Not his own man



For first time in my life, ever, I felt sorry for L K Advani. The elder ’statesman’ of the Bharatiya Janata Party, who has done more for his party than any other leader, including Narendra Modi, does not even have a right to his own ambition? He had to listen to the summons of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leadership and water down his plans to run for Prime Minister again at the next general elections. And he cannot use his forthcoming rath yatra as a vehicle (no pun intended) to 7, Race Course Road!

Now how sad is that? Or perhaps not. For I noticed that, on the same day, Advani had four different answers to the same question put by different reporters at different times: if he was in the race for, well, Race Course Road. And I believe, when the time comes, the old fox will yet outfox the younger leadership in the RSS – after all, his lauding of Mohammad Ali Jinnah as a secular leader that had grossly annoyed the RSS could not stop him from running the race again in 2009. And that’s because, when the time is wrong, Advani knows how to bend– or at least bow — before others more seemingly powerful in his party. The crucial hour, though, belies that power of those others and Advani is up and running again.

I have seen that happen so many times before that I now no longer believe that any one from the BJP could ever be in the contest for Prime Minister, until Advani is around or he voluntarily lets go. But I also have an abiding faith in Bharat Mata and I believe she always asserts herself to save herself from disaster at precisely the right moment whenever faced by potential catastrophe.

For example, by rights, it is Advani, and not Atal Behari Vajpayee, who should have been Prime Minister in 1996. But that would surely have been a recipe for disaster – given that even Vajpayee could not stop the 2002 massacres in Gujarat and Advani did nothing as Union Home Minister, I wonder how much longer those killings would have gone on had he, rather than Vajpayee (who at least had the will, even if not the internal power, to stop the riots), had been heading the government. But, then, out of nowhere, came the Jain havala scam (which most people have forgotten about today) and, unbelievably, Advani was among those named. Of course, he was then left with no choice but to step aside for Vajpayee. And have people quite forgotten that both Kandahar and the terrorist attack on parliament happened on Advani’s watch as union home minister?

Just as well, then, that the BJP lost the subsequent elections in 2004. For, the plan, I am told, was to win the elections under Vajpayee’s leadership (Advani knew well enough that allies would drop off under his own, as they have already done now that Vajpayee is no longer on the scene) and then to retire the ailing Vajpayee and smoothly step into his shoes without having faced the people at the hustings. When that stunning result came pouring in, my friends laughed and asked, “Why are you so surprised? Isn’t that your theory about Bharat Mata asserting itself again?” I guess, she was indeed saving herself from untold/unforeseen disasters even in 2009 when the Congress and its allies swept the elections again against all their expectations, even if she returned a far weaker government than before.

But whatever the truth of my theory or not, one thing is now clear: even Advani is not his own man. I have heard him repeat ad nauseum, so insultingly, that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is the weakest prime minister ever for he has to always defer to 10, Janpath. Which may well be true. But that’s like the pot calling the kettle black, isn’t it – or, at the least, a man in a glass house throwing stones at another in a similar glass house?

At least, Dr Manmohan Singh got to be Prime Minister.

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  • Akul

    why does every article on BJP Leaders have to start with ‘for the first time? real bankruptcy of talent?

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  • Ram

    Yes unfortunately Dr.Singh turned out to be a dummy run by Ms.Sonia and Mr,.Gandhi from behind the stage-however India is NOT a drama! Congress party is running the PM and Govt of India sowhois the joke on Sujataji?

    Ram

    Singapore

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  • Guest

    As age advances, God might come to Bharat Mata’s rescue.

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  • Anonymous

    Now that RSS men have never been elected by people, they should not be advising BJP.
    But what about unelected member of NAC (headed by Sonia) who keep drafting bill as per wishes of Sonia and her family.
    Even Mahatma Gandhi was unelected but he still controlled Congress who ruled many states before 1947.

    These journos who are on congress payroll just need a reason to bash BJP. It will better if Sujata worry about Sonia who masterminded 2G scam..Chidambaram and MMS are two last walls protecting her.

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  • http://twitter.com/amishra77 Akhilesh Mishra

    Let me warn you too in that case – J.K. Rowling (author of your favourit book), is now ariting an “adult” novel. http://books.hindustantimes.com/2012/02/jk-rowling-writes-adult-novel/

    So if Harry Potter could make you act as the “first person in the bookshop, cash in hand and in exact change at that…and then I’m out like a shot, headed home with the book ….and already three chapters down by the time I get there” , then wonder what this “adult” novel will do to you !!

    Akhilesh

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    Kushal Reply:

    I don’t think I’ll rush to the bookstores for Rowling’s adult book – which, I believe is a crime novel, you really should research before you use double entendres, Akhilesh – but I’ll certainly buy it out of sheer curiosity.

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    Akhilesh Mishra Reply:

    Well, that is why I posted the Hindustan Times link ( your own paper incidentally) , from where I picked up the headline. (In case you did not see, please check the link again).

    I am surprised you would think of it as double entendre.

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  • Kushal

    Not ALL things, Dhanishta. I thoroughly enjoyed reading all those Donna Leons.

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  • Kushal

    I suppose you have a point, Rupa, she said grudgingly. The mint choc you left behind is still in the fridge.

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  • anil

    It’s quite a long article but it missed very important point. IF YOU DON”T HAVE LEADERS WHO CAN LEAD, politics is bound to go local.

    Once people like Narendra Modi (you may not like him but that’s not the point) comes to Centre stage politics will become national. Everything he does will be national.
    Period.

    Even if you don’t like Narendra Modi, get one some one else of his calibre and see the result for yourself and then write another article. It’s the LEADER’S DUTY TO LEAD and that includes addressing issues of national importance and MAKE IT HEARD.

    Indians have been far too long under controlled mindset (influence of artificial social Engineering done in the name of Gandhism but absolutely not by Gandhi or by his remotest approval) and have problem seeing through potential socio-political problems. Side effect of this is – as a nation of one billion people – THEY HAVE ACCEPTED CORRUPTION as norm of the day (things are now changing slowly, I must admit)!

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  • anil

    Mr. Vir Sangvi, as a person in media you should also do your bit of contribution. Once a politician start raising caste/religious bogey you should come heavy on that person no matter what. Set the trend if you are so honest with yourself. So far no one has done that and it’s an opportunity to be the first. If you write a long long story on that people can forgive you even if you show sign of some immaturity.

    On the other hand, if you show intelligent gimmicks to justify the crooks, people will not hesitate to even dump you along with those crooks. So allow pulse of your heart to be heard from close proximity of your brain, working only depending on “brain” alone may make you another of the buddies of the mafia group. Such people end up in despair at the end.

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_URSXATBEMZ7HUAB3OH36PLYWDM Ashok

    Idle to believe the Samajwadi Party will not win well over 40 Lok Sabha seats in 2014, or earlier, so the columnist’s basic premise is valid. Were the Congress to shuffle its pack in the states where it is in power with nondescript CMs, that might give it a fighting chance in the next national election.

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  • Anonymous

    I have no respect for Vir Sanghvi. Nira Radia affair has exposed what we knew all along i.e. the fact he is a corrupt Congress stooge. However I concur with him that regional parties may emerge stronger and form a so-called Third Front govt. in 2014. That is a cause for worry as their previous record with the likes of Charan Singh and Deve Gowda has been utterly contemptible and a recipe for chaos. The BJP has to get its act together fast for India’s sake as the Congress cannot and will not think beyond its hopeless nincompoop dynasty.

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  • Kushal

    Any, Sudeshna. Though there is a chronology in terms of time – you see the kids growing older – the stories are complete in themselves. I didn’t read them in order.

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  • anil

    Is Zia Haq going insane? I could not make what point he is trying to make! Being a writer his language should be plain enough for others to understand what he is up to!

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    BS Reply:

    Lol ask your bosses at RSS headquarters to give you something meaningful to read.

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  • Fantinesmith

    Its controversary for become a Popular in the election .Some leader are tear of crocodile.

    http://www.prlog.org/12109090-american-musical-supply-coupon-code-special-coupon-upto-60-off.html

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  • Sumant

    Vikrant, Quanto did not make it to the list because it was not launched in 2013. How a car looks is a matter of opinion. Even then, I did not criticise the car for how it looks, rather that more was needed to be done with it. Even in its existing shape, it is ungainly to look.

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  • http://batman-news.com Manish

    Sumant, get us your views on worst looking sedans
    its already 2014 but still some manufacturer sell us old designs to talk about
    how about Sunny, does it even look like a car its a design disaaaaaster
    Quanto, WagonR, Sail Uva, Etios etc

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