People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 40

October 07, 2012



BJP’s New Mask:

An Effort at Subterfuge


THE irresolvable contradiction that plagues the NDA once again came to centrestage during the BJP’s national council meeting last week. This contradiction is the following: the BJP can muster greater electoral support only by sharpening the communal polarisation amongst the people. This on the other hand alienates many of its allies who are regional parties who cannot afford to alienate the religious minorities particularly the Muslims. This is already being reflected in the rumblings within the NDA coming from the JD(U) Bihar chief minister over the possible projection of Narendra Modi as the prime ministerial candidate by the BJP.


In order to overcome this contradiction the veteran BJP warhorse, L K Advani attempted to wear a new mask (mukhota) of the BJP championing secularism. It is indeed ironic that Mr Advani, with the chilling image of the rathyatra that he led, which left behind a trail of death and misery in the communal riots that followed and eventually led to the demolition of the Babri Masjid should now be speaking in terms of upholding secularism. It was only befitting that Mr Advani chose not to read these relevant passages from his prepared text clearly indicating that he cannot separate himself from his or the BJP’s past. Reports in the media suggest that by skipping the relevant paragraphs Mr Advani clearly indicated that he not merely developed cold feet but the BJP is incapable of moving away from its hardcore Hindutva agenda. There is of course no official explanation by the BJP as to why Mr Advani chose not to read these portions.


It is clear that he chose not to read these portions because of the fear of alienating the hardcore support base that continues to rally with the BJP on the basis of the RSS vision of transforming the secular democratic Indian republic into a rabidly intolerant fascistic ‘Hindu rashtra’.


The unread portions call upon the BJP for “an imaginative repositioning of our commitment to secularism”. And on this basis he went on to appeal to potential allies by saying that “they have nothing to be apprehensive about partnering with the BJP”. That such appeals are a mere eyewash to garner support in order to have the requisite numbers to form a government at the centre became clear when he said “the situation calls for the kind of flexibility in tactics, combined with firmness in principles”. The tactics are to mislead the allies and the people and the principles are the core of the RSS agenda of ‘Hindu rashtra’. 


In a sort of a reverse appeasement of the minorities Mr Advani condemned the anti-Islam film that has triggered violence in different parts of the globe. With specific reference to India he says, “It is wrong to spread disrespect towards anybody who is revered by members of the faith. We should with full conviction reassure our brethren belonging to the minority communities that we brook no discrimination or injustice in dealing with different sections of our diverse society.” Imagine this coming from the same person whose rathyatra leading to the Babri Masjid demolition was based on the theme that the Ram temple will be built exactly at the spot where the Babri Masjid then stood.  Also recollect the frenzied slogans like “Babar Ke Aulad” etc.


Clearly all these efforts are to somehow or the other mislead the people and potential allies in regional parties to garner support for the majority in a Lok Sabha following the forthcoming general elections. That such expectations are however doomed to failure was visible at the meeting itself by the positioning of the Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. With the elections to the Gujarat state assembly now announced, its outcome in December will largely influence the RSS/BJP choice, notwithstanding all such pronouncements. Apprehending a further isolation of the BJP in such a situation, Mr Advani had, on a later occasion, said that political untouchability of the sort that the BJP is facing should be made into a criminal offence!


The isolation that the BJP faces is because of its functioning as the political arm of the RSS whose agenda is the complete antithesis of what the modern secular democratic Indian Republic stands for. The current effort does not reflect any lack of clarity on the BJP’s ideological positions or the RSS project but this is an effort at subterfuge – to mislead the people and potential political allies.


Apart from such Machiavellian exercises the BJP is plagued by organisational problems which were quite unknown in the earlier days. The BJP Karnataka strongman and former chief minister did not attend the National Council and shot a letter to the BJP president denouncing his leadership as being one where promises made to people like him are never kept. Releasing his letter at a press conference, he asked the BJP president, “on the one hand you speak of high ideology. But how are you conducting yourself?”


Such efforts by the BJP to express secular pretensions are aimed to assume power at the centre in order to carry forward the RSS ideological project. This will have to be both exposed and defeated to defend and strengthen the secular democratic foundations of the Indian Republic.

(October 3, 2012)