In an old Bollywood flick which starred my favourite actor Dilip Kumar, there’s a scene towards the end: Shankar (Dilip Kumar), hitherto penniless but now Raja of Belapur, returns and asks his former master Ramesh (Pran) if he could have the hand of Roopa (Waheeda Rehman) in marriage. Pran, now a virtually destitute, begins jumping up and down in disdain and contempt. He almost spits at Dilip Kumar and yells in his there-you-are moment: “Tum kal bhi bhikhari the, aaj bhi bhikari ho (You were a beggar then, you are a beggar now).
In political terms, today’s Dilip Kumar is Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Pran is Congress and Waheeda Rehman is India. BJP has bigger footprints on India than Congress ever had in the last 50 years yet it seems to be seeking vindication all the time from the forces aligned against it. In this defensive frame of mind, it is steadily eroding its own plinth of authority, honesty and mass support. Its only time before it collapses in a heap.
BJP’s Achilles’ heel is its mindset: It doesn’t want to be seen as a Hindu right-wing party. Their philosophy is that Hinduism has always been all inclusive; that India can’t rise to its full potential without everyone putting in its shoulders (sabka saath, sabka vikas); that it must not be seen at any time as an extremist, fascist force. Above all, it seems to seek approval from hitherto dominant class — like Dilip Kumar sought from Pran in the movie.
BJP wants to avoid social polarization. But the polarization has already taken place. The polarization has been caused by Left-Liberals but the blame has come the BJP’s “Hindutva” way. Bravo!
So has this really earned BJP, one side of the polarization, the Hindu side? You must be joking. Hindus are fed up that their cultural space is shrinking; Right to Education or freedom to manage temples isn’t part of main discourse; that its brothers and sisters are being mercilessly slaughtered in Bengal, Kerala and in neighbouring Bangladesh; that bigger issues like Ram Janmabhoomi, Article 370 and punishing the corrupt politicians is no better than a mirage.
Damningly, if this is BJP why not Congress, is a question being asked by million of Hindu supporters.
BJP today needs to retain and grow its support base; bring the corrupt politicians to book and take its’ information campaign to stratosphere. Let’s first tackle the last-named issue around which the other two issues revolve.
The verdict is: BJP is losing it, if it has already not lost it. So far, independent foot soldiers, a handful like me, have responded to their conscience, either moved by the lies of Lutyens Media; a passion to revive our heritage; or to boot out Congress-Left which has kept India only notionally independent. Such foot-soldiers are aware of colonial powers who are working in the background through their global propaganda machinery and NGOs.
Noble as these foot-soldiers are, it’s unlikely they can cope for long with forces which are well-funded and lack neither resources nor the surround noise. Websites like TheWire, Scroll, Huffington Post;; mainstream Lutyens’ Media and their international extensions such as The New York Times, Washington Post, The Economist etc; along with entrenched academicians control the information matrix of our everyday lives.
BJP simply would have to activate its’ muscular well-wishers and create a similar ecosystem. It would require funds, resources and an unshakeable will. It doesn’t have to feel shy or apologetic about fighting the ideological war.
It could only happen if BJP is ready to gets its hands dirty. Not being apologetic or defensive. “Dharma” must prevail even if Dronacharya, Bhishma, Karna or Duryodhan are seen being taken down by deception.
Perception is all. Today, after winning 19 states, BJP is seen as loser. While a party with 44 Lok Sabha and with a leader who loses every single election despite the local crutches is being hailed as a winner. Why, even Manmohan Singh seems to have found his voice.
Today, millions of BJP supporters are unsure. It’s because in two sides of a story, its only the Congress story which is reaching the masses. Millions are unsure if in BJP they are supporting the right party. It’s for BJP to be firmly in front of this ideological war. Enough of pussy-footing.
RETAINING SUPPORT BASE
BJP must bite the bullet and respond to issues bothering millions of Hindus as outlined above. They are genuine issues and BJP can’t afford to be bogged down by tags such as anti-secular, extremist, regressive. BJP must come out in open in support and be seen as punishing those who are hurting Hindu lives and its cultural ethos. If it involves dismissing governments, do it. If it involves bringing Constitutional changes, do it. Otherwise, you won’t get approval of your opponents and all you would do is to lose your own support base.
BJP for long has given a tirade against corrupts and black money. Something concrete must happen. Otherwise, it’s just an insinuation. It would cause a face loss and only embolden their mocking opponents.
Politically, Modi is the brightest hope in hundreds of years who could restore Hindu’s pride and injustices of a millennium. The next sun won’t appear on horizon anytime soon. India-breakers would’ve been rewarded for their shameless lies and ruthlessness. And ironically the blame would rest with Modi.