Politics in India: The Congress is Bad, but the BJP is Worse
The BJP is not the Alternative to the Congress
India is passing through a critical period. The Congress party which has ruled much of the period after independence has brought the country to the nadir with corruption seeming an endless factor. In contrast one expected the BJP (Bhartiya Janta Party) to be better, but from all accounts the BJP is worse and a poor substitute to the Congress party. A few of the facts summarized below may throw some light on the BJP and its ethos.
a) Ram Rajya. This is a period that refers to the time when the God Ram ruled India. Hindus believe this period to be one of prosperity and the rule of law. The BJP always talks of Ram Rajya, without really spelling out what they mean by this Ramrajya. Most of the time it is equated to anti-western thought, less equality for women, opposition to English and attacks on women being and modern and wearing western dress as well as attacks on minorities.
b) The BJP claims it is a nationalist party whose aim is ‘Akhand Bharat’ (One India). Yet at the grass roots level it allies with sectarian and regional parties. An example is its alliance with the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra. The Shiv Sena leader BAL Thackeray and his son Udhav Thackeray have won votes on the grounds that Biharis and north Indians are foreigners in Mumbai and the party has also at times launched systematic tirades and attacks at people from Utter Pradesh and Bihar. Yet the BJP is allied with this party for almost 20 years. It sees no dichotomy in its concept of ‘Khanda Bharat’ and the parochial Shiv Sena. It is also an ally of the Alkali Dal a communial party in the Punjab, though at times the Akali party has preached sedition.
c) The choice of some of the men who represent the BJP is to say the least bizarre. The following examples stand out
Ø One of their foremost vote catchers and leaders in Punjab Navjot Singh Sidhu is convicted for manslaughter and sentenced to 3 years rigorous imprisonment. His case is in appeal in the Supreme Court, yet he leads the BJP in Punjab.
Ø One of the top leaders of the BJP Hema Malini is in a bigamous marriage with another film star Dharmendra (who is also a BJP, Member of Parliament). Worse this man to marry again circumvented the Indian Penal code which does not allow bigamous marriages by converting to Islam. Another MP, one Vinod Khanna is recognized as the Lothario from Mumbai. He is a man without any moral scruples with marriages to younger women and liaisons s at Acharya Rajneesh ashram. Surely not a good advertisement of Rama Rajya.
Ø The ex BJP Party President has just been sentenced to 4 years rigorous imprisonment for accepting kickbacks when the BJP was in power in defense deals. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Cases of corruption against the BJP leader’s leads like a who is who in the party with Chief Ministers of BJP ruled states like Yedurappa leading the looting parties.
I am afraid the BJP cannot usher in Ram Rajya. It is the tragedy of India that both alternatives the Congress and the BJP deserve to be consigned to the dust bin of history. The BJP is worse as it talks of Ram Rajya. Surely Ram Rajya does not mean making a mockery of the law and ushering in leaders with dubious backgrounds, attacking Western mores, English and supporting parties that follow an anti-national agenda.