Was the verdict of Elections 2009 a verdict against Hindutva? Was the elections of 2009 a referendum on Hindutva? Is Hindutva a way of life as the Supreme Court averred? Or is Hindutva a bad word? Should the BJP dump Hindutva to become more acceptable to voters and allies? Will BJP become a “B” team of the Congress without Hindutva or a watered-down Hindutva? Is an “Inclusive Hindutva” a tacit admission of an exclusivist nature of Hindutva?
Cartoon: courtesy E.P. Unny in The Indian Express
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BJP just swept everything under the carper and missed a golden opportunity to distance itself from Lunatic fringe of the Hindu pariwar. It should should’ve begun somewhere by showing it is a liberal party and is not a narrowly defined one.
The trouble with Hindutva is that it doesn’t have a framework. Late Vijayaraje Sindhia had made her famous remarks about Sati being part of Hindu tradition and it can’t be made out as a crime. Similarly there are various votaries of Hindu groups, who define hindu culture in their own narrow way and try to enforce that on others.
What BJP should do is define the Hindutva. Put a framework as to how it is different that any narrow religious belief. Get a buy in from all the leaders for that framework and kick out any fringe elements.
There is certainly place for a Right-wing party in our polity, and someone saying we stand for Hindu ethos of tolerance, open mindedness, continued learning/education, deep spirituality intertwined with the material pursuit.
It should also define the broader aims of such ideology, rather than just say ‘ok we are for hindutva’. The framework should include a distinct Economic policy – Radically different than the one Congress pursues. A policy that says we will reduce the taxes (Like all conservatives do worldover), we will encourage business, we will invest heavily in education for feeding the businesses with employable workers, we will also invest heavily in infrastructure to help businesses generate employment.
They should come out and say, it is wrong for less than 5% of people to pay direct taxes and rest of the country to be free loaders. They should propose a way to change it to bring in at least 30% of Indians under tax net, which will give it enough money to help poorer sections (like landless farmers and daily wage earners). This won’t hurt people for 30% of Indians are deemed to be middle class. At current congress rate of tax base increase it’ll take us 25 years to reach 30% people paying taxes!!
It should say that Hindu Ethos always called for Gurudakshina, which basically meant as a means of giving something in return. There are many ways BJP can do this. It can propose to have anyone who is given free/subsidized education work to pay back once he is employed. It can even insist on 2 years of work at govt. pay at a place of its choosing.
And anyone who doesn’t get a free/subsidized education, is paying his Gurudakshina right away! So, any one who wants to impart education in return for a pre-fixed Guru Dakshina should be allowed to (Without need for license permit raj). May be a regulator to make sure they don’t cheat (as in insurance or stock market) is all that is needed.
It should also promise not to impose MM Joshi on HRD and stiffle competition in education. Any field gets more competetive when there is competition. And when you liberalize education, competetion will be a side product.
If they can define these as their framework and make people understand the difference, I am sure Indians will see a reason to support them. Talking about Ram and Ram Rajya kind of vague objectives will not help them.
Most importantly, it should apologize for Gujarat2002, and also promise to disassociate and punish militant groups which take law into their own hands (Hindu or otherwise). No sane citizen likes people going around trashing fellow citizens.
BJP and Congress are all same with minor differences.
People why still this fixation about the BJP and the Elections. Why don’t we focus the lights on where the action and electoral repurcussions of the leftist defeat is heading towards. Lalgarh, why not mention of Lalgarh and the maoist armed struggle in Churumuri.
I am tired of these stupid analysis. Congress does nothing and gets portrayed as pro-poor due to propaganda. It has no strategy or plans for the nation–no plans to refrom education, no plans for building Universities, no nothing. Instead of building universities they offer affirmative action and reservations to lower standards. Instead of building infrastructure they waste money on schemes which does not benefit anyone. The status quo will be maintained and perhaps India will go broke again through their squandering of government money again on futile schemes before they are forced to do something drastic. Stretegic thinking for the nation is something that the Congress cannot do–it has neither any plan nor vision for India. In sum, it offers nothing.
As for Congress one can say a leopard does not change its spots just as you speak of BJP.