The Mask

 

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Be it
The massacre of innocent or insult to women.
Desecration of religious symbols or torching of Stains.

Beit
Dug up cricket pitches or the prudential cup smashed. Assault on media or cinema houses on fire.

You are quick to mourn misdeeds.
But you continue to lead this Parivar or miscreants.

Yes, Govindacharya is right
"Vajpayji is only a mask."

Vajpayee says :
"The sangh is my soul"

sangh.jpg (18782 bytes)

His soul speaks :
Godse was motivated by the idea of Akand Bharat. His intention was good".
Rajendra Singh, RSS Sarasangh chalak (On the Assassination of MAHATMA GANDHI by Godse)

 

Portrait of the Prime Minister of India:

Atal Behari Vajpayee


"While Vajpayee, bowing to public outcry, was compelled to call the destruction of the Babri Masjid as unfortunate immediately after the event, he soon enough joined in the Sangh Parivar's chorus of building the Ram Mandir (temple of god Ram), exactly at the spot where the Masjid had stood"

"The Muslim problem would best be solved by culturally cleansing the members of the minority community." These words are from Atal Behari Vajpayee from an article written in Organiser, the official organ of the Rashtriya Svayamsevak Sangh (RSS). They were published in the May 1995 issue and placed on the Internet by the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) prior to the elections last month.

Vajpayee cites the demolition of the historic Babri Mosque in 1992 (by Hindu fundamentalists) as an example of this 'cleansing act'. According to him there is a need for 'Hindu expansion': "It is a question of self-preservation. If Hindu society does not expand itself, it will face a crisis of survival".

He is so kind as to eschew the elimination or eviction of Muslims (tiraskar), just as he forcefully rejects their appeasement (puruskar). He is all for parishkar, i.e. changing Muslims by providing them with right values (samskaras). In other words, Muslims have the wrong faith, and need to convert to something better. There has thus been no change since in 1970 when in his speechof May 19 in Face the Facts, Vajpayee blamed Muslims for Hindu militantism.

Incidentlly, Vajpayee has a penchant for later denying what he has earlier uttered for the applause of the gallery. So now too, he has issued a blanket denial of authoring the 1995 article, without entering into any specifics; and the BJP has withdrawn the article from the internet. But the cat is out of the bag, and cannot go in again. Those familiar with Vajpayee's Hindi can easily see his trade-mark in 'tiraskar, 'puruskar, and 'purishkar, and also see the same ideology working in it as in Vajpayee's speeches and statements of earlier days.

Remember the gruesome riots at Ahmadabad (Gujarat) in September 1969, where Muslims were massacred on a large scale? Vajpayee issued a statement putting the entire blame for the riots on Muslims, whom he accused of attacking a Mandir (Hindu temple) and shouting pro-Pakistan slogans, while he blamed a Muslim police officer for the violence, and whitewashed the entire riot as a typhoon, which he claimed took place because the government had failed to arrest the guilty Muslims. This statement was nothing but incitement to further violence against Muslims.

Some months later, on 14 May 1970, when the Lok Sabha debated the equally gruesome Bhivandi riots, Vajpayee made such a provocatively anti-Muslim speech that Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had to intervene and declare: "One has to face the facts. The question was not whether stones were thrown by a boy or the first killing that started a riot. It was the atmosphere created by speeches like the one made today by Mr Vajpayee" (Times of India, 15 May 1970). Such is the real face of the Prime Minister of India, who tries so hard to act the statesman and diplomat today.

Let it not be forgotten that Advani's infamous rath yatra of 1990 which led to the destruction of the Babri Mosque at Ayodhya on 6 December 1992 was flagged off by Vajpayee himself. While Vajpayee, bowing to public outcry, was compelled to call the destruction of the Babri Masjid as unfortunate immediately after the event, he soon enough joined in the Sangh Parivar's chorus of building the Ram Mandir (temple of god Ram), exactly at the spot where the Masjid had stood. Surely, only the most gullible can trust in the credentials for genuine secularism and political honesty of such a weather-cock.

Conspiring Against National Policy As Foreign Minister

In 1977-79 Vajpayee enjoyed ministerial office for the first time, becoming the Foreign Minister in the Janata Party government. At that time the RSS was toying with an alliance with Imam Bukhari and the Jamaet-i Islami for a united assault on secular forces (e.g. in the controversy over NCERT, National Council of Education Research and Training, history text-books). Vajpayee, therefore, coveted popularity by reciting Urdu verses in Pakistan and speaking full-throatedly for close relations with the Arab countries.

But behind closed doors he plotted with Israeli (and US) agencies to arrange a secret visit by the Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan, in order to establish full-scale diplomatic relations between India and Israel, and so carry out a coup with unpredictable consequences for India's relations with the Arab World. Moshe Dayan was so taken up with the idea that he arrived in Delhi under a false name and was immediately taken by Vajpayee to see Morarji Desai, the then Prime Minister. To the consternation of both foreign ministers, Desai drew back from supporting so serious a break with India's traditional policy, and Dayan went back empty-handed. In his bitterness he divulged everything in his memoirs, after he, like Vajpayee, had vacated office. Had the plot been revealed when Vajpayee was still in office, the country's embarrassment would have been truly grave.

Thirteen Days Prime Minister

According to the Constitution, the Council of Ministers is collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha (Lower House of parliament). Thus, while a person is appointed to the office of Prime Minister by the President, such an appointee can morally lay claim to that office only after the Lok Sabha has passed a vote of confidence in him. But Vajpayee, in May 1996, literally ran away from the Lok Sabha and did not dare have the confidence motion put to vote. How then does he have the moral right to strut about as a former Prime Minister and claim privilege and prestige on that basis?

The Mask

Ethics, human values, lives of the innocent, have meant little to this man, whose entire political career was built on an appeal to the most parochial and narrow sentiments of the Hindutva camp. Having attained a certain status, he has been trying to present himself as a larger-than-life statesman without relinquishing an iota of his earlier principles. Govindacharya, a General Secretary of the BJP inadvertantly spoke the truth when he described Vajpayee's recent pretences as a mask. Apparently the truth comes out more easily when one is addressing an official of the British High Commission, as Govindacharya was doing.

Mask, or no mask, projecting Vajpayee as an honest moderate is an enormous exercise in deceit by him and by the Sangh Parivar. It is important that this is shown up for what it is, and that the people of India and the world are well warned of it in time.

From an article issued by Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust (SAHMAT), an organisation based in Delhi, India.

 

"The Sangh is my Soul"

(by Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee)


I came in contact with the RSS in 1939 through Arya Kumar Sabha, a youth branch of Arya Samaj, in Gwalior-then a princely state which was not part of any province. I came from a strong 'sanatani' family. But I used to be at the weekly 'satsang' of Arya Kumar Sabha. Once Shri Bhoodev Shastri who was a senior worker of Arya kumar Sabha, and a great thinker and an expert organiser, asked us: "What do you do in the evenings?" "Nothing", we said, because the Arya Kumar Sabha used to meet in the morning on every Sunday. Then he recommended us to go to the shakha. Thus I started going to the Shakha in Gwalior. It was my first association with the RSS. At that time the shakha in Gwalior had just begun. It had only Maharashtrian boys, and naturally all the swayamsevaks used to speak only Marathi. I started going to the shakha regularly. I liked the games played in the shakha as well as the weekly 'bauddhiks' (intellectual discourses).

A pracharak, Shri Narayanrao Tarte had come from Nagpur to start the shakha. He was indeed a superb human being; a very simple man, a thinker and an expert organiser. What I am today is the making of Shri Tarte. Next to him I was inspired by Deendayal Upadhyaya and Bhaurao Deoras. Gwalior was then not within the field of Bhauraoji. But once he had come to Gwalior with Shri Balasaheb Apte who was the then Bauddhik Pramukh. Apteji was very soft-spoken. We were soon drawn towards him. I had talked with him for only a few minutes. But the same year (1940) when I went to see the first year Officers' Training Camp (OTC), I came in close contact with him. I went there just to attend the valedictory function of the camp, not for training. Dr. Hedgewar had also come there for the some time. I first saw him there. When Doctorji was ill I went to see him. In 1941 when I was in High School I did my first year OTC. In 1942 when I was in Intermediate class I did my second year OTC, and I did my third year in 1944 when I was doing my B.A.

When I wrote 'Hindu Tan-man Hindu Jeevan' I was a student of class X. After completing my graduation from Gwalior I did my M.A. from the DAV College in Kanpur, because there was no post-graduate college in Gwalior. I then got State Government's scholarship also. Owing to Partition, I could not complete my Law. And then in 1947, I decided to give up my studies to come out as a whole-time worker of the RSS. Till 1947 I did the RSS work at the shakha level and carried on my studies. I also participated in the Quit India Movement in 1942 and was jailed. I was then studying for my Intermediate examination. I was arrested from my native village Bhateshwar in Agra district. I was then 16.

My father was not attached to the RSS, but my elder brother was. He would go to the shakha. Once he went to the winter camp where he created a problem. He said: "I cannot take my food with the other swayamsevaks. I shall prepare my food myself." And see how deftly the RSS handled the situation. The 'sarvadhikari' (superintendent) of the camp complied with his request and provided him all the necessary thing for preparing his food. After taking his bath and properly adjusting his sacred thread, etc., he started cooking his food. On the first day he prepared the food for himself. the next day, however, he could not prepare it and joined the queue of all swayamsevaks for partaking of the food. Within 44 hours he was changed.

The RSS does not change only individuals. It changes also the collective mind. This is the beauty of the RSS ethos. In our spiritual tradition an individual can attain a great height. Even self-realisation is possible if one undertakes the right 'sadhana' and also attain 'nirvana.' But what about the society? Nobody thinks about his obligation to the society in general. Now for the first time the RSS thought about it and concluded that by changing individuals we shall change the society. Had the sarvadhikari at the camp scolded him and not allowed him to prepare his food himself his spiritual development would have been thwarted, whereas in the RSS within 44 hours he was a changed boy. This is the "secret method" of the RSS. That is how society is changed. It is true that it is a long process but then there are no short-cuts, no instant recipes.

Gandhiji had praised the RSS for the absence of untouchability in the organisation. Only the RSS organises the society. Other movements only divide the society by emphasising distinct 'identity', different 'interests', special 'status', etc. They only encourage untouchability by constantly reminding the so-called untouchables of their "separateness." "You are being insulted. You have no place in society."

The RSS has a two-fold task before it. One is to organise the Hindus. To build a strong Hindu society, well-knit and rising above caste and other artificial differences. Some differences will persist but then variety is the spice of life. Like, we have the differences of the language. We don't want to destroy this diversity. The other task is to assimilate the non Hindus, like Muslims and Christians in the mainstream. They can follow the faith of their own conviction. No one can object to it. We worship trees, animals, stones, and what not. We have hundreds of ways of worshipping God. They can go where they want. But this country must be looked upon as the Motherland for them. They must have a feeling of patriotism for this country. But the Islamic division of the world into 'Darul Harab' and 'Darul Islam' comes in the way. Islam has yet to learn the art of existing and flourishing in a country where Muslims are in a minority. They cannot convert the whole of India to Islam. After all, they have to live here. So they have to recognise this fact. And today it has become a matter of grave concern and deep thinking in the Muslim countries. Because Quran offers no guidance in this regard. It only talks of killing kafirs or converting them to Islam. But they cannot do it always and everywhere. How can they do it where they are in a minority? If they try to do it, a major clash will take place and only the members of the minority will be killed. But Muslims themselves have to change this state of affairs. We cannot change it for them.

Congress has not correctly understood the Muslim problem. They continue to carry on their policy of appeasement. But to what effect? The Muslims of this country can be treated in three ways. One is 'tiraskar' which means if they will not themselves change leave them alone, reject them as out compatriots. Second is 'puruskar' which is appeasement, i.e., bribe them to behave, which is being done by the Congress and others of their ilk. The third way is 'parishkar' meaning to change them, that is, restore them to the mainstream by providing them samskaras. We want to change them by offering them the right samskaras. Their religion will not be changed. They can follow their own religion. Mecca can continue to be holy for the Muslims but India should be holier than the holy for them. You can go to a mosque and offer namaz, you can keep the roza. We have no problem. But if you have to choose between Mecca or Islam and India you must choose India. All the muslims should have this feeling: we will live and die only for this country.

I wrote "Hindu Tan-man Hindu Jeevan" when I was studying in the tenth class. I had then said, "koi batlaye Kabul mein jaakar kitni masjiden todin." I still stand by my words. But we (Hindus) did pull down the structure in Ayodhya. In fact it was a reaction to the Muslim vote-bank. We wanted to solve this problem through negotiation and legislation. But there was no puraskar for burai (evil act). We change burai also with parishkar. Now I think, the Hindu society has been regenerated which was the prime task of the RSS. Earlier Hindus used to bend before an invasion but not now. This change in Hindu society is worthy of welcome. So much change must have come with the new-found self-assertion. This is a question of self preservation. If the Hindu society does not expand itself it will face the crisis of survival. We have to expand ourselves. We have to take others along with. Now the Yadavs and the so-called Harijans are going with us. After all we have to live as Hindus. Once a Yadav leader came to me and said: "Don't condemn all Yadavs. All Yadavs are not with Mulayam Singh and Laloo Prasad. A 'samskrit' (cultured) Yadav does not like them. There can be sections of Rajput, Kurmi and Gujjar Muslims but you cannot find any Yadav Muslim anywhere. The Yadavs never accepted Islam. This talk of "Yadav-Muslim" Unity - MY card - is nothing more than an empty slogan for votes."

The simple reason for my long association with the RSS is that I like the Sangh. I like its ideology, and above all I like the RSS attitude towards people, towards one another which is found only in the RSS. I remember an incident, when I was in Lucknow. The Socialist movement was its peak. Suddenly a senior socialist activist fell ill. He was lying alone in his house, and nobody went to enquire after his well-being. Then Acharya Narendra Deo came to know and he went to his house to see him. The Acharya then said, "What fraternity is this in the Socialist Party? Nobody has come to see you. It can never happen in the RSS. If a swayamsevak does not go to the shakha only for one day the same day friends will promptly reach his house to enquire about his well-being."

When I was ill during the Emergency, my family members did not turn up to see me. They were afraid of being arrested for any such action. Only the RSS workers helped me. See, how much living contact and fraternal feeling is in the RSS. Actually the Sangh is our family. We are all one.

In the beginning we could not spread our work in all sections of the society because we did not have enough workers. "Man-making" is the prime job of the RSS. As we now have more workers, we are covering all sections of the society in all fields of life. Changes are taking place in all spheres. But the work of man-making will not be discontinued, it will go on. It must go on. That is what the RSS movement is.

An Old Swayamsevak's Dilemma
The PM is torn between the RSS and his compulsions of office

Is Atal Behari Vajpayee a closet RSS supporter? That, at least, is the Opposition allegation. "He represents the covert side of the RSS; he adopts the latent posture of the RSS, leaving the potent agenda to the others," says Congress leader Kamal Nath. In fact, the combined Opposition's current attack on the prime minister is predicated on this view, aimed at driving a wedge between the BJP and its allies in the NDA. And there has been a history of what critics term Vajpayee's "compromises" with the Sangh:
In the '70s, when forced to choose between the Janata regime and his RSS membership, Vajpayee went with the Sangh.
Soon after the formation of the BJP in 1980, Vajpayee's 'Gandhian socialism' was dumped under pressure from the RSS.
At the BJP's Palampur plenary in 1989, resolutions were passed accepting the Shiv Sena as an ally and the inclusion of the Ram temple in its agenda. Vajpayee went along with both decisions despite having expressed his opposition on both counts. l As the Hindutva agenda of the BJP caught fire through the '80s, Vajpayee, despite his reported differences, came to the defence of the RSS-"if the RSS is fascist, so am I".
Post-Babri Masjid, Vajpayee complained that there was "no place for moderates" in the BJP but didn't quit.

Perhaps the best defence of these "compromises" came from the man himself-"Jaaye to jaaye kahan (If I leave, where will I go?)" he asked, when asked why despite the differences he stayed on. His supporters insist "he could either have run away or stayed on and done what he has-try and change the party". Always keeping in mind that despite his disagreement on issues, insistence on tracing his political roots to the Jana Sangh under Shyama Prasad Mookerjee rather than the RSS and his personal liberal inclinations, Vajpayee's political affiliations have been only with the Jana Sangh-BJP. Which in turn is deeply influenced by the RSS.

Now, the nightmare for the "right man in the wrong party" returns. Sudarshan's agenda means that the pressure on Vajpayee to conform will only grow. But this time around, it is indicated, there will be no abject surrender. As a PMO official told Outlook: "The PM's approach has been to build a consensus; good aspects of the RSS or any other agenda can be accommodated. But in the end, the PM will be guided only by national interest."

BJP general secretary Narendra Modi dismisses any talk of growing tensions. "The RSS stand on issues cannot be seen as a threat to the Vajpayee regime. In a democratic polity, all have a right to express their views." But the Vajpayee camp's calculation is that if the RSS' stress shifts from articulating policy to acting upon it, he'll have to take a stand. And provide him with an opportunity to bury past ghosts.

Ishan Joshi

The BJP on the Net

The new medium of the Internet makes little difference to what the BJP really wants to talk about.

T. JAYARAMAN

IN the wake of recent claims in the media that the BJP seeks to appear a responsible party of government and is willing to put on the back-burner issues dear to it in the past, it is interesting to see what image the BJP chooses to offer at its recently inaugurated Web site on the Internet. The Web site was launched with much fanfare, with party president L.K. Advani claiming that it showed how "forward looking" the BJP was. The real news from the BJP Web site (whether it is good or bad depends on your point of view), is that the leopard has not changed its spots. The Web site is not for laggards in software; you need the recent Netscape 3.0 or higher and no text-only browsers please! The opening page is a picture-heavy, fancy affair guaranteed to strain a terminal without sufficient memory. "Vande Mataram" scrolls by in several Indian languages while a map of India appears superimposed with a Durga-like figure (complete with trisul and lion) that fades away periodically to be replaced by human faces. The jingoistic overtones in the banner that proclaims the BJP's goal of transforming "the world's oldest civilisation into a strong, prosperous and confident nation" are very mild compared with what follows.

Enter the main page and you are greeted with pictures of Atal Behari Vajpayee and Advani. The main links for the election pages are here with the added exhortation: "Vote for a stable government and able prime minister". Despite the great deal the election page promises, including State-wise analysis and information, news from the campaign trail, international and national media quotes on the BJP's campaign and so on, there is as yet no material on these pages.

The real stuff is in the links that appear on the left margin of the main page. Most of the material goes back to 1995 or 1996 but clearly the media-savvy BJP has no hesitation in using them even now. Although much of it is from various articles by pro-BJP or party idealogues and little from official party resolutions or pronouncements, their presence clearly implies acceptance of the views expressed. It is worth remembering this as you make your way through the Web site.

"Policy on major issues" loads quickly enough on to the screen. The one piece on women's issues is by Murli Manohar Joshi from a 1995 issue of Organiser. Crimes against women happen less often in the East, particularly in India, the article claims. In India, says Joshi, "social relationships and institutions are patterned in such a manner that an evolving structure of balanced social amity is created." The task of Indian feminists is to "protect" the Indian family as "Indian women have done from vedic times". The page ends with a news item titled "Women excel in the shadow of the RSS". It pertains to a women's cooperative bank of RSS inspiration.

The economic affairs page is an amusing one. Joshi is here again, leading off with a note taken from an introduction to a volume written by pro-BJP economists. Neither capitalism nor communism is the answer to the crises, he intones; it is to be found instead in "nationalism and cultural heritage". What that means in terms of policy is hardly clear from the pieces that follow. No fewer than three of eight articles are by Tarun Das, former Director-General of the Confederation of Indian Industry, all of them the texts of press briefings. The message: What is good for the CII is good for the BJP.

S. THANTHONI
On the "BJP and the RSS" page is a single article by Vajpayee from Organiser of May 7, 1995, titled "The Sangh is my Soul".

The National Security and Defence page can be summed up in a single idea - India must build the bomb. The foreign policy page has one offering by one Dr. Saradindu Mukherjee, Reader in Delhi University. The piece, articulating a policy line that would delight Washington, states that the BJP has identified Islamic fundamentalism as the greatest threat to the world. It is heavy on arguing a hawkish stand towards Pakistan. A special note for cricket and music enthusiasts: the "fascination of a substantial section of India's population for increasing cultural-sporting ties with Pakistan neutralise the BJP effort to popularise and pursue a strong line against the Pakistan-sponsored jehad" (Dr. Mukherjee).

Go back to the main page and from the links on the left-hand margin move to the pages on the BJP's philosophy. These are the most crowded ones, dense with articles. We are on familiar territory here; Ayodhya, Hindutva, the relationship of the BJP and the RSS, the basic themes are all there. Well-known Parivar writers like Arun Shourie, S. Gurumurthy, Jag-mohan, M. V. Kamath are among the contributors. "Rama Temple shall be built" is the title of a piece by Advani on the "BJP and Ayodhya movement" page. There is no hint of any soft-pedalling on these issues.

K. R. Malkani's page on the BJP's history is in the same mould.

Hindutva or cultural nationalism, the "BJP and Hindutva" web-page proclaims, is the BJP's concept of nationhood. Amidst the wisdom offerred there is one titled "Hindutva: The great nationalist ideology" by Mihir Meghani of the University of Michigan, U.S. The target of his attack is, apart from Muslims and Islam in general, "the communist and Muslim intelligentsia, led by Nehruvian ideologists, who are never short of distorted history..." In typical Hindutva mode Meghani states: "It is up to the Muslims whether they will be included in the new nationalistic spirit of Bharat ... whether they wish to increase Hindu furor or work with the Hindu leadership..." You wonder whether Rangarajan Kumaramangalam and Aslam Sher Khan found these arguments persuasive.

What is behind the facade of the "good" face of the BJP, presented by Vajpayee? The answer from these pages is from Vajpayee himself, the dedicated RSS man. On the "BJP and the RSS" page is a single article by Vajpayee from Organiser of May 7, 1995, titled "The Sangh is my Soul". Vajpayee's inspirations in life are Shri Tarte, his first "guru" in the RSS, Deendayal Upadhyaya and Balasaheb Deoras. "The simple reason for my long association with the RSS," writes the man projected by the BJP as the incoming Prime Minister of this country, "is that I like the Sangh"." I like its ideology, and above all I like the RSS attitude towards people."

And what about Muslims? If they have to "choose between Mecca or Islam and India you must choose India". On Ayodhya we have an entirely new explanation. "But we (Hindus) did pull down the structure in Ayodhya. In fact it was a reaction to the Muslim vote-bank". It is clear what awaits the sections of the population who do not go along with the BJP's vision and are perceived to belong to the "vote bank" of another party.

If you are a dedicated BJP-watcher on the Net, there is more interesting material. There are links to other Parivar web-sites like the ones run by the RSS and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. Do visit the site's bulletin board and you will get a hands-on feeling for the kind of aggressively communal political style that the overseas followers of the BJP have made their own on the Internet in recent years.

The BJP's Web site is by no means the most important factor in the election propaganda of the party in the coming elections. But what these pages do and do not talk about, and the sheer timing of their inauguration are pointers to some aspects of the political agenda and style of the BJP.

There is nothing at the Web site to tell you what the BJP will do about poverty, land reform, the public distribution system, ending illiteracy and ensuring health-care, ending caste-based discrimination and caste clashes, ending dowry deaths and atrocities against women, ensuring democratic rights and communal harmony, or any of the myriad real problems of the contemporary social, economic and political scene in the country.

The new medium of the Internet makes little difference to what the BJP really wants to talk about. What we get in these web-pages, with the usual stridency, is the standard Hindutva platform without the slightest concession to electoral compulsions or the sensibilities of the party's coalition partners, some of whom are patently uneasy with many of its positions on various issues.

In making the hard core of its Hindutva programme the basic material on its Web site while launching it at a time when it tries to put on the appearance of political respectability in some of its public utterances, the BJP displays a completely cynical attitude to transparency about its real political agenda. If you believe in a democratic, secular future for India, this Web-site ought to worry you.

 

The "Hidden Agenda " has destroyed coalition governments since 1977

In 1977-1979, the Jan Sangh (which eventually became the BJP) refused to give up its ties to the RSS. George Fernandes, a minister in coalition government, led the protest against Jan Sangh's "dual membership." Ultimately, the coalition government led by Morarji Desai collapsed.

In 1989-1990, The BJP embarked on a rath yatra caused communal riots across the country. The BJP's want only communal act was a response to VP singh's irresponsible politics of caste. Eventually, the BJP withdrew support and the coalition government collapsed.

In 1996, the BJP foolishly formed a minority government in the hope it could wean away many of the parties that formed the united front. However, no party was comfortable with the BJP's communal agenda. The Vajpayee government collapsed in 13 days.

In 1997-1999, the BJP decided to put its communal agenda "on the backburner". Despite the deception, the "hidden agenda" kept popping up in Gujarat, in Orissa… as fanatics of the sangh Parivar operated at will… destroyed tribal place of worship, killing missionaries, harassing minorities. Caught between its communal cadres and its prickly allies, the Vajpayee government collapsed in 13 months.

Deception is the hallmark of the BJP's brand politics.

The people of India deserve a politics that act as a catalyst of economic change and social transformation.

 

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Last updated: January 17, 2001 .