Sunday, August 30, 2009

The disintegration of the opposition

Once when a scholar came to Akbar's court and asked him - "What does God do"?, no one gave a satisfactory answer until Birbal stood up and said - "God changes a king to a subject(subordinate) and a subject to a king". This is precisely what is happening with the Opposition party - BJP.

13 years ago when Congress was totally demoralized, there were fractions and rebellions. The news was that "Congress is dead". With one section revolting Sonia and the other with her was making news every second. Everyday the party was ridden with quarrels and squabbles - and the whole country was ashamed of the fact that it is this party that they voted for 50 years.
Congress was split in 1967 once for the same reason. Now, Congress is on a U-turn and BJP has taken its place. However, a split in the BJP is more or less impossible.

Every major senior leader more or less has come out in the open explaining their problems both with Advani and Rajnath Singh. This is definitely a party that boasted of self discipline and unity. Today, all that lies shattered. The party has collapsed and disintegrated. This is not good news for the country because an effective opposition is very much required.

In my earlier article, I did mention about the graceful exit of Advani, but it appears like Advani is sticking on to the position because of party pressure. He should have done what Sonia did. -give up the job. He would have become at least a good leader and the humiliation would have been less. Today, Advani not just stands humiliated, but has become a topic of humor to everyone.

The party is not correct when it tries to sack Vasundhara Raje and B.C. Khanduri for non-performance when Advani and Rajnath Singh continue to hold onto their posts. The yardstick must be one for all.

The sacking of Jaswant Singh was a ridiculous drama. This man built the party along with Vajpayee and Advani and served as an excellent External Affairs Minister changing the Indo- US relationships so diplomatically that Strobe Talbott (Deputy Secretary of State to Bill Clinton) wrote an entire book describing how he played an imporant role in it. What did Mr.Advani do at that time? Was he under the pressure of Rajnath Singh? It appears that ever since Rajnath Singh took over as party president, there have been no end for troubles in the BJP. Yes, there are issues with why Jaswant Singh went to release hostages, but his other contributions to the nation are good enough to retain him. If Nehru is still revered and respected despite the blunder of 1962 war, Indira Gandhi despite emergency - then it is also true that Jaswant Singh must be considered for certain valuable contributions he made to diplomacy and foreign policy.

Arun shourie is very correct when he says if Vajpayee would have been asked to react to Jaswant's book he would have said - "Kitab hi likha hai...aap bhi ek kitaab likh de jiye" (i.e He has only written a what even you write a book) and the matter would have ended there.

Rajnath Singh has tried to create a wedge between all senior leaders who once stood united and calm. If such presidents continue to preside a principal national party, the party is doomed to finish. It reminds me of the disastrous Sitaram Kesri of the Congress who spoiled the party to the core.

Mr. Vajpayee's midas touch is required and he is unfortunately unfit to give that. No one knows what's the future of this party? It is deadly to the country if congress or the BJP collapses this way. These 2 are the only national parties that have and can give a stable and strong government. If either one collapses, the regional parties like SP, BSP, TDP, AIADMK, DMK and others will take over and India will not be India at all. Nationality and national consensus will erode that day when this becomes a reality.

It is important to set the house in order and young leaders must take over. If BJP comes out with more young leaders to the forefront, then it can at least come out to compete with Congress's most positive factor right now.

I would dismiss anyone's viewpoint who says BJP never governed this country well. It is the only party along with Congress which has given this country a stable government. The party has to emerge united with a good leader and ensure regional parties don't take over. Like there are 2 poles - South and north - so are Congress and BJP - 2 poles of Indian politics. This should not change.

Someone once remarked - Advani becomes silent on certain crucial matters when his presence is utmost required and his silence now continues to act as fuel burning the very BJP he built. This is the worst problem a person can have.

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