Advani says he was hurt by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s recent feisty attack on him; Pratap Bhanu Mehta analyses this deceptively simple word – ‘hurt’ – to uncover a floundering ‘discourse of victimhood’:
If you were looking for unexpected insight into the troubles of the BJP, you need look no further than L.K. Advani’s response to the spirited, and on-the-mark, attack on him by Manmohan Singh. His response was a mendacious distinction to the effect that while his attacks on Singh were not personal, Singh’s attacks on him were. But more significant was his claim that he was “hurt”. In using this one little word, Advani unconsciously revealed more about himself and his party: both thrive on a constant play on the theme of victimhood. The minute the Congress ratcheted up the heat on Advani’s record, he retreated into playing victim. Try as much as it can, the BJP struggles to rise above a discourse of victimhood, one that has increasingly less resonance.
Read the entire piece here.