Thursday, June 14, 2018

My Perspective


Vijay Sanghvi विजय संघवी पिछली सदी के आखिरी तीन दशकों में अपनी प्रतिष्ठित पत्रकारिता के लिए जाने जाते हैं। अभी वे साप्ताहिक स्तंभ लिखते हैं..गुजराती मिड डे के राजनीतिक संपादक रहे संघवी का प्रस्तुत है यह आलेख.. Dr, Shyama Prasad Mookherjee had to struggle hard to convince the Sangh chief Guru Madhav Golwalakar to allow him to set up the political wing of the Sangh to carry on the struggle in legislative wings of the political structure of India. The Jan Sangh was able to participate in the electoral politics since 1952. Even though so called Hindu constituted 80 per cent, the share to the Jan Sangh in vote could barely reach 8 per cent mark. The young and emerging star Atal Behari Vajpayee argued vociferously in 1966 that due to attitude of the party leadership it could not find its place in main stream opposition but was treated as untouchable. Deen Dayal Upadhyaya then the supreme leader desired to maintain its pure status for the fear that getting in power seat anyhow and somehow would dilute the character of party and unleash trend of compromises for power. Vajpayee won the argument and the Jan Sangh became a partner in coalition government in some states. Share in power exposed the horizontal split in the party. The central leadership was driving to enlarge its spread but state leaders were eager to immediately implement the Sangh philosophy in spheres that came under their control. The same malaise afflicted the state government in states that came as share to the Jan Sangh faction after the 1977 state elections. It provided excuse to prematurely wind up the Janata Party experiment. From the ashes of experiment emerged Bharatiya Janata Party in April 1980. It hoped to be Phoenix but could not. It discarded the Sangh umbrella to present itself a secular alternate to the Congress. It sought credibility by shunning not only the Sangh but also every symbol and sign that were associated with its earlier incarnation. As Vajpayee remarked in the first BJP convention at Hyderabad in 1983,”we are a collection of several heads with legs missing.” The Sangh had refused to lend its election machinery for the 1984 election to reduce the new party to mere two members, both from outside its citadel in the Hindi belt. After debacle in the Kashmir assembly, the BJP leadership crawled with tail between two hind legs before the Sangh Parivar. The Sangh accept its role as mentor or rather BJP as its political wing. It took almost seven years in pushing to back burners the controversial and religion related agenda, to emerge as leader o the coalition around the BJP as a lead partner in 1998. Ambition of Jaylalitha to be the Prime Minister brought down the government in 1999 April. The election of 1999 also saw end of the Gandhi family influence as Sonia Gandhi could gain only 113 seats. Vajpayee had a better rapport with the Muslim minds. He was carried on shoulders by Mumbai Muslims through the Bhendi bazaar, predominantly Muslim locality in 1978 after his return from Pakistan. The elation was caused by his proposals for normalization of relations as the foreign minister when he was in Pakistan. He displayed his dream of better relations with Pakistan by his peace yatra in bus to Lahore and then invited the military ruler of Pakistan Gen. Parvez Musharraf to peace summit at Agra. The Sangh did not approve his move and Musharraf went back with unsigned agreement papers. The chances of his return to power in 2004 were marred by the hasty move of the then party chief Venkaiya Naidu in his enthusiasm to put his accolade Lal Krishna Advani at level with Vajpayee. The hasty and premature elevation of Advani raised a scare crow for the Muslim minds to stay away from Vajpayee despite his personal appeal and offerings for better deal to the Muslims. Even many Hindu groups also rejected Advani in 2009 for they were not enamoured by prospects of the decisive leader taking over. The BJP had gained 172 seats in 1999. Number came down to 138 in 2004 and to 116 in 2009 to indicate the progressive decline. The party and the Sangh were in despair in 2013 for prospects did not hold high hopes. The chief minister of Gujarat Narendra Modi virtually offered to lead the party. NO capable head was available in the national galaxy of the party who could improve the previous tally. The rising crescendo for NaMo caused fears that the party night split if he, though a non Brahmin was not accepted. NaMo had realized, perhaps, though he never shared his thoughts with anyone that the traditional agenda had proved to win minds and votes of large sections. The electorate was constituted with major portion of educated, literate and ambitious third generation since Independence. Their religion was the economic prosperity and not a degenerated philosophy of great Indian culture. Seven centuries and 21 generations have given a new Indian culture. It was not possible to force Indian youth to walk backwards to reach and attain that had become archaic. They would not want to go back to the era that refused to recogise them as equal human beings. He enforced change in agenda with new priorities that relegated the old concepts to the bottom in the thought process. The Sangh had no alternative but to allow him to amuse as the Sangh could not believe it could work miracle of gaining a clear mandate for the BJP symbol for the first time. The past failures were too glaring. A non Brahmin had delivered unprecedented result. The Sangh hope was belied that he would return to old path. In the expectation of the Sangh and action of NaMo as the Prime minister for drive to deliver his electoral promise was written the script of conflicts. The grand success of NaMo proved beyond doubt the cultural transformation of India as in case of other cultures in the world where the economic considerations ruled over all other ambitions, needs and demands. Indian culture has always been democratic in structure and liberal in attitude with nature ingrained tolerance for all other faiths. In absence of it, several religions and thousands of different sects, panth and sampradaya could not have survived. All other aggressors were assimilated in Indian culture even though they were aliens like the Islam. India has not seen fights of faiths as in other parts. Then why divide Indian society to isolate the Muslims and crush ego of the OBCs and the Dalits by throwing crumbs at them? Divide society and rule has been the cardinal principle for alien rules. Hen why divide Indians the way it is sought to divide them? Why road block when NaMo calls for all together for all.

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