The crisis that the Bharatiya Janata Party [BJP] is undergoing is an indicator of the long overdue need for the Party to change its political vision and ideology both of which are rooted more in hatred than any meaningful positive value. In the last few years whenever and wherever the Party had some significant power it used that power to wreak a lot of havoc on some of the minority communities in the country rather than use it for the welfare of at least some sections of the society, at least the section for whose interests the Party exists. What it means in the final analysis is that the Party was merely trying to get power or retain it by whipping up communal feelings. There is no survival for such parties anymore in India.
India has tasted the rewards of capitalist outlooks. The country has moved far ahead from the days of the “Hindu rate of economic growth” to a flourishing capitalist rate. There is only one thing that capitalist outlooks understand: wealth. Capitalists are interested in gods only insofar as gods will rake in more profits. Their interest in culture or nationalism is also circumscribed by the same motive. Ratan Tata moved into Narendra Modi’s Gujarat from Mamata Didi’s West Bengal not for the sake of Hindutva but for the sake of an environment that is conducive to his commercial enterprise.
It is high time that the BJP realised this plain truth. The age of gods and goddesses is gone. Wealth is the new god/goddess. L K Advani’s somersaults between hardcore Hindutva and opportunistic secularism (as when he lavished praises on Jinnah during his Pakistan visit) cannot hoodwink a population whose eyes are fixed on material progress. Mr Jaswant Singh praised Jinnah and went on to assert that it was time for the Party [BJP] to change its attitudes. That makes him different from Mr Advani. Mr Singh is saying that BJP’s vision has become outdated. And he is right.
But Arun Shourie is determined to drag the Party back by a century or so, it seems. He is asking the RSS to take hold of the reigns. The RSS is a retrograde organisation with revanchist attitudes. At a time when millions of Indians have settled down in peace and prosperity in countries all over the world and all of which are non-Hindu, the RSS is thinking of forging a nation in India exclusively for Hindus. How can such an organisation lead a political party to any kind of success in a democratic country that is relishing the successes of capitalism?
It is time for the BJP to melt all its antiquated vision and policies in a cauldron and give shape to a new vision and new policies relevant for the twenty-first century. India is ready for that new vision.