why are so many journalists worried about what's happening in the bjp?
vrinda gopinath tells you everything you wanted to know that’s happening in the party. barkha dutt asks: Will the right find its centre again? ashok malik in the hindustan times says: the transformation in the BJP has to be both ideational and generational (what does that mean, i wonder).
actually, i seem to have come rather late to this bjp bachao party in the media- a lot more seems to have been written on the subject since elections. one does expect openly hindutvavadi journalists in the media to shed a lot of bitter tears, but why are the so-called secularists so interested in its survival as to offer tips and advice? some have even hinted that the country needs the right (by which they mean the bjp) just as it needs the left (the communists, of course) to keep the centre (the congress) on its toes. why?
because they're talking about their country (or nation)- the one that's shining or is singing jai ho! they wouldn't want any regional or other casteist parties to lay any claim on the centre, take control of the hidden state. all the three national political formations share a somewhat common vision of the indian nation- its social boundaries are defined by the upper and intermediate castes, its economic boundaries by the organized sector, the professional middle classes (again mostly from the same castes) and a section of the prosperous farmers, industrialists and businessmen. in the interested eyes of the international business and finance community, they're the indian market. not big, in terms of per capita expenditure, by the standards of developed countries, but definitely much more stable (because the state supports their incomes, in many ways, directly and indirectly). and their incomes might look small, in dollar terms, but how many government clerks or even doctors or lawyers or factory foremen in the west can afford cheap domestic help, for instance? their privileges can't be measured, and the workers in the informal economy (representing all those divisive aspirations which need to be kept out), who pay for them can't really refuse to oblige- there are just too many of them ever willing to be suckered.
so it makes sense for the national media to talk about their parties- and about the need for diversity and balance (as represented by the right, left and centre of their politics) in their democracy. why should they not worry about a member of their parivar slipping behind?