Jaswant Singh’s expulsion is sending shockwaves, but he is not the first to have left the BJP under a cloud. NEHA DIXIT meets the other rebels
‘The Very Rationale Of The BJP’s Existence As A Political Party Is Being Questioned’
K. GOVINDACHARYA, 66
Quit in 2003, now an RSS ideologue
Did the RSS want Jaswant Singh out of the BJP?
Not at all. The RSS had no role. The BJP used Mohan Bhagwat’s interview to defend his expulsion. Jaswant Singh does not understand the grammar and dynamics of the BJP-RSS relationship. He also made a fuss and accused the RSS.
Do you believe that Jaswant Singh’s expulsion was called for?
The destiny of a worker should not be decided over a cup of tea. This casual, shabby tackling of the issue does not suit a political party like the BJP, which is supposed to be mature.
What made you quit the BJP and what are the party’s main problems?
Ideology and idealism are missing. The BJP has degenerated into a party of power-hungry candidates. Instead of an instrument for social transformation, it has degenerated into an electoral machine.
The party suddenly appears confused about its own identity?
There is an identity as well as an existential crisis. The very rationale of the BJP’s existence as a political party is being questioned. If they are to exist as a replica of the Congress, then what is the point of a separate existence?
Does the party miss Vajpayee?
After the retirement of Atalji, Advaniji started calling the shots and the problem was aggravated. However, Atalji and Advaniji are identical in their thoughts.
Do you see the BJP being hijacked by a coterie culture?
The BJP has forgotten that the democratisation of the party is the prerequisite for the democratisation of governance. Lack of dialogue and lack of trust led to Vasundhara Raje’s insistence on not resigning. The eroded moral authority of the leadership has also contributed to this.
Has the scope of dissent reduced?
Until 1996, dissent used to enrich discussions and facilitate collective decisions. In 1997, the whole process was bid goodbye. There was a vichaaar baithak in 1997 to decide on the code of conduct and the style of functioning of its leaders. The report never saw the light of day. That was the last such meeting. In 2005, a document, called ‘Task Ahead’ was made, but it has not been presented in the last four years, even though they unnecessarily continue having chintan baithaks year after year.
How has the present crisis in the BJP percolated down to its cadres?
The expulsion of Jaswant Singh has damaged the confidence of the average worker. They want to know what constitutes indiscipline. The Sangh cadre is watching from the distance and is a bit sad too.
Is the RSS changing under Mohan Bhagwat’s leadership?Lenin once said it will take a long time to appreciate a personal situation and a still longer time to express it. So let us see.
From Tehelka Magazine, Vol 6, Issue 35, Dated September 05, 2009