Of late, BJP president, Rajnath Singh’s speeches are widely and perhaps properly covered. Delivering the concluding speech at the BJP National Executive meeting held at New Delhi, he dwelt at length on such diverse subjects such as political situation in Uttar Pradesh, BSP’s state government, BJP’s defeat in the Lok Sabha elections, the responsibility of the leaders for such a debacle and the morale of the cadre. It is not planned to discuss all these topics here.
Rajnath Singh observed, “There was a hue and cry after the defeat in the Lok Sabha elections that the party should reconsider its ideology. Why should we indulge in such reconsideration? Was Hindutva an election issue? Those parties who totally renounce their basic ideology are bound to doom. There are many who object to the very word Hindu. All those who are bent on dividing the society on the basis of caste and cult are creating confusion and quarantine the words Hindu and Hindutva.”
Rajnath Singh has time and again assured, “We will not renounce the ideology of Hindutva.” The very fact that he had to do so clearly means that BJP stands cornered on Hindutva. Those who are in the mainstream of Hindutva for generations express serious doubts about “BJP’s” Hindutva. And those who are basically opposed to Hindutva are busy deliberately trying to create ideological confusion about Hindutva. Rajnath Singh was addressing both these sections.
The basic issue is not the word Hindutva. Not a blade of grass will move simply by uttering the word. The crux of the problem is how Hindutva is expressed in politics. Ideology should be the basis of party politics. Rajnath Singh totally agrees with this position. And so says he, “Those parties who bid a farewell to their distinct ideology are doomed.” So doomed are several parties in India. They sprang around some contemporary issue. And vanish over night when the issue dies. The Janata Party doomed the same way and so did the Janata Dal. All this underlines the singular importance of ideology
Writing a thesis or publishing books do not help a common man to understand party ideology. To help him understand it, the ideology has to be presented in the form of a concrete party programme. The party has to solve some concrete issues by way of agitations. When Jana Sangh was founded Article 370, formation of Pakistan, total ban on cow-slaughter, Common Civil Code were the issues at the centerstage of party platform. In political discourse it was commonly understood that a party agitating on these issues is a Hindutvawadi party. Jana Sangh then made these issues its basic programme.
For the abrogation of Art 370, Dr. Shyama Prasad Mookerjee had to lay down his life. Jana Sangh organised a demonstration in opposition to the Kutch Pact. The Party led the agitation demanding a total ban on cow slanghter. During those days no party leader thought it necessary to announce that we will give up Hidutva, it was not at all necessary to say so.
Why of late such a need has arisen? Is it because the party critics so demand? Were they not demanding it earlier? Such discussion was in the air for quite some time. Such demands have nothing to do with the defect of the party but it was very closely related with the BJP’s electoral success. Unless we seriously discuss the context in which such demands are raised and find the ways and means to address them, the off repeated statement that we will not give up Hidutva sounds meaningless. Political situation always changes and the fifty-year old issues become comparatively insignificant in today’s context. Such a long period is separated by at least two generations. The past can not rule the present and the future. How can the issues appealing the past two-three generations similarly appeal the present one? An astute politician with foresight always swims with times. He strives to understand the current problems and address them in the context of his party ideology.
What are the burning problems of the present generation? Half a century before reservation was not the problem of the political main stream? Today different castes are clamoring for their inclusion in the reservations category in Rajasthan and Gurjars are at the forefront demanding reservations. In Maharashtra members of Maratha caste want reservations. Different castes have joined such a rat race the issue of reservations have liberally decimated the society caste wise. The shocking fact is that there are cast wise groups as many groups as many castes. Every social problem has been politicised.
How to deal with this issue in the present context of Hindutva is a million dollar question. Those who don’t want to play politics don’t want to win power can very well say that reservations should not be caste-based. Hindu society should not be further compartmentalised. Can the BJP take such a position? Can the party oppose reservations? And if it so does will it exist? The BJP should explain how the party will reconcile the Hindu unity with the ever growing aspiration of different competing castes.
There are innumerable castes in Hindu Society. Some were untouchables. Others backward-very backward. The word Reservation does not confine to jobs only. All these castes aspire for there progress on their own strength. They are desirous of joining the national mainstream to respond positively to their aspirations is of national interest. The political power in India should all the time remain in the hands of Hindus. Indian Constitution does not say so. However, the struggle for reservation upholds this in a different manner. In view of this, the BJP should organise mass movements to oppose the demand for reservation by the non-Hindus. Such struggle should be the principal programme of the politics of Hindutva. The Dalits and the OBCS Should be clearly explained that the reservation meant exclusively for them is snatched by the non-Indian religious groups. Resist this. Save your reservation. Make sure that the political power in this country should never go in the hands of non-Indian religious. Make it a life mission. Can BJP do this?
Half a century ago terrorism was not the subject of political discourse even casually. To day it has become a burning problem. Terrorism has gulped Kashmir and spread allover north India. Pakistani agents are attacking any place anytime at their will. It is unnecessary to give details. We know all about it. Who are these terrorists? They are all Muslims believing jehad as their religion and life mission. That not all Muslims are terrorist is true but equally true is the fact that all those who are arrested as terrorists are Muslims. And all of them are nurtured by Pakistan. Who are the targets of these terrorists? Speaking politically, it is against Hindus. The terrorist do not at all differentiate between Brahmins, kshatriyas. Dalits and OBCS. For them all are Hindus. This clearly means that the jehad is against Hindus. This is the most important subject on the political agenda. Not a subject of a casual protest but of mass struggle and of countrywide political awakening. Can BJP do so?
Terrorism is organically related to Pakistan. Common Indians sincerely desire that Pakistan should be liquidated. This is impossible in the context of current international situation. No body can do this. Then, what can be done? Can Pakistan be partitioned? Can Pakistan be addressed in the language it understands? Can the terrorists hiding in Pakistan be eliminated? Or can they be brought to India? Saying often that we have not surrendered Hindutva is alright. But what about our image that we are cosy with Pakistan as the Congress? When none else but the leaders of BJP say that Jinah was rashtrapurush then is it not the fact that we have been conducting all anti-Indian activities carried out from Pakistan? To clear such an image the ideology of Hindutva vis-a-Pakistan should be forcefully presented before the People. Suring Rajasthan last assembly election a TV Channel telecasted Vasundara Raje’s advertisement asking people. “Are they going to vote those people who support pakistan’s terrorism.’’ She was clearly hinting at 26/11 attack on Mumbai and also against not hanging Afzal Guru. The voters refused to consider this appeal and defeated the BJP government considering the Congress to be a better choice. This explains how the voter thinks.
Since half-a-century, the problem of pollution was not a menacing problem. Today it has become so. There is the issue of global warming. The cycle of season is changing. The level of sea-water is rising. The very existence of human life is threatened. In the Hindu way of life there are effective solutions to pollution. So senior BJP leaders follow this way of life. First we have to live according to that way of life. Then people will follow. The Congressmen tell the stories of Mahatma Gandhi’s simple life. People are entertained. Because they see how the Congressmen live. BJP leaders also narrates the stories of Pt. Deendayal’s simple life. We listen but do not laugh. Mind becomes numb. It is better not to write more about this. It is no pleasure exposing our leaders.
Today India is searching for live examples of those who practice Indian values, life in the fields of agriculture, industry, commerce, education, fine arts etc. It will not be enough to recite shlokas from Geeta, Vedas and Upanishads. Fortunately such islands spread all over the country. We have to connect such islands practicing Indian values of and form a wider circle. The Politics of Hindutva means the politics of eternal Hindu values. Those leading such a life should be given a place of honor on the party platform. The states ruled by the BJP should find out such distinguished people and present them as idols before the society.
The Problem of educational was not as acute as it is today. Today education system has been commercialised. In case if a daughter or son secures more than 90 per cent marks the parents are worried rather than satisfied. The first question where she or he will get admission and how many thousands or lakhs of rupees will have to be given. Without donation no admission can be secured. For education one needs a fortune. As it is not available by fair means, one has to resort to different means. Instead of education becoming free from corruption, it has become a fountain head of corruption.
Education can become the subject matter of Hidutva. Everybody should get education of their choice free and without any hastle. The cost of education should be need based. A policy should be evolved so that nobody can involve trade in education. Such a policy should be popularised and confidence can be created so that we can implement it. Education has become the hunger of people like food. Instead of indulging in politics pulling each other’s legs, we should concentrate our attention on all these subjects so that, the need will not arise to say other that, “We are Hindutvawadis, we have not given up Hindutva, we will not give up Hindutva.”
(The writer is editor of Vivek weekly)