What next for BJP? How can it bounce back?

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by Yusuf, May 17, 2009.

  1. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Since the results have come in, its obvious that the BJP has done badly and it has to seriously introspect.

    According to me, the BJP has to redefine itself with new leadership and new vision and discard its old ideas and theories and its old leaders.

    For me the first thing the BJP has to do is to de-link itself from the RSS and the Hindutva thing. It has stood it in good stead at a time it was a non entity as a political party and got it a lot of recognition starting with the rath yatra of L.K Advani.
    But as this election has showed, people are no longer swayed by Ram,Rahim, Mandir Masjid. People are more worried about the economy, development and betterment of lives. It has to get away from divisive policies.

    The BJP has to come up with a new young leadership with fresh ideas. Rahul Gandhi has done wonders as the results this time show especially in UP. He campaigned on agenda of national interest and promoted the work done by the UPA over the last term. But the BJP with its older leaders were indulging in personal bashing (weak PM, Budhiya,Gudiya, etc..Though Budiya thing was from a younger leader projected to be the next leader at the national stage, but then he is from the RSS school of thought which the BJP has to delink itself).
    The BJP did not put forth any new ideas as to how it intends to take the country forward. Over the last term it had not even play the role of a good constructive opposition that it could take to the people.
    It opposed the nuke deal just for the sake of opposing it although it was in favor of the country.
    So this time around, it has to work along with the government on issues of national importance, development and work as a constructive opposition and raise points of national importance that it can take back to the people the next time around.

    A strong BJP and Congress is important for the nation so that the regional parties are kept at bay and the national parties get majority one way or the other and the development of the country is not held ransom to the whims and fancies of the small parties waiting to extract their pound of flesh.
     
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  3. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    One thing BJP need to understand is that India is not secular because Muslims or any other minority in India want it to secular. It is secular because "WE" want it to be secular. Until you can represent all the people you can't think of ruling the country. Time to really take a decision whether they want to stick with hindutava line or come in to forefront. The main thing they need to concentrate on is becoming media friendly. Whatever is done by smaller thug groups (read allies) gets attached with BJP courtesy to media. Whereas if any congress ally do anything wrong that is getting tucked to them not to congress.
     
  4. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Oh the BJP is media is media friendly. I dont think anything done by its allies got attached to it. Infact most of its allies dissociated itself from the rhetoric that was going on in the campaign.
     
  5. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    yusuf see the media everything done by any group gets attached to "hindutava" and invariably to BJP (remember the pub attack) this is masterfully crafted by Congress. Where as any wrong done by allies of congress doesn't get stuck with the congress even done by itself doesn't get stick with it. People just move on from delhi riots but keep harping about babri masjid and the gujrat one. The teesta satlwad lies get swept inside the carpet. BJP has to open the purse and get a dedicated team for propaganda.
     
  6. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    If you look at the campaign this time, Nitesh Kumar requested Modi not to come to campaign in Bihar. The CM of Madhya Pradesh had nothing to do with both Modi and Varun Gandhi who was scheduled to campaign there post his new found status.

    So there are many who think that the BJP has to do away with divisive policies.
    Madhya Pradesh has proved to the BJP that development agenda will get you results, but in Gujarat though the party has done well, it did not sweep it as expected and all but two of Modis hand picked men lost.
     
  7. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    The BJP didnt do anything to denounce it. Some endorsed. It made half hearted efforts against the SRS.

    The Babri/Gujarat issue is still alive because the BJP uses it till today. When in doubt of votes, talk of building temple. Then become quiet. Gujarat is still remains an unanswered question. The investigations/reports/trials still going on. It took a long time for the people to get over the Anti Sikh riot issue and even till today we are talking about it.
     
  8. johnee

    johnee Elite Member Elite Member

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    Completely agree with you.......


    I think most people fall into this trap of blaming the lack of secularism for BJP's debacle. Do you seriously believe that all the people who vote for BJP vote only for their so-called communal politics? Also do you seriously think that all the people who move away from BJP do so only because of its so-called lack of secularism? Yes, BJP has a very bad image that it is a party that is inherently communal, but how justified is that image? I think media has played a huge role in creating this image. BJP must now try and get an image make-over.
    Different people try to explain the failure of BJP in different ways. Most of the time they arrive at the decision based on their own prejudices. Some people think that BJP now has to shed its 'hindutva' which they assume is anti-minority. While some others want BJP to be more 'hindutva'. They attribute BJP's failure to its lack of aggressive 'hindutva'. In my view, both these views are wrong. Just because of failure in one election does not mean an ideology has failed. It only means that the party has failed to take the message to people in the right manner.

    BJP has to find the right balance between the issues of emotion and development. Ram is still an issue but development is also an issue. I think Ram is not working for BJP becoz they failed to deliver the Mandir last time they came to power. I spoke to some ppl who previously voted to BJP, they felt that BJP was simply exploiting the emotions Ram Mandir and was not serious about building it. BJP has to fight such kind of cynicism by being honest and transparent. They must try to aggressively woo the leaders of muslim community to broker an amicable deal which can fascilitate the building of Ram Mandir. That would revive the confidence in BJP. Many ppl feel that once BJP came to power it forgot Mandir and it talks of Mandir only at the time of elections to gain votes. BJP must not do that. Then it must go ahead with good goverance and development in BJP ruled states. But that is already being done pretty well in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh and also Bihar(JDU. BJP's ally is ruling there).

    As for delinking with RSS/VHP/Bajrang Dal/Ram Sene or many such small and extremist right wing parties is concerned, BJP is at a disadvantage. It faces a hostile media that is ready to bash BJP for the actions of any small group that may or may not have any link with BJP. BJP has to fight this battle of propaganda. We all know that today media not really neutral. Many media houses, news papers and news channels overtly and covertly support different groups politically. So, BJP must also invest in this area both financially and intellectually. For instance, see the way Modi has been demonised to the extent that anyone seen shaking hands with him is swiftly branded as divisive and non-secular. All this becoz riots happened during his rule. But is the same treatment being meted out to other CMs or PMs under whom larger and bigger riots(more one-sided with bigger death toll and injured) have happened. Such propaganda can be met only by counter-propaganda.


    Completely in agreement with you as far as the young leadership is concerned. Rahul Gandhi has done a good job in UP. But we really dont know how much his campaign was responsible for the good show of congress in UP. I think ppl mostly favoured congress over smaller parties like BSP and SP. These and other smaller parties which generally split the votes of congress were rejected by the voters this time and instead went with congress. I think that is the real reason for this good show. Young leaders may have helped the cause but was their impact as big as it is being speculated, I am not sure.

    I agree with you that BJP should have not indulged into personality bashing but we need to remind ourselves that Congress party is largely personality based. So, sometimes opposition does fall into this trap. But BJP shouldnt have done that. Yes, they should have touched the back-seat driving of Sonia Gandhi, but their campaign shouldnt have been only about that. They need a positive campaign and not a negative one. They should have told ppl wat they would do.
    BJP did touch some very valid and good points like black money. The incumbent Govt was trying to hush the matter and even misrepresented facts in Apex Court. BJP did well to highlight it. BJP should have brought on more such relavent issues and not concentrate on MMS vs Adavani.

    Also completely agree with you regarding the nuke deal. BJP should have supported the deal, infact should have extended the support to congress govt in parliament during the confidence vote. You are also right that BJP hasnt really played a good opposition party.

    Absolutely right. India needs two strong national parties, both committed to the welfare, development and good governance. I hope that this election is the begining of the end of coalition era and will herald a new phase of two national parties: BJP and Congress. Regional parties have played a role in highlighting the local issues but at the national level their role has been extremely regressive and opportunistic.

    Lastly, BJP can improve a lot of things but nothing succeeds like success. Congress has won this time, does that mean that people liked the last five years rule of UPA? Then wat explains the loss of some top ministers and leaders of UPA? Some others have just scrapped through. Elections are so much more than a simple mandate on the job done by the opposition or Govt. Lets not over-analyse. Congress has won this time, BJP can try and win the next one.......
     
  9. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    Is the same happens with the ridiculous idea for reservation for minorities in jobs/education? NO. Isn't that is a pathetic idea not to be denounced only

    Isn't these issues are used by other side to get the votes from minorities? Both sides are wrong here. Please don't put blame on only one side.
     
  10. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    I think BJP really needs to learn from Congress.

    When a shoe was thrown at Chidamabaram, Tytler and Sajjan Kumar got fired.

    When Varun Gandhi's hate speech videos were broadcast, BJP said we don't subscribe to these views yet stood by Varun Gandhi. Again, Modi whenever asked about Godhra, gave the reporters the silent treatment.
    Karanatka CM, came to the defence of Mutalik. BJP and sister cadres were also implicated in Orissa's violence against Christians. This sent a message that BJP tries to portray itself as a moderate but is not.

    When Congress advertised they projected all 3 leaders, the PM, the party president and the future PM.
    When BJP advertised they projected only Advani. Now when is acertain as to who after Advani? the octogenarian is not getting younger and has left no successor in place.

    Congress winning 200+ seats. BJP winning in states where it has state govts.

    One must understand how the psyche of the way Indians work today. All of us now want development, and all communities be it the dalits, the brahmins, the christians, the hindus etc. are all very comfortable with our identity. There was a time when pitting 2 communities would serve the purpose for politicians not any more, and this verdict further proves it, we are not for an "exclusive" state but an "inclusive state".
    BJP winning the states in which it already has a govt proves BJP govts are working. BJP is fulfilling the demand of the Indians that the govts work, but it is not fulfilling the demand that parties stop playing divisive politics. BJP must stop this. The congress and its allies campaign of maligning BJP as a communal party has certainly worked.
     
  11. johnee

    johnee Elite Member Elite Member

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    Yusuf,
    BJP did take action against SRS. Some leaders of BJP supported the ban of Pubs and denounced the pub culture but even some Congress leaders did the same. Gehlot, Cogress CM of Rajasthan also supported the ban of pubs and denounced the pub culture. That doesnt mean those leaders(BJP/Congress) support the violence. But media shifted the blame on BJP. Today the media not completely unbiased. I will name two media channels: NDTV and CNN-IBN. Any discerning viewer can notice that they are extremely pro-congress and anti-BJP. So, faces propaganda that makes them an evil force to be kept away from the power. So, congress has a headstart with every voter every time due to their clever use of media. I am not saying that it is wrong but just explaining the situation. One can retort that BJP can also try the same. Then I can only say that BJP has been foolish not to do so.

    Then gujarat/Ram Mandir/Babri Masjid/.....etc. Yusuf, every party milks these issues for whatever they are worth. Congress and many other parties slyly remind ppl of 2002 riots whenver Modi's issue comes up. Similarly, Babri Masjid issue is raked up whenever it is needed. So, blaming only BJP is not right. All parties do the same, its just politics. If you are saying that BJP should have taken the lead in setting the agenda on the basis of good governance and development along with right mix of emotional issues(Ram Mandir, Ram sethu) then I completely agree with you.
     
  12. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    Do you watch too much of NDTV and CNN IBN or what? Isn't Mr. ashok gehlot came in front and denounced pub culture?
     
  13. johnee

    johnee Elite Member Elite Member

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    Nitesh,
    Infact BJP does not even represent all Hindus at this point of time. As I see BJP has many phases to travel. Right now, it is mostly seen as a party that caters to North Indian upper-castes. Most of its vote base is also limited to them. The important thing BJP must do is expand their so-called Hindutva to lower-castes. They must take the lead to support and help lower-castes even at the risk of angering and alienating some of their core voter base. It is the lower-castes that make up the numbers as far as Hindus are concerned. So, for BJP to represent Hindus, it must represent all Hindus not just few sections. Dalits are subject to lot of hardships at many places in India even today. Dalits will support that party which speaks for them. The day BJP can expand its Hindutva to all Hindus(all castes), it will be a force to reckon with. I am not suggesting that BJP must become communal and be divisive. Instead I am suggesting that BJP must work against caste based politics, it must help the lower rungs of Hindu society to assimilate with the upper rung. BJP must speak for the rights and aspirations of all Hindus and highlight the hardships/challenges they face.
    Also, one more thing. For all the talk of Hindutva, what has BJP done for any hindu that he should vote for them. They are today equated with the demolition of Babri. Thats negative. Instead they should have built the Ram Mandir during the tenure of NDA. Then they would have been equated with the building. That would have been an achievement. Thats positive. Similarly, what special help have they given to Hindus specifically dalits in the states that BJP currently rules? They should free the temple money and allow those temples to use that money for charity. BJP must take positive steps instead of bashing the opponents......

    Once BJP can become a party for all the Hindus, then it must transition to the next phase. Where they should stand up for all indics: Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, Sikhs.....etc. After that the next phase where they will stand up for all the Indians. This transition should be slow and steady. An overnight knee-jerk transition will break the party and weaken it. Instead, it must set itself a time-limit of 15yrs or so and work on it in a calibrated manner. The first step would be to promote more Dalit leaders in BJP.
     
  14. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Johnee Reply

    Even many in the BJP have said that the Varun Gandhi episode hurt it a lot. So let us not live in denial that the divisive policy does hurt in the long run. The BJP used it to gain prominence. But now that it is up there as a national party, let it shed it.
     
  15. johnee

    johnee Elite Member Elite Member

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    Paaji,
    Nothing succeeds like success. Lets say if BJP won then would you say that politics of communalism worked? This is a fuzzy logic and is not right. Everytime BJP loses ppl jump that gun and chastisize BJP for the lack of secularism. But mostly the elections are fought on ground issues and not on obscure issues like secularism. People vote for domestic issues and local issues and not always on national issues even though this was a Lok Sabha elections. It is true that large chunk of minorities are wary of BJP but thats it. Lets not say that all the failures of BJP are only due to its lack of secularism. BJP faces a hostile media which uses any small incident to malign the party. The pub attack is the best example. No one asks a few logical questions.
    How was the media present in advance at that said Pub?
    Why was only one specific Pub was attacked when there is atleast one more pub in the vicinity?
    If some thugs attack a pub, how is this related to BJP?
     
  16. johnee

    johnee Elite Member Elite Member

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    We cant gauge the varun gandhi's effect completely. It must have had impact on few potential voters, and many minority voters. But I think the effect was restricted mostly to UP. Sure it must have hurt and Varun Gandhi should not have indulged in such mindless jingoism if he did. But thats not the point. The point is the kind of publicity that was given to that episode by media and extrapolated to entire BJP. Similar statements were made by D.Satyanarayana, President of Pradesh Congress Committed of Andhra Pradesh. But how much did media air it. So, such politicians and their gimmicks are normal in election time. But only BJP gets the unwanted popularity.

    I think BJP needs an image makeover more than anything else. That means some financial and intellectual investment in media.......
     
  17. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    That the regional/third front have been decimated proves that the people have trusted national parties and that local issues may not have been considered while voting.

    Second, if they dont vote for secularism, they are not going to vote for communalism either.
     
  18. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    One thing I want to say I am too happy to see communists out and have to sit in opposition and to what they do "bark"
     
  19. johnee

    johnee Elite Member Elite Member

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    No, Yusuf. I politely disagree. I think you are making a wrong conclusion. Third front/regional parties were decimated precisely because they did not perform on the local issues. I am sure that voters in electorate favoured Congress this time because they were fed up with the politics of BSP/SP. Also their track record of dismal governance. Further, each state had its unique situation and people voted according to it. In AP, it was different. In the neighbouring TN it was different. So, people voted on local issues even in National Elections. Congress won at different places due to different reasons. Some of their win are due to the right alliance. While some other wins are due to voter apathy towards their opponents. Mostly, the big wins of Congress came at places where BJP is not a big player. So, if BJP expands and becomes a true all-India party then Congress will have tough challenge.

    About secularism and communalism:
    Yusuf,
    Secularism is a vaccum. It is a status-quo. It has no impact on people.
    Communism is a specific demand. It can rally people around that demand if it is popular. It can have impact if presented and propagated rightly.

    But, I dont think the demand for construction of Ram Mandir is communal. Their is a passive support for that demand. It is just that their is immense cynicism in the people about the seriousness of BJP to pursue that goal sincerely without using it as an electoral issue.
    I request you not to brand Ram Mandir as communal. I would say that demolishing Babri Mosque was communal but not the construction of Ram Mandir. That may seem inherently contradictive. But it is not. Today Babri Mosque doesnt exist and that is the reality. Most secular muslims, I am sure, would not mind if an amicable solution to building Ram Mandir is reached. BJP must try to do it.
     
  20. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    In no post have I even hinted that making a temple is communalism.
     
  21. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    In fact i hate the words secularism and communalism. The words should cease to exist in Indian democracy.

    These two words have divided gullible people for years. These words have to be replaced with development and progress.
     

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