Even a paper tiger roars when ship starts leaking

Arun Shourie, the BJP’s resident intellectual for all matters requiring “an IQ of more than 60“—in the famous words of P. Chidambaram, presumably the Congress’s resident intellectual for all matters requiring an IQ of less than 600—has a piece in today’s Indian Express on the debacle of the BJP in the 2009 general elections.

The Magsaysay Award winning journalist, who has emerged as the third man in the dissident triangle after Jaswant Singh and Yashwant Sinha, strikes the grand posture of speaking for all the parties but leaves little doubt over why the L.K. Advani-Arun Jaitley camp has begun to distrust him as to sideline him along with the other two.

“The factor most responsible for the rout has been the state to which the leader and his circle have reduced the party as an organisation, but that is the one factor which the leader and his cohorts will not admit into the discourse. Is the party seen as, is it in fact different from the others? Are its candidates any different? Is every unit of the party not riddled with factionalism?

“That these are the reasons for the setback is manifest to all. But the leader and his circle would have none of them — for that would immediately raise further questions. The party is no longer different from others? Who has allowed the party to sink to this level where it cannot be distinguished from the very parties it has been denouncing? The candidates are no better than those of the rivals? Who has selected the candidates? Factionalism has been allowed to continue? Each state faction has a line to some ringleader in the central cabal? Who has allowed the factionalism to fester and swell?

“They blame others — the rival party; the third party that has stolen their vote; the accidental reason on account of which a section whose vote was to have split got consolidated; the youth; the middle class; the poor who voted on money, the rich who did not vote; the holidays on account of which so many went out of town; the disenchantment with the party’s ally in one state, the absence of an ally in the other; the anti-incumbency factor against us in this state, the advantage that the rival party had in the adjacent state of being in office and thereby being able to use the state machinery; the ‘shameless’ use of money and muscle by the rival… In a word, everyone and everything other than themselves.”

Read the full article here: On the way down

Also read: Don’t laugh: Do journalists make good politicians?

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