I could zero on only one news item in the Indian context today, the issue of Jaswant Singh’s new book on Jinnah released yesterday and the repercussions of the event thereof.
It was not the book that took the centre stage in the truest sense but the way in which a national party conducted itself in the so called democratic setup. After Vajpayee and Advani, there already were very few leaders left to chart out a succession plan, although a lot of political analysts do comment positively on the bench strength of the BJP, which should please their bosses.
Jaswant Singh was summarily expelled from the party without even being given a show-cause notice and a chance thence to put his point on the forums (it’s a given that the end result would have been the same), at least this would have given out right signals that the party respects the right of every individual to disagree and discuss while it may be rooted strongly with its own ideology (which should have been the case anyway.)
What has been written in the book is yet to be seen and I am currently waiting for it to be stacked on various on-line shopping portals. Gujarat government has already banned the book I hear and that’s a bad news. I am a great fan of Sardar Patel yet I could digest a few acerbic comments against him for every human being has to have some flaws, besides Jaswant Singh is just trying to put across his points of view on a very well known issue now. This has ignited the fire in me to finish off the pages quickly enough and write about it on this blog.
Generally speaking, we do not get fairly exposed to the political viewpoints of M. A. Jinnah or Allama Iqbal here in India, similar to the dearth of any material on Gandhi/Sardar Patel in Pakistan, and this evokes an added attraction towards such works may be just out of curiosity to read through a different angle.
Whatever literature is available however, it is more about monotonically espousing only one viewpoint and that’s not healthy for an argumentative society like ours. Jinnah was a nationalist leader and was very much the part of INC before Gandhi arrived from South Africa.
“Jinnah rose to prominence in the Indian National Congress expounding ideas of Hindu-Muslim unity and helping shape the 1916 Lucknow Pact between the Muslim League and the Indian National Congress; he also became a key leader in the All India Home Rule League. He proposed a fourteen-point constitutional reform plan to safeguard the political rights of Muslims in a self-governing India.”
Now what prompted his gradual rift with the very basic ideology (and ultimately, the INC) that he worked for the majority of his life has to be seen through a prism that doesn’t have a stand. His point that Muslims can not prosper in a Hindu dominated united India (or something like that) – if at all – was to be proven wrong, the onus was fairly and squarely on the INC which ruled the roost for around 50 years after that dreaded partition.
Many parties are now leveraging the findings of the Sachar Committee Report [Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sachar_Committee%5D to serve their political ends; one thing is for sure, for whatever reasons underlying, India as a welfare state has just managed to pass the test.
We definitely deserve to see at least what is written in that book and then may be align with the ideologies etc. and Jaswant Singh certainly deserved a chance to put his points through in a party meet before being ignominiously told over phone to pack and leave.
BJP however needs to guard against the increasing Congress-ization in their ranks from top-down. Something they would never accept is happening.