Thursday, May 21, 2009

Paleo-conservative Right's critique of BJP's electoral strategy

I'm sure you have seen all kinds of post-poll opinion pieces -- in blogs as well as newspapers -- about what BJP should do to stop its electoral slide and gain broader acceptance. Most of them advise BJP to dump Hindutva and become a proper Right Wing Party (conservatism in the economic sphere); some have suggested the model of Christian Democratic Party (whatever that means ;-).

Koenraad Elst says all that is bunkum; it should, instead, get back to its Hindutva core: "only a clear ideological profile, mature but distinct, could have won the election for the BJP."

I mean, I have seen BJP getting walloped by people to its left (if not *the* Left). But the way the party is being criticized from its right -- imagine that! -- is interesting. It is this that makes me link to this piece.

[Don't forget to read the comments; there are three as I write this post]

Here's Elst's opinion of L.K. Advani:

In 1991 already, right after the election victory that made the BJP the leading Opposition party, it discreetly disowned the Ayodhya movement that had earned it this breakthrough. The media scapegoated Mr LK Advani for the subsequent Babri Masjid demolition, though everybody knew that it had taken place in spite of him. He had gone there to demonstrate to the secularists that he was the one man who could control Hindu anger and prevent it from demolishing this symbol of secularism. When the crowd bypassed him, he broke down in tears, and ever since, he has been deploring the event as the ‘blackest day’ of his life. Disowning his role of flag-bearer of Hindutva, he should have bowed out gracefully. Instead, his clinging on to the leadership reminds us of Mr Jean-Marie Le Pen, the aged French Rightist leader who has sacrificed his party to his own pitiable ambitions.

To be compared to Jean-Marie Le Pen? This is too cruel. Even to Advani.


  1. Chitta said...

    Hi Abi:

    I have been wondering about the rise of BJP in Karnataka and Bangalore. It has me puzzled. When you get time, it would be great if you could link to some articles regarding that.


  2. Anonymous said...

    The problem with BJP and its critics is they equate "Hindutva" with Babri Masjid demolition kind of politics. Imaginative thinking can lead to great many rational and sound ideas to be a constructive right-wing/conservative/pro-Hindu party which is not necessarily anti-minority/Muslim/secular. As far liberalism is concerned we Indians probably haven't yet defined it in the Indian context (even by the Congress supporters).
    The problem with BJP is ultimately I guess an issue of lack of ideas

  3. Animesh said...

    LOL, living in Paris, and having lived in Paris in 2002 when Le Pen was running for elections, I am getting a kick out of this :).

    P.S. The "nonsense" word that google is asking me to type for this comment is "verma". No, seriously, "verma". I am told that at one time, a friend of mine saw "itbhu" as the captcha word :)