Can BJP Rise Again?
Image Credit: Steve Jurvetson

Can BJP Rise Again?

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India’s main opposition Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) has announced a new team of office bearers—the first major reshuffle since the appointment of new party President Nitin Gadkari. But, unfortunately for the BJP, some newspapers have already dismissed the changes as ‘high on glam low on quality’.

Ever since the BJP lost elections in 2004, and was again defeated in 2009, the party has been making more noise than news. This is tough on a party that rose like a phoenix on the Indian political scene, but which has quickly lost its charm and appeal.

So is this a failure of the party or the rejection of the right wing nature of the group by the Indian people? Can a change of faces in the organization make the party appealing to the masses? Can it capture the popular imagination of the public be or anything like a party that can appeals to all of India?

If the BJP is to find satisfactory answers to these questions, it will need a radical rethink of the ideology on which it has based a divisive agenda, one that sees India through the prism of a Hindu past and overlooks the existence of other religious minorities. This politics of exclusion has until now stopped the Hindu right wing party from emerging as an alternative to the Congress Party, which for its part claims to practice the politics of inclusion.

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2
Hamza
June 26, 2011 at 05:05

What we need in India is a Centre Right inclusive party and not a Right Wing Loony pseudo-Hindutvadi party that the BJP has become.

A conservative party that allows members to be proud of their religion or heritage whether its Muslim or Hindu and supports free market economics and not central planning and subsidy economy which is just really “corruption”, will be very acceptable to large swathes of Muslims and Hindus.

What we need is some revival of the Swatantrata party which will have an inclusive outlook.

The loony right wing as some commentators here have come up with conspiracy theories about media being against it or history being against it and what not but they just sound like Tea Party conspiracy theorists. India will not put their govt. in the hands of such people.

The only solution I see is for the BJP to split will those connected to the RSS making their party and those not related to RSS like Jaswant Singh to form the core of the new Swatantrata party that will lead to victory in the next general elections.

Dev Kumar Dutta
March 19, 2010 at 14:53

Most of the Indian media have always been and continues to be pro-establishment and usually depend on sensationalism and hyperbole for survival. Today, they’re writing off the BJP because the INC has been able to entrench itself in power although not too long ago, on the eve of the 2004 general elections, they had predicted a comfortable majority for the BJP-led alliance. Now they’re preaching the fantastic line that the Indian people can’t fathom the BJP’s “fiery” right wing politics and so they voted for the “secular” INC (Indian National Congress). So what had happened to the Indian people that they showed their preference for the BJP in 1998? The answer from the self-righteous Indian media would be, “the BJP was able to polarise the Indian voter”. You ask, how, if the same voter can’t fathom the BJP’s politics of “divisiveness and exclusiveness” today? Immediately, there will be a diversion to another topic and more lies will follow. The truth about the behaviour of the Indian voter is a little more complicated than what the Indian media will tell you. With half the population still living a sub-human existence there’s little else for these Indian voters to vote for than the broken promises of the very basics of life – food, clothing and shelter. It’s true, half of our people still don’t have these basics of existence. The INC has ruled India for fifty of the sixty two years of her independent existence and hence, must be held responsible for the miserable state of half the country. Fortunately, for the INC, almost the entire Muslim population of India is part of the impoverished half and it is apparent that their votes will never go to the BJP. The rest of the electorate comprising the middle class is still caught up between caste, clan and regional pulls fragmenting the Hindu vote and helping all the so-called secular political parties to thrive on this division. And now Sanjay Kumar is asking the BJP to consider “a radical rethink of the ideology on which it has based a divisive agenda” whereas all that this party is doing, is try and unite over 85% of the population under the banner of nationalism. Is there any country in any part of the world where a 15% minority with a clear history of anti-national separatism, drives the political process? Welcome to India and see for yourself how a miserably fragmented majority is being made a victim of a policy of suicidal self-defeatism by a ruling clique comprising individuals (barring Manmohan Singh because Hindus consider Sikhs a part of the majority; they’re a minority only on paper) from the 15% minority including a rank foreigner who happens to be the most powerful person in the country. If what the BJP aspires for is unpalatable to the Indian “secular” leadership and the Indian media then India should not have anything to do literally all the countries of the world where the majority view is respected.

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