In a personal Blog post titled BJP: A Hub of Hope, Shri L.K.Advani, former Deputy Prime Minister and senior leader of the BJP, has stated as follows: “I had said at the Core Group meeting that if people are today angry with the UPA government, they are also disappointed with us. The situation, I said, calls for introspection.”
Even as the analysts were discussing the significance of his blogpost, an article in the latest issue of Panchajanya, the journal of the RSS, has also expressed openly disquiet over certain recent developments in the BJP focussed on the efforts of some elements supporting the candidature of Mr Narendra Modi [NaMo] as the next Prime Minister to force their will on the RSS and the BJP.
The article states that the BJP has several chief ministers and central leaders who are capable of being its prime ministerial candidate and hence the decision on this matter should be made after the general elections.
While Mr Advani’s Blog post talks in general about the public perception of the state of affairs in the party without naming anyone, the Panchajanya article makes no secret of the fact that it has been triggered by the pressure tactics adopted by the supporters of NaMo to force the party to accept NaMo as the prime ministerial candidate even before the next elections.
While it would be unreasonable to expect the BJP and the RSS to be more specific in their concerns, these have come to the fore in the context of the recent stepped- up efforts of the supporters of NaMo—many of them NRIs based in the US— to see that NaMo is accepted by the BJP and the RSS as the prime ministerial candidate.
Since the beginning of last year, I have been drawing attention to the Nazi Storm Trooper-like methods adopted by many followers of NaMo to impose their will on their party and then the nation. Anyone aware of the methods used by the Nazi Storm Troopers to force the German people to accept Hitler as their leader would be struck by the similarity of the rhetoric and PSYWAR methods used by these pro-NaMo elements whom I have been referring to as the NaMo Brigade.
They do not call themselves the NaMo Brigade, but they make no secret of the fact that they support NaMo as the next Prime Minister of India. Their worrisome methods, reminiscent of the methods used by the Storm Troopers, consist largely of abuse, vituperation, disinformation, character assassination and psychological pressure. Whereas the Nazi Storm Troopers did not have the benefit of the computer and the Internet, the NaMo Brigade, which has established a dominance over the means of propaganda through the Net in the absence of any opposition to their methods from secular and liberal elements, has been using the social media networks in their PSYWAR.
Nobody can object to their campaign in favour of NaMo as the Prime Minister despite his perceived misdeeds of the past. But one has reasons to be concerned over the ways adopted by these elements in an attempt to enforce their will on the nation. If they succeed due to lack of adequate public knowledge of the sinister implications of their strategy and the inadequate attempts to counter their methods, the nation may have to pay a heavy price.
India needs a strong, efficient and effective ruler, but not a Hitler. That ruler has to be chosen by the people through their free will and not imposed on them through stage-managed and orchestrated pressure.
It is time to sound a wake-up call about the dangerous implications of the pressure tactics and Storm Trooper methods being used to force the BJP, the RSS and the nation to accept NaMo who is being sought to be projected by these elements as God’s own choice to rule India at this critical juncture.
While it is up to the political parties to draw up their respective strategy to ensure that such methods do not find a place in our political landscape, it is important for others too to educate public opinion on the activities of these elements and the great harm that they can cause to our democracy.
The new strategy to be worked out should focus not on the past misdeeds of NaMo, but on the future misdeeds that are likely to be committed by these elements if their methods succeed.
B. Raman is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate, Chennai Centre For China Studies