Why BJP is in the doldrums


I think the rot set in much earlier - from the times of the destruction of the Babri Masjid in December 1992. It was a dastardly thing to do; principal architect of the act of sacrilege was L K Advani. Far from being censored for it, he became the hero of the party and its choice as prime minister. Even Atal Bihari Vajpayee who privately expressed anguish over it never came out openly to condemn it. I recall the evening when dining with Arun Shourie’s parents, Arun says loudly to Kuldip Nayar and me: “Who says it was a mosque?” I was taken aback. What else could a monument with three domes and a wall facing Mecca be but a mosque! I was sorely disappointed. It soured our close friendship of many years.

Did any BJP leader condemn Bal Thackerey when he boasted that it was his Sainiks who brought down the mosque? Did any of them condemn Sainiks for vandalising the Bhandarkar Institute in Pune or destroying M F Hussain’s paintings in Mumbai? Did any of them condemn Bajrang Dal’s or Ram Sena’s hoodlums for wrecking shops selling Valentine Day cards or roughing up boys and girls drinking beer together in a pub? Did they condemn Raj Thackerey for letting loose his goons on non-Maharashtrians and forcing thousands to leave the State? No.

They made feeble noises of protest but refrained from outright condemnation because they were an integral part of their vote bank. In the process, it also projected the idea of having Narendra Modi as a stand-by prime ministerial candidate. He may have seduced Ratan Tata to manufacture Nanos in Gujarat but he has yet to clear his name of the massacre of thousands of innocent Muslims in 2002.
None of this was lost on the Aam Aadmi (common man), particularly of the younger generation voting for the first time.

While analysing the reasons for the drubbing the BJP got, it occurred to me that Varun Gandhi deserves special mention for his valid utterances which neither Advani nor Rajnath Singh thought bad enough to expel him from the party. It is now upto his cousin, Rahul Gandhi, to honour him by bestowing on him the Vashist Seva gold medal for ensuring the victory of the Congress Party.
Chand and Fiza - Act III

So Chander Mohan Bishnoi alias Chand Mohammed is back in the arms of Anuradha Bali alias Fiza Mohammed. It reminded me of Carolyn Wells (d.1942) saying: “He who loves and runs away may live to love another day!” How true of this couple: he ditched his wife and family because he fell for Anuradha, who he saw briefly one morning in a fruit juice parlour. Though he had been in love with other people before, it was love at first sight. Truly had Mirza Ghalib spoken:

Ishq par zor nahin, hai ye woh aatish Ghalib
Jo lagaaye na lage aur bujhaye na bane
(There is no power stronger than love / It is a raging fire / Which ignited refuses to ignite / When you try to dowse it / It refuses to go out.)

So they threw all caution to the winds and decided to tie the knot. Since Hindu law did not permit bigamy, they converted to Islam which did. It is not likely that he got himself circumcised as the healing would delay consummation of the nikah. Then Chand Mohammed got cold feet. He returned to his first wife and family; then ditched both wives and fled to London. First he said he had divorced Fiza by saying talaq three times on a long-distance phone call. Then changed his mind and said he had done no such thing and returned to her. Meanwhile, Fiza had taken her errant husband to court on charges of rape. It was the fury of a woman scorned. Now they are together again.What about bigamy? Nothing very wrong with it. Fiza is worth crimes worse than bigamy. If Karunanidhi, Jethmalani, Dharmendra and Raja Reddy can have two wives, living under the same roof, why not Chand Mohammed? Bless him and Fiza for providing fodder for gossip-mongers in the deadly, dull, green town called Chandigarh.

But, being in the limelight can be addictive. Oscar Wilde was right in saying: “The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.” Mr and Mrs Chand Mohammed now must devise new ways and means to stay in the news. I suggest they make a film based on their affair titled: “The Path of True Love never ran Smooth.”

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