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Elections 2009: A Unique Experience — Part 5: Optmism Ahead

April 24th, 2009 · 9 Comments

Over the past couple months, I have got an opportunity to interact with many senior leaders in the BJP. Few have fitted into the classical, negative impressions that we have had drilled down about politicians in India. Maybe, I was just lucky. But I do believe that India has hope – and the worst of our governance nightmares are behind us. Politicians work under a wide array of conflicting expectations. There are many who are out there to do genuine good, and who have dedicated a lifetime to being in politics.Maybe, the bad of the breed still out number the good, but I do think the tide is shifting. And that is a good sign of India. Good Governance and Development is rapidly replacing caste and votebank arithmetic as the way to success in elections. In that sense, accountability is already coming in. Just like employees who fear being fired, politicians in power cannot do without it – so they are quickly realising that delivering on promises and improving the lot of people is the only way to get re-elected. And if Bihar can do it, so can any state in India.

We still have a long way to go. And this is where we in Middle India have to rise to the occasion. We need to be ready to devote 1-2 hours a week to engage with the political system. What is needed is a framework to make that happen at the local level across the country. We have to participate in nation-building because India cannot lose more time. And this is what I have been brainstorming with my colleagues in “Friends of BJP.”

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9 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Roy // Apr 24, 2009 at 10:45 am

    Amen!

  • 2 padmanabhan // Apr 24, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    BJP needs strong reorientation on the basis of regional issues,which hitherto they have ignored. Once Hinduism is attacked, the national spirit too gets attacked and destroyed.Thanks to Congress Rule and the votebank politics now practised by the pseudo secular parties, national felings are not there and regionalism is taking ugly proportions.Tamils think that whateever happens in Kashmir of no consequence to them.SoBJP need to tactically balance their national vision with regional pragmatism.Take for example-Tamil Nadu.BJP has an excellent leader in Tirunavukkarasu who has a political experience and leadership accepted by the Tamil populace.But Tirunavaukkarasu is sidelined .If he is given charge of BJP Tamil Nadu, single handedly BJP can win atleast ten assembly seats.Becuase he does not have RSS Background, he is not trusted and instead a upright Ganesan with no political experience in the State is heading the party.The brahmin face of BJP need to be changed to attract the youth who hitherto have been welled up in Dravidian politics.We need to earn their trust before we can build the party in Tamil Nadu.Same is the case with many states.BJP has a future and they need to reinvent this shedding their obscurantism

  • 3 Rutambhara // Apr 24, 2009 at 11:58 pm

    Election is to choose individual , not party. Election 2009 is just another same thing .Party’s appealing for votes. NOt on behalf of voters but on behalf of their party’s.A right democracy will be established when the real votes will go to the Persons standing in election , not the party from which they are standing.

  • 4 Zenil // Apr 25, 2009 at 1:02 am

    Rajesh, as a Muslim , my problem with BJP (and sangh parivar) is their tendency to vilify and target Muslims for almost all the ills that our country faces..And grab every opportunity to attack and corner Muslims.

    Consider for a moment , what if 26/11 had happened under their watch? And what if it was the BJP that was in power both at the center as well as in the state.
    I am terrified even thinking about this scenario and am listing the exact sequence that I believe would have happened..

    a) These guys, sangh parivar,Lk Advani would have been extremely hurt,disappointed that this happenned under their watch and more importantly
    STUNG by the fact that Pakistan was able to carry this under their nose. Since they consider themselves ‘hard’ on terror and because of people’s expectation,
    they would want to be seen taking action,some real strong action. For Pakistan this means end of diplomatic relations,stepping up of rhetoric,and preparation for war..

    b) But that’s not enough is it..Somebody HAS to be punished and in a visible effective manner to quench the immediate unceasing,unforgiving thirst for revenge.
    And what more than muslims of Mumbai,the highly visible minority,responsible for all of India’s ills,
    the vestiges of partition , the traitors who should have left for Pakistan when they had a chance
    Here comes the thugs of Sangh Parivar and bloody-thirsty mobs that magically sprout out of thin air.

    c) The very next day after 26/11, I claim that a Muslim life would have had zero value. Muslims would have been butchered, burned alive, raped,their
    property looted. Their status would be akin to rats who must be hunted down and skinned and made example of..

    d) The government would have happily abdicated its responsibility. After all the ‘natural’ reaction of the people has to be vented out. And that too
    with the active connivance of every apparatus of the state.Muslim localities would have been burned and razed to the ground..

    e) After 5 days of butchering and pillage army would have been called in.

    You can’t possibly conceive of this situation ,do you..Because you know YOU will never face it.
    And, after all 1000′s of muslim lives are loose change, for ‘Progress’ and ‘Development’..

    For once I was happy that Congress was in power when 26/11 happened.

  • 5 gujjuman // Apr 25, 2009 at 3:04 am

    Zenil,

    You are completely wrong on that one. I am Sangh member since I was kid. I have never been taught to hate muslims, leave aside killing and raping.

    Also, if 26/11 would have happened under BJP government, riots would not have happened as it was done by pakistanis. There were no riots when 60 people died in ahd bomb blast year back. Now let me tell you exact reason why Godhra riots happened. It happened because it was attack of local muslim community on hindu pilgrim. when crowd of 1000 people from godhra village went to burn innocent children and women in Sabarmati Express,, it was not individual or groups of brainwashed fanatics that were involved. It was Muslim community as a whole that was involved. This really pissed off every hindu in Gujarat. How can some community as whole can be so hostile to us?? how dare they burn our children and women and we stand waiting for 10 years for supreme court decision?? what was gaurantee that justice will be delivered?? congress has always used such occasions to appease muslim and nurture vote bank.
    I hope you understand deep threads of matter before making up mind against BJP.
    Godhra riots would have happened even it was congress rule. Riots did not happened last year eventhough same Namo is ruling.
    Hindu community, in short, is much more sensible.

  • 6 Ramesh // Apr 25, 2009 at 9:50 am

    Mr Zenil,
    Instead of blaming the Sangh Parivar, I suggest u for introspection regards the hard facts:
    1. Invasions, mayhem, arson & loot by M B Qasim to Babar and others.
    2. Brutal conversions, sacrifice of Sikh gurus.
    3. Razing of temples including Somnath, Ram, Krishna and Shiva and the institutions like nalanda & Takchshila.
    4. Blood bath for homeland of Muslims on the call of Muslim League culminating in birth of theocratic state-Pakistan, which carried out ethnic cleansing. Those who supported the creation of Pakistan tacitly stayed back in India and demand special rights misusing the liberal philosophy of Hindus.
    5. Unwillingness of Muslims to meet the demand of Hindus for restoration of temples destroyed by the invaders.
    6. All the terrorists not only in India but world wide are the followers of Islam.
    .
    .
    .
    .
    The pitch of protest is louder for atrocities in Iraq but no voice against the ill fated Hindus of Kashmir, bu Muslims.
    Your reasoned and speaking response will be appreciated.

  • 7 mockingbuddha // Apr 28, 2009 at 4:13 am

    *Rajesh has a point to make, yes, the leaders are good and are far off from the demons we seek to make of them. So was that old circumsizer, Sanjay and his mother Indira, all good people!

    But for the loot and thuggery that go under their names, which they need to be responsible for, even Thackeray that old insane devil must be good to interact with in person, after all he too is a man of letters, if not a lettered man…the guy at least has a sense of humor.

    Having felt the brunt of his family’s public insanity in Bombay, I am sure Rajesh must share my sentiment about the last mentioned gentleman…

    I dare not call Rajesh an acolyte, after all he is a person of reason, but such persons of reason helped the Nazi Party gain power in Germany with disastrous results for the world.

    At the end of which the most common refrain was “Why did you not speak up” with all the fingers pointing at each other….

    The answer was the Nazi thugs had scared everyone, and in this new Nazism avatar, Rajesh will be no exception. It is usually the supporters who are seen as competitiors and killed off first. Ask the Gulag!

    And what was the reason for the initial support? Just like Rajesh does now, the then men of reason felt that their present government was not strong enough or doing anything worthwhile.

    Hitler came, he conquered and had to be conquered finally, by which time more than a couple of millions had died, many of them intellectuals and men of science. For those who survived or those away from the horrors of war, that will look like small change…

    They who hope to reform the BJP from within can do it better from without.

    I am sure that the BJP drifts without an agenda, except for its Hindutva loudmouthing and its vague calls for Hindu culture it had no agenda ever. And no culture too….It is better to have it die a natural death.

    Supporting the BJP is a easy choice, but one which Rajesh and Co may need to regret later….

    So the latest plank is development, heh! I am all for it, drop the Hindutva, will you?

    **Ramesh, let us forget the history for a bit, afterall those invasions meant that our kings were busy with their harems and nothing else, therefore they deserved it.

    In an earlier era, Alexander came, he conquered but he left because the local kings regrouped against his nominee, but in the Islamic case, that did not happen, our guys were too busy fighting amonst themselves or enjoying their position as the richest civilisation in history and therefore the richest kings in the world.

    If such riches do not attract looters and robbers, nothing else can. The guys lived well but did nothing to protect themselves. So it is hardly surprising that they failed against hungry looters from the Afghan and Persian nations.

    Zenil cannot therefore be blamed for his ancestors fighting spirit and their zest for loot, nor can we be blamed for ancestors lack of fighting spirit. It all happened in the past and there is little reason to hang on to it.

    If you want to build a temple, build it somewhere new, and India as of now has no shortage of temples, there is but a severe shortage of blessings from the Gods that inhabit these temples.

    Islam (and its terrorism) is where it is today because of an inflush of easy money but not the culture and education to understand where it came from. If the denizens of the Arabian Gulf had been scratching for their cornballs instead of having it fed on a platter because of oil money, the spectre of Islamic terrorism would have never raised its head.

    What is needed is education and instilling a sense of moderation into Islamic public life and fighting it mindlessly is not the right answer.

    To kill terrorism, kill it the first time it raises its head, but then there will be voices of reason which let it grow at that point in time.

    Terrorism is not Hindu or Muslim, it is human…
    Anyone remembers Bhindranwale? or the IRA?

    ***padmanabhan, why do we need the BJP in TamilNadu, arent there enough comedians already….tirunavukkarasar included.

    And as far as I know, in my locality, the men of action are all BJP, the thugs, the jobless wanderers, the contract mafia, the simply stupid, the religiously stupid, the history illiterate, i think in a oblique sense you are right, it definitely needs its share of intelligent people.

    And its elected representatives have not behaved different from any other party, they simply forget once they are elected, so this is another party with no difference.

    If you need action, there is always blustery Vaiko and you can take a boat to Sri Lanka or better take the bridge from forever.

  • 8 padmanabhan iyer // May 5, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    I am a humanist. The philosophy of Hindutva stands on the pivot of Integral Humanism. BJP has its own limitations as they need to fight parties who are pseudo secular and the electorl politics is based on the communal vote banks created by minoritysm.Therefore to fall a victim to the false propaganda that Sangh parivar is anti muslim is totally baseless.

    Last 3rd May, there was a protest in New York by a group of all religeons against the Islamic fundamentalism. Why? Are you hunting for any Narendra Modi there? No the sad fact is that Islam is basically fundamentalist.
    Vivekananda said “the history of Islam is the history of 500 years of bloodshed throughout th pacific coast”. That bloody legacy is continued with greater fervor today.

    Islam is becoming synonym for terrorism.90% of Muslims will not support terrorism.But they cannot stop the ultras as they go by the word of holy book which advocates death for the non believers.So no need to get shocked with Hindu terrorism becuase Hindus see God in all and everywhere

  • 9 Ramesh // Jun 12, 2009 at 8:21 am

    We can forget the events of past at the cost of our peril. Country was divided only bkz v didnt take a lesson from History and were thrashed/kicked by Chinese in 62.

    Exclusive emphasis on development even ignoring security may bring disaster as seen in not only prehistoric days of the invaders but as experienced by the flourishing populace of Lahore in 47 (up to morning of 14.8.47, it was in the air that Lahore will remain in India). Even Tibet, the follower of PEACE, without caring for its security is experiencing the trauma of disaster.

    Islam has an Pan-Islamic agenda with directive philosophy of converting the KAFIRS. The fundamentalism and terrorism are the natural tenets. They use the liberal policies of others to increase their strength and once they are strong enough they use their policies to flush out others. This is what a student of History finds here there and everywhere. It is for us to decide what our future course should be-that of a third rate nation living under fear psychosis or become a nation full of dignity and liberty, whether to be thrashed in every country as in Aus now a days or live with the head high. It is noteworthy that none dares thrash the Chinese in any country.

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