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BJP: The Party As A Kumbh Mela

"Since irony and sarcasm in the English language tend to go largely undetected," Swapan Dasgupta writes in the Telegraph, Saba Naqvi's The Final Solution "could  well be interpreted as a logical extension of Arun Shourie’s theatrical pronouncement that the RSS should “take over” the Bharatiya Janata Party " -- or as simply insolent.

But, he goes on to argue later in the article:

The fundamental question the BJP has to address is: why is it in existence in the first place? If upholding Hindu interests is its main leitmotif, it is not dissimilar to a grander version of the Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Musalmeen, which controls the Muslim ghettos of Hyderabad and routinely wins a Lok Sabha seat. The MIM, an offshoot of the original Razakars, resonates with nostalgia for a lost sovereignty and an eroding high culture. It will always be a factor in Muslim politics of the Deccan but a non-starter in all calculations of governance.

If the BJP wishes to be a party aspiring to some 80 Lok Sabha seats, with a presence in the Hindi-speaking states, it can persist with the cohesiveness of the erstwhile Jana Sangh. If its ambitions are greater and it seeks to challenge the Congress’s all-India presence, it has to open its doors wider to diverse currents and interests. The RSS is an important input into the BJP, but it is not the only input. If the BJP wishes to mirror the richness of the nationalist experience, it must become a Kumbh Mela of diverse tendencies.

Read the full piece at the Telegraph

"Since irony and sarcasm in the English language tend to go largely undetected," Swapan Dasgupta writes in the Telegraph, Saba Naqvi's The Final Solution "could  well be interpreted as a logical extension of Arun Shourie’s theatrical pronouncement that the RSS should “take over” the Bharatiya Janata Party " -- or as simply insolent.

But, he goes on to argue later in the article:

The fundamental question the BJP has to address is: why is it in existence in the first place? If upholding Hindu interests is its main leitmotif, it is not dissimilar to a grander version of the Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Musalmeen, which controls the Muslim ghettos of Hyderabad and routinely wins a Lok Sabha seat. The MIM, an offshoot of the original Razakars, resonates with nostalgia for a lost sovereignty and an eroding high culture. It will always be a factor in Muslim politics of the Deccan but a non-starter in all calculations of governance.

If the BJP wishes to be a party aspiring to some 80 Lok Sabha seats, with a presence in the Hindi-speaking states, it can persist with the cohesiveness of the erstwhile Jana Sangh. If its ambitions are greater and it seeks to challenge the Congress’s all-India presence, it has to open its doors wider to diverse currents and interests. The RSS is an important input into the BJP, but it is not the only input. If the BJP wishes to mirror the richness of the nationalist experience, it must become a Kumbh Mela of diverse tendencies.

Read the full piece at the Telegraph

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