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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Repeating a folly

As someone who has been a longtime admirer of LK Advani (even if he regards me as a trenchant critic), I am dismayed and horrified by his recent miscalculations.

In the past six weeks, Advani has been in the news for all the wrong reasons.

First, there was all the fuss over his disclaimer over Jaswant Singh's controversial Kandahar trip in December 1999. Brajesh Mishra, Jaswant Singh and Yashwant Sinha have said that Advani was fully in the know. Advani has not clarified matters and it has has been suggested in the media that his memory is playing tricks with him. Most people (even BJP loyalists) are sceptical of Advani's I-didn't-know claim.

Second, he now says that he was opposed to the silly decision to expel Jaswant from the party. The clarification comes weeks after Jaswant's tirades against him.

On both these controversies, Advani has given the impression that he is ill at ease with the principle of collective responsibility. This is not a happy position for someone who is still Leader of Opposition and the face of the BJP.

There were others who too were opposed to the expulsion. They have maintained silence because, at the end of the day, the principle of collective responsibility is applicable to them.

If Advani was opposed to Jaswant's expulsion--and I have no doubt that he was ill at ease with the decision--he should have used his authority to prevent such a precipitate action. He remained silent and, worse, didn't try to talk things over with Jaswant.

Many people have forgotten that Jaswant was one of the most ardent defenders of Advani during the first Jinnah crisis of 2005. Jaswant cut short a visit to Israel and flew back to Delhi to be by Advani's side. At that time Jaswant let it be known that if action was taken against Advani he would resign from the BJP.

Surely it was obligatory for Advani to do his utmost to prevent Jaswant's humiliation in Shimla. By remaining silent for so long and then choosing to speak up after public opinion tilted quite decisively against the expulsion, Advani has demeaned himself.

His disclaimer now seems like a belated act of self-preservation rather a principled stand.

Advani does not also realise that it is also a tacit admission that his opinions count for very little in the BJP.

Advani has not made any political interventions since the end of the Parliament session. His priorities seem centred on himself.

This was the miscalculation he (and many of us) made during the general election--believing that his individual stature would prevail in the minds of voters. The results showed that the assumption was wrong.

It's best to heed that message than repeat a folly.


Anonymous said...

Advani did same about pub attack and other thuggish acts of VHP, BD, BJP goons, ie, he keeps quiet for months and then opens his mouth to disapprove such goondagiri! He is an amoral leader, very much like his counterpart on treasury benches - Fake Singh Dhongi. Both have no core principles for which they will stand up! Same is the case with the heads of our two national parties - Sonian and Rajanth are as amoral as their legislative party leaders!
Poor Bharat Mata~

Tulasidasji aptly descibes the current conduct of BJP leadership in Balkand (125) thus:

sukha haad ley bhaag satha, svan nirakhi mrugaraj
chhini lai jani jaan jada, timi surpatihi na laaj

The foolish, crass, ignorant and shameless leaders of BJP in Delhi runnign away with dry bone fearing the lion(s) will rob them of even that! Arun Shourie was so right about bombarding the HQ! Down with their heads!

Arun said...

Give Advaniji the benefit of doubt. He would not have read the book before Simla and when all his second rung leaders were gunning for JS head he had no choice.

Well if Advaniji had to be blamed for being late so has to be Modi. Even Modi has changed his stand post the High court order. Atleast appreciate Advanji & Modiji for their indirect apologies to JS. Hope another imp leader Arun Jaitley follows suit. For sure we cannot expect Tarzan to go back on his stand, atleast the people with IQ should.

Finally, hope this untimely post is not because of the tirade from Shourie supporter. We look forward to the clash of the titans. As AB Vajpayee said answer to a book is a book, answer to series of Gandhism could be a series of Bosism. Who better can write a series on Bosism than the person who wrote "Had SC Bose returned".

PS: Swapan article in the outlook on SC Bose was very insightful on what would have been Bose plan had he returned back.

eternal child said...

Dear Swapna ji..
i truly agree with your openion ...i felt you wrote the exact words i feel myself..Advani ji is not a statesman..all his actions are revealing his personality....
One cannot compare Advani ji with a Tall leader Like Atal ji..
advani ji must do introspection and ractfy his actions....

Anonymous said...

It is time for LKA to retire from active politiking if he still in interested in retaining some of his legacy, respect AND reputation. But I suspcet when you are sorrouned by bhat-charans/jee hazoors, any sane if critical advice seems as bitter as karela + neem + kunain though howsover that combo might be beneficial for your health!

Vajpayee was the leader in (also) lost election of 2004 but he gracefully retired and has retianed his respect, dignity and legacy.

Anonymous said...

I think Advani wants as quiet an exit as possible, without harming his legacy in any way.

This is probably why he chooses to remain silent on most issues, because his voicing his opinion will simply bring more attention to the very incidents he would not like to be remembered for.

I think his colleagues are doing him a great disservice by trying to tarnish him in his last few months as leader of the opposition and BJP's face.

Anonymous said...

A lot of politicians have been through worse yet rebounded with sheer fighting spirit. Take Laloo or Mayawati for example. I wish Advani kept his word on meeting BJP workers and selecting new talent post electoral loss, but he chose not to, he is consciously avoiding any more "sangharsh". May be he should retire now post haste.

offstumped said...

Pointless to debate individuals, lament for the Institution.

Manoj Agarwal said...

I don't know what made you believe that public opinion is decisively against expulsion. I have almost finished reading his book and strongly believe that after writing such a book, when JS is so diagrammatically opposed to party's official position, he himself should have resigned from BJP. His continuation in BJP would have simply brought in more embarrassment to BJP who would have spent its next 5 years defending itself against this Jinnah book. And look at the guy. His incessant diatribe against everything BJP since his expulsion speaks volumes about his character from which he gained everything including his current status of a scholar as well PAC chair with which he is clutching so shamelessly.

As far as I'm concerned, JS expulsion was no mistake but a master stroke which obviously disheartened our 'secular' media which lost a golden opportunity to browbeat BJP...

Jaideep said...

accussing Advani of only speaking out "after public opinion tilted quite decisively against the expulsion" is unfair. Advani only answered in the affirmative to a question regarding Sudheendra Kulkarni's article. The timing of the article was not of Advani's choosing. As for Kandahar it is clear from the transcript of Walk the Talk interview that Advani was referring to Jaswant going on the SAME plane. I am yet to hear anyone say that CCS asked Jaswant to go on the same plane. Even if I assume that CCS took that decision Advani's position was clar to all before the election. No one including you had a problem with that. Just because an election was lost you now criticise him. I can maybe understand you criticisng him for the Jaswant expulsion comment but you (or anyone else who supported his PM candidature) have no right to criticise him over Kandahar. If your criticism is genuine it should have come out before the elections

Jaideep said...

You have said "There were others who too were opposed to the expulsion." Could you please tell us who they are. By others I believe you are saying there was more than one who oppossed.

Anonymous said...

dear sd
surprising that you have takentoo long to judge greedy lka!feel sorry for namo(relative corruption)who could notfind a better guru than lka!with greedy/corrupt lka as opp. leader and uniquely corrupted media india seems to be rambharose against serious blunders of mms in foreign policy,poor security and grace of indians (china,pak.,austrelia,usa, etc anybody canhurt one of the world`s biggest economy india under mms diplomacy),swiss etc money,doubtful nuclear status(pak.having confirm nuclear status and will to use it against india),india/chidambarum at the mercy of usa which has clear conflict of interest with indians as usa has to fund pak.who is admitedly using it to bleed indians since years!it is shameful that afailed state like pak.can also repeatedly hurt indians which is encouraging other countries tofollow, which can never be a prudent foregin policy least in the interest of india.the height is that usa(funding bleed india)deciding indias foreign policy,forcing india to talk with such failed state pak.and pak.with world laughing at india!

india15august said...

I feel vindicated since I made this point many times earlier.

Swapan is slowing understanding what the problems with the BJP are. Do you remember what happened to Narasimha Rao as he clutched to his official position as LOP while giving up the Congess president position to Sitaram kesri? At some point, all of India (congress people and others alike) started detesting him. This had nothing to do with his legacy as PM. People want leaders to fade gracefully, but Indian leaders come with bottles of fevicol, they stick to their chair till the last. We can contrast this with the Japanese PM who resigned immediately after his defeat in the elections. Most leaders do this, except in India.

It is possible that Jaswant Singh may have written a theoritical line which goes against the BJP thinking. So, ask him to leave from official posts, but expulsion means that the BJP cannot tolerate any dissent. That is not good news for free thinkers like Swapan!

Samudra said...

While Advani is the tallest leader in the BJP and has single handedly taken BJP to very high levels, it is also true that Advani as PM did not inspire voters. Maybe it was his age or image.

Swapan da is the first one to come out and say that.

Vineet said...

Jaswant's expulsion was absolutely correct. I have no doubt about that. This man thinks of himself as a desi white intellectual. He gave the party a glorifying book on rabid Jinnah inspite of the party giving him so much.

Advani has disappointed many of his admirers. He should have gone gracefully. Moreover his trying to blame others than himself also speaks poorly of his character. If he thinks he can redeem himself still, he is living in a fools' paradise.

We Hindus deserved a better BJP.

Indian Nationalist said...

So are the BJP about to make Modi the undisputed Fuhrer or not?. If Yes, BJP will survive if no they will goto dogs.

Harsh Srivastava said...

Sir, I am a moderator of " Indian Politics" community on Orkut. It's a 15000+ member community. We discuss current affairs pertaining to Indian politics.

It would be great pleasure for us to have an esteemed journalist like you to be in that community.


Anonymous said...

By "others" = Arun Jaitley

KR said...

I honestly believe Advani has gone senile. The easiest thing for the BJP to do in holding on to the BJP's Hindutvavadi voters was to expel Jaswant. Now, why does the old man have to go spoil the fun by saying he was against it?

Sorry to say this, but the Hahakarvadis (i.e. left/commies) are far more consistent in sticking to their positions than the BJP leadership.

Anonymous said...

Tickets for daughters of Munde, Mahajan.

Congressisation of BJP is near completion!

Vineet said...

Friends, latest from Advani "I was not in favour of Jaswant Singh's expulsion".
Hope Maharashtra BJP people take cue from his present state & refuse him any public meeting there.

Samudra said...

Swapanda, there is a report in the Telegraph about MM Joshi making a bid for LoP position in LS.

That is going to be an unmitigated disaster. This dude is 75 years old and is nursing ambitions. What happened to Bhahwatji's mantra of 50-60 age group.

You should convey to the RSS bosses that MM Joshi would mean hara kiri for the party.

Samudra said...

Unfortunately, the best thing for Advani is to retire now.

The LS results and the bypoll results show that LKA did not have much appeal. He is going to turn 82 years. Half of his senior colleagues have turned against him. He is saying that he was powerless to stop Jaswant from being expelled.

I mean he should just take it easy. Bhagwatji's mantra of 50-60 years should be followed.

Anonymous said...

Mr Advani is behaving like a dog who feels so sated with the testing of his own blood on licking a dry bone! He is not an idiot so the Rs 64,000 question is: Why is he doing all this (which is not likely to bring anything but more disgrace)? Scorch earth policy?

mpanj said...


Very true.

Leave LKA alone. Its pointless dragging him through mud. We must however ensure he sticks with the bargain and resigns within a few months.

On M'rastra:

BJP is promoting its own baba log. The Mahajan family was always open to Congress culture. How on earth will BJP fight Congress on the one big point differentiation - legacy politics.

This will haunt them not only at the state level but also at the national level.

More fodder for the 'All politicians are the same" brigade.

I hope every Munde/Mahajan family member bites the dust at the hustings. WTH.

mpanj said...

Parrikar's Pickle comment seems like a premptive strike -'supremo'+plan.html

Even the most naive political player would have to know that such a comment would raise a great deal of heat/dust.

Parrikar's comment is clearly part of a game plan - initiated from Nagpur via Panaji.'supremo'+plan.html

Kenny Chauhan said...

Dear Swapan,

I have the same feelings and same views on the topic. Thanks for calling spade a spade.

mpanj said...


as an ageing and fading American power starts its roll back from AfPak, as Chinese encircle us and as militant Islam stands on the verge of celebrating its first (and richly deserved) military triumph of the 21st century....we need to step back and address a fundamental question.

When (if ever) will India awaken?

What will it take?

I bet if India is nuked with a dirty bomb tommorrow, most Indians will find within their collective impotence a reason to light candles and make piece with the barbarians.

Why is it that the vast majority of Indians are...... for lack of a better word .... Inert.

And I dont buy those arguments about bad politicians and Nehru/Gandhi dynasty. They are symptoms of the same impotence.

There is one other hypotheses that explains it.

Most Indians dont have a stake in the idea of INDIA.

Painful, unpalatable but sadly true.

I had a friend whose father was killed in the Delhi riots - he refused to donate a rupee toward the fallen of the Kargil war.

He had no stake left.

Now extrapolate this feeling to the millions amongst us - poor, lower caste hindus, etc. (lets put aside religious minorities - that is a complex issue).

To put it in another way, India is a country of a million minorities.

Every sub segment, every local, regional, caste, linguistic minority tends to relegate its Indianess to 2nd, 3rd, 4th place even.

Being Indian is subservient to lesser identities.

This paradigm alone explains India's collective impotence.

Unless this imbalance is addressed , 100 years from now, this dilemma will continue, IF India still exists that is.

Samudra said...

Manohar Parrikar's chances are being destroyed by this pickle story being twisted out of context.

What he is saying makes eminent sense. A new younger face with credibility is that what BJP needs now.

Advani should just retire now. It appears that he wants to campaign in Maharashtra polls. But his popularity is at its lowest even among BJP supporters.

Better to leave with some grace otherwise everyone will start calling him old pickle.

Anonymous said...

Anything new in that? When invaders came to the Western shores, it did not bother rulers in the hinterland. When they made advances and free space kept shrinking, others stoodby and did nothing - if anything - some of them assisted the invaders out of the intra-tribal like wars!
Swami Vinvekanad warned decades before that Bengal will be gone - but for Dr Mukherjee's efforts, the entire Bengal would have been lost! It is same now,
perhaps worse in some ways!

On dyanstic politics, it is not just Mahajan family or Maha unit, it is all over the place from HP to Raj to Karnataka! One by one, BJP is losing its USPs (suchita and other three S's, conduct, elan, discipline, merit vs dynastic politcs)!

LKA: He is not an idiot but still he is causing immense harm to the party for which he did so much. So, the question is: Why? He is not going to go out esily - that is my humble view - because he could have done that in May and sealed his pre-eminence, moral authority & standing in the party for good.

Anonymous said...

Anyone reading Ramcharit Manas or follwoing Ramlila in Navratri will note in today's episode a refusal by Bharat to become Kong of Ayodhya and instead his travel to Chitrakoot to get Ram back to Ayodhya! Then contrast that with the disgraceful conduct of the BJP leadership. Ram's party - LOL. More like Ravan's Party!

mpanj said...


true - not much has changed - we Indians are like this only.

However, there are two vital points that are repeatedly overlooked.

1. 60 years of Independence should have allowed us to foster a modicum of strong nationalistic identity cross states.

2. Most strategies discussed on this Blog and other media tend to forget this elephant in the room.

We seem to have this backwards. Politics cannot be the spearhead.

Social reform should be the spearhead with politics building on that foundation.

Gujarat is a perfect example. Even NaMo acknowledges the great work done by RSS in tribal and backward areas. RSS built the platform upon which a strong and permanent majority was constructed.

The process created a network of committed volunteers and grassroots organizations.

That could be a possible template.

One of the ways to achieve this permanent majority is to first alter (radical change will take decades) mindset of future voters.

In every state where BJP has a government, the Sangh should be heavily involved in govt. schools.

Whether in the administration of mid-day meals, or providing the basic educational infra. etc.

With education being a state subject ELM and their masters in Delhi can do little to interfere.

Inculcate within these young minds a strong sense of Indianess, of nationalism.

Address evils of the past, class and caste inequalities, etc.

And most importantly start with the female population.

Our culture is not perpetuated through our fathers. Its is our mothers that give us this gift.

One girl child, educated and imbibed with nationalistic fervour can share it with 4-5 other individuals.

It is this multiplier effect, implemented across segments that will help build the wave that will save not only the BJP but also our fast disappearing sense of nationhood.

mpanj said...

One could argue that Gujarat is an outlier.

Gujarat has always embraced cultural nationalism.

But that same argument is true for various other regions in the country.

Select pockets in other states -
M'rastra, Bengal, Punjab, Himachal, Rajasthan, K'nataka, uttarakhand, etc. - are ripe for the picking.

If Congress can get to 200 seats with a mere 28% vote share - why cant BJP.

We dont need to boil the ocean - just pick our segments and hammer away.

M'rastra is a perfect example where BJP/SS could permanently hold 30-32 seats.

Bottomline: Shouldnt our energies be focussed on strengthening the Sangh - which in turn would affect the prerequiste social change.

If a culture of nationalism takes root, wouldnt our political class be forced to reorient its discourse to address this emerging segment.

Again, Gujarat is a great example.

The fight is almost always between Modi's Hindutva and Congress' Soft hindutva.

Just imagine how much India would benefit if (say) 20 states witness such a shift.

Congress would then be forced to pay obeisance at the alter of Bharat mata not Sonia mama.

Venkatesh said...


Your comments are really very appreciated. Unlike most of our hindu brethren who either lament or criticize, you show an ability of good macro thinking and some wonderful ideas. keep up the good work.

Bharatright said...

There is no doubt that a leader of Mr. Advani's calibre and integrity has to go through such testing times. We believe that his behaviour is a result of his RSS training, which forces him to go with the 'consensus' view rather than the 'correct' view. His continuous bending to hardliners is a blow for the moderate nationalists. We hope that he will prevail and prevent BJP from veering more and more to the right.

Anonymous said...

Does Mr LK Advani have credibilty left? I think it is almost zero and he is solely responsible for his pittiable / pathetic status. I was once his admirer but lost complete respect for him after observing a mediocre performance and his amroal politics when BJP-NDA came to power. He does not seem to believe in anything now (very much like his counterpart on sarkari benches - Fake Singh Dhongi)! Many ask why were we supporting his bid before May but many of us support (supposedly) pro-Hindu (or at least NOT anti-Hindu) BJP, not Advani! It is time for him to go and leave party leadership if he does not some more fazihat (ignomy) than already seen in the last 4-5 months! But, he will not. Why? Because he is no more the leader of BJP but a clique leader of one faction. And, he is sorrounded by chamchas of low caliber and even lower horizon so he does not see (or want to see) the picture as it is in reality. Also, he wants his cronies to become leaders in the legislature / Naidu-type dummies in Party. The only thing he should be asked to do is this: VAANPRASTHASHRAM!

mpanj said...


thanks. Every little bit helps. Lets just hope for a 'butterfly effect'.

Samudra said...

This rancid pickle comment might have been picked up the BJP leaders themselves who would have sent it to the media to scuttle Parrikar's chances of becoming party president.

Unfortunately, there is an element of truth to the rancid pickle comment.

Anonymous said...

Swapan da, what is your take on Manohar Parrikar's comments?

sanjay said...

BJP needs to focus on three things.

1. Have a dynamic vision and mission, not a static one like communists. Vajpayee was a great visionary - Pokharan 2, Golden Quadrilateral, Chandrayaan, New foreign policy initiative, Commonwealth games etc. were all part of his vision. Is BJP happy with the way things are?? Only mercedes driving media barons seem to be genuinely happy these days, and maruti driving wannabe-media-barons are also pretending to be in Utopia. Or, are they happy with the direction the country is going towards?? If not, then how can they Not have a Vision?? Ideology is fine, but it cannot replace vision.

2. Communicate that Vision to the Public. Now, sharing your vision with the likes of Prannoy Roy or Karan Thapar is like "Jungle me mor naacha...". They have to effectively communicate their vision with the masses, again, Vajpayee was able to do it, but that era is over.

3. Walk the talk. Implement that vision in the states they are governing, period.

Ashok Kumar said...

Evgeny Morozov: How the Internet strengthens dictatorships
This applies to Congress pseudo-secularist pseudo-democracy also.

More about the speaker:

Anonymous said...

Advani asks for permission to build temple

Seems like this man is not going to go away on his own - he should be shown the door without any grace or respect.

Anonymous said...

Media is scaling new depths by the day. Forget spin doctoring and sensationalism, those depths have long been surpassed. They are now trying to prop up Raj Thakre as some kind of a man to be awed, disgusting stuff. Just wondering at his interview by arnab goswami, complete with strategically placed Shivaji statues inside the times now studios. This apology of a man was nowhere to be seen, or heard during 26/11, for days.

Samudra said...

Sorry to say LKA has lost it. What was the need for the Ram temple comment the other day.

Why did he not build the Ram temple when he was in power? He will say coalition politics. Then why is he talking about the temple now. Is he going to come to power tomorrow without a coalition.

I mean he should just retire and not give these kind of inane statements. Rancid pickle was not that much out of place.

Samudra said...

Mohan Bhagwatji is impressive. Just finished listening to his speech in Mumbai. Really good. True nationalism and nothing against minorities.

He addressed Swapanda's issue with the Hindutva word.

Anonymous said...

LK Advani is a very bitter man, sorrounded by cronies and chatukars only. Which is ok except the fuel he is giving to enemies of BJP. He is worse than "sasda achar"! He is not an idiot so why is he doing all this? Does Sonia G have something on him to force him to do this daily damage to BJP?

Anonymous said...

In Rome, Durga is not welcome

So much for the lectures from Pope and his followers on secularism!

mpanj said...


media is not scaling new depths, it was always there. It is only playing its part in promoting a voter spliter.

Though the feedback on the ground is that most MNS voters reacted with disgust on how their votes were wasted and helped re-elect Congress in a big way.

Congress' sins are so widespread and obvious that voter disgust will hopefully trump any manufactured charisma.

And the Shivaji Statue campaign will backfire in a big way. Much like RJB was seen as a cynical ploy to exploit voter sentiments, the statue is being viewed as a political ploy to hide from a dismal record.

Anonymous said...

A column in a Hindi daily on Sunday (caveat: it is sort of weekly gossip column by a known BJP-baiter)claimed that Advani has told Sangh leadership that the party badly needs his wisdom and experience at this critical juncture. If this is even partially true, God Save BJP~

Samudra said...

mpanj, I read everywhere that Cong NCP has an edge and will most likely win. Today Arun Nehru wrote the same.

Any chances of SS-BJP win.

Samudra said...

Very strong pro Advani people have turned negative on Advani.

He just cannot be the face of the BJP anymore. He should just stop rehasing the same old things of bipolar polity, Ram temple, hegemony of Congress. Kuch naya bolo.

It is really sad to see a man of such stature and achievment could not time his retirement well.

He is past his due date now and we need a young, new and credible face.

Anonymous said...

Swapan da bending towards the Statuetory Illusion!! I hope it's somebody's mischief at his wikipedia entry.

Anonymous said...

dear sd
lka all his life nutured dream of pm,power without merit/or fittest for the same,even at the cost of party/country.atal is considered tall leader though encouraged corruption,saved sonia from bofors,damaging bjp,forgetting party dharm and advicing namo and gujarat rajyadharm!pak. failed state show what their school of thought is worth for.The dreams of most pak.terrorists/isi etc. are to live life like sadam of iraq,using us funds/drugs profits.hence can isi finish taliban the cause for usaid?can isi/d-com. do drug business without taliban?pak. is fooling us to exploit funds,which are also used to bleedindia,tosatisfy d-com and genreals!
now how law ministry is running tribunals?mostly no industry would like to fail given achoice.mostly courts and p.os of drts enjoy favouring banks to show themselves clean,embarrasing defendant industry which genrates huge taxes,emplymentsetc.without enough drts,though bank being one party ,min.fin. pressurising p.os illgaly,banks paying salaries of drts,banks advocates meeting p.os in chambers,banks assisting tours of p.os,p.os bluntly telling defendants that go to appeal,fully knowing that how costly is appeal for already sick defendant.industry is trapped!banks are also run by same humans having negligency,greed,fears,etc.which can damage customers.but in such drts can defendants expects,fair trials,justice?donot make fun of industry,by such trials.madras hc in 2009 shocked by such illegal drt dramas!hope sc must be doing something,appriciating role of industry in building todays is a fashion for p.os to reject even genuine int.application by def. labeling delay tech.,and then taunting go to appeal embrassing def.,though delay are mainly caused by trasfer of p.os,less drts.

Anonymous said...

whats happening in Karnataka?? Have these congis lost their mind.. looks like they have gone mad after losing the elections..

Anonymous said...

Advani had a perfect moment to withdraw without any loss of face - May 16. Would have not only enhanced his stature both within party and outside but also ensured his engagement as Elder statesman to guide the party in navigating these difficult times. But, he decided to stay partly to ward off chances of MM Joshi as party leader in LS (and ensure his cronies occupy all posts - LS, RS, Party) and partly from pique and bitterness (and advice from his petty circle of chatukars / chamchas). I personally know that Arun Shourie was a big admirer of Advani but look at where they now are (though I do not support Shourie's washing dirty linen in public in less than cilvilsed language - it has only harmed all sides without benefiting anyone). But then, I am reminded of the opinion of a sagely person in 1995 that LK Advani was a small-time operator put in a big place / shoes but he will forever remain that - a petty mind. He also made a critical remark about Arun Jaitley. Sadly, for us BJP supporters who have no personal stakes in any individual leader, both turned out to be prophetic! BJP is in very rough weather and will continue to be so for a long time; if it can survive these "benefactors"; that is.

Anonymous said...

BJP current policies are desperate and doesn't give impression of being sound for the national interest.

Look what they are going to do in Maharastra. They are going to end migration to Mumbai and bring permit kind of system.

With such kind of regional tactics, they cannot. can never ever grasp power in India.

Anonymous said...


G Iyer said...

Of all the comments posted here, I particularly like the way 'mpanj' has articulated his views.

I hasten to add that I do not agree with his conclusions on 'nationalistic fervor' or rather, the absence of it.

Nevertheless, I admire his analytical mind.

My hypothesis is that the Congress has been and will continue to be the 'natural party' of governance in India - primarily because it reflects the inherent contradictions of India. Unity in Diversity may be an over-used cliche. But that is what describes the Indian ethos the best.

LKA tried his best to negate that idea & proposed a new concept of India. A concept that 'narrowed' down Bharatiyata to something of a 'religious'/'ethnic' concept. After evoking some interest for a fleetingly brief period, that idea was given a quiet burial. Indian-ness (like Hindutva) is a way of life applicable to the entire world...not just restricted to a political entity called the Indian nation.

NaMo is valiantly trying to perpetuate a 'New/Improved' version of LKA's narrow concept. But the concept lies discredited and rejected. What is happening to LKA will eventually happen to NaMo as well.

Individuals with narrow ideas will perish. The concept if India & Bharatiyata will continue to thrive....

KR said...

Individuals with narrow ideas will perish. The concept if India & Bharatiyata will continue to thrive....

Woo hoo. How is this working in Punjab, Bengal and Afghanistan?

My hypothesis is that the Congress has been and will continue to be the 'natural party' of governance in India

There's nothing inevitable about this because large parts of the country have been liberated from Congress rule.

Anonymous said...

BJP should change its name to Bh Ch Party - it is full of idiots, idiotic ideas and cowardly leaders -now they want to ban migration to Maha, bad music & God knows what else. And after BJP loses another election in few weeks, Advani or his chamcahs will come out with statements as to how he was against this all!

We really need a new party / fresh leadership!

sanjay said...

I agree with G Iyer, as Swapan too would agree that perception does matters. And here lies the true challenge for the post 2009 leadership of BJP, to change this perception decisively that BJP represents just a section of India, more so to the masses than the intellectual community.

Anonymous said...

dear sd
how many statements you have heard from lka after election on pak policy,china policy etc?indian voters should realise that ff to survive has to nurture corruption&inefficiencies,making india a loser although its industry is a global winner.nothing against ff but they need not remain in politics and give sacrifices,considering the irrepairable huge losses indians and indias resources have suffered in last 60 years,and further likely to suffer in future,as they are not the people who know where india can reach and more importantly how,at least not by corruption and burocratistion.the ff by admitedly allowing leakages of taxpayers huge money in 60 years is majorly responsible for todays poverty in india and the son of ff is now showing concerns for poors and dalits!if rg is really concerned about poors,he should see that swiss etc money brought back at the soonest to change the lives of same poors,and that would be his contribution far greater than namo and nehru,and the nation will salute him,by heart.even if an it officer have some information,he delivers handsome disclousers from evaders,where as mms having major informations and maximum powers ,folling nation and same poors,god bless him!
now to know the other side of coin i met a p.o of was shocking! he said neither it was intention of parlament nor sc`s to prejudice rights of defandant industry(its share holders,promoters,employees,depositors etc.)by creating drts.but illegal pressures of banking division infm,on drat,drt have in fact converted drt,a trap for adefendant industry particularly if it is damaged by acts/omissions,of,knows mostly that given a choice an industry will never like to fail and banks are also run by humans having negligiencies,greeds,judgemental errors which can damage clients.a victim by bank industry has almost no chances in such minded drts,drats,and after drama of so called trial ,they are put in an embrassing position and further adviced that appeal is also their right!the same is now confirmed by 2009,madras hc judgement which says;"drt do not think what prejudice will be caused to defendant.banks are taking undue advantage in drt prejudicing defendent putting him in embarrsing position,drt doing nothing about it.drt prematuredly making undue comments for defendants,interium applications''.where is sc? the p.o futhere say that sc in its 2002 drts related order assured that no prejudice will be caused to defendants and here is an admission by hc of what is going on!p.o further told during a cross on oath,a bank officer,having 9 years of banking experience,confessed that he do not have knowledge of rbi directions/circulars related to his areas of functioning ,so he cannot say acts done by him with his client were as per related rbi directions.drt p.os expertise in writing illegal judgements mostly favouring banks overlooking related settled laws by hc, sc violating art.141 of constitution.matters are delayed in drts mostly due to less drts,trasfer of p.o(one transfer ,cost a year).
where is the right of justice?

mpanj said...


most people I'm speaking to are absolutely grief stricken and disgusted with the state of affairs in M'rastra.

If only there was a Modi....that seems to be the common opinion.

Even Raj T. is borrowing heavily from NaMo's development agenda.

Congress is really cocky right now as they seem to think that the North Indian vote is a given and they should be able to drive higher voter turnout from that segment.

Also, the muslim vote seems to have returned to the Congress across the state.

With roughly 75-80 urban seats heavily influenced by these two segments MNS becomes the joker in the pack.

And Shiv Sena's strategy is almost primarily focussed on MNS. The level of voter awareness of MNS as a spoiler is amazing.

MNS allowed Congress to win by very narrow margins in the LS elections.

If this 'wasted vote' awareness causes even a small shift away from MNS, it could get the alliance an additional 10-12 seats.

Most of the rural vote (minus sugar belt) should go with SS-BJP as it did in the LS elections.

So I think SS-BJP will be the largest alliance. The shortfall could be made up with MNS and other smaller parties and the Sharad Pawar independents.

p.s. Sharad Pawar always plays both sides.
If Congress wins big and NCP suffers (as with the LS elections) - NCP's days are numbered. He will be forced to merge with Sonia and spend his retirement years as a glorified subedar.

If Pawar senses a wave in favor of the saffron alliance - those NCP rebels will definitely play a crucial role in splitting Congress votes.

G Iyer said...


This is precisely the problem with a 'narrow' agenda. Both the MNS & SS (and to some extent the BJP) try to exploit the insecurities of the 'natives'. The MNS/SS do that in Maharashtra & the BJP does that across the country.

This is an inherently 'negative' proposition as it tries to derive legitimacy by invoking the fear of the 'others' or 'outsiders'.

Under Atalji, the BJP & NDA presented an inclusive agenda that got everyone together under a nationalist agenda.

Today, the BJP, under pressure from the RSS is presenting a narrow agenda across the country & the SS/MNS are confused about their own agenda.

L K Advani belatedly realised that this agenda was counter-productive to the BJP. But his past record makes it difficult for anybody to trust him. So today he is hated by the doves and disliked by the hawks.

How the mighty have fallen!

mpanj said...


there seems to be a definite plan underway to yank Kashmir from India.

I may be imagining things (I hope) but there seems to be a pattern emerging.

Here are some data points:

1. OIC naming a special envoy for Kashmir

2. China issuing a special visa to Kashmiris

3. China's moves on the border

4. America's AfPak policy becoming increasingly dependent on giving Pakistan some carrot to justify the dilution of its Jihadi network

Kashmir is the common thread across all these, seemingly isolated events.

Looks like 'Gentleman' Singh is about to surrender Kashmir to American/Pakistani/Chinese interests.

Are we asleep at the wheel. Can we count on BJP to raise these concerns minus the shrill rehtoric.

Would it be possible to launch a nationwide 'Amarnath yatra Sangharsh Samiti' type movement to hightlight this impending surrender.

A penniless America cannot and will not intervene if its chief lender, China, decides to flex its muscle against us.

Pakistan is smelling a historic opportunity in Kashmir.

One thing to note though. If India resists and this Obama led initiative fails, be prepared for a series of 26/11s across India.

aw said...

Hi Swapan,

I find it shocking that neither BJP nor many of its supporters who find a voice on this blog have chosen to ignore debate on India's nuclear deterrence with the importance it deserves. Not talking about is not going to increase the yield to 45KT from 15KT. On top of it we signed the nuclear deal and gave up rights to test ( practically). To have a country perform 10 or so tests over 20 years apart and assume that it will get it right was height of arrogance. The next lowest number of tests is in the 40's.

Nay-sayers like Shourie seem to get it right again.


(an NRI - since you seem to care)

Anonymous said...

@aw "neither BJP nor many of its supporters who find a voice on this blog have chosen to ignore debate on India's nuclear deterrence"

Why should one react to a retired crack scientist, every time he he goes berserk?

aw said...

There have always been doubts raised as early as the Shakti series of tests themselves. IEEE Spectrum carried out a long article which argued in some detail that India's thermonuclear test was unsuccessful. Indian scientists came back and explained the discrepancies based on geology of the test site. It now turns out that there were among them a few who seem to have doubts too.
And please do not declare someone as a "crack" just because you disagree with him.

Anonymous said...

As Kewal Sibal wrote in his excellent columnn last week, why did not this man raise the point at the height of Nuke debate - that could have tilted the balance on his way (as, regardless of the spin put by our embedded media, nuke deal, once effected via investment in nuke plants, will kill any chance of further tests)? One has to look at real motives as well!

Anonymous said...

Iyer Sir (or Madam),
But that NDA under Atalji was voted out by Indian voters for local / parochial reasons! If we had that govt back to power, we would have seen far serious changes / reforms to our economy esp on infra, river linking, roads, etc. instead of getting the typical Congress mai-baap sarkar and handouts. Congress has been the biggest special interest, sectional party in India. But they are smart at buying or brow-beating media!

mpanj said...

G. Iyer,

Appreciate you comments.

And you raise questions that must be addressed if Hindutva 2.0 is to be a success.

You have touched upon a wide range of issues. Please bear with me as I try to frame a case for Hindutva 2.0 with NaMo as its flag bearer.

First, lets divide this discussion into the ideological and the electoral. The tracts intertwine but India’s electoral landscape is complex enough to merit its own analysis and strategy.

Here’s how I understand your position:

1. India is innately multicultural/multiethnic
2. Only solution moving forward is Inclusive nationalism
3. BJP should jettison its hard Hindutva (Moditva for short) and become a rightwing mirror image of the Congress

Fair enough. Lets take these arguments to their logical conclusion. Lets see where they take our country.

For approx. 1000 years now, India’s boundaries have progressively shrunk. Primarily due to the onset of Islamic Jihad.

All this BS about Hinduism’s assimilative powers, was merely a politically correct spin to explain (and justify) it’s continued inability to fight against barbaric forces.

So when you say that BJP raises the bogey of the ‘other’ to exploit it for political gains – you’re only partly correct.

BJP exploits it – sure. But it does not create it.

The conditions that beg for the rebirth of a Shivaji are as prevalent today as they were back in 1627.

Tom Freidman explained it beautifully. Muslims view Islam as the final and purest word of God. God 4.0 if you will.

“They view Christianity as God 3.0, Judaism as God 2.0 and Hinduism as God 0.0.”

Islam will not rest till the last human on earth is a muslim.

Militant Islam is not against what we DO – It is against what we ARE. Being more 'inclusive' will not change that.

As our ancestors did, Congress (and rest of the psec establishment) is hiding from this glaring threat. And the threat is only growing with each passing day.

If being inclusive means pandering to a minority whose track record across the world and through history is one of ‘demanding a mile when given a yard’, we may as well withdraw from this battle.

Yes. Inclusion is and should be the central tenet of any Modern, liberal, democracy.

But the type of inclusion Congress and their brethren have practiced is not inclusion, it is appeasement.

Sadly, being inclusive means: Special status for Kashmir, separate personal laws, an anti-American, anti-Israeli foreign policy, etc.

Appeasement did not work with the Khilafat movement, it wont work now.

We must stare down this cowardice that masquerades as ‘Inclusiveness’ in our country.

From an political stand point, it is and will always remain a fight between those that want to build a secular, confident and progressive India and those that are willing to sacrifice India’s interests at the alter of minority appeasement for a few more decades in power.

So at an ideological level giving up Hindutva/Moditva doesnt make much sense.

Let us examine if it has relevance at a political level.

So what should (or shouldn’t) be BJP’s political strategy moving forward.....

Anonymous said...

No one to speak for these hapless Hindus, not even the Hinduwadis! Where are the human rights wallahs now?

aw said...

Maybe he and others did. Maybe it was all part of a bluff India was carrying out. As long as the possibility of tests was there you could always have another chance. As the NPT/CTBT noose tightens around India he thought it prudent to voice it publicly.
If he had talked about it during the height of the nuclear debate he would have been called a pro-BJP guy. Remember this is not about winning an argument between you and me. Either India has a credible deterrence or not. It is better to know and plan accordingly. You and many other might believe in what Scientific Advisor to the PM says but it seems there are people in the Indian scientific community who differ.

sanjay said...


Let's be clear of the term of reference that no more physical tests are possible. Doing so would tarnish India's impeccable record as a "Responsible Nuclear Power" beyond redemption. Even Santhanam knows that. The only doubt being raised is that the yield of the H-bomb was less than the claimed 20 kt. Now the yield of the Hiroshima explosion was around 15 kt. Whether India's nuclear deterrence is big enough or not may be something subjective, but few sane people would claim that we don't have a credible nuclear deterrence.

Anonymous said...

dear sd
today un councils declaring india at 134th position in human dev. after 60 years of independence thanks to ff!the whole country know who q is,worked for whom,but mms govt.praying court to free him!what example mms is setting for public servants?

Pandit said...

How come there is an incredible lack of info thru media, both ELM and you/Kanchan etc about the Maharashtra, Haryana and Arunachal Pradesh Elections? Any updates on the BJPs positions in these states / how campaigning is going on etc?

mpanj said...

@G. Iyer,

So where and why did Hindutva 1.0 fail?

It was doomed from the beginning.

For it was an attempt at constructing a grand palace on a foundation of quicksand.

It tried to ignore the centuries old differences that have sustained India’s socio-economic structure.

But before we try to frame a strategy it is imperative that we first understand the political terrain.

A few weeks back I had posted a comment on Swapanda’s blog offering a rudimentary segmentation of India’s electorate:

Group A: Urban elite and upper middle class – comfortable with English
Group B: Minorities
Group C: Hindu lower class, caste, regional and linguistic identities

Group A lights candles but seldom votes.
Group B votes, more to defeat the BJP than to secure any basic elements of subsistence.
Group C votes based on caste, class, regional prejudice AND for bijli, sadak, paani.

Unless BJP surrenders on key issues of national interest, Group B will never vote in its favor. This myth of inclusion is a trap wherein BJP will follow LKA in falling between two stools.

So the only logical place to begin is with Group C.

To frame it in marketing terms:

BJP needs to first clearly identify sub-segments within Group C,
create a relevant value proposition and then
find the right channels: sales (aka candidates), media (TV, web, cell phones, etc.), etc.
to communicate this value proposition to its target audience.

The only person who seems to have a crystal clear understanding of this paradigm is NaMo.

He never tries to appease any segment just so as to expand his base (such an attempt will only dilute his message and its appeal), he has framed a wonderful value proposition: ‘Minimum govt. max. governance’, and he communicates this message relentlessly to every nook and corner of his market (Gujarat).

Ofcourse, a message alone is not enough. Of paramount importance is delivering on the value proposition. And NaMo delivers….in spades.

Now contrast this with how BJP has functioned over the past 10 years. Starting with Pramod Mahajan’s India Shining blitz, BJP has tailored its, message and value proposition almost exclusively to Group A.

“Make India great, work to win India a seat at the high table, etc.”

All worthy goals, no doubt, but try marketing them to a rickshaw puller on the streets of Calcutta, or the vegetable vendor on the streets of Bombay.

Does not work, will not work.

Try this simple exercise: Gather a group of blue collar workers in your daily interactions and ask them what the terms ‘Integral Humanism’, ‘Cultural Nationalism’, mean to them.

You’ll be lucky if you aren’t laughed at.

These terms are meaningless to a Group C voter who does not think in terms of India’s 10,000 year old heritage or its great power potential or its arrival on the world stage.

He cant afford to. His only concern is surviving the next 24 hours.

Will a father who has repeatedly witnessed his successive offspring contribute to the world’s highest infant mortality rate, really care about Sonia being Italian or Jaswant writing a book applauding Jinnah.

It is for precisely these reasons that India Shining failed. BJP thinks and speaks the language of the elite. An elite that is Indian in name only.

NaMo on the other hands seldom caters to either Group A or B. Also, he connects every action, every sound byte to the welfare and wellbeing of Group C.

Be it solar farms or water management or Agri. Production, it is all about his 5.5 crore Gujaratis.

And that is his genius. Modi is to the political arena what Dhirubhai was to the business world and what Sachin is to the cricketing world.

A once in a century genius who not only imbibes the contours of a delivery before it is bowled but has all the weapons to dispatch it to a destination of his choosing.

NaMo is the answer.

So how do we customize Moditva to make it just as relevant across India….

aw said...


Credible deterrence is not about having any bomb with any yield. Fusion or thermonuclear bombs use lesser material for a bigger bang. Since the total amount of bomb grade material is limited your overall deterrence (number of warheads and what damage each will cause) will be impacted.
Bombs are delivered either through missiles or planes and they have a limited carrying capacity. A thermo-nuclear bomb of the same size as a fission bomb would be more lethal. Both the Hiroshima nad Nagasaki bombs were fission type weapons not thermo-nuclear.

It does not matter what you and I think - it is what our adversaries think. If they feel that we do not have enough number or lethal enough bombs to go around they may have a different view of our deterrence.

have a look at Wikipedia



Anonymous said...

jokers here analyzing elections is like the blindmen talking about the elephant,best is that this is a bjp affiliated blog and these idiots only write negative about bjp as if english media cooking up stories is not enough.

so one says modi was rejected,others say advani was rejected,another says rajnath,jaitley,s is to blame. blind men wre not as bad.

hindu idiots first answer, do u know affiliations of all english secular media eg rajdeep,prannoy ,ht,toi because most of u read that and being stupid and ignorant believe it even if it all part of congress owned propagnada

for eg the ja nd k terrorist media overground were blaming bjp govt in knataka only for doing a security search done evrywhere at the airport.
this is what india has come to under congress for 60 yrs even if innocents have been kiled far more than 9-11.

the same media wrote that hindu terrorists are active in goa under congress govt with no eveidence just like yet we ahve no eveidence against sadhvi.otherise they lecture about terror has no religion.

do u hindu jokers even have anys ense of pride
no one reported about godhra train victims biut one muslims got killed ,the entire media
screamed only about muslim victims.

jokers this is the emedia mafia that exploits the stupid gullible and unknowledgeable with short memories among u.tehy feed u with anti-bjp stories 24-7 whilethey write promos about rahul onece a week.

do u guys have any pride that islam is taking over by proxy as it believes and then by force.

kashmir has gone,assam is have token reports of regular balsts there.

u idiots u r hindus by defintion u r weak,cowards,tereacherous,no passion about your identity, histoical slaves.

do u guys even know what the first past the post system is and that people can win with 25 % VOTE SO IF THE GROWING MUSLIM
vote which turns out can decide many seats with a 50 % turn out.

and to the idiot who talks about pink chaddi morals,man u should atleast brush up facts becasue u dont need to be a genius to know that all that was staged and hyped by congress mafia media to mobilize minority vote nationwide to fool idiots like u and to make tehm turn out knowing that they vote on religous hatred against bjp and they know hindus have idiots like u and egotists like raj thackeray who cost bjp-ss 40 seats.bjp won karanataka and ur thesis about pink caddi is as good as rear end air.

do hindus hahve to be chatterbox blogging idiots too without atleast reading up the archives and questioning ability against congrees and media past u even know who naveen chawla and qureshi is .

do u know that mullahs ban valentines day,tv,inter religion marriage and alcohol for women and media keeps quiet .yeah only different rules for hindus and jokers here take pride in discrimnation agains them can only realesae hot air on a blog with no analysis or knowledge to back it up.dont jump in and post without basis brushing up of past knowledge on congress and mafia actions.u have no right to make stupid ignorant comments jokers jsust to wag your hyper tongues senseless ly here

Anonymous said...

i am same anonymous who posted just before and i wrote out of sadness that hindus have all the wrong qualities. even bakras know they r being taken on id day.but not hindus even after 1000 yr history.just know learning or memory or passion or pride in these species,but worst they create hindu haters among their own because of a hopelsss inferiority complex repeatedly conditioned by history and now the media-mafia congress rule of sveral decades
thankspanj as usual u are superbly knowledgeable and analtycal. i agree in toto and i am amodi worshipper .but i do not think that to know peopoe want bsp takes genius.any idiot should know people want baiss except muslims to whom religions is firts even if congress keeps looting them and fooling them with not hanging afzal,modi as pm scare etc
u do not even need to read up maslow's theory.
it is common sense that no one likes poverty and high infant m.congress has been getting away and still is because of the dived and rule,firts past the post arithmetic calculations and sheer depraved cunning by using media-mafia mobilizzation at last moment.

to me the genius of modi is he actually is commited 100 % to deliver .he sleeps 4 hours and goes and stays in the villages in the hot summer.the media ofcourse hides this while it hypes false phot ops of rahul with dalits.

how amy idiots here evn know this about modi.these jokers watch bjp bashing on tv and being gullible hindus belive that they are well informed and jump to posting here about pink chaddi,varun,advani being bad modi being bad because these idiots acn easily be sayed by medai-mafia who know that there are peole to be fooled so that congress gains and these congress media dogs get their bribes from ill gotten loot of congreess.see how swiss bank topic has beenn forgotten by congress and mafia.

short memories help.modi as pm would make india developed but seculars and muslims will not allow it and evangelica funding will not allow it because hindus r destined to be bullied and enslaved in their own country. see how pandis r never talked about can this happen in any country only in hindu india .no outrage nothing. but the same idiots will lecture about pink chaddi,gujarta ,modi being a mass murderer,bjp communalism ,saffron terror and all rthsese r hindus. see minority comments they are united in their relious hatred against bjp . and this is called secularism and tolerance when lecturing hindus only to continue being bullied by minorities.only in india it feels great to be in a minority frst country.what clowns.

i bet 100 years from now india will be islamic in about 30 % of the land. we already know police cannot enter muslim neighbourhoods and congress encourages that like ysr relaesing terrorists and when mobs stone police,mafia does not report it.if hindus did that we would have 24-7 pink chaddi like campaign for the gullible idiots here and nationwide who will then start lecturing hindus and bjp only.goal achieved egs varun,modi 2002,muthalik,sadhvi running commentary 24-7 before elections,orissa
the swami's killers not yet found,but terrorist ishrat was innocent and modi is worse than hitler and muthalik is worse than osama .

This is the history mafia will write and idiots will belive. u can always count on the ignorant english literate hindu indians to moralize sincerely in chorus with the fruad moralizing by the mafia