The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is a crisis. What am I blabbering about? They have been in a slump, rather a deep hole, ever since their defeat in the last general elections. And the pit threatens to become a rapidly swelling ravine with each calamity. The daily fuss at Ashoka Road puts Ekta Kapoor's K-factory to shame. The long standing saga of feud among its leadership has turned into dramatic guerilla warfare, giving tough competition to popular soaps on Indian television. The favorite leisure pursuit of BJP's leaders is obliging the cameras by washing dirty linen in public. Eh, no cameras around? Then, no laundry today darlings!
An Expel-Me virus is spreading in the party faster than you can say BJP. The latest victim is the veteran Madan Lal Khurana. I confess, I cannot recall how many times by now he has been expelled and welcomed back into the party. However, I do recollect that the four times Member of Parliament and ex Vice-President of the BJP lists one of his hobbies (http://parliamentofindia.nic.in/ls/lok13/biodata/13DL06.htm) as drama. No wonder we have been treated to such fabulous performances. Way to go Khurana Sahib. Do you propose to return to the Sangh Parivaar anytime soon and dazzle us to yet another encore?
As Late Shri K.R. Malkani, another ex Vice-President of the BJP said that even its long- time detractors declare that the BJP is "unstoppable". I agree. Given its present trajectory, it is for certain unstoppably on the path to self destruction.
Before we brush off the BJP as a has-been, here is a quick reminder that this big cat may seem crushed but it has not roared its last. The BJP is nonetheless the single largest party in the parliament today. Its has successfully completed one term at the Centre and Mr. Vajpayee even now commands higher popularity ratings than the present Prime Minister.
Although I am not a BJP loyalist, I favor few large national parties over numerous pint-sized incongruent local parties. As we have witnessed with the present government and its predecessor, it is difficult to sustain a marriage with multiple partners who have bizarre bed habits. The nation is paying the price of coalition politics - even the smallest of the partners can choose to bring the governance to halt over issues that affect its distinctive vote bank. Others like the Left, choose to play the supporting whistle-blower from outside without taking on the responsibility of becoming an official constituent of the administration. As a member of the fast growing breed of electorate who believe that India needs a two-party democracy, I suggest a clear face-off between BJP and Congress (I).
What the BJP needs today is more than just discipline. Hence I am offering a sample of my priceless survival mantras to the BJP. Headlines guaranteed - this time round for all the right reasons! I am secretly hoping Rajnath Singh will appoint me as the CRO (Chief Revival Officer). Move over Jaitleyji, here I come.
Firstly, rope in Rina Dhaka to dump the anorexic Miss India troika for larger, bulkier challenges. Order your troops to abandon the loyal darzis and exchange old wardrobes for designer threads. Zap and stun the electorate with smart kurtas, well cut band-galas and stylish jackets. Enamor them with new couture, leaving them too astounded to notice the insults your cadre throw at each other. When you don't have a differential offering, confuse the voter.
Next, whisk away the elder leaders to a rejuvenating get-away. A radical makeover complete with botox injections, laser skin peels, face-lifts, hair weaves and new dentures are needed if these senior citizens aspire to compete with the photogenic Gandhi siblings. The oldies will have to shed that cellulite and wrinkles if they want another go at the Center. Good looks grab eyeballs in this age of constant media imagery.
Subsequently, hire voice and accent trainers from one of the abundant call centres in neighboring gab-capital Gurgaon. Sharp shuddh Hindi on English news channels and high pitch clipped-convent drawls on vernacular channels don't make up popularity charts. Your leaders will have to be thoroughly trained in modulating their twang. Furthermore, they will have to perfect the art of varying their style aiming at the demographic profile of the audiences of the television channels they are leaking, I mean communicating to. If you want to compete with Congress (I), you will have to better than imitate foreign-born Sonia's pronunciation. If the BJP wishes to go national, it has to shed its image as a party of the Hindu elite and the Hindi-heartland. The BJP leaders need to speak the language of the people. Remember if they don't understand you, they won't vote for you.
Lastly, encourage the mid-level executives to reproduce. Literally. Everyone likes leaders who are healthy and virile. After all, when Tony Blair and David Cameroon can father babies in their 40s why can't Pramod Mahajan and Venkaiah Naidu? This not only fulfils the RSS dream of the Hindu growth-rate, but tiny tots make excellent photo ops too!
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