BJP: A hub of hope
Politicians are generally critical of mediapersons. It is, however, rare that media men themselves ridicule their own fraternity for indulging in political criticism not because it is justified but because even while realising that the criticism is uninformed and superficial, the write ups do add up to “lazy copy”.
Swapan Dasgupta is an eminent journalist who commands great respect in the capital. His Page 1 piece every Sunday in the Pioneer is read with great interest. His latest column (May 27, 2012) is a severe comment on the media, which he holds, “shapes the tone and tenor of the chattering class discourse”.
Under the caption Media creates its own realities, Dasgupta wrote last Sunday:
“Given the fact that the media thrives on stereotypes, caricatures… it was not very surprising that the bite brigade that descended on Mumbai last week for the BJP national executive was looking for reaffirmations of set conclusions.”
Swapan added a perceptive summing up:
“That everyone in the BJP is not on the same page is a truism. No political party in India, not even the CPI(M), possesses an army where every member of the officer corps think alike. This is democratic normalcy and it is only in India that the media projects the ideal of politics crafted on the North Korean model.”(A Marxist uniformity!)
However, when these days mediapersons attack the UPA government for its string of scams, but at the same time regret that the BJP-led NDA is not rising to the occasion, I as a former pressman myself, feel they are reflecting public opinion correctly.
At a meeting of the BJP’s core committee some weeks back, attended by several senior RSS leaders, I had reminisced about my 60 years’ political journey since the launching of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh in 1951 by Dr Shyama Prasad Mookerjee. I had said that thinking of the party’s successes and failures during these 60 years, I cannot think of a more depressing year than 1984, when in the Eighth Lok Sabha elections that took place that year, our party had put up 229 candidates. Our score in the Lok Sabha was a miserable two, one from Gujarat and the other from Andhra. In all the other states of the country, including Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, we had drawn a blank. Even in the first general elections to the Lok Sabha in 1952, our party had captured three seats, more than in 1984!
In 1984, I was party president and so felt extremely downcast. But I also remember that the party had set up a committee headed by Krishan Lal Sharma to analyse the poll results objectively. The committee had reported that in the rank and file of the party as also in our support base, there was no demoralisation because of the electoral setback, which was being attributed to the dastardly assassination of Smt. Indira Gandhi by terrorists and a powerful sympathy wave for young Rajiv Gandhi.
The mood within the party these days is not upbeat. The results in Uttar Pradesh, the manner in which the party welcomed BSP ministers who were removed by Mayawatiji on charges of corruption, the party’s handling of Jharkhand and Karnataka — all these events have undermined the party’s campaign against corruption.
The fact that we have a sizable contingent of MPs in Parliament today as against the niggardly two seats in 1984, that our performance in the two Houses under Sushmaji and Jaitleyji has been excellent, that the party is in power in as many as nine states today is no compensation for the lapses committed. I had said at the core group meeting that if people are today angry with the UPA government, they are also disappointed with us. The situation, I said, calls for introspection.
L.K. Advani wrote this on Thursday. We reproduced this blogpost with his permission.