I really wanted to write a Panchatantra Story here but unfortunately I don’t have that much time.
The opposition at central level consisting mostly the NDA allies, Communists and the Muslim parties such as SP and RJD had declared a pan-India strike today (5th July 2010) to protest against rising inflation and especially the petrol prices. The communists however insisted that their strike is separate from the NDA’s call for strike. Something like let us enjoy a f*** but don’t think about marriage. (one night stand in popular jargon).
I haven’t seen television since but it does not require an astrologer to predict that they must have had enough fun out of this pan-India event. However when one Indian state, (which I bet 50% of TV anchors wont be able to spot on India’s map correctly) was facing a severe blockade for 50 days I didn’t hear a squeak from them.
I am upset because BJP chose such a medium to gain popularity. Mr. Advani who probably thinks that every small thing in his life is a major landmark event for the country showed enthusiasm for this strike.
“This may be the first time in history of India’s [ Images ] politics that almost all political parties will participate in the Bharat Bandh,” NDA Working Chairperson L K Advani [ Images ] said after a meeting of the leaders. [Rediff]
I thought RSS brought in Nitin Gadkari to ring out the old and ring in the new. But the Advani and team (Humpty Dumpty, Cheshire Cat etc.) does seem to be getting tired of playing Ringa Ringa Rosy.
BJP’s votebank is educated and urban middle class. Congress’s votebank is the illiterate gullible poor. Since there is no limit to the number of poor in the country congress keeps winning elections. American’s have a famous war strategy “clear,hold and build“.
BJP, in the process of running after poor has only followed congress’ footsteps which eventually made them lose their middle-class vote-bank as well. Supporting reservation, keeping aside important issues like article 370, Uniform Civil Code, mishandling Ram mandir issue, ideological confusion on topic of secularism, support for reservations, supporting entitlement by the virtue of need etc. Each of these stratagems adopted by BJP has made them lose their supporters. In return they have gained absolutely nothing from Congress’ traditional votebanks like Muslims and Poor.
Things like Bharat Band is only going to make the party weaker. Any sensible leader who is in touch with masses will quickly realize that none of the common people is going to like this kind of protest. Everyone wants the inflation to go down, but they also understand that the government has little control over the petroleum prices. People have learned this from past experience.
Now this sensible leader is likely to tell this to the bosses in Delhi that Bharat Band in principle is not good thing for the party. Now, thats what the Humpty Dumpties at top will call “indiscipline”. He is not co-operative, He is not ready for sacrifice, He is not confident, he does not have enough fire in his belly to he is planning to betray the party. All sort of accusations will be made against that sensible leader. The logic?
• The sentence must be executed before it is pronounced.
• The sentence must be pronounced before the verdict is settled.
• The verdict must be settled before the arguments are commenced.
• The arguments must be concluded before the evidence is examined.
• The evidence must be examined before it is collected.
And so, “Off with his head!”
That sensible leader will soon lose his weight in the party. His ill-wishers will say “He has betrayed at the crucial moment. It will send a wrong message to public if we fail to make this strike successful”.
From that premise follows the imminent conclusion. The person who will help us make this strike successful will be a good local leader. “leader in need is leader indeed”. A person will suddenly appear with gang of young lads in each constituency who will destroy a bus, burn an auto rickshaw, force shop owners down the shutters. This person will ensure that the strike is successful. On special occasions he will come to visit Advaniji or the team, touch their feet and express his willingness to contest the elections from his ward.
That person will get a ticket because he helped the party in the moment of crisis. The sensible leader who had advised against the strike will sit at home and watch television.
What could have been other approach?
I don know. BJP had tried all the trick in the book before going for the Bharat Bandh. Twice they met the PM, they held rallies, agitations and so on. Now it will be naive to expect that these tricks will work but the fact that must have bothered party leadership is that the indifference the public showed to what they have been doing. They made public pay for that indifference.
I think BJP should figure out other ways to taking issue to public. These methods should be such that they will strengthen the organization and help identify good leaders. Hopefully they will figure it out. If I get time I will blog about some innovative ways of doing this.