Friday, June 10, 2005
The Indian Express writes on the road ahead for the BJP:
[T]he party must decide whether it wishes to fall back into the known RSS-VHP corner and revive the old slogans that ironically enough Advani gave the words to, or to take his lead now to explore a larger middle ground. The BJP would do well to remember a few things. Hardline Hindutva politics has lost its framing context, perhaps irretrievably. Seasoned strategist that he is, Advani has seen it before his party. Today, the Ramjanambhoomi movement fails to work up furies even in its erstwhile bastions. Today, the people are impatient with a politics that persists in dredging up the ‘‘secular-communal’’ divide. A reason for this is that as India gets a more confident sense of herself as a country on the move and on the world stage, there is diminishing space for a politics of grievance and resentment. The reason also is that in the fragmented polity that the 1990s have left us with, only those political parties will grow that can recognise and respond to the voter’s various and divergent concerns.As Secular-Right India point out here, Advani might just be "playing the old political game of triangulation". But political repositioning, even if it succeeds, is just the first step. After the branding is done, the product will have to satisfy the customers. And just what will this product be?