Before getting on to our main topic, it will be appropriate to have a brief recap of our history.
Indian National Congress (INC) was formed by Allan Hume, in 1885, at the behest of british raj so as to serve as platform for Indians to voice their concerns, fears, and anxieties with regard to the policies of the british raj in the aftermath of First Struggle for Independence (1857).
In its early decades it was dominated by affluent, British educated, Indian people who were friendly towards the british administration. Such people were called ‘Moderates’. They ignored atrocities inflicted on the ordinary Indians by the britishers and would undertake only mild forms of protest just for optics. This led to discontent between a section of congressites who were termed ‘Extremists’.( A misnomer, better word is ‘Nationalists’)
While the Moderates only demanded local self government within the british empire after lot of pressure from the masses, Nationalists demanded complete & total freedom from british raj. Eventually this led to a split of the Congress between the two factions. The leaders from Nationalist faction were silenced by the british through murder, arrest & such other acts of tyranny.
As a result Moderates gained complete control of the Congress & with its supreme leader dubbed as a saint, increased its following among the masses but led our country to a terrible form of secularism.(Hereafter referred as Sickularism’)
BJP was formed in 1980 as successor of the erstwhile Jan Sangh. AB Vajpayee its first President was mild-mannered, liberal & secular. Honestly BJP didn’t gain much clout under his presidency. LK Advani was a hardliner and he successfully created mass base for the party through his Rath Yatra for Ram Janmabhoomi Movement. Firebrand and aggressive leaders like Narendra Modi, Pramod Mahajan, Sadhvi Ritambhara, Uma Bharti fuelled the rise of BJP through their vociferous Nationalism.
When BJP was on the threshold of power out of humility & respect LK Advani honoured Vajpayee with PMship. It was not a compromise out of alliance politics. This started the process of moderating the assertive nationalism within the BJP.
As a result of Vajpayee’s mild-mannered approach, sickularism and also on account of the guilt-tripping due to demolition of disputed structure in Ayodhya and its after effects in the form of riots, blasts, BJP leadership embarked on unprecedented levels of minority appeasement and sickularism.
In a way history is repeating itself. In early 20th century Moderates gained control of the leading political party (Congress) steering us to a delayed, chaotic, violent and fragmented freedom. And now in 21st century we have mild-mannered seculars gaining control of dominant political party (BJP) which might drive us to further fragmentation, balkanization & mayhem.
Once an Assertive Nationalist, Narendra Modi has turned into a devout Gandhian and this transformation is not out of any political compulsion. Hence other leaders are forced to toe his line. But this is a critical juncture (cross-road) in the history of BJP. The “Nationalists” need to stand-up, assert their voice and gain control of the party while continuing with electoral successes so as to usher in truly plural India with Indic religions as the base.
There is no denying the fact that we have progressed reasonably well on socio-economic matters under this BJP rule but this should be supported by active assertive cultural nationalism.
Best would be if Narendra Modi shows same belligerence and ‘Zero tolerance’ policy which he has followed against pak sponsored terror, also against the pak sympathizers, stooges & fissiparous personalities masquerading as leaders, journalists and intelligentsia, within our country.
If not, then the ‘Assertive Nationalists’ within the BJP should head for a split but should not compromise on pathetic sickularism exhibited by the current regime.
This is a defining moment in our history and future generations will judge us whether we stood for our dharmic values and culture or succumbed to the sickular drama.
Concluding with these mesmerizing lyric, composed by Gulzar, which symbolizes the message of this write-up:
“Iss mod se jaate hai
kuchh sust kadam raste
kuchh tez kadam raahe
patthar ki haveli ko
shishe ke gharaundo mein
tinako ke nasheman tak
iss mod se jaate hai”
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