November 18, 2008ConstitutionIndiapoliticsPublic Policyterrorism

Gimme hope, Raisina, gimme hope

Too many politicians, not one leader

This is an archived blog post from The Acorn.

Over at the Cape of Good Hope, Trailblazer takes the BJP to task for taking a position that is as self-defeating as it is brazen.

India’s political class has shown a sheer lack of courage to embrace the secular ideals of the country that, to an extent, the people have adopted already. The BJP has shown its communal face in all respects with an almost compulsive patronage for the Malegaon blast accused in these testing times. [TCGH]

Whether Rajnath Singh is a loose cannon or an authentic representative of one segment of the party, the fact remains that the BJP has covered itself with shame over the case of the radical right-wing Hindutva extremists. As Pratap Bhanu Mehta writes, every political formation from separatists, left wing revolutionaries, right wing extremists and political parties of all colours are attacking the institution of the Indian state:

After the BJP is done with what the state is supposedly doing to Hindus, and after the UPA is done with what it is doing to Muslims, does the Indian state have any shred of credibility left? [IE]

Dr Mehta believes that drastic measures are required to prevent falling off the edge, and recommends contemplation.

The UPA government created untold damage to the national pysche (and to the fisc) by rolling back the narrative of hope—by abandoning economic liberalisation and replacing it with communal socialism. The BJPs national leadership, on the other hand, has failed to impress. It could perhaps defend its position on the India-US nuclear deal as arising from a genuine, but different interpretation of India’s national interests. Such a defence is unavailable to it in the case of its defence of suspected ultra-right Hindu terrorists on the sole basis of their religion. Would the BJP next defend suspected Hindu criminals merely on the grounds that they are Hindu? Why, some criminals might even be sincerely patriotic and deeply nationalistic, but that doesn’t mitigate their culpability. Far too many Hindu suspects get beaten up in police stations on any given day. No concern for them?

Despondency, therefore is warranted. Turning the national mood from despondency back to hopefulness is a matter of political astuteness that is sorely lacking in Indian politics, and most certainly in New Delhi. There are political rewards for parties and leaders that espouse reconciliation instead of recrimination, renewal instead of redistribution, and responsibility instead of rejection. The BJPs current leadership doesn’t get it.

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