Mumbai (AsiaNews) - The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) must reflect on its Hinduist ideological fundamentals; Is what has emerged from the Parties National Executive committee meeting held on the 20th and 21st of June, for the first time after the defeat in the last elections. After analyzing the causes of the defeat that once again handed the government of the country to the Congress, the BJP leaders reached to the conclusion that an aggressive interpretation of the Hindu ideology (Hindutva) has alienated the religious minorities and also the moderate Hindus. Through the efforts of the committee they passed a resolution against theocracy and religious bigotry. L.K.Advani, leader of the opposition in the Lower house of the Indian Parliament , expressed his concern for a certain type of “narrow-minded and anti-Muslim interpretation” of the party doctrine of HIndutva. In his speech he confirms that “Theocracy or any sort of bigotry is alien to our ethos. Hinduism or Hindutva is not to be understood or construed narrowly confined only to religious practices or expressed in extreme forms”
BJP leaders agree on the need for rendering more inclusive the parties doctrine, but they have also openly condemned those members who used the press instead of the Committee to manifest their dissent against the party leaders. They most cited case is Arun Shourie, who criticized the lack of self evaluation on behalf of the party leaders and who is famous in India for his journalism and books against Christian missionaries, the Dalit and the leader and father figure of the battle for the rights of the outcast, B.R. Ambedkar.
The vice minister of Bihar, Sushil Modi openly criticized some members of Sangh Parivar, an association of various Hindu movements. He expresses the need for a more inclusive approach “towards all sections of society”. The vice minister of Maharashtra, Gopinath Munde, spoke against the acts of hostility against Muslims and Christians only on the because they are not with the BJP. “We have to try to take everybody along, but also realize that some people will not respond to us. We don’t have to treat them as enemies” he said.
Advani declared that in the following months he would like to undertake a tour of the country to lift up the spirits of the BJP. In his closing speech to the Committee he explained that he would like to interact with the party workers to encourage them and prepare them to face future battles like the elections in Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Haryana.
The leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party reminded them that they have faced worst times than this and that to in 1984 when he had only two MP’s to rely on. Advani confirmed that “the BJP is by no means inconsiderable” and sustained that the electoral results are not a “rout”. To support this he reminded that they have 116 MP’s in the Lower House, the Lok Sabha , 116 MP’s in the senate , the Rajya Sabha, and that the BJP governs 8 states.
For many of the participants, the committee has been one of the most sincere and open exchange of views taken place so far. During the meeting there was also time for a debate between the Muslim leaders of the BJP, Naqvi and Hussain, and Maneka Gandhi, whose son Varun during the electoral campaign had been accused of making anti-Muslim speeches. The Muslim wing taking on Maneka Gandhi for her stout defense of her son Varun had been asked for by various BJP leader s of different states.
At the end of the discussion some members underlined the fact that “The deliberations represented a repudiation of the Pilibhit kind of Hindutva” referring to Varun’s “anti-Muslim” diatribe. Others instead said that the leaders did not dare to make a more strong move like the suspension or expulsion of Varun.