By Sanjiv Acharya
Just after the Lok Sabha poll debacle, Bhartiya Janata Party which was reeling under a factional feud had come under attack from its patron, the RSS which accused it of being ‘inconsistent’ on Hindutva even as party chief Rajnath Singh had said he was wedded to the core ideology. Senior RSS ideologue MG Vaidya in an article had said “the BJP has failed to convey the real meaning of ‘Hindutva’ to the people. Probably, they thought they were not deemed to climb the pedestal of power with ‘Hindutva’ line. Hence, BJP should now disassociate itself with ‘Hindutva’.” But “if the BJP gives up ‘Hindutva’, it will automatically snap its umbilical cord with the Sangh,” Vaidya wrote in his weekly column in a local Marathi daily. Vaidya said BJP leaders had no patience and almost forgot ‘Hindutva’ and its basic principles.
Since then, in the last one year, BJP leaders were confused on whether they should reignite Hindutva or follow a moderate progressive political line. After its Indore Conclave, the party decided to once again give new fire to an old Hindutva issue from temple to terrorism. Now the time has come for the BJP to start on that strategy as it turns it focus on Uttar Pradesh.
The core group of RSS leaders in their meeting last month decided that without getting UP back into its fold, they can’t ensure the BJP’s resurgence in Indian politics. So the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bajrang Dal along with RSS Pracharaks, will chart out a blueprint to fan the fire of Hindutva in UP. The firebrand general secretary of VHP, Praveen Togadia has declared that Vishwa Hindu Parishad would launch the next phase of agitation for construction of Ram temple at Ayodhya in August this year. He has said that the temple movement would also be part of campaign against “Jihadi terrorism” which posed a “grave danger” to the country.
It is learnt that countering the growing popularity of Rahul Gandhi among the youth and at the same time increasing strength of Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party has posed a big challenge for BJP. It has been decided that Hindutva, in the name of ‘Temple and Terrorism’ can be a successful tool to forge unity amongst the Hindu community regardless of caste and age, Togadia said.
And the RSS has no option but to project Varun Gandhi against his cousin Rahul. Since Rahul Gandhi is appealing to youngsters to join politics and work for the society and nation, Varun Gandhi is also appealing to the youth to join politics and has called for “strengthening Hindu organisations.” There is a need for good people to lead the country, the Pilibhit MP said while addressing a gathering at Kasganj, in Uttar Pradesh last week. “We will have to strengthen Hindu organisations as it is the need of the hour,” he said. To give a clear-cut signal, he said, “I am with BJP workers whenever needed. I will always stand with them at the time of peril.