I am not outraged. I am not being cynical this time. In fact I am amazed. There are some people whom I have held in very high regard, whose discourse I have followed very closely. I have read every single piece they have written and published. One of them is Dr. Koenraad Elst.
He is a Belgian intellectual who stayed in India for a very long time. During his stay he was among the extremely few foreign journalist who paid attention to the issues such as Hindu-Muslim relationship and it’s effect on politics. In process he wrote his PhD. thesis called “Decolonizing the Hindu Mind”. This 500 page book is a un-put-downable if you have interest in reading politics. Several of his analysis was just “spot-on” and yet very much different than any other person I have read. It was similar to Arun Shourie’s view in many ways but Elst was much more explicit.
His research was unquestionable. While addressing relationship between BJP and Christian minorities I was surprised to find that he had even paid attention to small incidences in Goa and the way Mr. Manohar Parrikar handled them. Even goan journalists probably had missed them.
Now he has gone back to Belgium and his health is in critical condition. Immediately after BJP’s defeat in recent 2009 general elections he bothered to write a piece in The Pioneer. In fact his analysis was completely in contrast with everyone else. SO VERY DIFFERENT yet it is the best analysis anyone made I felt.
Whatever he stated in there is nothing different than what he had stated around 10 years back. His argument was that BJP’s image of a “party with difference” is an illusion. At a deeper level this party had actually degenerated where the only option left before it is “to mock congress”. It is playing the game whose rules are already set by congress and allies and where they are the only judge.
That is why BJP was apologetic about Ram Mandir movement, the Jinah Controverys by Advani and he presents so many instances where BJP was expected to stand for the cause but dint fearing the labels that the congress might attach it. Over years BJP has only collapsed and become weaker and weaker under that pressure.
Today probably it has reached a point where “mocking congress” has become unidentifiable with “self-destruction” for BJP. Koenraad’s piece can be read here and must be read by everyone today. I am just amazed how prophetic his words have been.
During the latest campaign, the BJP downplayed ideology (except erratically in the Varun Gandhi incident) and betted all on ‘good governance’. Some BJP State Governments have provided that, to be sure, and in these States the BJP has been rewarded. But it could never be a decisive election-winner because Congress hasn’t done too bad in that regard either. Ever since Mr Manmohan Singh read out the 1992 Budget, the world sees his signature written all over India’s economic success. Even BJP contributors to that success, like erstwhile Disinvestment Minister Arun Shourie, won’t deny him that honor.
In these circumstances, only a clear ideological profile, mature but distinct, could have won the election for the BJP. If it didn’t want that ideological distinctness and was content to remain the Congress’s B-team, the party could have learned from Mr Sarkozy to show this only after the election. Before, it should at least have kept up the pretense of being a party with a difference.
Now the pretense that the RSS chief is showing, or that Mr. Rajnath Singh will show about the so called “no compromise with ideology” is an act of a loser. It is an evidence that RSS’s hatred for intellectual class which culminates from it’s own weak ideological foundation based on emotiona and not reason, has now reached it’s highest point.
What forced BJP to make such a decision? I feel BJP is too scared of the Congress and Congress paid media which will now portray it as a “Bharatiya Jinah Party”. Current BJP leadership of Rajnath, Advani and Jaitely are not strong enough to counter that sort of propaganda. Hence instead of taking help of those who are strong enough they chose the easier path to bend before congress. To go beyond limits to prove that they are not “Bharatiya Jinah Party”, just the way they have overboard from time to time to prove that they are not “Communal”, not “Anti Socialistic”, not “Anti Poor”, not “Anti Farmers”.
BJP’s only strength and the only reason why I was so vocal about my own support to BJP was the presence of people like Shourie, Sinha and Jaswant Singh, who were not only competent in their respective field but were indisputably the big picture guys who could set BJP’s vision for future on every issue. Now that they are gone, the battered party is no different from congress.
I belief about any system is, either it has to be something that strives for uncompromisable excellence or it should destruct itself catastrophically. Because in that destruction lies the hope of a new emergence. Supporting BJP anymore will be in my opinion delaying that destruction which I wont do!