BHARATIYA JANATA PARTY
National Executive Meeting
16, 17 & 18 September 2005
Concluding Statement by Shri L.K. Advani
Chennai : September 18, 2005
The Bharatiya Janata Party is celebrating 2005 as the year of its Rajat Jayanti (Silver Jubilee). Since its inception in 1980, the BJP has been the beacon of hope for crores of Indians who cherish the ideals of cultural nationalism, national security, democracy and development.
The people of India know that, during the six years of the NDA government at the Centre between 1998 and 2004, we made an earnest effort to take our country forward on the basis of these ideals, an effort in which we succeeded substantially. The NDA government laid the foundation and set direction for India’s recognition as an important geo-political power center of the world.
On the political front, our greatest achievement in the past twenty five years has been our emergence as one of the two principal poles in India’s polity. We also proved that the BJP was capable of leading a stable non-Congress coalition that could not only impart dynamism to India’s all-round development but also solve many problems that it inherited from the past.
In 1977, the Janata Party Government was formed with Sri Morarji Desai as Prime Minister. This government lasted for just over two years. In the Sixth General Elections to the Lok Sabha, the Janata Party had secured an impressive tally of 295 seats. But in the Seventh General Elections, its strength slumped steeply to just 31 seats! Smt Gandhi and her Congress scored a resounding victory. The general talk in the country then became that there is no alternative to Mrs Gandhi and there is no alternative to the Congress.
The first annual session of the BJP in December 1980 was presided over by Sri Atal Behari Vajpayee. The 50000 delegates who had assembled at Bandra in Mumbai for the session felt thrilled when they heard Justice MC Chagla declare at the session that he saw in the BJP the only alternative and the only challenge to the authoritarian and corrupt Congress, and that he could clearly see Shri Vajpayee as India’s future Prime Minister, a forecast we all have seen actually being realized.
In free India’s political history, the launching of the BJP in 1980 has really proved a landmark event. The Indian polity has undergone a radical metamorphosis in these past twenty five years.
Personally, I deem it a proud privilege that while the First Session was presided over by Shri A.B.Vajpayee, the Party’s Silver Jubilee Session being held this December at Mumbai is going to be presided over by me. I had accepted this responsibility as Party President in October 2004 because Shri Venkaiahji had some personal problems. I have decided, however, that after the Mumbai session, I shall demit office, and the party’s stewardship should be taken over by some other colleague.
From time to time, and depending on the issue at hand, the BJP leadership has had no hesitation in consulting the RSS functionaries. After such consultations, the Party takes its own independent decisions. Some of these decisions may differ--and have indeed differed-- from the stated positions of the RSS and certain constituents of the ‘Sangh Parivar’.
But lately an impression has gained ground that no political or organizational decision can be taken without the consent of the RSS functionaries. This perception, we hold, will do no good either to the Party or to the RSS. The RSS too must be concerned that such a perception will dwarf its greater mission of man making and nation-building. Both the RSS and the BJP must consciously exert to dispel this impression.
We feel that the RSS should continue to play its role to strengthen the ethical, moral and idealistic moorings of the workers as well as functionaries of the BJP, as in the past, and this is in the larger interest of the nation.
The BJP greatly appreciates the continuing interaction we have been having with the RSS and with other organizations in the Sangh Parivar. Their views provide valuable inputs for our decision making process. But the BJP as a political party is accountable to the people, its performance being periodically put to test in elections. So in a democratic, multi party polity, an ideologically--driven party like the BJP has to function in a manner that enables it to keep its basic ideological stances intact and at the same time expand itself to reach the large sections of the people outside the layers of all ideology.
It is in protecting the ideological moorings of the BJP and in articulating it in an idiom and language that the people understand that great care is needed. For us in the BJP, Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya has been a model ideologue. We have seen him interpret the party’s ideological commitments, as for example in respect of ‘Akhand Bharat’, with remarkable clarity and conviction, and yet with flexibility and finesse.
The RSS is a nationalist organization whose contribution to character building of millions and towards inculcating in them the spirit of patriotism, idealism and selfless service of the motherland has been incomparable. It is this organization that has inspired tens of thousands of public-spirited persons to serve the nation through the medium of politics. Those in the political field and those who are serving the society in other fields have to function with unity and trust like a family to ensure that the country secures its rightful place in the comity of nations.