Where has the BJP lost its way?

first_imgThe years between 2010 and 2013 were tumultuous one. UPA was in its second term and coalition partners were busy in enriching themselves. Scams became frequent and BJP then in opposition scaled its brouhaha to new heights. This was also the time when Indian politics stooped to new low and obscene cartoons along with “below the belt” barbs became dominant themes. A “vikaspurush” among BJP was quickly scanned and his mysterious “Gujarat model” was presented to the nation as the panacea of all problems. Dissent among BJP was crushed employing the classic strategy of “carrot and stick”. Those who supported Modi’s cause were skyrocketed to corridors of power, those who cast apprehensions were shifted to Margdarshak Mandal. To the people “Ache din” was promised, black money was fictitiously brought in election rallies and a 56-inch chest was portrayed as the solution of all our foreign policy issues. Elections happened and in 2014 BJP secured its historic win. Since then “Ache din” remained an elusive dream. So, where did the Gujarat strong man went wrong?First and foremost, to win elections and to govern are two different things. Elections can be won by raising people’s emotions, by promising them “pie in the sky” but once oath-taking formalities are over, the Janta demands deliverance. In the rhythm of criticising UPA, Mr Modi no doubt made some laughable promises that are still haunting him. To deflect, uneasy questions that he faced throughout his first term, he roped in his confidant Amit Shah in the government. Since then Mr Modi has definitely earned some peace for himself as the burden of answering “jumlas” have now been shifted to the Home Minister.Secondly, running a state (Gujarat) and governing a nation again demands different sets of capabilities. It’s worth mentioning here, that before 2014, Mr Modi himself had no experience of national governance at any level, something that he has ironically accused Rahul Gandhi of and has made a national political career for himself. The lack of experience, explains Mr Modi’s ill-conceived and equally disastrous policies like “demonetisation” and “GST reforms”, both of which boomeranged causing untold hardships for the common man.Thirdly, by sidelining dissenters from his own party in his pursuit for Race Course, Mr Modi, in fact, sidelined the limited experience that his party had earned in its limited stints of power. The second rung of leadership was filled with “yes boss” members and thus governance took a downhill. The inexperience of handling the JNU issue, moral policing and ghar wapsi were manifestations of it.It’s undoubtedly true that BJP has failed to meet the expectations that it once rose among the hearts and minds of common Indians. The use of brute force has now replaced the logic and performance in governance. New terms like “Urban Naxals” are now in fashion and freedom of expression has now been made synonymous with sedition. In its six years of power, BJP has definitely lost its way where public service has receded to the background and chauvinistic political ideals have taken the centre stage.What BJP now needs is a process of streamlining both at its top echelons starting from Prime Minister to its grassroots worker. Mr Modi must refrain from viewing every dissent in the country as his adversaries. These are the voices that are emanating from the people whose emotions and expectations were stoked by his oratory eloquence. Further, a proper training of BJP grassroots workers is the cry of the moment. They need to be explained that merely brandishing swords and tilak with chanting anti-minority slogans doesn’t make one the protector of Hindutva. An accommodative and participatory approach with a sense of tolerance is required in the governance of 21st century India.last_img

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