Daya Varma and Vinod Mubayi


September 29 was a special day in Delhi. Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) had done its utmost to organize the first show case rally to launch Narendra Modi as its Prime Ministerial candidate and had expected over 500,000 people to attend. However, according to Indian papers, the size of the crowd was closer to 100,000, far short of BJP’s expectations.


Modi was to present his vision of new India under BJP rule. What he actually did was a rant against Rahul Gandhi through his slogan “dynasty versus democracy”. Suddenly he felt respectful of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and accused Rahul Gandhi for insulting him by opposing the Cabinet Ordinance. As to be expected Modi opposed dialogue with Pakistan. In view of the impending elections in Delhi, he took time to prove that Delhi would be better under BJP than under Congress rule.


Modi did not refer to the 2002 anti-Muslim pogrom in Gujarat although it is precisely this single act which catapulted him to overtake other BJP aspirants like Advani and Sushma Swaraj for the coveted position of the Prime Minister of India.


It is ironic that Modi talks about democracy when it is well known that the single person who pulls the strings to which all senior BJP leaders obediently dance is Mohan Bhagwat, Sarsangchalak (chief director) of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). When L.K. Advani announced his resignation from all positions in BJP to express his opposition to Narendra Modi, it was Bhagwat who ordered him back and Advani sheepishly complied. It is Bhagwat who openly ordered the leaders of BJP to nominate Modi as Prime Ministerial candidate.  The order was implemented by BJP President Raj Nath Singh.


RSS is organized on the feudal-monarchical pattern of a King and his loyal subjects and the RSS chief is the King. BJP is nothing but the political wing of RSS and can never ensure democracy. So an appropriate slogan of Modi should have been Dynasty versus RSS Sarsangchalak-Raj.


It is true that for most of the sixty-five years India has been independent, it has been ruled by the Congress and three prominent Prime Ministers have been Jawaharlal Nehru, his daughter Indira Gandhi and his grandson Rajiv Gandhi. But it is also true that this is the legacy of the decisive role played by the Indian National Congress in the long struggle for Independence of which Nehru was the most prominent leader after Gandhi. Congress was the natural party of governance after independence and the leadership of Congress passed on to some subsequent members of Nehru family. At the same time some members of the Nehru family became vitriolic opponents of Congress like Varun Gandhi, a grandson of Indira Gandhi and cousin of Rahul Gandhi, who is the Secretary of BJP.


Congress remained virtually leaderless after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi until his Italian-born wife Sonia Gandhi took over the mantle.  So Nehru dynasty, if true, reflects to some extent the political culture of India that accords popular approval to those identified with a revered leader like Jawaharlal. In contrast, the supreme authority of the head of RSS reflects the ancient Brahminical tradition of India, the like of which has been discarded everywhere but is being revived in India.


RSS had nothing whatsoever to do with independence movement and none of the leaders of BJP ever played any role while the activists of the Congress, Socialist and Communist parties were under constant attack by the colonial powers.  The first political act of RSS was the assassination of Gandhi in 1948 on the ground that he favored Muslims. Things have not changed since. What Modi really wants to say is that Congress has struggled to maintain a secular India and has prevented India from becoming a Hindu country and that BJP will strive to reverse this process.

Top - Home