Sunday, August 30, 2009

Jaswant Da Core !!

Over the last few weeks, the chaotic disintegration of the BJP has provided me with much mirth and amusement. The sacking of Vasundhara Raje followed by her show of strength in Delhi, the Arun Shourie - "Walk and talk - what an Idea" episode being all highly entertaining. However, the most entertaining one has been the whole Jaswant Singh saga.

I find it very curious as to how and why a top BJP leader would ever be fascinated enough to write a book about Mohammad Ali Jinnah. Having said that he is perfectly entitled to indulge in "scholarly'" works of all manners and forms. However, what was more fascinating was the way the BJP reacted in summarily dismissing one of their founder members who has served them with honour and distinction for over 30 years.

Here's how his dismissal by the BJP was described in a paper - According to BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar, the party leadership was also angered by references in Jaswant Singh’s book to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the first home minister of India, who is credited with unifying the country, that went against the BJP’s official stand.
“This book had mentioned Sardar Patel to be responsible for the country’s division. It is against the core ideology of the party and hence the action was taken,” said Javadekar.
“Today’s decision meant only one thing: that the party would not compromise with our ideology, and discipline was above all in the party,” Javadekar said.

Interesting that they got so angry about this book, based on some excerpts published in the print media, even before they had read it. Within a day, the person once described as Hanuman had been converted into Ravan, all courtsey a man who had died in 1948 !!

Jaswant Singh responded with giving a plethora of interviews over the next few days, going so far as to disclose that he had been covering for IRONMAN Advani and basically saying that the Ironman was a liar or had memory issues. He went on to describe BJP as a modern day Klu Klux Klan (wow !!). And here's his response to the CORE that the BJP spokesperson described above - "...Then which core values, supposed core values, have I dented. Is writing about our own history an assault on core values. I don't want to cite that L K Advani had done exactly the same. So when all this began to fall flat, I was told that I have violated something sacrosanct about Sardar Patel."

So here's what I think is the core of the BJP, that they are all talking about. It's core has two parts - like the yin and the yang.
1) The heroic core: The BJP is very sensitive and conscious of the fact that they have had no significant presence in India's freedom movement and its legacy. India's freedom movement is of course one of those few things that universally captures the imagination of the entire country and over the years they have tried to have a hero who played a major part in India's independence and own his legacy. They have found an answer in Sardar Patel ( a Congressman who once banned the RSS) the original IRONMAN ! And thanks to the Congress party's total and complete devotion to the Nehru-Gandhi family, the BJP believes that he can be hijacked away from the Congress. Bottomline - Heroic core involves a lifetime Congressman.
2) The villanous core - The other part of the BJP's core is that just as heroes are needed, so are villains. And in Jinnah, they have the perfect villain, the person believed to be responsible for the partition of India and more importanly their vision of "Akhanda Bharat". Bottomline - A party generally denigraded as a communal party has a villain that it describes as "Communal"

So when Mr. Singh dares to tread on this half cooked, half baked dubious core of an ideological party then he is left with no where to go, but just the press. Skeletons having been coming out of the closet ever since, providing terrific television viewing for someone like me.

And while the Da Vince Code was truly difficult to crack, the Da Jaswant "Core" or rather Jaswant Da Core was not really too difficult to find. The only thing common was powerful societies(Opus Dei and BJP) who act in strange fashions in both of them !!

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