When I was in my teens, I used to be fascinated by the stories of Independence movement, nehruvian and post-liberalisation era. I have had great respect for Congress Party and the Gandhi family. But gradually I lost my soft corner towards India’s oldest political party and the first family. Now I no longer admire Congress and its policies. Just to name a few, Congress’ unequivocal support for religious reservations, weak foreign policy, lack of willingness to solve Kashmir issue, unquestionable loyalty to the Nehru-Gandhi family, attempts to create an Orwellian regime of censorship, vendetta and propaganda by their non-stop bashing of right-wing. We must not forget, it was the Congress Party which imposed emergency in India. Not let’s come to the point. What is the alternative to Congress in India? Definitely, the alternative to left-center should be the right-center, but how?
I am not completely against Congress, but I hold a view that there must be a equally strong, national party in the country. This not only helps to reduce the dominance of one political party but also supports the very foundation of democratic principles. The BJP(Bharatiya Janata Party) is the second largest political party in India. It is great supporter of Hindu nationalism. It advocates conservative social policies, self-reliance, free market economics, foreign policy driven by a nationalist agenda, and strong national defense. The BJP, in alliance with several other parties, was in power from 1998 to 2004, with Atal Bihari Vajpayee as the Prime Minister and Lal Krishna Advani as his deputy. It is the biggest constituent of the National Democratic Alliance which currently is in the opposition.
We can consider BJP as right-wing in nature, with some central tendencies. The concept of Integral Humanism has a special place in its ideology, with the party aiming to transform India in to a modern, progressive and enlightened nation which draws inspiration from India’s ancient Indian culture and values. Bhartiya Janata Party, which is more than 30 years old, has still not been able to attract rural India. Still it is considered a party of the middle class. Next general elections (2014) will be very crucial for the future of the country. It will also be a great opportunity for BJP and its allies to come back to power in New Delhi, but for this to happen they need to expand their voter base in rural India and states like Kerala, TamilNadu, West Bengal etc. Still they have more than two years left to strengthen their base and rectify their old mistakes.
Congress and BJP are the only two Indian national parties which have ability to form Government at the center. But a large section of media, political class consider BJP untouchable due to its inclination towards Hinduism and pro-national values. Anti-BJP media and other political parties always project BJP as a communal party. They give the examples of Gujrat riots and Ram Mandir issue. But didn’t communal violence crop up even in Congress ruled states? It was the Congress Party which was responsible for anti-Sikh riots of 1984. Everyone talks about the role of BJP in the Ram Mandir issue. But we should not forget that Lord Ram’s icons were placed when Jawaharlal Nehru was the Prime Minister. The disputed structure was opened when Mr. Rajiv Gandhi was the Prime Minister.
The moral of the story is that the BJP the Center-Right “Hindu Nationalist” Party and the Congress Center-Left “Secular Nationalist” Party are different in many respects but on economic liberalisation, Lokpal issue, national security and numerous other matter their view points converge. Hence the nation, which has give two consecutive mandates to the Congress, should give one change to the BJP also.