The dramatic events that preceded the change-of-guard are a classic testimony to how subservient is the BJP’s relationship with the RSS. With Hindutva terror in focus, the RSS needs to generate enough heat to stop the net from closing in. The dynamics of ideological discourse have overshadowed merits of political pragmatism in the saffron quarters with the mother organisation, the RSS, imposing its favourite, Rajnath Singh, once more as president of its political front, the BJP. A clear reflection of just how successfully the RSS is currently employing the BJP to voice its concerns was seen in the immediate aftermath of Singh’s election when the newly-appointed BJP president, with his latest comrade-in-arms, Sushma Swaraj, were seen agitating at Jantar Mantar over Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde’s sudden outburst about the Sangh’s involvement in various terror strikes across the country.
This is not to say that Arun Jaitley or LK Advani would not have come to the RSS’s rescue when the UPA seems to be unearthing its links with various terror outfits. But, let us just presume that it is rather difficult to imagine either Jaitley or Advani publicly declaring that “no Hindu can ever be a terrorist” or that “Parliament will not be allowed to function” if the home minister persists with his line on Hindutva terror.
These pragmatic parliamentary leaders in the BJP may be intermittently inclined to sprinkle the public discourse with ideological issues if the situation so warrants. After all, it was Advani who mounted the chariot to launch a journey that resulted in the demolition of the Babri mosque and a series of riots and bloodbath. This was what Advani calculated as the need of the hour when he edged the VHP out to take over the Ramjanmabhoomi movement. In his calculation, the politics of kamandal was the upper caste Hindu retort to the recommendations of the Mandal Commission that promised reservation in jobs and educational institutions to Other Backward Classes (OBCs).
However, neither Advani nor his one-time protégé, Jaitley (relations are not believed to be as good as they once were), are as wedded to the RSS’s concerns as someone like Singh who owes his rise in the ranks almost entirely to his proximity to the Sangh. So, it is hard to see them mouthing such ludicrous spiel as “we will not allow Parliament to function”. The new BJP chief has been handpicked by the RSS with the sole purpose of enhancing the ideological quota in the mainstream political narrative that someone like Advani would like to mould on issues of more contemporary relevance, for instance, corruption.
The dramatic events that preceded the change-of-guard are a classic testimony to just how intimate and subservient is the BJP’s relationship with the RSS. A leader of Advani’s stature had to depend on an extraneous factor, the threat of income tax raids, to prevent the RSS from foisting Nitin Gadkari as BJP chief for one more term of three years. Before that, neither the multiple controversies surrounding Gadkari’s Purti Power and Sugar Ltd, the letters he wrote demanding payments for contractors in the controversial Ghosikurd dam project, the suspect allotment in BJP-run Chhattisgarh of coal blocks to his friend, Ajay Sancheti, whom he managed to push to the Rajya Sabha, the public allegations of “auction” of seats in the BJP by senior leader Yashwant Sinha, nor his less than becoming public conduct, were a hindrance to his re-election... Read more:
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