Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Bhartiya Jan Sangh vs BJP, Vajpayee vs Advani

Bhartiya Jan Sangh (BJS) was a hindutva based party founded by Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee in 1951. It existed till 1981 and then was transformed into BJP. Still there are a lot of differences one could point out in the working of two organisations.

Mr. Mukherjee was against the two nation theory all his life. But the Calcutta riots 1946, shook his beliefs a bit. Still he was not anti-Muslim in sharp contrast to Veer Savarakar. While in Hindu Mahasabha he advocated the entry of Muslims into the party but failed in his attempts. Later after the assassination of Mahatama Gandhi, Mr. Mukherjee left the mahasabha to found the BJS. He was the father figure for the veteran BJS members. Toady the BJP has gone the Savarakar way. The old guard of BJS including Mr. Vajpayee have faded. No wonder we see such a contrast between Vajpayee and Advani or Modi and Vajpayee. It is said that when Janta party formed government in 1977, the bureaucrats removed all images of stalwarts of Congress form the offices including the portrait of Pandit Nehru. Vajpayee was always critical of Nehru but yet was like Nehru in someways. When he entered the foreign office in 1977 and found Pandit Nehru's portrait missing he quickly asked that the portrait be put back in place. Even his obituary speech in Parliament after Nehru's Death was a very impressive one. These very facts of respecting his adversaries and other views made him a national figure in Indian politics. He was definitely a fan of Nehru, hence no wonder he felt flattered when people compared him with Nehru.

Vajpayee wisely kept out of any opportunistic politics played by Mr. Advani riding the rath to Ayodhya. Vajpayee even cautioned Mr. Advani that his ram sena may turn into vanar sena and lamented on the demolition of the mosque. The only unpardonable offence done by him was his shameful silence during the Gujrat riots.

Contrast it with Savarkar, Advani, Modi or present BJP in fact. Savarkar was the first one to propose the two nation theory and had completely communal views. His vision of India did not include Christians or Muslims. Opportunist he was, and hence hence he did not participate in any national movement whether non cooperation or civil disobedience or quit India. Rather he even influenced Hindu mahasabha to not only not participate in such movement but go against the very grain of it. He and the Hindu mahasabha were actively recruiting soldiers for Brtish in 1942 to gain favours from the British and expand their organization. Completely at odds with non violence preached by Gandhi Savarkar was one of the main accused in the murder of the Mahatma. Fearing backlash at that time RSS had tried to distance it self from Savarkar only to see his ghost returning to the organization with full fervor that his portrait is hung in the parliament hall along with Nehru and Gandhi.

Modi came to power in Gujrat replacing the Keshubhai Patel. Had Gujrat riots not happened BJP would have surely lost the election with a huge margin. But then the Nero took up his flute and not only looked the other side when Gujrat burned but his ministers actively helped the rioter and constrained the police from acting. No doubt the bloody harvest was sweet for Mr. Modi. He became the poster boy of Savarkar worshiping RSS and eliminated all opponents and even humbled Vajpayee. Soon he jumped onto the development plank and actively started portraying the hard earned achievements of enterprising Gujrati's as his own.

Mr. Advani has never missed any Rath which could him any momentary gains. Whether is was the nation breaking Rath yatra in 1990's or his comments on Ambedkar recently or his autobiography (don't think he could count on any historian of some standing to write positively about him ). While his own party veterans and founders were very critical of Ambedkar and Mr. Shourie shows no kindness to Dr. Ambedkar in his book "Worshipping false Gods", Mr. Advani did not have any qualms about lambasting the congress for being responsible for Dr. Ambedkar's resignation and he does not concede that it was the statesmanship of Gandhi and Nehru in particular and Congress in general that Dr. Ambedkar drafted Indian Constituion and was the law minister. While Nehru supported the Hindu Code Bill presented by Dr. Ambedkar, the hindutva gang (BJS and even portions of Congress) bitterly opposed it finally leading to Dr. Ambedkar's resignation. Also Mr. Advani 's autobiography is one of the worst blunders. The books raised many questions about the integrity of the person when he wrote that he was not informed about the foreign minister accompanying the terrorists, despite being the home minister that time.

Mr. Advani is really experienced in the rat race for prime minister ship. I feel that his sudden attacks on Dr. Manmohan Singh are a reflection of frustration of a man who tried for decades now to be the PM and even bowed at Jinah's grave and then ate his own hat, while Dr. Manmohan Singh a apolitical man of no dreams to be the prime minister became one so easily. Such frustration lead to the worst of the strategy BJP could ever have in a poll season. they attacked Dr. Manmohan Singh for the very values the ordinary Indian likes in him i.e. he is apolitical, soft spoken, consesus seeker and clean. It would have been hard to to sell this argument to the informed public when Dr. Manmohan Sing sports a six page resume that not even 10 people can vie with. On top of it, they told that Dr. Singh was inept at handling the global economic crisis highlighting the every fact that Dr. Singh is a world renowned economist and Mr. Advani is not. The final blow cam from the PM Dr. Singh who bravely handled the foreign exchange crisis in 1990's while Mr. Advani wept when hoodlums tore down the Masjid. Dr Singh bravely stood for Indo Us Nuclear deal while Mr. Advani opposed it just to see the government fall and sat over the Gujrat riots and Parliament attack. Clearly, lessons were not learnt from 26/11 when BJP tried to cash in on a national tragedy.

While both Vajpayee and Advani espoused the Hindutva cause one was patient, long sighted and statesman the other is frustrated, opportunist and very fickle. People have the right to support what ever ideology they like but not allowed to force it on us and create fear in the hearts by using undemocratic means.

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