This year 2011 was very eventful as far as the political arena is concerned. This year also exposed the duel attitudes of BJP on most of the issues yet again. The various issues, Anna Hazare’s movement, Government trying to bring in FDI in retail, bill for rationalization of fuel price and the deletion of Ramanujam’s essay in the University text, showed its real colors. In many of the bills related to FDI etc., which were brought up for discussion in Parliament, BJP most of the times vehemently opposed what it had been so far championing.
In case of Ramayana it did back up its associates, the progeny of RSS, to get this brilliant essay removed from the University text. The guiding compulsions in this case were not that the essay was not factual, but that many version of Ramayana as outlined in the essay go against BJP theory that Lord Ram was born precisely at the spot where Babri Masjid was located. With so many versions of Lord Ram story, how can one claim their own version is the correct one, and go on to demolish a masjid!
How come a party which stood for the FDI when it was ruling as the head of NDA opposed it so blatantly now? Logically such policies should have gladdened the hearts of BJP as these are what it had been propounding when in power as head of NDA. The shrewdest move on BJP’s part was to give the full hearted support to Anna Hazare movement on the streets but when in parliament it is took a cautious path. It is taking full advantage of Anna’s anti Congress stance while hiding its own corruption and underplaying its reservations to Anna’s bill.
This hypocritical, forked tongue attitude of BJP is part of its character. As such BJP is supposed to work in the electoral arena on behalf of RSS. It has to come to power by all means, fair and foul, to pave the path for RSS agenda of Hindu nation. Its core agenda is totally opposed to the concept of Democratic norms prevalent in the country.
Inherently BJP had been totally opposed to the state intervention in the economic matters, despite the fact that initially the public sector was the basic essentiality for India, as the private capital was not substantial in quantum at that time to lay the foundation of economic growth. BJP and its predecessor Bharatiya Jan Sangh had been sounding loud and clear, opposing states’ role in these matters most of the times. Now since UPA is also following many a policies which BJP wants to be implemented, the same BJP turns around and changes its stance. It does smack of a pure opportunism and it seems that what dictates its public stand most of the times are the electoral contingencies of the time.
If it supports Government on these issues it will sound to be toeing the government line and will lose the electoral advantage in the elections to come. Apart from the turnaround in the economic policies, its shrewd managers have taken a very ambivalent stand on Anna draft after a façade of totally upholding Anna movement, and his bill as the desirable one. As such BJP has a long tradition in these matters of opportunism. It exploded the bomb in 1998, and tilted the foreign policy grossly towards the US. But when in opposition it again turned around and took contrary positions. If we go back slightly we see the same ‘clever’ stance in the matters of Mandal commission implementation. It did not have the courage to speak against the Mandal commission, to which it was deeply opposed, as that would have alienated it from a large section of voters. So to skirt around the issue, it went in for Rath Yatra, bypassed the Mandal issue and tried to give confusing signals to the electorate.
As a culmination of the Rath Yatra, Ramjanmbhoomi movement, it went on to undertake the criminal act of demolition of the Babri Masjid. It asserted that Babri Masjid is a blot on the Hindu India. Let’s note that while taking the oath of office it swears by Indian Constitution, secular India, while operating on political chess-board it keeps Hindu India as the reference point. This demolition brought it to the seat of power in the Centre. After grabbing the power, being in the government it did not build the temple for which it had demolished the masjid and had unleashed the violence.
For BJP coming to power is a mere path for giving more social, political cultural space to its associates, the children of RSS. The aim is to impose in Hindu nation, under the supervision of RSS. The dilemma of BJP is that it is a political party operating in the electoral arena, in the democratic space, but at the same time to work for abolition of democratic space when in power. So far, it could not come to power without the non-Hindutva allies, so it has used the opportunity of being in power to communalize the education and state apparatus, to give more opportunities for the RSS progeny (VHP, Bajrang Dal, ABVP, Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram to infiltrate into state apparatus.
The duplicity of BJP has a deeper agenda. It is not just a party of right wing. It is a party of ‘religious right wing’. The right wing parties aim at the status quo in the society. The religious right wing parties not only aim to maintain status quo but go further to reverse the process of social change which has taken place due to the liberal space. The right wing parties may be principled, however wrong those principles be, while the religious right wing groups are totally bereft of any qualms about principles as they are out to use the democratic space for the bringing in of the fundamentalist regime over a period of time.
The attitude of BJP towards Anna movement is very interesting. BJP knows that Anna movement is the way to polarize the society along the lines of hierarchy of various hues. A particular section of society is more for this type of movement. While those looking for deeper changes in society, are not the target support groups of BJP. So its affiliates plunge fully to provide the driving force for Anna movement. Anna movement also acts as a recruitment center for the religious right wing, so BJP overtly supports it through and through. In parliament it sees that Anna movement is out to undermine the powers of parliament, so the cautious and guarded responses in parliament.
Double standards are strewn all through in the practice of BJP on the electoral arena. This was well summed up its own leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee, when he stated in Staten Island, US, that first he is the swayamsevak of RSS and than anything else. This is what explains BJPs duel attitude to the same issue at different times.
Issues in Secular Politics
II Jan 2012