.

Talking to BJP supporters

Exploitation of a people's uncertainties and confusions under the guise of 'true guidance and 'restoration of social order' is a crime. This holds good for any political party, organization or an individual.

The BJP wittingly or unwittingly, stands in such a position. It seeks to create a true Indian State, infuse culture and religious values into education and make our nation into a Hindu Rashtra.

What one need to ask the BJP (and its supporters) at this juncture is: What is it mean by a true Indian State? What is it's sense of culture and religion? What does it mean when it says-the creation of a Hindu Rashtra?

There are masses of people in every town and city of this country who voted for the BJP because they demolished the Babri Masjid. They do not matter politically in the true sense of the word because the same people can vote against the BJP because onion prices are up. In other words, they are people who do not carry any strong political convictions. So let's forget about them for a moment.

Then, there is a big segment of people who like the BJP because of its ‘organized and disciplined’ cadre, the proof of the existance of a guiding philosophy and strong cultural and religious convictions, although such myths seem to be shaky delusions once the foundations of political power don’t hold up their feet any longer. They are drawn towards the BJP because they feel that it has something to offer. It is such people who form the 'moderates' among the BJP members.

There is also a big segment of people which has seen the Congress's way of functioning and governance for years. And has become incapable for feeling any resentment or anger at any outrage. People of this kind are drawn towards the BJP because they think it represents an alternative.

It is the second and the third categories that are important to the BJP. They are the ones who stand with their convictions and expectations respectively, behind the BJP. They are willing to think and make a choice; thereby they show a difference from the first category. It is on these minds that the BJP wishes to play tricks by saying that the 'Hindu Rashtra' is the only rational end to the nation's populace. Tricks, because it offers to substantiate that its view of India is the correct view using twisted rationalizations and poorly disguised lies.

To answer these questions one needs to ask: What is a true State? What is culture (of a people) and religion? What is the relation between the State and religion?

It is the confusions and uncertainties relating to matters of culture, religion, tradition and nationhood that the BJP seeks to exploit. The end - imposition of a rule of intolerance on this country.

The need for an integrated view of existence has never been felt as acutely as it is today. The need of the hour, for our countrymen is to know the basic premises of their nation's existence and to know the steps to be taken to correct any errors in the idea of a nation. And for this to happen, the 'philosophy of a nation' should be understood and studied.

It is not an exaggeration to state that philosophy is a neglected science. It has almost always been so. Progress in a nation can be attributed to a period when the people of that nation knew the direction that they wanted to go. The vast periods of stagnant growth or even deterioration in living conditions of people can be attributed to periods when no one knew where things were headed. Such periods when happen the intellectuals and the politicians of a nation give up reason in favour of transitory pleasures. Such periods happen when the thinkers of a nation choose not to think. Such periods will not pass off, and a 'new era of progress and development' will not dawn unless the intellectuals and politicians start thinking and think only the right.

Our nation is in such a state today. The aspiring man from a 'middle-class' backdrop and the hardworking rich man see the paralyzed state of the nation better than anyone else. It is only not the poor man in a village hut that sees the innards of a nation's functioning, it is also the man of the city who is trying to make more money.

So, what is it that can be done to set things right?

It is up to the intellectuals now. They can think the right. Who is an intellectual? A doctor, engineer, the B.Sc Graduate, the B.A graduate, the school-going boy, a farmer, a plumber... can be an intellectual. He only needs to have an ability to think rationally. How will he set things right? By example.

Today, as it stands, this country under the rule of the BJP is more confused than ever. The questions immediately asked after such a blanket statement are; what was the state of the country before, under the previous governments and what is the meaning and origin of the confusion? Let me answer these questions.

It should be understood first, that the BJP is the only political party that practices consistently a certain philosophy in its polity. Nevertheless, the confusions that arise in implementation of its policies are a direct consequence of the inconsistencies in its fundamental beliefs.

It is a fact that religion, God, ethics, culture, politics exist in the form of a syncitium in the minds of many a people. This is due directly, to a lack of interest in defining these concepts clearly for oneself. Sometimes the reason for such a state in one's mind is overwhelming evidence in support of the 'syncitium' concept around a person. The BJP and its protégés seek to thrive on this homogenization. They seem to have the uncanny ability of using twisted rationalizations to suppress inconsistencies and conflicts of their own arguments.

Previous governments did precious little to look into the social developmental aspects of the country, true. All they did was to look into 'industry and trade' as ascribed by Nobel laureate Amartya Sen. That even trade and industry have not progressed to any monumentally significant levels is because the underlying philosophy of previous governments was socialism. Therefore, the concept of a national identity is at the most, in a state of infancy in the minds of men. It is at this conjecture that the BJP steps in with its 'package deal' of national identity , Swaraj economics and a true Hindu State. It hijacks Ram, Hinduism, Amartya Sen... virtually anyone and anything to suit its presuppositions.

The Congress is a lesser evil in these terms. The Congress may have run an eminently corrupt regime for decades and drained the national exchequer. But its wrongdoings are easy to spot, because the guiding principles which held them together was a kind of a 'democratic-socialist-liberal' outlook, which wore itself out thin over the years.

The party is now in a shambles because of a lack of an underlying philosophy to guide. It is a known fact that a whole party relied on the 'charisma' of a few to lead them forward in elections. What should be understood here is that, for a politician, the election is a time of reckoning and a time for self-appraisal. The Congress came up with a negative balance-sheet on this account. The ring of hollowness that was present with the words of every Congressman during the last few general elections was a result of the absence of a guiding philosophy. The party sought desperately to cover this up from the people by using the 'charisma' of Sonia Gandhi.

The BJP on the other hand is a different thing. It boasts of a disciplined cadre, young leaders, a responsible ministry and an honest prime minister. All bound by a unifying guiding philosophy which is rotten. It poses as an alternative. But is it an alternative at all?

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