There have been many who have written into this blogsite suggesting that I have been beguiled by the "pseudo-secular" media and have lost sight of political realities. It has been claimed that my misgivings over the Rajnath presidency and the "takeover" of the BJP by the RSS are based on a growing proximity to the Congress.
I have so far desisted from responding to the charges. However, I have made it a point to ensure that every piece of criticism has been duly posted, without any editing.
Now that the inglorious four-year term of Rajnath Singh has ended and a new president has assumed charge, let me re-visit the debate.
The pathetic showing of the BJP in Jharkhand, where it ended the day on par with the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha at 18 out of 81 seats, is no freak result. From May 2009, the BJP performance in election after election has been pathetic. It could not break fresh ground in Maharashtra, faced a wipe-out in Arunachal Pradesh, sold its soul to the highest bidder in Haryana and was squeezed by the Congress and JMM in Jharkhand.
Apart from the by-elections in Gujarat, BJP has had nothing to cheer about since December 2008.
The voters are slowly deserting the party.
And yet some people maintain that nothing has happened to warrant some very fundamental questions being asked. Are they being wilfully obtuse?
Secondly, in the case of Maharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand, it can hardly be said that the BJP ignored the Sangh. In all the three states, the campaign was managed by those who are primarily accountable to the RSS. In Jharkhand, the whole responsibility was handed over to the various sangathan mantris. They were promising party HQ that Babulal Marandi was a non-starter. Obviously they saw nothing and learnt nothing.
Yet, the same people say that RSS-inspired organisational skills is the answer to BJP's problems. If only politics was as simple as marching on parade...
Thirdly, the famed belief in the high integrity quotient of a Sangh-inspired regime has crumbled. In Haryana, the BJP wilfully sabotaged the NDA to help Bhupinder Singh Hooda and a real estate company. The same rascals gave tickets to their moneybags in Jharkhand. Just look at the BJP collapse in the Santhal Parganas.
So much for the takeover by the RSS promoting integrity. Some of those who have been entrusted to "correct" and "guide" the BJP feel they have no accountability to anyone.
Finally, the tyranny of the pracharaks is causing a slow exodus from the party. Good people are leaving in dribs and drabs. In the past few months, two of the best Lok Sabha MPs from 2004-2009 have left the party: Kiran Rijiju and Kharabela Swain. Swain, in fact, was hounded by the pracharaks for exposing moral turpitude. He was told "we don't want intellectuals in the party".
Now they want Vasundhara Raje out.
When will this stop?
Nitin Gadkari was thrust upon the BJP for all the wrong reasons. The manner of his nomination was controversial.
But he is a man who understands practical politics. He doesn't suffer from the personality flaws of his predecessor. And he is not a racketeer.
He deserves a chance.
Yet, he too cannot make progress unless there is acknowledgement that the BJP is in ICU and is being treated by the village ojha.
We all want the BJP to prosper. This can only happen if the magnitude of the crisis is acknowledged.