? We know all this already, we can also imagine Mr. intellectual, we also have brain, there is no need to cite the examples of exceptional morons to make ur case. The void on the side of Right is well-known.

In the last one advice u can make money by advertising on ur blog also! Then u'll be less dependent on anti-Hindu media.

Balaji said...

To understand the give-n-forth happening in the BJP, I think its necessary to understand who's who in the national party.

Two caveats:

1. There is no democracy at any level in the BJP. But it works like a Corporate company. So better performers are eventually and invariably rewarded. But in which company do workers get to elect their managers?

2. Except some old hands like Joshi everyone else in the party including Rajnath Singh were handpicked by Advani. Some may not be Advani's favorites now, but they are there only becos of Advani.

Now to who's who in the party.

1. Advani's Coterie.
2. The RSS cabal.
3. Independents.

1. Advani's coterie includes his family, Jaitley, Sudheendra Kulkarni, Balbir Punj, Chandan Mitra, Swapan Dasgupta (but he may no longer have a voice, thats why he declines being a member), Ananth Kumar, Narendra Modi.

2. RSS cabal: All the RSS men on deputation. Almost all of them are corrupt. They came from Sangh looking for rewards or power corrupted them. But no point blaming them. When you are not accountable to anybody and have no political career yourself, you have all the time to indulge in silly things. The other RSS friendly section section includes the erstwhile Pramod Mahajan's team. Rajnath Singh, Vijay Goel, Gopinath Munde, Prakash Javadekar, Sudhanshu Mittal, Vinay Katiyar.

3. Independents: This group includes leaders like Joshi, Jaswant Singh, Yashwant Sinha, Shourie, Sushma, Bal Apte, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Rudy, Naqvi, Hussain. Most of them were mentored by Advani, but think for themselves. They currently have limited say in party affairs.

Prasanna said...

Hi Swapanda

Fitting response to some of the irrational criticism that has been levelled on you

Guys

For all those who are spewing venom on Swapanda-I cant think of a single columnist save him who has mounted a coherent and spirited intellectual challenge on the tyrannical stranglehold of left-libs on the public discourse.Yossarin of Offstumped was another though blogs have near zero reach .Inspirational Arun Shourie was always operating at an intellectual stratosphere and lets admit that his dense prose makes difficult reading.Ashok Malik does have a interesting perspective but prefers to maintain a low profile ).

In fact RSS which claims itself to be the intellectual fountainhead of Indian right nurtures extreme disdain for scholarship and whatever the name of the weekly magazine it publishes is marked by such shoddy and abysmal writing.And some of the guys whom it parades as intellectuals-well 'god' save us.And beyond Ram Swarup/Goel/Elst i can even think of any worthwhile scholars in the right side of the ideological divide).

Lesser said about Kulkarni the better.I have a suspicion that slimey spinmasters and Gandhee dynasty sycophants of Indian MSM deliberately provided excessive coverage to him to highlight how ideologically 'confused' and 'incoherent' BJP was. I would suspect that he could have been the force behind Advaniji’s ill advised attempt to repackage himself as a 'moderate'.Many of us admired Advaniji for taking on the despicable Nehruvian establishment and deterimental strangehold it had on the all spheres of Indian life.Metamorphosis that Advani attempted went against the raison detre of BJP.Accepting UndieTV awards ,giving emotionally charged soundbytes to the scheming Barkha Dutt and effectively Advani made a fool of himself in his attempt to reinvent himself.

Seriously a BJP diehard like me nearly decided to vote against the party seeing the way Mr Kulkarni made a fool of himself and the party in the media debates.This was when i was viewing what appeared to be a clearly orchestrated studio discussion conducted by a moderator (her own meteoric rise, according to well- informed media watchers, is attributable to her father being a influential media power broker) on the purported identity crisis confronting the BJP

While its understandable that independent but politically sympathetic columnist like you participating in TV discussion,its seriously defies any logic why idiotic and incoherent BJP representative needs to make a token presence in evry discussion on channels

For example there is despicable Undie TV journalist called Sonia Singh.This lady was running a campaign of calumny against BJP for any number of years .The lady never revaaled that her husband is RPN singh ,a babalog member of Rahul Gandhee brigade .I was shocked to see a media pic of that lady playing a dutiful wife to her now minister husband

BJP_supporter said...

Swapan,
Here is a report on Swami Vivekananda's speech in US - http://www.vivekananda.net/NewspaperReports/21Sep93.html - The platform need not determine what we say - Truth shall.

When you use a random commenter to portray a sense of hurt ('Macaulay's Children'), a sense of balance is lost. This clubs legitimate criticism of that model of Education with the random uninformed jerk. Such painting with a very wide brush has been a successful tactic in other circles.

In another post you said this - "The energies of religious Hinduism vests with the gurus who tend to be patriotic but propagate universalism. "

It is difficult to be brief and also exact. "Tatvamasi" kind of brevity is rare. But choice of some words can indicate the process behind the thought. Universalism as a religious concept is a Christian one. The monotheistic idea that a All loving God will punish a non-believer in Him with eternal Hell needed reconciling. Hinduism is not monotheistic. The philosophy of Advaita is not that universalism either.

Through the ages, Neither Shankara Nor Vivekananda have hesitated from debating other doctrines and speaking out the truth that they found from ancient Hindu Vedas and Vedanta.

If you meant the present Gurus, some of them take the easy route of adopting all religious symbols in their logos. This is more of a marketing branding than result of any serious philosophical conviction. 'Universalism' could just be a convenient word to mask that. When they tour the west, they are unlikely to have the courage of Vivekananda to speak the truth - if they have it, they have not shown it. Some of them have shown their love of PR by being in all trouble spots and ensuring press coverage.

Such opinion might make me a 'Hysterical Hindu activist'. Well, I am not. I am just a guy trying to think stuff for myself.

BJP_supporter said...

Swapan, On a lighter note, you chose to react to one comment on 'Advani coterie', but not some other comments that said you were ghost-presenting Jaitley's ideas.

ofcourse, what you choose to react to is your prerogative.

Oldtimer said...

Dear Swapan,

>>see the uninformed comments by Anonymous (June 3, 10:32 and 10:34)on Nirad Chaudhuri, one of the finest scholars of the Indian inheritance.

I am NOT that anonymous, but curious nevertheless:

What do you have to say about an assessment of Nirad Chuadhary by VS Naipaul, also an anglophile, and arguably the greatest living writer (of Indian extraction as well) of our time, thus:

“Chaudhuri, in spite of all the great names he takes, was not a scholar. He had no idea what scholarship meant. He held on to the idea only because it was the main part of his self-esteem.”

Anonymous said...

Prasanna here is that pic. She was wearing Saree on that day. Is she "liberal"? She hates RSS, Modi and other conservative folks (I've seen her spitting venom many times) then why she wasn't wearing jeans or salwar-kameez ?


http://www.indianexpress.com/news/lok-sabha-won-team-gandhi-readies-for-up/470377/

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/Lalu-s-quota-quote/472596

Anonymous said...

Everybody read the rejoinder of Anil Chawla here.


http://www.samarthbharat.com/sudheendraletter.htm

Anonymous said...

A look at the set of comments that seek to personally villify everyone (Swapan, Arun Jaitley, Sudheendra, Advani, Shourie, Jaswant..) gives enough indication why the party lost. There is a lot of blame game and not as much constructive dialogue. For example, Arun Jaitley has successfully planned and executed many election campaings. He failed this time, but is it enough reason to hang him? Similarly, there is some substance in what Mr. Kulkarni has written. What is gained by personally attacking him instead of debating his assertions? On the same vein, Swapan is not a mouthpiece for the loony fringe, some of whom seem to hang out on this blog too. If everyone who writes for the media is castigated, you might as well start living in caves. I am frustated with the ELM too, but I know that the remedy is not all out war in which we are destined to lose but proper "strategy" (which involves both carrots and sticks). Having someone of the stature of Swapan helps the cause, does not damage it.


Finally, after reading Kanchan Gupta's response of rediff I think that there is not a wide chasm between his thinking and that of Swapan. The only major difference is that Kanchan thinks moving away from Hindutva wll not lure Muslims to BJP, so Hindutva is not the central problem that BJP faces (he does allude though that Hindutva may be blamed for some of the BJP's ills, though not all).

BJP_supporter said...

Assuming a two-party democracy, there are two basic aspects for a political party -
1) winning more than 50% of the vote in an election
2) running a Government for the entire 100%

All elections are thus 'divisive'. Every candidate fighting and winning a seat is 'divisive'. But only a particular party/set of people are described as 'divisive' so over time we even internalize that. Even the most 'noble' of your politicians win elections because they divided more people in their favor, say 30%, 40%. At best, we can have an argument over the degree of divisiveness - unless someone won with 100% vote.

And we then have a leader in Government declaring a particular set of people have first claim/higher priority on resources, and says that repeatedly. Yet nobody sees *that* as divisive!

What leads to this situation?

Sudhir said...

Swapan,

Hindutva or No-Hindutva as long as perception of the BJP does not change nothing is going to happen. The main stream media does not want this perception of BJP to change because they earn their bread and butter from this negative potrayal of BJP and this will continue.

Look what is happening currently. All media channels are fixated with BJP. Pick any main stream media and the main heading is "Knives drawn out in BJP" "Hindutva or Modi or Varun reason for defeat of BJP says so and so leader of BJP" or someother heading on similar lines.

Does that mean that everything in the country is hunky dory except the BJP. Is BJPs internal issues the greatest problem facing the country.

What this media has effectively achieved is shut out other important issues from the public. Why don't we hear more about the recruitment operation conducted by Madani or the threat posed by terrorists to Karnataka and Kerala. Or the shoddy handling of the rescue and relief efforts of cyclone Aila by WB government and Mamta Banerjee's interference. Or the issue of reservation that the HRD minister and the Law minister proposed.

How are these issues less important to the nation than the issue of who will be the next head of BJP? 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.

So I think even if we don't need a right wing media channel we atleast need a neutral channel which will talk about the issues facing the common man and not fixated with the BJP.

Anonymous said...

oldtimer,so you agree with me that the liberal arts guys are not exactly analytical by training and endowment. 70s was no different,iit was prestigous and the pecking order for majors was similar.

Posting opinions from arty types about engineers does not alter facts and data.even sachin tendulkar would admit that he is bad at somethings and good at cricket.u are denigrating the endowments of all those who do well in analytical tests worldwide to get into competititive majors like
engineering,math,law,business,science unlike the least in demand liberal arts which does not require analytical and logic skills even at oxford.it knows the difference between scienec -engineering,business,law and english literature and what skills match what.

we were talking about elmedia which is filled with liberal arts guys when the analytically endowed can afford to choose other majors unlike english majors.We are not talking about one individual like swapan . And i commend swapan atleast for fighting ostracization and agree he is better than most.

the english media liberal arts guys controlling the media agenda against the bjp based on fashionable prejudice against bjp and so called hindutva to describe rational policies like civil code and 370 abrogation.This is falsehood and not facts and analysis which they have no clue about because of their majors like barkha (english lit),rajdeep and poster girls nandita and shobhade.They have no business talking down to readers from a congress controlled media.( off topic ndtv sonia singh's husband is a congress minister and there are many such eg prannoy got his first break from congress dd with sagarika's dad at helm and mms in finance.so what about fraudulent motives)

using loaded words like barbs and fixated ( better than being fixated with bjp-bashing using fashionable subjectives like hindutva of your liberal arts tribe) exposes an emotional stake unlike me who is talking objective factual analysis.i would applaud nandita or mahesh b for a film or barkha for well written novel or play.

The traits of the liberal arts english media eg ego,poor on knowledge of facts and bad analytical skills limited to congress good bjp bad,hindutva bad islamic votebank good,muslims good,hindus bad, leftwing good,rightwing bad etc
all fashionable pavlovian reflexes to belong to the club. you are trying to make this into one persons subjective opinion vs another.My point is objective tests worldwide prove that the requirement of logic and analyical skills is necessary for math-eng-science-commerce-business-law unlike majoring in english lit like barkha dutt who are doing motivated fashionable propagnada not based on facts and analysis which is beyond them

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