On the Record

Hindutva deja vu

It isn’t just these elections which have goaded the BJP into examining what exactly their relationship with Hindutva should be – turns out 2009 is a variation of 2004. It’s useful to take a look at what the world looked like back then –

There are several factors which could pull the BJP away from the emotive issues. A powerful middle class is emerging in the country both in urban centres and in rural India, proud to be Hindu but squeamish about extremism of the kind that erupted in Gujarat.

But that triumphant mood has been significantly tempered in the subsequent years and the article’s last line would seem out-of-place now:

One of Vajpayee’s achievements has been the way he has managed to set his own agenda without antagonising the RSS.

One thing is clear. Under Vajpayee, a party on crutches has found its feet.

That was an excerpt of Neerja Chowdhury’s article in February 2004. The rest of it here.

One comment

  1. Hi
    i think that Hindutva is secondary. At the primary level the BJP needs to figure what it is all about.
    – You can’t be pro business /commerce and oppose a canal project that will create jobs (i would have respected them more if they used the environment argument – but that wouldn’t have got them votes)
    – you can’t be targeting youngsters to vote for you -and have your family members beat up the very same target audience in pubs . You can, but it is not very intelligent
    – You can’t claim to respect the constitution – and then have MP’s waving notes in the well of Parliament – claiming to be bribed. A rickshawalla said – bas itne mein bikte hai. If they are going to stage something, might as well do it properly
    – You can’t use violence and bring life to a halt – which impacts the middle class tremendously – we aren’t used to hardships 🙂 and then claim to be a party of the middle class.

    they are a seriously confused party – the kind of confusion you would see with a typical 16 year old who has got 70% in the HSC exams – and is jumping form option to option as to what to do in the future.

    It is scary to see the main opposition party dither this way. That means, the Congress not only has to play the role of the Government but also the opposition !

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