Mr. Rahul Gandhi’s hands folded in reverence in the picture above are not at Rajiv Gandhiji’s or Indira Gandhiji’s memorial, but at Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s memorial.
This picture of Shri Rahul Gandhi paying homage at the memorial of Atal Bihari Vajpayee is profoundly inspirational. The leadership of today’s BJP is not reminiscent of Atalji’s era.
The Shifting Landscape
The structural and ideological shifts within the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) depict a change in India’s political landscape, introducing new directions. The current BJP leadership does not resemble the BJP during Atalji’s time. Leaders like Lal Krishna Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Jaswant Singh, Yashwant Sinha, Arun Jaitley, Pramod Mahajan, Madan Lal Khurana, Arun Shourie and others had established strong relations with the Congress.
A Glimpse of History
When Smt. Sheila Dikshit was the Chief Minister of Delhi, it was often said that if you wanted her to do something, it wouldn’t happen if you put forth the request to people in the Congress party like JP Agarwal, Jagdish Tytler, Sajjan Kumar, etc., but if you asked Lal Krishna Advani, the task would be accomplished immediately.
2013 Delhi Assembly Election
If one looks back at the 2013 Delhi Vidhan Sabha election, Shri Arvind Kejriwal contested against Sheila Dikshitji from the New Delhi constituency. The BJP fielded the formidable leader Shri Vijender Gupta. The Aam Aadmi Party was gaining momentum, and Kejriwal’s victory seemed certain. On the day of voting, I visited the Gol Market polling station to assess the atmosphere. Vijender Guptaji sat outside and was lamenting loudly that, “My own party is defeating me!” I was surprised to hear this! So, I approached him and asked what had happened. He tearfully revealed that Lal Krishna Advaniji instructed the RSS cadre that as Sheila Dikshit was losing, transfer BJP’s votes to Sheila Dikshitji and somehow ensure her victory. He believed Kejriwal’s win would be a problem for everyone This incident made me realize the reality of politics, and I made a note of it for the future.
In the past, political opposition existed, but not blind fanaticism and enmity. Leaders co-existed, and even after a change in government, mutual assistance persisted. The belief was that in free and fair elections, anyone could win. At that time, slogans like “Congress-Free India” were unheard of and the abuse and misuse of central agencies we see today was absent. However, nowadays, the opposition is targeted, efforts are made to exhaust the finances of opposing parties through decisions like demonetization, and even the faith in the electoral process for retaining permanent power has eroded.
The Need for Unity
Nevertheless, many BJP supporters in India still hold the BJP’s ethos from Atalji’s days, the BJP of Atal Ji’s era seems orphaned today. There is a need to foster a familial political environment, where those even with opposing ideologies, be it BJP, AAP, or any other party, align and unite with the Congress and Rahulji in the face of challenges and conflicts and do away with anger, insults and stop demeaning each other.
This article is intended for contemplation and discussion purposes only. It is not intended to harm the sentiments of any individual or party.