Friends of BJP: The Road Ahead

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).

Tomorrow: Ideas

Published by

Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.

13 thoughts on “Friends of BJP: The Road Ahead”

  1. There are many professionals who would like to support right wing BJP. The problem, however, is not their sincerity or desire but the kind of behaviour displayed by the party’s legislators and parliamentarians who have won elections. Most of them are thoroughly corrupt. This is not the kind of alternative professionals are looking at for the sake of alternative. The need therefore is to cleanse the system from within first and then look for support, which automatically will emerge.

  2. Arpita, you make a very pertinent point. Unfortunately, the phenomenon of corrupt parliamentarians is a consequence of the system. It is party-agnostic. People respond to incentives. If the system and the incentives it provides does not change, then the behavior also does not change.

    Systemic change is hard if those who are within the system are the only ones that have the power to change. Naturally, they will resist any change.

    What needs to happen is for outsiders to become powerful enough to force a change in the system. That is what revolutions are made of. But revolutions need leaders with vision, courage, and intelligence. Which in our case we have not got.

  3. Excited to be part of it. Yes the system has to change. But as Atanu has said, we have to force the change. And I think groups like FBJP will help it.

  4. India First….

    I always thought the BJP’s slogan was Hindoos first. I am not going into the old sob story again.

    To put it crisply, methinks that Rajesh is trying to marry a bride with a limp and trying hard to convince himself that it is normal. It is…isn’t it? It is a pity that he has only the sa(va)gely Atanu to ask!

    Looks like Rajesh is trying hard to create BJP Version – which is sad, because its actual users have been clamoring for a return to the old but working version sans sysAdvani.

    The best thing is to forget the BJP as a right of center alternative, there is enough space for another party that really puts India First. But no need to rush, unless it reinvents itself, the BJP is doomed to extinction, even if not immediately. Not only are its genes old and archaic, there is little raison d’être for its existence.

    There is a critical point where the curve turns, where it is cheaper to create a new alternative than improve existing versions. The search for a right of center alternative is nearing that inflection point.

    When Narayana Murthy speaks, the whole of India listens, so does it to Kalam, why should Rajesh’s case be any different? When the ideals driving them are the same?

    Indians are looking for new leaders and new visions, not more of the same. India First is a nice forward looking vision, best rendered (at least for now) by a non political think tank. FOI, anybody?

    In which any one interested in putting India first may join without any fear or favor. And in time people will and one day you will wake up and find yourself a potent political force.

    This is the way political organizations are built, there is little need to ride piggy back on an already crippled party, a party whose cadre see little merit in changing its ways and who know nothing better.

    Rajesh, please rejig your plans, surely there was much to learn from your last foray. The ubiquitous Web is at your command, use it well, and use it for a good purpose. Not to revive moribund souls.

    It is my understanding that the FOBJP has as bleak a future as it had in the past and the dead websites of Advani and FOBJP are pointers to that. What you gained in votes you have lost in prestige…I also feel that FOBJP does not have the political will and savvy to counter the forces of reactionary Hindutva, when it comes.

    Not trying to become the God of Lost Causes, are you?

  5. Thanks so much for this information. I have to let you know I concur on several of the points you make here and others may require some further review, but I can see your viewpoint.
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