In January of 2009, I decided to see if I could play some role in the forthcoming elections to better understand India’s politics and governance system. I decided to support the BJP. Along with a group of other professionals, we also started a forum called “Friends of BJP” for others like to us to get more engaged with politics.
A number of people whom I meet (along with others who have commented on various blog posts) ask me whether I think I made the right decision given the results of the elections and the subsequent events that have transpired in the context of the BJP. My answer is Yes. I have been disappointed by what happened, but that does not mean the decision I made was wrong. While winning is everything, especially in politics, losing can also teach if one is prepared to learn.
I believe that what India needs is a centre-right formation in its government. The BJP is the closest to this. Yes, the party has gone through dramatic downs over the past six months, but I think it will emerge stronger and better. Political parties in every country have gone through trying times – and the BJP in 2009 has been no different.
I do hope the party learns from its mistakes, and creates a genuine centre-right formation. It cannot win by aping the Congress. Going ahead, I hope to do more in helping drive the centre-right movement in the country. India needs more of us to be involved in creating our future. And potentially, create better political parties on both sides of the spectrum.
Tomorrow: Decision 3