A few months ago, a couple of us (Amit Malviya and me) had put together a note on taking further the Friends of BJP (FBJP) initiative we had started almost exactly a year ago. I am outlining the ideas in a series of four posts this week.
The country needs an effective alternate formation that puts India First. The 2009 Parliamentary Elections saw Friends of BJP strike a chord with professionals and urban youth. It is proposed to continue and build the movement in a much more structured manner with clear long-term goals. India is changing fast with an ever increasing urban population, which is educated and exposed to constant media intervention. What this growing Indian middle class currently lacks is a political platform where it can engage and contribute to the political process of this country. There is a need to modernise the political set up of the country and the FBJP movement can precisely do that for the right wing movement. FBJP should become an alternate platform for rallying people and ideas, an input for the political process. The efforts of the Friends of BJP over the next five years can fulfill this need giving BJP the opportunity to reinforce its credentials as a party of the thinking middle class, ensuring that enlightened debate on national issues continues, and giving the BJP supporters (at least those in urban India) a possible rallying point.
To do this will need a series of bold steps combined with a long-term vision that creates in India a nationally oriented group who think “India First”. The politics of India needs to change since its voters have changed. The mantle of cultural nationalism with “India First” thinking needs to be championed vigorously in the coming years. Youth and Professionals need to be energised with big ideas and vision for a prosperous and vibrant India. To lead the way, we envision a set of three themes for action: Ideas, Communications, Engagement (ICE).