Mirage Of Assertive Hindutva
Note: Reposted From My Old Blog. This is a old post written in the immediate aftermath of 2009 elections. However it is still relevant.
A well accepted maxim among those who work in any sort of team is that while success has many fathers failure is always other man’s
bastard love child.
This perfectly encapsulates contentious debate currently in progress among BJP sympathizers struggling to discover the cause, or in most cases, to shift the blame, for recent drubbing in Lok Sabha elections.
One such group in this debate comprises of people who blame the defeat on BJP diluting its assertive Hindutva plank as exemplified by Koenraad Elst (via)
As promised previously, this post is essentially my attempt to bring pox upon house of assertive Hindutva. Before I start though I will like to make two things clear. One I remain an unrepentant Hindutva Fascist, one who is dismissive of secularism as a meaningful or relevant concept in India, and who hopes to see not only Ayudhya but also Mathura and Varanasi restored to Hindus. Second while I have certain sympathy with the proponents of assertive Hindutva, I restrict my arguments to what in my opinions is the crux of the debate, that is the electoral viability of assertive Hindutva.
Oh and I hope, by the time I finish, I would have thoroughly confused everyone.
Now, to the contention that defeat of BJP can be attributed to its retreat from assertive Hindutva. The argument is seductive in its simplicity and bias to the true believer. The only problem, it doesn’t hold to even most basic scrutiny ( except in a very narrow sense to which I will come later).
Let’s recall some of the issues on which BJP primarily focussed during UPA’s previous tenure; Ram Sethu controversy, Amarnath controversy,Afzal Guru, POTA, Volcker report , Mitrokhin Archives just to name the few. These issues are either firmly in the category of assertive Hindutva or belong to the broader security/nationalist platform. Even focusing on these issues, and I agree with BJP on most of them, did nothing to prevent BJP from getting the drubbing in 2009 polls.
At this point usually the argument morphs from insufficient focus to loss of credibility, a result of BJP ignoring Hindutva while in power. This is true, but without context. BJP shifted focus from Hindutva while in power because it never had the requisite numbers to implement the core agenda of assertive Hindutva, Ram Mandir, uniform civil code and article 370. At this point the argument may take two form. One forwarded by the firm adherents is for BJP to sit in opposition and keep campaigning till it gets the requisite majority to implement the agenda.
The problem with this is BJP did run on this platform from 93 to about 96 and consistently failed to get the majority and worse support of other political parties to form the government. It was not until Shri Advani in a masterstroke decided to make much loathed moderate Vajpayee as the face of party that party could come to power.
Now it may change in future. May be some day in future, Indians will decide all that matters is to build Ram Mandir, or abrogate article 370, or enact uniform civil code. That will be the same day when our urbanites will prefer Gau Mutra Cola over pesticide laden Coke and Pepsi.
There is a more sensible course, which is the recognition that Hindutva, as it exists today, has no intellectual heft and also no credible political road map beyond high decibel sloganeering. To sustain the movement politically, Hindutva supporters need to construct a more serious platform beyond the three issues above mentioned and more importantly sell it electorally. I doubt this will happen though as it requires rigorous thinking, and in the present Sangh culture that is haraam.
Instead Sangh Parivar instinctively resorts to responses based on emotional catharsis or non sequitur such as this.
Now that I have “demolished” the believers, allow me to demolish the apostates or “the center right” clique in the next part. Confused ! You are welcome.