October 18th, 2012

‘Bhikhari’ of Indian politics: BJP shamed

JAMMU: Namaste sada vatsale matrbhume, Tvaya hindubhume sukham vardhitoham; Mahamangale punyabhume tvadarthe, Patatvesa kayo namaste namaste ||
Fifty five year old Nitin Gadkari must have recited these lines thousands of times but he does not seem to have understood the essence of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s mandatory prayer for its cadres every day. If Sanskrit is alien to him and his likes, they better know what they have been praying each morning-Forever I bow to thee, O Loving Motherland! O Motherland of us Hindus, Thou hast brought me up in happiness. May my life, O great and blessed Holy Land, be laid down in Thy Cause. I bow to Thee again and again.
The disclosure about Gadkari’s alleged land deals by India Against Corruption (IAC) shakes the confidence of people in Indian polity where almost everyone appears to be naked. Each day a new skeleton falls from the cupboard; each day India awakens to a new scam and each day another name shames the Indian politics.
Having amassed crores of rupees, the lust of average Indian politician seems to be unending. Who to trust is a big concern every Indian is bothered about?
In Indian politics, nobody pleads guilty. And, more than the guilty, it is their parties or flunkies who create much noise in a bid to be seen as ‘more loyal than the king’. An individual’s guilt is owned by the entire outfit he belongs to. In certain cases, the parties come out in favour of non-entities also, like Congress bandwagon jumping to bail out the son-in-law Robert Vadra, whose ‘simple’ fault is to multiply his business empire 600 times in less than a decade-allegedly from Rs 50 lakhs to Rs 300 crore.
Similarly, Gadkari, the businessman turned politician, is accused of illicitly acquiring 100 acres of land for his companies in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra belonging to poorest farmers with active connivance and collaboration of Ajit Pawar, a senior leader of National Congress Party, who was made to resign recently allegedly for his unhealthy political practices and corruption charges.
Gadkari has also been blamed for ‘usurping’ the water, meant for farmers, in a local dam in the same area. The dam water is alleged to have been diverted to service a power plant run by his empire.
While framing up his defence, Gadkari describes the allegations as a conspiracy to malign BJP. A strange argument! When he struck the deal, that time too he misused his association with the party and got a favour from the ruling coalition of Maharashtra- to which he and his party was supposed to play as opposition. Instead, he went with a begging bowl, like a Bikhari, to Pawar for seeking a concession at the cost of livelihood of poor farmers, who are left with no option but to commit suicides. In politics, values lose meaning when personal ambitions become paramount. Now he wants to entangle BJP into his defence, which it will readily do, given the arithmetic of party politics.
The exercise has already begun. It was an amazing to see the visuals of top BJP brass huddling ahead of IAC press conference to tailor a response to the allegations. No wonder the battery of spokespersons will come out with cosmetic statements and counter arguments to prove their chief innocent. Gadkari has already performed the ritual and accused Congress of getting the opposition votes divided in future elections by ‘engineering such a disinformation campaign through activists’.
The timing of disclosures against Nitin Gadkari could not have been as ‘inappropriate’ for BJP, as of now, when the party is engaged in formulating electoral strategy in crucial state assembly elections announced in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. The stakes are very high keeping in view the ensuing general elections, normally scheduled for 2014, but can’t be ruled out earlier also, given the developing political scenario.
The fallout of the allegations can be suicidal in Gujarat where from Narendra Modi is not only seeking third tenure for himself and for his party but which is, by all accounts, the launching pad for the future Prime Minister of India.
These are very testing moments for the Sangh Parivar. It is left with only two options. One, to out rightly support Gadkari by unleashing a counter campaign against Congress and the activists and rewarding with yet another term as BJP chief, which seems to be more likely! Another alternative for the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the organisation controlling its political organ, is to throw out Gadkari till the time he emerges clean.
RSS can convert this disgusting development into a blessing by shunning away all inhibitions and political calculations and announce change of guard in the party besides naming Modi as its prime ministerial candidate. This will end the simmering dissention in the otherwise disciplined party, which is gradually losing the tag of being a party with difference.

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