BJP’s Conversion


That politics makes strange bedfellows is a cliché.  Nevertheless, we would expect our political parties to have the most basic consistency in their ideological positions.  For example, we wouldn’t normally expect the Left parties to espouse the capitalists.  Similarly, we wouldn’t expect the BJP to reserve seats for Muslims or Christians.

Yet the BJP in Goa is doing just that.  It has given 25 percent of the party’s seats to Christian candidates for the next election, according to a report in the Economic Times (7 Feb 2012).  Furthermore, the party is going to reserve some seats for the Christians in the state’s government jobs.

File picture of a Bajrang Dal member

The BJP is a party that has nurtured itself on candid communalism.  Cultural nationalism has been its staple food.  Hatred of the minorities has been its perennial hobby.  Its forefathers like G. D. Savarkar had ordered all non-Hindus “either to merge themselves in the National Race and adopt its culture, or to live at its mercy so long as the National Race may allow them to do so, and to quit the country at the sweet will of the National Race…” (We, or Our Nationhood defined). 

We should, certainly, be happy if such pernicious positions are being rectified.  And if history is being rewritten (which is also a hobby of the BJP). Those of us who believe in gods should offer prayers and sacrificial rituals in thanksgiving for the conversion of the wayward.  Those who are not religious can at the least celebrate the conversion in a blog.  And that’s what I’m doing.

I’m celebrating BJP’s conversion.  I hope this conversion is not merely an election ploy.  I hope BJP’s love for the minority communities will spread from Goa to other states, particularly the neighbouring Karnataka where, when it came to power, the party displayed more fangs than it could have afforded against the Christians in the state.

If this conversion marks a genuine departure from the party’s political and ideological stand, and if the party indeed intends to practise religious tolerance, I’ll proudly throw my fist into the air and shout jubilantly at the top of my voice: “Jai Hind.”


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2 Responses to BJP’s Conversion

  1. Sid says:

    This might mark a departure of BJP from its traditional politics but I seriously doubt that if this communal quota crap is going to do any good to the minorities and their ‘upliftment’ just as it has failed to ring a bell with the backward castes and classes(by and large). It is indeed pathetic to see politics boiled down to such levels. But that’s a debate for another day.

    • matheikal says:

      Sid, as you’ve already said reservation is quite a different matter. I’m against reservations. I have argued time and again that once education is provided free of charge and opportunities are made equally to all reservations would be redundant. At any rate, the history of reservations in our country argues pathetically against its efficacy.

      However, reservation policies cannot justify the xenophobia of a national, majoritarain party. Simply because the majority always has (or can have, if it genuinely wants) a way of managing their ways successfully. What has happened is this: some political parties misused reservations for gaining poltical mileage. And the BJP misused that misuse for their own political mileage. Both are wrong. Two wrongs do not make a right, as you know very well.

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