Elections 2009: What Next for the BJP? (Part 3)

Ideology (continued)

The B in the BJP should stand for Bharatiyata / Indian-ness – that which we have within, the force that unites us.  It should not be just a Hindu party, even though the reality of our country is that 4 out of every 5  Indians are born Hindu. Perhaps, Hindutva should be redefined as Bharatiyata / Indian-ness, as it was originally meant to be. Bharatiyata is about our diverse culture, our common values and our shared past. It is a blend of cultural and enlightened nationalism. Bharatiyata / Indian-ness is what holds us together – part of a nation that was once great, and one that can become great again.

The J in the BJP needs to stand for Janata – the masses, you and us, that make up our country. The BJP was party that rose out of people’s movement not so long ago. Today, once again, the party needs to be rebuilt with the power of passion, and not a passion of power.  It is a party that is still learning, still growing. And like many young people, it may make mistakes. And just like a parent has a responsibility to correct children who may sometimes err, it is for the Janata of India to correct the party when it makes mistakes. And like all good children, the Party has and will continue learning from its Parents. But one thing is clear – it is one party that has to be built on the belief that it does not belong to a single Family. The Janata comes just after Bharat.

The P in the BJP stands for Parti-cipation, people’s participation. This is a party which can only be built by what each of us puts into it. Today, more than ever before, it is now possible for the Janata to provide inputs at every stage into the process of governance. And this is one promise that the party must make: that it will involve the citizens of India in bringing about the cleanest and the most democratic party (and government). Democracy is a two-way process. And the BJP is the one that can bring to life not just a bottom-up Emergent party, but also a bottom-up Emergent Democracy.

Tomorrow: Leadership

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