Thursday, August 20, 2009


The right-wing BJP has sacrificed its senior leader Jaswant Singh at the altar of political expediency. His views that the founder of Pakistan M. A. Jinnah was a great and secular man and one who had been wrongly projected as the villain behind partition proved to be too much for the 'saffron party' to stomach.

Jaswant Singh's praise for Jinnah the BJP's leadership concluded undermined one of the Sangh Parivar's key organising principles. In the 1940s the development of the RSS (the BJP's ideological forbearer) was 'fuelled by a desire of some Hindus to organize themselves in reaction to the growing mobilization of Muslim separatist movements', like presumably, the Jinnah led Muslim League.

With Jaswant questioning this basic hypothesis in his book(Jinnah: India, Partition, Independence)he has in a sense questioned the RSS's and by extension the BJP's raison d'etre. No wonder senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley justified his expulsion by saying, "Jaswant questioned BJP's core beliefs''.

The expulsion prompted Jaswant Singh to self-righteously lament that his ouster signifies the closing of the Indian mind and he chose to portray the BJP's decision as one that militates against the best democratic tradition of intellectual discourse. "I think, in Indian polity and political parties, if aspects like thinking, introspection, discussion, reading and writing end, it will not be in the interest of the country."

Rhetoric aside, the sentiment behind Jaswant's parting shot is unexceptionable and his expulsion could well prove to be a point of inflection for the politics of the BJP and should be a point of debate for those who are concerned that the space for reasoned debate in India's political culture is rapidly shrinking.

Dialogue and inquiry are vital to political institutions, especially political parties because they are in themselves a means to an end. A means through which people express themselves to ensure the democratisation of governance.

By expelling Jaswant Singh without even the pretence of a trial the BJP has signalled to others within its ranks that debate is at par with dissidence and therefore won't be tolerated. The consequence is easy to see: The party will crustify ideologically. An ossified BJP is in danger of drifting that much further away from the fast changing political reality of today's India. In such a censorious environment one wonders whether there is any real point to the 'Chintan' (brainstorming) that is supposed to be going on in the 'baithak' (meet) in Shimla.


  1. Well what the BJP decided to take action against Jaswant Singh because of his books was just not fair. You should be allowed to have freedom of speech and expression, if any ideas and thoughts that you dont agree can be sorted out by a healthy debate.
    The worst thing what BJP has done is that banned the book in Gujarat and now planning to ban it in Karnataka. These backward moves by the BJP is showing its narrow approach to politics as India is changing and so is the politics of this country.
    One needs a strong opposition for a successful democracy and i think BJP's role is crucial unless and until it realizes and get out of the shadow of RSS.
    BJP is still in its denial mode or can say schizophernic zone and these decisions are all taking place because of failing to have a succession planning!!!

    Nice blog...nice to see u here Rahul!!!

  2. Jinnah claims yet another victim rather comes back to haunt the B.J.P.He simply refuses to leave B.J.P. leader's imagination. The next step the party should take is appoint him President of the Party posthumous to let all the controversy is laid to rest(in peace).

  3. B.J.P hamesha se apne saath hindutva ka mudda saath lekar chalti rehti hai........chahe vote bank ke liye ya phir sidhanto ke liye........aur iss bar ke lok sabha election mein phir ek baar vipaksh mein baithana ......B.J.P digest nahi kar paa rahi hai.........aise mein haar ka thikra kisi na kisi ke sar toh phodna hai....pehla vasundhra raje iski shikar banti dekh rahi thi .........unke tewar bhi garam the ..lekin rajniti ke khel ki manjhi khiladi hone ke kaaran vo beech ka rasta niklwane mein safal ho gayeeeeeeee...vasundhra raje ke pehle ke tewar se B.j.p ghayal sher ki tarah ho gayi thi.....jis par ab uske apno ne hi waar karna shuru kar diya tha........phir kya Mohan Bhagwat ka bayan ...aur baki sab par pakad banaye rakhna ke liye hi shayad B.J.P mein yeh kadam uthaya gaya hai.......kitab toh ek bahanna hai........dekhte hai agla kaun nishana hai............

  4. Its all gimmick !

    Jaswant singh has realized now after 30 years of joining BJP that Jinnah was great and Nehru & Patel were responsible for partition ???
    Yea..that is why he did not join Congress then ????

    Any person who feels that the people responsible for the partition were any great, htey need to expelled not only from a political party but from public life altogether. Let him go & settle in Pakistan, land of kaide azam beckons him !!!