A report by Deepak Kumar Rath
The BJP celebrated its Silver Jubilee on April 6, 2005, by organising a special session of the National Council, which was attended by more than 2,000 delegates. The venue of the Silver Jubilee celebration was Ambedkar Stadium, New Delhi, where the party had come into being in 1980.
The party since its inception crossed one proud landmark after another and also got an opportunity to serve the nation for six years from 1998 to 2004 under the visionary leadership of Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee. The Party President Shri L. K. Advani paid homage to Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee and Pandit Deendayal Upadhayaya, who made sacrifices for the cause of the nation. Shri Advani also inaugurated a special photo exhibition on the occasion where the golden memories of the party and its senior leaders were exhibited.
A day before the celebration of its Silver Jubilee the party held one-day National Executive and in a resolution the party takes pride in the fact that, ?over the past 25 years, the party has emerged as a distinct ideological pole in Indian politics. The BJP has succeeded in setting the nation'sideological agenda with its spirited espousal of cultural nationalism, genuine secularism and the true identity of Indian nationhood?. The BJP has decided to take up separate plans of activities during the course of Rajat Jayanti Year to strengthen the party ideologically, politically and organisationally.
The party has decided a calendar of events to revisit the proud milestones in party'shistory with its first inaugural programme on April 6, 2005. The party would hold its next National Executive from December 26 to 28 followed by a Maha Adhiveshan on 28, 29 and 30 December. The party has also decided to celebrate May 11 as Rashtriya Suraksha Diwas, June 23 as National Integration Day commemorating Dr Mookerjee'smartyrdom, June 25 as Strengthen Democracy Day, July 22 as Dadra Mukti Diwas, July 26 as Kargil Vijay Diwas, August 2 as Goa Liberation Movement, September 25 as Commemoration of Ram Rath Yatra, October 11 as Sampoorna Kranti Diwas, October 21 as Jana Sangh Sthapana Diwas.
The BJP President Shri L.K. Advani released two books on the occasion of the inauguration of the celebration of the party'sSilver Jubilee. The two books are Congress Unmasked and Task Ahead. Shri Advani while releasing the two books informed the audience that in its celebration of Silver Jubilee, the Party has a plan to publish more literatures.
On the special Silver Jubilee session of the National Council of the BJP, Shri L. K. Advani had a long two-hour inspiring presidential speech for the jubilant party workers. He said: ?The ordinary karyakartas carry an extraordinary prestige in a cadre-based mass party like the BJP and that the ordinary karyakartas are the true hero of this Silver Jubilee celebration.? The Party President further said that in the 25-year timeframe, the BJP'soverall growth had been nothing short of spectacular. He described the Ayodhya movement as the biggest mass movement of India since Independence and this movement also triggered a nationwide debate on the true meaning of secularism.
Shri Advani also said with confidence: ?I have no doubt that the BJP will return to the ascendant path whenever the Lok Sabha elections are held next.? Giving a sharp criticism to the Congress-Communist aiding the likely re-partition of India, he said, ?I charge that by enslaving themselves to the politics of minorityism, the Communists are extending a tacit invitation to more infiltrators.?
Speaking on the lessons from the partition of Bengal he said that now the creation of the Islamic Bangladesh had become a reality, India must learn the right lessons from this painful chapter of our history. He also made two things clear, one, the BJP views the threat of ?demographic invasion? not as a Hindu-Muslim issue but as a national issue. Two, the BJP wishes to see friendly relations between India and Bangladesh.
Giving a clarion call Shri Advani said, ?We should acquire a youthful image by espousing issues that catch the imagination of this population and by promoting young leaders at all levels.? He stressed to re-orient reforms agenda to focus on the villages, the poor, the farmers and the labourers.
The former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee extended his blessing to the party workers and congratulated them for the spectacular growth of the party. He encouraged the cadres by saying that destiny had set the direction for the BJP and its detractors were getting increasingly worried over its growing popularity. He expressed his happiness by saying that the young generation was getting attracted towards the BJP. He said, ?Under the leadership of Advaniji the party is moving forward and will continue to do so?.my good wishes?I am happy… I can work only up to a limit, not more than that.?
Among the senior leaders who spoke on the special session of the Silver Jubilee included Dr M. M. Joshi, Jaswant Singh, Pramod Mahajan, Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj and Rajnath Singh.