Friday, March 21, 2014

Mr Advani finally agrees to Gandhinagar

I as a self professed and a firm believer of BJP and their liberal political agenda is miffed at the way Mr Advani has acted over the past few months. Before going further, let me put in a disclaimer – even though, I like BJP, but that is restricted to their liberal and reform agenda and not at all related to any communal stuff, that many pseudo secular parties claim to be so.
Well, coming back to Mr Advani. I strongly believe, Mr Advani should ideally have left his desires of the PM chair and should have eased into political retirement. Performing a role of an ideologue and patriarch to the core would have better suited him at the age of 86. Not that he is not a known politician across the country. He is well known political face across the length and breadth of the country. He had even served as the Deputy Prime Minister and the Home Minister under Vajpayee NDA government. However, the desire to host the National Flag from the ramparts of the Red Fort one day continues to rage. And this desire is affecting the party and its Mission 272+ for sure.
Mr Advani’s antics are surely hampering the party and its image. His discomfort with Mr Narendra Modi is well known and it even goes to the extent of becoming a butt of all jokes at such a critical time and causes embarrassment. The question is, Is this discomfort only due to his desire to be the PM of India and hence, not liking the idea of Mr Modi being projected the NDA’s PM candidate? To a common man, that is one probable reason that would easily come to fore, as Mr Advani’s desire to be the PM of India is a part of the Indian political folklore.
As a common man with considerable interest in Indian politics (for it affects the country directly and indirectly), I believe, this discomfort also sums from the perceived authoritarian image of Mr Modi. It is widely perceived that Mr Modi will get his way out, some way or the other and hence, can easily cut to size the likes of Mr Advani. Please keep in mind that under the load of 2 successive defeats at the hands of congress in 2000s and especially after Mr Advani paving way for Ms Sushma Swaraj as the Leader of Opposition, after 2009 defeat, he was sort of left in the lurch, may be even demoted to a wise patriarch. Imagine all this after being the face of BJP for decades.
I also feel, Mr Modi’s ever gaining popularity and image as messiah of all development in Gujarat, would have also played into Mr Advani’s mind. His rise as one of the most sought after leader in BJP in all campaigns over the past few years, might also be adding to all this. Add to this the rock star status that Mr Modi has enjoyed for some time. And all hell broke, as they say.
In all this, Mr Advani never ever thought of the party (or maybe he thought), as it looks to a common man and supporter. May be he could have handled it better, by at least not making his displeasure public by resigning from all party posts. And when all was going fine, he did it again; by giving conflicting statements over his choice of seat to fight the General Elections next month. Finally, he agreed to his existing seat Gandhinagar in Mr Modi’s Gujarat.
Ideally, one would have liked Mr Advani to have taken a back seat and accepted the new generation and acted like an elder statesman, guiding the party in these crucial times.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

My 2 cents on Mr Kejriwal – he is needed, however, a long way to go...

Been reading a lot of articles on Arvind Kejriwal and his brand of politics or “anarchy”, as he enjoys it being called! It has been close to around 3 months since he was christened the “7th Chief Minister of Delhi”, and it has been a more than a year since he became the mascot of “Aam Aadmi” in political fiefdom of our elitist (in his words) political class. While, I strongly believe in the disruption that he brings to the current political mess, however, his projection as being different and an alternate is something questionable, at least to my ilk.
Many political parties including Congress & BJP say that he is no threat to them, however, deep inside, even they would accept his importance and probable threat. I believe, if he has the right intentions and the right means to achieve them, he can create a sea change in how elections are fought and politics is run in general, in our country. My thought process is simple – he is needed to keep a check on the current politicians and political parties, however, to reach where his eyes are set on (read PMship), its a long way to go. I agree, the public in general is fed up with the current dispensation and it needs an overhaul. However, this is a slow process, as no one can overnight do away with the rut that has set in. It will take years – who knows 5, 10 or may even more. But, with the ever growing discontentment in the public at large, lack of patience and generational shift, it will surely be 5-10 years. There is a classic case of BJP in our own backyard, which has grows since the Jan Sangh days in the 60s and 70s to political party ready to take charge once again.
He had a chance to prove his credibility as an administrator and politician for a change, however, he let go off of this golden chance, for want of politics. How much as he may say, his resignation in the guise of Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill was a political stunt. He very well knew that the public mood over the years of poor governance and corruption was completely against Congress and anti-corruption. And with the success in the Delhi Legislative Elections last year, he had the momentum with him along with the emotional bind with the public. So, he wanted to cash in on this mood and momentum and decided to go national overnight and fight the General Elections 2014. This is where the real problem rose – AK was AAP and AAP was AK. There was lack of national faces and this continues to this day. There was and is no national leader who people across the country know and can relate to. And with AK being restricted to Delhi (being the CM), the national ambitions overpowered the fire to perform for Delhi and he resigned. Since he resigned, he has been on a national rally spree, going all around the country to garner votes for himself and his party. Well, this is a no brainer. Agreed! The problem lies with him saying he is different, providing alternate to the 2 national parties. Mr Kejriwal, is no different. He accuses BJP of personality politics in the name of Mr Modi. While, he forgot that AAP and himself are doing the same in the name of Mr Kejriwal.
In all this milieu of Namo and Gujarat Model, Congress, even the small parties, never accused Mr Modi of being corrupt. All they had to say was always centred around Gujarat riots of 2002. No one ever said that Mr Modi was corrupt. However, he came and said that even Mr Modi is corrupt. I do appreciate your bold attitude J In fact, he claims everyone other than AAP members or supporters are corrupt. There is a perception that he thinks bureaucrats and law enforcement agencies are all corrupt. I am not ready to accept that everyone is corrupt. It would be good, if he highlights and segregates the good apples from the bad ones.

It would be good if he rises above referendums (people’s voice, as you prefer to call them). His latest one to get a referendum to decide whether to fight against Mr Modi from Varanasi is bizarre. Come on, is he going to take every decision like this? What to do of cases like Chinese incursions? Take a public referendum, before he gives a firm reply to our neighbours. Voting Lines are open until 9 PM tomorrow. And Chinese scrape additional 10 Kms off our land mass. Additionally, there are many instances to prove that the voice of people is not right always. There is more to politics than the agitational DNA that he and his coterie carry everywhere. He aspires to be the next Prime Minister of India, for which he would have to change his way of thinking and working completely.