All these days, weeks and months the scathing comment by L K Advani never faded away. Now I was pleased to hear it from Khushwant Singh. Oh! what a reply it is! I enjoyed it. Each and every word of it.
Dr. Ajmal sent it to me. Thank you, Dr. Ajmal!!
Now read the story! It was published here and here.
Nikkamma number 1
By Khushwant Singh
Bhagwat did not commit himself to anything specific. Like any father would, he told his squabbling children to settle their differences between themselves, without involving him. However, he did express the opinion that it was time the BJP retired its old leaders and infused younger blood in the party. He did not name anyone, but it was obvious who he meant. That his voice counts a lot was proved by the fact that the next day most of the top leaders of the party, including L.K. Advani, Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and Venkaiah Naidu went to call on him to get his aasheervad — blessings.
It can be assumed that the one man almost certainly to be asked to step down will be L.K. Advani. He should have left the political scene in a blaze of glory, but now not many tears will be shed for him. And for good reasons. Did he ever regret the role he played in the demolition of the Babri Masjid? If he did, as he claims, why did he not tender an apology? Did he regret the anti-Muslim pogrom in Gujarat? If so, why did he protect Narendra Modi from being sacked as Prime Minister Vajpayee evidently wanted to do? Is it possible that as home minister he did not know of Jaswant Singh’s mission to Kandahar to swap three jehadi militants for 150-odd Indians held hostage in hostile territory? There cannot be an iota of truth in his statement that he knew nothing about Jaswant’s mission till it was over.
An important omission in the analysis of the rapid decline of the BJP is the role of the RSS. The BJP took its ideology from the RSS. Islamophobia was its motivating factor as it was of militant right-wing organisations like the Shiv Sena and Ram Sena. An increasing number of people no longer subscribe to this ideology. Membership of these parties has dwindled.
Mohan Bhagwat’s assertion that the RSS includes members of the minority communities, including Muslims, has to be taken with a large dose of salt. While he decides on replacements for Advani and Rajnath Singh, he should also take a closer look at the factors which have contributed to peoples’ disenchantment with what all these parties stand for and the readiness with which they resort to violence to achieve their ends.
I have no regret over Advani’s discomfiture and imminent fadeout from national politics. He has done grievous harm to our efforts to create a truly secular India. He described Manmohan Singh as nikamma — useless. It so happens, Manmohan is still much in use, while Advani’s own erstwhile colleagues have pronounced him as of no use any longer. It is as comic a tragedy as any we have witnessed in recent times.