L K Advani is a versatile actor. He can don any cap and change his (and the cap’s) colours accordingly. Unlike Narendra Modi who is overtly uncomfortable with any cap related to Islam, Advani can be comfortable wearing any damn cap as long as it may help to win votes. Yesterday Mr Advani celebrated Christmas in Delhi with some Christians. He even allowed his grand-daughter, Navya, to be dressed as Santa Claus. [See the picture scanned from the print version of the Malayala Manorama newspaper of 17 Dec 2011 – the newspaper didn’t deem it worth to put the photo in their online edition].
According to the front page report in the Malayala Manorama, Advani delivered a Christmas message too in which he reiterated that the BJP’s history resembled Jesus’ life in some ways. The Jan Sangh workers were ousted from the Janata Party in 1980 on Good Friday. Then the Jan Sangh resurrected like Jesus as the Bharatiya Janata Party on the Easter Sunday. Mr Advani said this same thing on many different occasions earlier too, like during his election campaign in Shillong. During that campaign Mr Advani also referred to the fact that he had also mentioned the Jesus link with the birth of BJP in his own speech delivered at the founding conference of the BJP on April 6, 1980.
Jesus was resurrected again by Mr Advani yesterday during the Christmas celebration at his Prithviraj Road residence in Delhi. He went on to mention his other Christian associations. He said that he had studied at a Christian school (St Patrick’s School) in Karachi. He added that Musharaf who left India after the Partition also studied in that same school after he reached Karachi. He further mentioned that he had visited the school two times later and was given a warm welcome. He remembered the Christian principal and other teachers with love in his Christmas message.
I wonder why the English press ignored the celebration. According to the Malayalam newspaper it was a grand celebration in which many BJP leaders like Fransisco D’Souza from Goa BJP, Alphonse Kannamthanan from Kerala BJP, Chandran Mitra and Bijoya Chakravarti from West Bengal BJP (?) as well as many prominent Christian religious leaders from the North-East took part.
Maybe, the English press doesn’t like Mr Advani’s chameleon colours. I too don’t like it. I wish Mr Advani rose above the need to change colours. I wish Mr Advani really understood the psychological value of religion and left it at that instead of using it for nefarious political purposes. I wish Mr Advani understood the real meaning of Jesus’ saying: “Give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” That separation of religion from politics will certainly work more miracles for the BJP than all the Medieval strategies it takes recourse to from time to time.
Advani ji, I wish you a real Merry Christams. Almost as Charles Dickens would have wished Scrooge.