BJP Lacks Political Passion and Conviction
India's main opposition political party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lacks both political passion and political conviction going by the trend of its demonstrated record and the utterances of its top leaders in the last few months. With General Elections just round the corner, one would have expected the BJP and its leaders to be all fired-up with political passion and conviction to expose the pitiable record of the Congress Government on every conceivable issue of governance. The BJP except for some proforma and reactive statements on critical and contentious issues has failed to arouse India and Indian public opinion by highlighting that the Congress Government in an act of political cowardice is ducking governance issues by not holding the Monsoon Session of the Parliament which was due in mid-August
The Congress Government's pitiable record of governance incorporates governance based on political expediency, condoning of political corruption at the apex levels of the Congress, undermining the counter-terrorism efforts of security agencies and intelligence agencies based on vote bank electoral considerations, and a total bankruptcy in the conduct of India's foreign policy. With such a plethora of political issues on which the Congress Party could be politically crucified, the BJP stands paralyzed in words and deeds by not making India alive to these shortcomings by an electrifying and politically passionate widespread campaign.
Let us first begin with the last Parliament Session on the Trust Vote issue. This was an opportune moment to launch the election campaign of the BJP by a full expose of the Congress failures with political passion that could arouse India. The speeches of Shri L K Advani in the lead and those of other BJP politicians were lusterless and devoid of the brimstone and fire that should be the hallmark of the speeches of India's main Opposition Party. On this occasion one missed the presence of Arun Jaitley and Ravi Shankar Prasad Singh who could have provided that political passion and turned the tables. Sadly, due to BJP's inner party politics the best orators of the BJP are not in the Lok Sabha.
On the Amarnath Shrine land issue the BJP found itself marginalized by its pussy-footing initially leading to a situation where the Jammu leaders did not want Shri Advani and the BJP President to visit Jammu at the height of the agitation.
Did any of the BJP leaders in a stirring manner highlight those moving scenes of Jammu public crossing the flooded Tawi River with India's flags held proudly aloft in their hands to bypass the police barricades. Those scenes were more moving than Gandhi's Dandi march scenes as there it was against a colonial power but here the Jammu public was battling the Congress regime's policies of appeasement of Kashmir Valley Muslim populace and their willful defiance in carrying Pakistani flags long used to the fact that the Congress would always give in to their demands.
The BJP leaders obsession with Jinnah is not understandable. First it was Shri Advani and now it is Jaswant Singh who is ready to release his book on Jinnah. This would not draw any Muslim votes for the BJP. The BJP needs to get into its head that it has to politically move ahead based on the political reality that the Indian Muslim votes as long they are controlled by their clerics cannot be swayed to the BJP
With General Elections due anytime the BJP political leaders should have been now criss-crossing the country to politically galvanize the Indian masses in BJP's favor. None of this is visible and it detracts from the end aim of the BJP from displacing the Congress Government from power. The end game cannot be achieved by political strategy sessions in air-conditioned rooms at the BJP Headquarters in New Delhi but by sweating out across the length and breadth of India by BJP political leaders.
The BJP needs leaders like Shri Narendra Modi, the Gujarat Chief Minister who exudes political passion and conviction in his speeches and actions. As I wrote in an earlier Column after Shri Modi's win in the last Assembly elections that the major lesson that emerged from it is that India yearns for strong and resolute political leadership imbued with a sense of Indian nationalism.
The BJP can hardy expect to win the next General Elections until it breaks-out of its Congressified fossil shell. The BJP leaders need to add vehement political passion and conviction to galvanize the people of India and especially the more than 30% of India's enlightened middle-class who need to be converted to its natural vote-bank.
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Dr. Subhash Kapila
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