L K Advani : ' My trip to Pakistan was a high point in my life '

Discussion in 'Pakistan' started by Poseidon, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. Poseidon

    Poseidon Regular Member

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    'My trip to Pakistan was a high point in my life'
    Jan 23, 2012, 12.00AM IST

    L K Advani , deputy prime minister in the Vajpayee government, missed his chance to occupy the top slot, when the NDA lost the general elections in 2009. But is the octogenarian leader still keen on making one last prime ministerial bid? The senior BJP leader here talks to Monobina Gupta about coalition politics, smaller states, corruption, religious intolerance and cultural nationalism:

    Are you willing to be the NDA's prime ministerial nominee in the 2014 general elections?

    I am not a contender for the post. But if my party asks me to consider it, then i'll see. It also depends on my health, though it's now in perfect shape. If you would recall, the BJP had gone into the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, projecting me as the party's face. Interestingly, that was when my party's unhappiness with me was at its peak, following my description of Jinnah as secular. That was on my trip to Pakistan, which, till date i maintain was a high point in my life.

    I would like to draw your attention to coalition politics and federalism. Given UPA's ongoing tussles with coalition partners, would you say the NDA had done a better job?

    Vajpayee began the coalition dharma, which requires the major ruling party to heed the coalition partners' compulsions. Allies have to be consulted on policies. At present there's basic policy distrust between the Congress and the UPA partners. For instance, where was the need to bring FDI in retail, without consulting alliance partners?

    In this context i would also like to talk about federalism, the issue of smaller states vis-A -vis coalitions. The first states reorganisation committee had carved up states along linguistic lines, making Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and UP too unwieldy. The Congress has never supported small states, in contrast to our party, committed to smal-ler states' formation. But during the NDA regime we had never raised the Telangana issue, only in deference to our ally Chandrababu Naidu. Similarly, we had steered clear of the Vidarbha demand, because of our alliance partner Shiv Sena's opposition.

    There's been a perception that the BJP is trying to distance itself from reforms. What would you say? What about your party's India Shining campaign?

    I leave that to our party leaders like Yashwant Sinha to answer. It's true that we were overconfident in the 2004 elections, believing that Vajpayee will get us victory. While the ground situation was totally different.

    Coming to the important issue of corruption. What about your party's double-speak on the issue?

    There's no doublespeak. I strongly believe that a Lokpal Bill will not eliminate corruption. I said that when the Anna Hazare movement began. Crucial here is the integrity of the person who is in charge - that is the prime minister. Of course, you need systemic reforms, but that alone will not eliminate corruption. I have not allowed corruption to stick to me. I had resigned from the 10th Lok Sabha following CBI charges against me in the hawala case.

    Manmohan Singh is known for his financial integrity. What's your opinion?

    That's true. But he is not in control. You can't live in a demo-cracy where the prime minister is no one. This should end.

    Where do you stand on identity politics and caste-based mobilisation?

    Caste is an important iden-tity, that can't be ignored. But it can't be the sole criterion for mobilisation. Even though a Sindhi, from Karachi, i became the deputy prime minister. Indian ethos is essentially assimilative, while Pakistan is exclusionist.

    In your blogs, you have written about cultural natio-nalism and its evolution. Can you share your thoughts as well as explain rising intolerance in the country?

    Nationalism in India is essentially Hindu. But interpreting nationalism in religious and not cultural terms would be wrong. That you can be an atheist Hindu proves the validity of my argument. On intolerance, i blame politicians for creating this atmosphere. There's no doubt that intolerance is highest among all religions. I tell my party people that Ramakrishna Paramhansa had become a Muslim for three days, but there was no hue and cry about it then.

    'My trip to Pakistan was a high point in my life' - The Times of India
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 23, 2012
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  3. Poseidon

    Poseidon Regular Member

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    A good comment in TOI:
     
  4. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    ^ a good comment on toi is itself a sort of a miracle!
     
  5. trackwhack

    trackwhack Tihar Jail Banned

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    He is 84. He will be running 86 when the elections kick off. WTF is he thinking when saying if the party asks him then he will run?:facepalm:

    Advani should resign from the party now. To give the BJP enough buffer to pick a PM candidate well before the elections and rally support around him/her, Be it Jaitley, Modi, Sushma or whoever.
     
  6. Bangalorean

    Bangalorean Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Advani is the stereotypical example of the doddering old Indian politician who clings on and on and on.

    At this age, it is time to play with grandchildren and do a lot of reading and snoozing. Oh wait, I suppose even his grandchildren will be too old for games now. :frusty:
     
    trackwhack likes this.
  7. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    My trip to Pakistan when I raided a sup P in the 1971 War was a highpoint of my life too! :rofl:
     

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