Any organization is basically a network of relationships of things, people, community, group and functions working in tandem to accomplish an objective. What happens when an organization loses its inherent tendency to build a relationship between people to people, group to group? What happens when co-ordination is marred by personal interests and objective goes for a toss? Current situation of Indian political party Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) probably provides answer to these questions to an extent.
The rift within party and allies
Yes! The party has lost it tendency to built relationship, in a battle between the old warrior Lal Krishna Advani and warriorlike Narendra Modi. Last week Lal Krishna Advani resigned from all the political post he held for BJP, third time in last eight years. The reason being elevation of Narendra Modi as the head of the party’s election committee for 2014 general election, overruling his suggestion and role in the party. The resignation drama continued for few days till he accepted RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat request to withdraw his resignation.
The resignation could have made huge impact on the 2014 general assembly, considering his political influence within the party and on allies. The arrival of Narendra Modi on the forefront, and the rift has already left the party and allies in bitter taste. One of its oldest allies Janata Dal United (JD-U) broke out of their 17 year alliance, leaving BJP in despair, even when Advani himself talked to the JD-U party chief and Bihar Chief Minister separately. This is the symptom, symptom of an organization losing its inherent tendency to build a relationship.
Advani and his letter
Mr. Advani wrote in his resignation letter, ‘For some time, I have been finding it difficult to reconcile either with the current functioning of the party, or the direction in which it is going… most leaders of ours are now concerned just with their personal agendas.’ One thing is clear Advani’s reconciliation is not volunteered and is under pressure from RSS.
What has history to say on some of the issues he mentioned in his resignation letter?
Reconciliation is impossible even after he is back in the party, because it is the Narendra who is the shaker now. Advani’s words most leaders of ours are now concerned just with their personal agendas belie history of the party. The problem is integral part of the party; it was Advani through his political authority built the functioning, practices and activities of the party now he is complaining of. The sublime beauty of political authority is the potential to give power to one person or the other- it was Advani before, Modi now. Same thing applies for the current functioning of the party. The shaping effect of his legacy on the party functioning is/was profound and persuasive; it is just the continuance of the phenomenon.
Legacy and the old acts
The second Iron man of India (his followers like to call him) forgot the way he used to hold sway over BJP in late 1980s and early 1990s. How he overruled/side-lined large section of moderate party members, including Atal Bihari Vajpayee during his communal Ram Janmbhoomi movement Rath Yatra leading to Babri Masjid demolition and communal riots across the country. How his sense of party objective prevailed during the period in order to consolidate the Hindu vote-bank. He forgot how he made the BJP a communal force in India by advancing his Hindutva poster-boy image. How he later took ‘U turn’ on Ayodhya episode claiming it to be saddest day of his life, called Jinnah secular leader leading to his decline both as the party member and the authoritative face of BJP.
Concurrently, he completely messed up the objective of the party during his gleaming days.
Political correctitude took over from the being hardcore Hindutva leader. But then again, personal ambition is immanent in human nature and has nothing to do with organization’s objective. He always fancied being Prime Minister of India till few days back, until Narendra Modi had been made the new Hindutva poster boy of BJP, and possibly the next Prime Ministerial candidate of the party. Advani saw it coming, fought hard and finally succumbed to the legacy he himself built during his strong days in the party.
Unfortunately, it was Advani who supported and backed Narendra Modi during/post the Gujarat communal riots in 2002, against the huge protest within and outside party. It was he who architected Modi career to the path of glory post Gujarat riots. Alas! It is Modi for whom he has been sidelined by the party, he represented since its birth. Actually BJP is not about the Modi or Advani; it is about the legacy it has been carrying throughout its history, like many other political parties in India. The Hindutva agenda is a dynamic factor, which BJP perceives to be their most powerful tool. Wasn’t it Advani who imparted it and Narendra Modi is just employing it.
By now it is too late and Advani is too old to rectify things in the party he built through years of hard work. He wrote a blog about wounded Bhishma Pitamah lying on a bed of arrows in the Mahabharata. He forgot to mention in the battle of Mahabharata, it was Arjun, his beloved disciple who led him to rest by piercing innumerable arrows through his body, the so called bed of arrows.
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Image Source : IANS