It is Hindutva all the way at BJP’s National Council session in Lucknow
Asks party workers to "wear garland of fire" Condemns "Muslim appeasement" politics
LUCKNOW: No one here was left in doubt on Saturday that Hindutva is firmly back on the Bharatiya Janata Party’s agenda, as party president Rajnath Singh spelt out its priorities.
Addressing the first day of the two-day national council session, he virtually challenged the Congress and the Samajwadi Party to say publicly that they would rebuild the Babri Masjid, which was demolished in December 1992.
Mr. Singh asserted that the party was committed to building a Ram temple at the disputed site at Ayodhya, adopting a uniform civil code, abrogating Article 370 of the Constitution that gives a special status to Kashmir and scrapping any policy favouring the minorities.
He blamed the compulsions of coalition politics for the erstwhile National Democratic Alliance Government’s failure to do anything concrete on building the Ram temple. If the BJP got full majority in Parliament on its own, it would even go in for legislation to enable the construction of a grand temple.
Mr. Singh told the nearly 2,500 council delegates that the conclave was like a "barat" (marriage party) that had come to Lucknow to take the "satta ki sundari" (beauty power) as the bride to Delhi. He himself was the "groom," he said, after hesitating a bit, wondering whether he was part of the "barat" or was a "gharati," part of the bride’s family.
Mr. Singh gave a clarion call to party workers to "wear the garland of fire" to bring about a change that would catapult the BJP into the seat of power here in next year’s election and at the Centre in 2009.
A loud message that he gave was "tushtikaran rajniti ka safaya’ (end of appeasement politics). He hoped that it would be buried by 2016, exactly a hundred years after the demand for a separate electorate was raised here at a Congress conclave in 1916.
Condemning the "Muslim appeasement" politics, Mr. Singh cited the Sachar Committee report; delay in hanging Mohammad Afzal, convicted in the Parliament attack case; and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s observations at the National Development Council meeting.
Mr. Singh dismissed the Bharat Nirman and employment guarantee programmes of the United Progressive Alliance Government and criticised it for the continuing suicides among farmers and rising inflation.
He said there were ``secret parleys’’ with China on the fate of Arunachal Pradesh.
He spoke critically of a possible agreement on Siachen and the India-United States nuclear deal.
Finally, he reinforced the Hindutva ideology, claiming that the BJP was distinct from others in that it wanted to establish a "distinct ideology and political style."
With this conclave, the BJP’s politics seems to have come full circle - from full-throated Hindutva from the mid-1980s to early 1990s to putting its agenda on the back burner during the years the party was in power from 1998 to 2004 and now back to uncompromising Hindutva.