Parties must follow the BJP’s footsteps and get rid of the old guard before they become redundant, writes vinod saighal
Political churning in the BJP comes soon after the very recent semi-political churning in the cricketing world. Without going over that messy affair, one can proceed straight to an outcome that augurs well for the future of cricket in India. Reference is being made to national level teams representing India in the international arena. Observers of the Indian team competing in the Champions Trophy in the UK are pleasantly surprised at their élan and self-confidence. Regardless of the final outcome, they looked winners from the word go; onlookers, TV commentators and cricket lovers are unanimous in their view that the team comprising fresh talent has a great future.
How did this dramatic change come about? One of the decisive factors besides the exposure of corruption is that the older lot of players, many of them iconic figures well past their prime, were either shown the door or pushed out by public opinion.
Something similar has taken place in the BJP. The dissonance, infighting and deep churning have been described in the media, by the Congress, former allies and even within the BJP as divisive and harmful for the future prospects of the party. These hasty judgments on the part of friends and foes alike might turn out to be premature.
What took place in Goa would have occurred sooner or later in any case. It was unavoidable. The old order that had been unable to take advantage of the dismal state of affairs and governance failure of the Congress had to be given the boot. So precipitous has been the decline in the Congress in the last five years that a sagacious BJP top order should by now have come out smelling of roses.
Not only has that not happened, not many people in the country until now thought that the BJP would emerge as a clear winner in the forthcoming 2014 elections.
The churning that has taken place in the BJP has not come a day too soon. It is to be hoped that the new dispensation at the helm will follow up the self-cleansing process in the states where the BJP&’s performance leaves much to be desired, Delhi being a case in point. Young, fresh, untainted faces need to be given a chance. The older, under-performing, defeated leaders must bow out gracefully or be shown the door while there is still time to consolidate before the Delhi Assembly election.
Democracy in the country would greatly benefit were other parties to now follow the example of the BJP churning at the top. It could lead to much-needed cleaning down the lower order as well. Entrenched dynasties manifesting signs of dynastic warlord-ism must either make way for greater inner party democracy or face terminal decline and even worse at the hands of the energised young electorate that will no longer be satisfied with more of the same.
The writer is Convener, MRGG (Movement for Restoration of Good Government) and author, Revitalizing Indian Democracy