Thursday, February 25, 2010

Swapan's BJP Revival Assessment Follow Current Ideological Template

It's Time We Change the Narrative Template

Swapan Dasgupta wrote an upbeat assessment of BJP revival under the leadership Nitin Gadkari. Although we like current leadership of BJP under Gidkari, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, all at center level, along with various chief ministers at state level such as Narender Modi, Shivraj Singh, Vasundhara Raje Scindia (hoping that she takes the reins of BJP in Rajasthan soon), and B.S. Yeddyurappa, we think it is premature to talk of revival of BJP until it follows a prescription for conservatism that we propose in our defense of right wing ideology. Even if premature, we don't have issue with Swapan Dasgupta's assessment. What we do have problem with Swapan's inclusion of standard prescriptive mention of the left wing template that (1) whenever Modi's name is brought up, the sentence has to included to mention the 8-year old Godhara riots, and (2) bashing of BJP's so called Hindu nationalism ideology.

While we are dismay at Swapan using template (1) because he, and others like him, need to stop using the standard template of left wing ideologues - it is a first step in changing the current standard ideological narrative, which is entirely herded by left wingers of the country, we are more concerned about Swapan's swipe at the apparent BJP's Hindu nationalist ideology. Where exactly is this ideology? When did BJP, as an political party, propose an agenda to convert India into a Hindu state? If that's not what bothers Swapan, what exactly is Hindu nationalism then? Does BJP's interest in building a Rama temple at Babri Masjid, which was build at the spot by Babar precisely because it was Rama temple at Ayodhya, birth place of Ram. (Secularists may want proof of Ayodhya being the birth place of Ram, but Barbur didn't. Hindus believe itself was enough for him to dismantle the temple and build a masjid on it at Ayodhya.) Even if right wing secularists follow the left wing standard narrative on the issue, how does BJP, with this agenda, convert the state of India into a Hindu state shredding the constitution?

If Rama temple of Ayodhya wasn't Swapan's concern but the recent Shah Rukh Khan flap that Islamic terrorism sponsoring Pakistan was a "great neighbour" was, then surely it would be guilt by association. If anything BJP position was not even to mock Shah Rukh Khan's badge of good neighbour to Pakistan but simple to say that Shah Rukh Khan himself was patriot. How exactly does this represents BJP's Hindu nationalism is a mystery.

This mystery can easily be understood by looking at who creates the ideological narrative template and who follow that template defensively. This current ideological narrative template can't be countered by being a centrist bull. We have to become herders ourselves, stop being defensive, and create our own right wing counter ideological narrative.

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