Since writing the “I Support the BJP” post a month or so ago, many of us have been working together as part of a group called “Friends of BJP” with the underlying belief that India Deserves Better. The goal is to galvanise the youth and professionals to engage with the political process to bring about transformational change in India.
The Friends of BJP is a subset of the educated civil society that is BJP-leaning, and willing to be vocal about it. We are not part of the BJP. We also do not agree with everything the BJP says or does. It is our belief that at this point of time the BJP is the better alternative. It is not a selection between black and white, but opting for the one with the lighter shades of grey.
We intend to support the BJP in 3 ways:
- OUTREACH: helping grow virally support of the BJP via the use of social media (mobile and online) and drawing room meetings.
- IDEAS BANK: provide a channel for members to channel inputs in multiple disciplines for the manifesto and to the BJP leadership
- VOTES and SEATS: help the BJP win more (urban) seats by using the assistance of members to get 1 lakh new vote(r)s in every constituency
The event we did at NSCI in Mumbai on Jan 29 saw over 200 people attending. Since then, we have been working to put together many things, and hopefully, we will be able to make a difference in the coming elections. The Friends of BJP website (updated daily) has more information on all that we are doing, along with some insightful perspectives on the political landscape from some of us.
We are also organising two interaction meetings with Arun Jaitley on Saturday (Feb 28) in Mumbai (10:30 am, Ravindra Natya Mandir, Prabhadevi) and Pune (6 pm, New English School, Tilak Road). Attendance is free and open to all.
To stay in touch with what we are doing, you can do the following:
- sms 4BJP to 575758 (will only work within India)– we’ve already got 15K subscribers in just two days on this channel
- send a blank email to firstname.lastname@example.org to subscribe to the newsletter
- subscribe to the RSS feed
My hope is to bring forth an emergent democracy with a government that truly works for the people, combined with right, irreversible policies in key areas that fast-tracks India’s development process. Idealism, perhaps. But with the tools of technology (mobile, Internet, social media) now available with us giving us the ability to self-organise, I believe that all our voices will be hard to ignore.
Some of you may not necessarily agree with my choice of political party, and that’s fine. The more important thing is for each of us to be more vocal, start an active discussion, and be India’s biggest ‘votebank’ and swing vote, instead of sitting out this election in silence. The end goal has to be the same — bringing about faster and better change in India in our lifetime.
A question for all of us to think about: what are the best ways we can make a difference in the next 75 days? And in case you’d like to do more, here are some ideas.