In October, we discovered a new messiah of tolerance. Hell, a day before Diwali, on November 10, he also turned poster boy of introspection. Here’s introducing the latest avatar of Lal Krishna Advani, the man with the unenviable record of having finished a distant second all his life.
Now, we know people change and all that, but so much? Much as I would love to give the Bharatiya Janata Party’s perpetually wannabe party patriarch the benefit of doubt, it is, well, a little tough, given his exemplary track record. The letter of reprimand – co-signed by a few other grumpy old men of the BJP in wake of the poll debacle in Bihar – thus could do with some background (read: reminders). In this letter below, we insert all that Advani and the grumpy old men forgot while admonishing the current leadership.
The results of the Bihar elections show that no lesson has been learnt from the fiasco in Delhi.
Learning from failures: excellent advice. Just like the BJP, with Advani at the helm of affairs in 2009, learnt its lessons from the disaster of 2004, with Advani at the helm of affairs again. We know how that went: the party went to down 138 in 2004 and 116 in 2009.
Too much introspection
To say that everyone is responsible for the defeat in Bihar is to ensure that no one is held responsible. It shows that those who would have appropriated credit if the Party had won are bent on shrugging off responsibility for the disastrous showing in Bihar.
Umm, like Advani-ji tried shrugging off responsibility by blaming the party’s over confidence and the use of slogans like “India Shining” for the 2004 loss? Yes, one man did take responsibility, but it wasn’t Advani. It was the much younger Pramod Mahajan. “The impression even among the opponents and foreign analysts was that we will win….but we lost…one, due to over confidence and, secondly, using some wrong slogans like India Shining,” Advani had said. And as far as we remember collective responsibility was the buzzword back in 2004 too.
The principal reason for the latest defeat is the way the Party has been emasculated in the last year.
Now, this is one thing I agree with. When it comes to macho politics, it is very difficult to beat Advani-ji. Remember the rath yatra that gave the BJP its Hinduvta identity? Yes, a few thousand people died after the BJP gained its masculine pride, but collateral damage is a part of all wars.
And then there was this:
A thorough review must be done of the reasons for the defeat as well as of the way the Party is being forced to kow-tow to a handful, and how its consensual character has been destroyed. This review must not be done by the very persons who have managed and who have been responsible for the campaign in Bihar.
Unlike 2002, when Narendra Modi continued as Chief Minister of Gujarat because a “handful” insisted. The handful, for people with a short memory, happened to include a man by the name of LK Advani even as Atal Bihari Vajpayee thought admonishing Modi was appropriate.
In closing Advani-ji do you know what nemesis means?