On Reading Advani;s blog:
By Praven Patil, May 18, 2013
Sir, I have had the good fortune of attending more than a dozen of your public rallies across many cities and States over the last two decades; the latest being the one you addressed in the national college grounds of Bangalore in 2011 as part of your nationwide rath yatra against corruption. If you remember sir, in late 2011, when you addressed a mammoth rally of some 30 thousand odd people in Bangalore, it had started to rain heavily just as you began to speak. Organisers and BJP functionaries were worried that the people would rush out of the national college grounds to protect themselves from the wrath of the rain gods. But nothing of that sort happened on that day. People simply stood up and picked up the plastic chairs to raise them above their heads to shield themselves. They braved that incessant Bangalore rain to listen to you. That is how much the people of Bangalore and India loved you and respected you.
Exactly two decades ago, in 1991, you and Vajpayee ji addressed a huge rally in Mumbai where I was once again fortunate enough to be present. If you remember sir, the moment you faced the mike to speak out, there was an uproarious cry of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ from the gathered masses. Even though Vajpayee ji was known for his oratorical skills, a vast majority of the people in that gathering had come to listen to you, that is how much the people of Mumbai and India loved you and respected you.
Alas! Love and respect of the ordinary masses come with a sell-by date. Retirement at the peak is an art that Indians have rarely understood, thus we have a 40 something Sachin Tendulkar still wanting to play a game which has long moved past him. Advani ji, every day that you spend involved in active politics is costing you the love of a million of your fans / followers. Please ask yourself tonight after dinner, is the opium of active politics more important than the love and respect of ordinary Indians?
History is an unkindest of judges that human civilisation has bestowed upon us. History has no time for subtleties for it is devoid of human emotions and lacks the leisure of deciphering intentions. If history can be cruel enough to degrade the architect of Indian economic reforms into a modern day Nero who presided over the most corrupt regime India had ever seen, then history can be equally scathing to judge the father of modern India’s right-wing movement as just a faction leader of the BJP. This is how much time and tide have turned against you, sir.
Karnataka is the latest symptom of the disease
The BJP of Karnataka is not a disease sir, it is just the symptom of the underlying illness that the party is suffering from. Losing Karnataka is not the antidote for that disease as you have wrongly prescribed, in fact, the very opposite is true.
One of the last decisions that you, as the patriarch and guide, should take before quitting active politics is to assert that BJP is a political party and not a voluntary organisation. Sir, in a democracy, a political party exists to win elections and not to win TV studio debates or hash tag wars on Twitter. BJP is not RSS.
By choosing electoral defeat as a way forward to cure the perceived moral decline, you are committing a crime sir. It is a criminal act against the vast number of ordinary karyakartas of Karnataka who, by their sweat and blood, brought your party to power in south India. Pray, what are you telling these ordinary karyakartas? You are telling them that their sweat and blood was in vain, because you have decided to surrender the State to win a hollow moral victory over Congress/UPA in television studios!
Sir, you have always been politically correct in your utterances and actions over the decades. You have always addressed even your worst enemies with utmost respect. In fact, despite all her misdeeds and corruption, you have always addressed Sonia Gandhi as ‘Sonia ji’. Thus, to see you use a pejorative term of ‘Yeddi’ to address the former CM of Karnataka, was heart-breaking to say the least. Ask yourself sir, is this the way you would treat someone who has toiled hard for more than 4 decades to build your party in a south-Indian State, notwithstanding whatever differences you have developed lately? If the most vile and most corrupt ‘Sonia ji’ has acquired more respect in your political lexicon than the unwashed Yeddyurappa, then am afraid Indian Right has hit a new nadir.
The abolition of Jagirdari system and the Jan Sangh/BJP’s growth in Rajasthan is an inspiring tale indeed. But, sir, that is totally out of context to the Karnataka conundrum. What is more relevant to Karnataka is what happened in UP just a decade or so ago. The caste-matrix of Karnataka has its parallels in the muddy politics of UP and not in the royally majestic Rajasthan.
In Uttar Pradesh too, a section of upper caste BJP leaders decided to lose an election just to wrest the control of the party from Kalyan Singh. One election loss proved to be one too many, until today, when the BJP has been reduced to a bit player in the largest State.
If UP-isation of Karnataka is the solitary goal that BJP can aim at, then bringing back Yeddyurappa after a decade in wilderness, when he would be a spent force, is the ideal path to follow. Is this what you want to achieve Advani ji? Or do you believe that Anant Kumar ji will wake up one day and suddenly find himself the darling of Kannadigas by sheer magic? Let me remind you sir, that the possibility of the Kalraj Mishras and Lalji Tandons ever becoming mass leaders shrinks from 10 per cent to 3 per cent by the time it reaches the Anant Kumars and Prahlad Joshis, while traversing from UP to Karnataka.
Can the lies of the media beguile the patriarch?
For someone with such a legendary political acumen, it is surprising to note this new-found belief in unverified news reports churned by the usual suspects of Indian mainstream media. Sir, do you sincerely believe that Sonia Gandhi is acting against the corrupt Ministers of the UPA Government against the wishes of the PM? At the same time, you seem to believe that Yeddyurappa indulged in “unabashed corruption” as the CM of Karnataka!
Such callous statements by one of the founding fathers of the BJP leave not only the loyal karyakartas but us ordinary followers in complete disarray. When and how did you decide that Sonia-led Congress is fighting corruption, while BSY was the epitome of immorality?
Sir, you must pay a private visit to Bangalore, while you are at it, just take along any businessman well-versed with Bangalore’s realty scenario for a guided tour of the city and its surroundings. If you ever venture out to do so, you will get the real picture. You will find out that vast tracts of land belong to various politicians of many political parties. “SM Krishna’s son in law”, “Dharam Singh’s son”, “Deve Gowda’s relatives”, “Kumaraswamy” and even “Muttappa Rai” would be some of the names you will hear in this connection. The missing name will be that of “Yeddiyurappa and his sons or relatives”. That is the story that you have totally missed in your blind love for a certain Bangalore MP. The media and the intellectual brigade have either beguiled you with partial facts or you have deliberately chosen to remain blind.
Karnataka is not an exception sir, India is at stake here. Do we Indians deserve another UPA term, just so that you can play your moral one-upmanship? India is fed up with Congress and its non-governance, but please spare the country a moral lecture from Dilli and instead offer a winning alternative. If there is one thing and the only thing that you can do as your last act of nirvana, please liberate BJP from the clutches of Dilli. That should be the only lesson that BJP should learn from Karnataka, rest is all gloss.
A disheartened BJP supporter