‘Sulking sissies with no high ideals, just grudges’

Pratap Bhanu Mehta, president of the Center for Policy Research, in The Indian Express:

“Try as much as it can, the BJP struggles to rise above a discourse of victimhood, one that has increasingly less resonance….

“Most of those who pillory the Congress do so with the sense that the Congress does not live up to its own best ideals. They attack the Congress in the name of an idea of what the Congress should be. It is the ideal of the Congress that makes its realities look sordid. But the same cannot be said of the BJP.

“The dominant idea that holds it together is not an affirmative one; it is a negative one, powered largely by a politics of resentment. It has no high ideals, only grudges to nurse….

“Its biggest ideological asset is to convert strength into weakness. Its entire politics was constructed around the majority as a helpless victim, unable to stand up for itself. In a way, this demeaned most Hindus even more than it demeaned the BJP’s opponents. But its problem is that without that “hurt” factor nothing makes it distinctive.

“The very longevity of the Congress is a sign that there is something about it that is worth salvaging. But all that remains of the BJP is a long sulk, one that will haunt it even when it is in power.”

Read the full article: The politics of hurt