Communal Politics

Mask upon mask in the BJP

In the Indian Express, Kumar Ketkar weighs in on the evolution of that very broad term, the ‘Sangh’, examining its genesis and eventual inevitable disintegration.

The newly emerging middle class, which was the product of economic liberalisation, was the exact opposite of the Swadeshi Jagran Manch, another Parivar outfit, which opposed globalisation and Americanisation. But for militant Hinduism, the BJP-led front could not have come to power. But to seek power through such militancy and to run a country like India, whose distinguishing characteristic is pluralism, are not easily reconciliable. That is why Vajpayee became the mask and Advani the face behind the mask. The moderates in the BJP became Vajpayee followers, the hardliners joined the Advani camp and the far right in the Parivar promoted the Togadias and Modis.

The BJP thus became a hybrid organisation, which is now looking for a stable personality. Vajpayee and Advani could not agree on Modi. Now, the BJP cannot recognise the ‘real face’ from the several masks that it has acquired for electoral persuasion. Once it had a strong urban base. Now it has lost all the major cities. Till a few months ago, Modi was promoted as a corporate as well as militant icon.

Read the entire article here.

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