View from right: All well between BJP and Parivar

View from right: All well between BJP and Parivar

The supposed differences between the RSS and the BJP are back in the news. Evening prime time on national television is agog with debates on how the ‘fringe’ elements within the Parivar are out with knives to stab the BJP government in its back, that the mandate was for development and development alone and how even a conversion or reconversion event in some corner of the country would bring to a grinding halt all the development activities being initiated by the Modi Government.

Modi, who till the eve of the poll outcome was projected by many of these intellectuals as the “evil incarnate” over the post-Godhra violence in Gujarat, is now being shown as the development man, whose path is being obstructed by the “loony fringe”. Such views only reflect a total ignorance not only about both Modi and the Sangh Parivar but also the mandate of the 2014 elections, whether one agrees with it or not.

Let us face it. The landslide verdict was not for development alone. It was as much for the ideology Modi and the BJP stood for.  The BJP’s landslide victory in the Lok Sabha polls was as much a reflection of the wide acceptance of Modi as a pro-development national leader, as much as it was a rejection of the prevailing discourse on secularism hitherto considered ‘politically correct’.

But a majority of the Hindus were slowly realising how secularism had turned into a hollow political slogan, a joke. It was gradually being seen as a ploy to prevent the BJP from coming to power. 

In Modi, the majority community saw a man who did not address any particular community. He did not sport the religious symbols of any particular community just to please them. Thus, the 2014 mandate was an outright rejection of the concept of secularism advocated by the non-BJP political parties.

Whether it is drawing curtains on the capital’s Iftar circuit, calling for the enactment of an anti-conversion law, presentation of the Bhagwad Gita as gift to foreign dignitaries, hard line on Pakistan, bestowing the Bharat Ratna on the founder of Banaras Hindu University (BHU), setting up a separate ministry dealing with the River Ganga, restoration of Sanskrit studies in Kendriya Vidyalayas, overhauling of the Indian Council of Historical Research with a new set of agenda and right leaning historians, the Modi government has not hidden its commitment to the party’s core ideology since assuming office. 

No halt to activities

Moreover, the Sangh Parivar has been there when neither the BJP nor its earlier avatar, the Jan Sangh existed. It has been advocating its ideology, doing its work across a wide spectrum and expanding its base all through these years, irrespective of whichever party was in power. It would be naïve to expect that just because a BJP government is in power, the Parivar would bring to a halt all its activities, which in the first place facilitated the growth and success of an ideologically driven party.

Contrary to media perception, it also remains a fact that a majority of the party supporters and sympathisers want the ruling party to have strong ideological moorings lest the lust for power and pelf corrupts its leaders. How else would one explain the party’s resounding success in Maharashtra, Haryana, Jammu and Jharkhand, notwithstanding the brouhaha over the so-called clash between development and ideology?

While some of the utterances and actions of local level Parivar leaders and MPs such as Sakshi Maharaj may have certainly caused some embarrassment, the government and the party as a whole and the leaders including Modi continue to share a good rapport and understanding with the RSS and its leadership. The RSS has categorically told its front organisations not to cause any embarrassment to the government, at least in the first couple of years to enable the government to concentrate on the development front.

This is not to say that some extremist organisations such as Sri Rama Sene within the majority community are not capable of indulging in anti-minority actions. It is just that they cannot have the approval of the Sangh Parivar.

Knowing the Hindu psyche, it doesn’t need rocket science for the RSS to realise that instead of consolidating Hindus, incidents such as church attacks only alienate a large section of the liberal Hindus away from organisations allegedly perpetuating them. Therefore, so far, the ‘differences’ between the BJP and the Parivar still remain only in the realm of speculation.

(The writer is a close observer of right wing politics)

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