By Dr. Javed Jamil,
From outside it may look to be a crisis within BJP. It appears as if Modi and Advani, the former King and the grooming Prince, are in an open confrontation. Within less than 24 hours of Modi’s elevation as the Leader of BJP for the coming Lok Sabha elections, Advani has expressed his anguish at the way the party has begun to function and has tendered his resignation from his three party positions. The BJP leaders are rushing to Advani’s home in the hope that they will convince the Octogenarian to take back his resignations and continue to play his fatherly role with dignity so that the “Corrupt UPA government” can be defeated. The drama may continue for a few days, and ultimately Advani’s dignity will be restored, even if partially. But what appears on surface may not necessarily be what is boiling inside.
It may all be a part of a well-planned strategy by the Hindutva union. On the one hand, BJP knows that if they have any chance of turning the tables on UPA, it is by projecting Modi as the leader. On the other hand, they know that if Modi appears to be the sole Prime Ministerial contender, NDA might find it difficult to go along with it. So instead of creating one pole in the BJP, they have planned to create another pole. NDA may convince its supporters that Modi is not the only contender and Advani is there to lead NDA. They know that if Modi wins adequate number of seats for BJP, the situation after the elections would become entirely different. The NDA partners cannot even hint a possible support for BJP till the elections are over because they know it would mean a loss of Muslim votes. But once the elections are over and Modi emerges as the saviour of NDA, they would not find it difficult to agree to his getting the hot seat.
Otherwise, what can explain the distancing of two persons who have been like father and son in their political journey? For both the ideology of Hindutva is less related to supporting Hindu culture and more designed to keep Muslims in a perpetual state of fear. Advani inflamed Indian politics by paving way to the demolition of Babri Masjid. He saved Modi’s chair after Gujarat riots. Modi is his natural heir. How can he be unhappy at Modi’s rise? By showing his anger, he only wants to make sure that NDA remains intact while Modi accomplishes his task. And BJP is making this drama look real. If NDA wins the elections, they have every chance of securing the Prime Minister’s chair for Modi. If at all, NDA continues with its current Modiphobia even after the NDA victory, which it will have to owe to Modi’s charisma, BJP can present Advani as the last option. Modi can then wait for a few more months or years.
UPA will be befooling itself if it feels happy at the current “crisis” in BJP. If it wants to consolidate secular votes, it will have to take major steps to earn the support of Muslims. Mere Modi-bashing would not suffice. And without Muslim votes, UPA cannot hope to stop the march of Modi Rath.
Dr Javed Jamil is India based thinker and writer with over a dozen books including his latest, “Muslims Most Civilised, Yet Not Enough” and “Muslim Vision of Secular India: Destination & Road-map”. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 91-8130340339