Bengaluru Court sends Ex-Minister B Nagendra to Judicial Custody

NEW DELHI: A Bengaluru court has sent...

NATO unable to act as Asia’s security provider

Among the more questionable actions of the...

Decoding India’s G20 legacy: The road ahead

NEW DELHI: India’s G20 Presidency exemplified how a...

Self-reliant BJP breaks its umbilical cord

opinionSelf-reliant BJP breaks its umbilical cord

In a recent interview to a leading national daily, the BJP president, J.P. Nadda has attempted to redefine his party’s relationship with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh that shall be celebrating its centenary next year. Nadda has stated that while the RSS was a cultural and social outfit, the BJP is a political entity.
Nadda goes on to state that the BJP was now self-reliant and was fully capable of running its own affairs. The party has evolved over a period of time and unlike when during Atal Behari Vajpayee’s time, it was completely dependent on the RSS, this was not the case anymore.

The BJP’s party structure has become much stronger and it is taking care of its own agenda. In the beginning we may have been less capable and needed assistance from the RSS to run its affairs. This has changed over a period of time. Shuru mein hum aksham honge, thora kum honge, RSS ki zaroorat padti thi… Aaj hum badh gaye hain, saksham hai… toh BJP apne aap ko chalati hai (In the beginning, we would have been less capable, smaller and needed the RSS. Today, we have grown and we are capable. The BJP runs itself).

The interview has already raised many eyebrows, since the perception has always been that it was the RSS that had an overriding say in the affairs of the BJP. Even while projecting a Prime Ministerial face of the party, the BJP had always taken the sanction from its ideological mentor. Even Narendra Modi’s name as the Prime Ministerial face in 2013 was finalized only when the RSS gave its consent and decided to dump Lal Krishna Advani, till then the tallest leader in the party.

The interview is significant since there has been intense speculation over the role of the RSS in the ongoing Parliamentary elections. There are several political analysts who believe that the RSS cadres had become neutral and the BJP was currently contesting the polls on its own strength and in the name of the Prime Minister. While it is perfectly normal for any political party to chalk out its strategy and course of action, in the case of the BJP doing it without the support of the RSS, sounds very unusual.

It is possible that Nadda wanted to convey something else but has ended up creating this impression of the BJP being now free from the influence of the RSS. This sounds an impossible situation but if the party president is saying all this, it has to be believed and analyzed. Surely those who have been with the party since decades and have been used to the culture of the RSS dominating the BJP on crucial matters, may find it difficult to break this umbilical cord that has existed since the Jana Sangh days.
At the time of its inception, the Jana Sangh was a party that was ideologically different from the Congress. It was founded by Shyama Prasad Mukherjee and Balraj Madhok with the support of many ideological groups that agreed with its ideas such as the Hindu Mahasabha, the Arya Samaj and the RSS.

It is another matter that over a period of time, the RSS wrested control of the Jana Sangh and the turning point was when the late Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya became its president in the mid-1960s, and remained in his position till his tragic assassination on 10 February 1968.
The Jana Sangh merged with the Janata Party post 1977, but the outfit that replaced Indira Gandhi and the Congress at the Centre soon had its trouble on account of the dual membership some of the erstwhile Jana Sangh members had with the RSS. The government fell and finally when Indira Gandhi returned to power in 1980, the BJP was formed.

Significantly, the RSS has at different times, also assisted the Congress. It was true in 1980 and 1984 and it is common knowledge that Indira Gandhi and her two sons, Rajiv and Sanjay both shared a special bond, though for a limited purpose with the RSS. In fact, many crucial decisions taken by Rajiv Gandhi during his Prime Ministership were influenced and inspired by Bhaurao Deoras, the younger brother of the then RSS boss, Balasaheb Deoras.

Nadda like Modi was also a part of the RSS before being asked to serve the BJP. Others too such as Nitin Gadkari, Rajnath Singh and Yogi Adityanath have grown under the watchful eyes of the Sangh. Therefore, the interview indicates that the BJP, which is now the largest political party, was wanting to become independent and thus did not require the support of the RSS in running its daily affairs while being dependent on it for inspiration.
There are several RSS functionaries, who are unhappy with the manner in which leaders from other parties were being given primary positions or posts during the past ten years. This was happening at the cost of the loyal BJP activists whose commitment to the Sangh ideology was unflinching, and who were now being overlooked in order to accommodate defectors from other organizations.

There has been a raging debate in the Sangh circles whether giving BJP tickets to the outsiders in so many states was going to benefit the party in the long run. Or whether this was going to lead to demoralization within the BJP ranks and impact the final outcome of the elections. Nadda’s interview will have its own ramifications within the Sangh Parivar. Between us.

- Advertisement -

Check out our other content

Check out other tags:

Most Popular Articles