The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh ideologue MG Vaidya has some words of elderly advice for the muddled BJP
At a time the BJP is engaged in a bitter factional battle within, RSS ideologue MG Vaidya has taken the party to task in his column, ‘Bhashya’, in the Marathi daily Tarun Bharat. He has mocked the party for thinking it should look beyond Hindutva, and has taken umbrage at the advice handed out by columnists loyal to the party such as Sudheendra Kulkarni and Swapan Dasgupta. He has gone on to suggest that the BJP President and Parliamentary Party Leader should be one and the same person. Given that this implies either Rajnath Singh or LK Advani should renounce his post, the repercussions of Vaidya’s column might be felt for a while yet. Here is a translation of this sarcasm-laced article:
THE BJP IS inconsistent with Hindutva. It should forget about the Hindutva plank and try to become acceptable to its allies again. Former allies such as the Trinamool Congress, Biju Janata Dal and Telugu Desam will once again happily flock to the BJP’s side if it gives up Hindutva.
The BJP has not been able to impress upon the people’s mind the comprehensive purport of Hindutva, despite its rule at the Centre and in many States, perhaps because they found it narrow-minded or did not find it useful in ascending the throne of power. This will have no adverse impact on the RSS. I feel that those honouring the Hindutva ideology are in huge numbers. The only thing needed is to touch hearts. The response will be such that it will act as a source of strength and energy. But it should be done with honesty. (The BJP) has failed to convey the true meaning of Hindutva to the people (in the recent election). Perhaps they thought that they are not deemed able to climb the pedestal of power with the Hindutva line. But if the BJP gives up Hindutva, it will automatically snap its umbilical cord with the Sangh. This will not impact the RSS because come what may, the Sangh is not going to quit Hindutva.
Why should there be two different persons heading the Parliamentary party and the party itself? The person who heads the Parliamentary party should also be the party president.
There has always been a dilemma on whether Hindutva should be the main plank. This (dilemma) has existed since the Jan Sangh days. In the 1980 election, it was suggested that the Bharatiya Jana Sangh be called Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The flag was also changed. The saffron part became two-thirds (of the flag’s face) and the green part became one-third.
Bharatiyatva and integral humanism lagged behind, and socialism came to the fore. Various formats of socialism, democratic and Gandhian, surfaced. The BJP chose the Gandhian version. Did it absolve it of the communalism charge? Did Muslims make a beeline to you?
After the 1984 poll stunner, the BJP again remembered Hindutva. The BJP started growing and power started getting closer to the party. But it wasn’t close enough to propel it to power.
The party could have gained the strength to win elections on its own, but the party had no patience. The temptation of power was too strong. The BJP fell for it and left its core ideology again.
In 2004, when it lost power, it was once again reminded of Hindutva. It was included in the 2009 manifesto. This however failed to impress the people at large.
Now some intellectuals feel that the BJP has lost because it went back to Hindutva. Jaithirth Rao, Dhiraj Nayyar and Meghnad Desai have all advised over the past few days that the BJP should disengage itself from Hindutva. All these are neutral writers. But Swapan Dasgupta and Sudheendra Kulkarni are not known to be like them. [Yet], they have also written that the BJP should look beyond Hindutva.
My advice is that the BJP should really quit the Hindutva agenda. Its umbilical cord with the RSS will automatically be severed.
If acceptance of the Sachar Committee Report’s recommendations was to attract Muslims, then why did Muslims reject Mulayam Singh Yadav and Lalu Yadav?