Sometimes, i wonder if television channels pay politicians to enact drama in real life. After all, how else can we have top leaders of a leading party spending days discussing a historical figure, banning a book and firing the author from his job of 30 years. I have no ill-feelings for the BJP (or the Congress party for that matter).
In fact, i’d like to see both parties as strong as possible, so that the Indian voter gets to choose between two good alternatives. However, the post-poll, slow-suicide path the BJP has chosen for itself, is harmful not only for their party, but for the nation. With no credible second alternative, a democracy runs the risk of turning into a one-party monopoly, which may not be good for the country in the long term.
The reality is that despite its best intentions, the BJP is out of touch with the current generation. The recent Jinnah book/Jaswant Singh episode confirms this fact like none other. The BJP is screaming that Mr Jinnah was not indeed as secular as claimed by Jaswant Singh. Experts on TV are citing events in 1932 which prove that Jinnah was a good person; countered by an equal number of experts citing historical events which prove that Jinnah did terrible things.
Really, whether Mr Jinnah did wonderful things or he did horrible things and whatever point of view your party likes to take — who gives a damn? How is this relevant to the India we have to build today? Are we electing leaders for the future or selecting a history teacher?
The strange thing is the media buys into this pointless debate — about Mr Jinnah being good or bad and spends hours discussing it. By doing so, it gives legitimacy to the whole exercise.
Meanwhile, the young generation fails to understand why do our politicians become so passionate defending these relics of the past? Why don’t they have a fanatical debate about how fast we will make roads, colleges, bridges and power plants? Why don’t people get expelled over current non-performance rather than historical opinions? Why don’t we ban useless government paperwork rather than banning books about dead people?