It is very rarely that print journalists get a chance to say “We told you so” but this is one time that India Opines cannot resist the temptation to brag.It is not even a week back that this writer had suggested that it was time for the ignored, sidelined and marginalised Margdarshaks of the BJP to give up their titles because their rob had been taken over by the fringe elements in the party who were setting the agenda for the government and the country.
This game of double speak and speaking at cross purposes was confirming the impression that the duo of Modi and Amit Shah was unable to rein in these elements who were taking India back to the Stone Age. Some were even calling their style talibani.Concerned sections of society who were unable to do much to check this trend started protesting by returning their awards including writers, artists and even scientists who normally don’t get into these activities.But instead of appreciating and trying to introspect why even the Honourable president of the country Pranab Mukherjee had to call for preserving the culture of tolerance and diversity, the ruling coterie started calling these protests as ‘manufactured.’Aggressive sections within the party, including some ministers, started abusing their own members and calling them names that even the Opposition would not do.But the results of elections of Bihar where the Prime Minister of the country Narendra Modi started describing his political opponents as 3 Idiots, was the the proverbial last straw.
On the eve of Diwali, the senior leaders of the party,emboldened or embarrassed by the results of Bihar, one can’t say, decided to speak up and the country is resonating with what they had to say.These senior leaders including LKAdvani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Shanta Kumar, Yashwant Sinha and K N Govindacharya came out with a statement that some one had to take responsibility for the results of Bihar where the 3 Idiots Lalu, Nitish Kumar and Rahul Gandhi are having the last laugh.So embarrassing is the situation that the BJP has been reduced to a position where its seats are lesser than even the Rashtriya Janata Dal of Lalu who was the prime target of Modi throughout the campaign in which the Prime Minister addressed nearly 30 rallies.
But the statement of these party veterans is not just about electoral victories or defeats even though it talks of lessons not learnt after the Delhi debacle where the BJP has just three members in a house of 70.
These old- timers are more concerned about the level of political discourse in the country where power seems to have gone to the head of the present BJP leaders simply because they have a majority in the Lok Sabha.As they have pointed out, the BJP has been at the helm earlier too under the leadership of Atal Behari Vajpayee but probably he had the best relations with his opposition counter part. In fact the mutual admiration between him and Narsimha Rao and the bonhomie they shared as poets made gossip-mongers look for some hidden agenda between the two.The BJP has not always been like that. There was a time when it had only two members in Lok Sabha but even then it never lost its cool and maintained the decorum of decent discussion and discourse.Now with the duo of Amit Shah and Modi controlling the whole set up of the party and the government, every one else has become redundant for them. After the Lok Sabha elections in 2014 when the BJP managed to decimate the entire opposition in Uttar Pradesh with BSP totally out of the picture and the Congress and Samajwadi Party reduced to mere humps, political pundits started imagining that Amit Shah had managed to re-energize the party with the help of the ignored RSS cadres.
However the same Amit Shah failed to use his formula in the Delhi elections and now in Bihar as the veterans have pointed out.After this timely warning will the RSS continue with its belligerent attitude because Modi still has three and a half years left or it will return to the good old style of functioning with healthy respect for dissent and the Opposition will be watched with keen interest.
By Amitabh Srivastava