Bharatiya Janata Party
December 28, 29 & 30, 2005
Rajat Jayanti Nagar, Mumbai
On this august and auspicious occasion of the Bharatiya Janata Party s Silver Jubilee, it is time to look back with pride at our achievements, assess our triumphs and tribulations and also look ahead to the future. It is essential, therefore, that we clearly identify the tasks ahead so that the road map is drawn up and pursued vigorously at every level of the party. Not only do we have to avoid the pitfalls and take corrective measures wherever necessary but we must also bring about a change of mindset among our workers in order to make the2. BJP a natural party of government and the only political organization capable of fulfilling people s aspirations by providing good governance. On this occasion, the BJP rededicates itself to the task of building a strong, prosperous, powerful, self-confident, self-reliant India where there will be no hunger, no poverty, no discrimination against any citizen and justice for all will prevail.
Ideology and Idealism:
The BJP is not an ordinary political party in pursuit of power for the sake of power alone. Rather, it is a mission and part of a wider movement, which is guided by the ideology of nationalism and whose goal is to bring about India's all-round resurgence in consonance with our ancient culture. We should not be defensive or apologetic about projecting our distinctive ideological identity, about our relationship with other nationalist organizations, and also about our commitment to comprehensive social progress inspired by the eternal and universal values of our civilisation, which are encapsuled in the theory of Integral Humanism by Pt. Deendayal Upadhyay.
We should, in particular, mount a powerful and sustained offensive against all those divisive ideologies and political forces, represented by the Congress and the Communists, who have perverted the ideal of secularism to pursue the politics of vote banks and whose actions are adversely affecting the nation s unity, integrity and security. For them, being anti-BJP and antiHindu is the only ism . We reiterate that for the BJP 'Hindutva', 'Bharatiyata' and 'Indianness' are synonymous terms.
The BJP also reaffirms its commitment to the establishment of a progressive social order, based on the ideals of equality, equity, compassion, cooperation, social justice, social harmony, gender justice, Antyodaya upliftment of the poor -- protection of the environment, preservation of family and social values, and the all-round development of the individual self as an essential precondition of human evolution. We believe in the goal of Sarve Janah Sukhino Bhavantu (May all be happy).
National security and safeguarding the unity and integrity of our Nation will continue to be our highest priority. We remain committed to India's integrated and accelerated development, based on a Swadeshi concept.
A BJP worker has no reason to be in the Party if he puts his personal interests above his duty to actively work for that goal. Nobody is taller than the organization. We have repeatedly observed that when karyakartas and functionaries are not guided by any lofty ideals, when they are not emotionally inspired by a larger goal, they tend to fall prey to lower-level objectives and considerations, which are alien to our tradition and even harmful to our movement.
Primacy of ideals and ideology
Restoring the primacy of ideals and ideology has also become necessary to discourage careerists who are guided by the consideration of "What is in it for me?" and to encourage those who are willing to make sacrifices and remain with the party both in good as well as bad times. We should encourage our karyakartas to think "What have I given to the Party?" rather than "What has the Party given me?" Our motto has always been: "Nation first, Party next, self last." We will be able to deal with the gigantic challenges facing our Nation only if our party organization comes to be dominated by those who have a basic commitment to idealism and ideology. We have to constantly exercise caution against contagious diseases such as corruption of which the Congress is the fountainhead.
We also remain steadfast in our commitment to promote national integration through propagation of cultural nationalism and enactment of a Uniform Civil Code, the abrogation of Article 370, ban on religious conversions through inducements and tackling the dangers posed by massive, unchecked infiltration from across the borders. The BJP remains firm in its demand for a complete ban on cow slaughter not only in keeping with religious sensibilities but also in order to preserve and promote the rural economy, which is significantly dependent on the well-being of livestock particularly cow and its progeny. The BJP reiterates its commitment for a Temple at Ram Janma Boomi. The BJP also remains firm on its commitments of population control and putting down terrorism with an iron hand.
Tasks on the Organisational Front:
The strength of the BJP lies in its unique nature of combining the virtues of a mass party with a strong cadre network. This strength will have to be further built up in the days ahead by augmenting both the virtues - expanding the mass base of the BJP and simultaneously enlarging and enriching our army of dedicated karyakartas.
Collectivity, Mutuality and Communication:
Collectivity (Saamoohikata), Mutuality (Parasparikata) and Communication (Samvaad) are the three enlightened principles that have defined BJP's organisational culture. The points of action that follow from these principles are: Come Together, Think Together, Work Together. These help in strengthening our awareness of the common goal and purpose that unite us, and which we need to pursue in discharging our own individual responsibilities. Unfortunately, there has been some erosion of commitment to these principles at some levels in the Party. Lack of mutual consultation and coordination sometimes dilute the effectiveness of the Party's activities. Any deviations and distortions in this regard will have to be set right. Commitment to mutuality is essential for communication. This commitment requires us to create an atmosphere of mutual affection (Sneh) and trust (Vishwas).
Style of functioning:
For these corrective measures to succeed, it is necessary to understand that, as far as the BJP is concerned, personal conduct and style of functioning are a part of our ideology. The two cannot be separated. Therefore, commitment to ideology has to be additionally measured against the yardstick of behaviour and the style of functioning. Teamwork holds the key to better coordination and presenting a coherent, united face of the party to the people. Collective decision making should also become an article of faith that is followed at every level so as to ensure everybody feels he has a stake in the party and positive suggestions are incorporated in the decisions.
Accountability to Party, not individuals:
The Party will have to ensure that positions and responsibilities are given to persons whose primary commitment is to the party, and not to any individual or group. We should create such a self-evident "Party comes first" atmosphere that even karyakartas who are tempted to cultivate individual loyalties can see for themselves that no benefit comes by doing "Neta Parikrama", and no harm comes by not doing so. Party activities should be centred in Party offices.
Need to maintain discipline:
There is an urgent need to promote and strengthen the culture of discipline and self-discipline at all levels, beginning with the higher echelons. The rapidly gathering impression that acts of indiscipline will be condoned and that even serious cases of anti-party activities will be overlooked, has done immense damage to the health of our organization in the recent past. Earlier, the common people admired the BJP as "a party of disciplined leaders and cadres". It must be the endeavour of our functionaries and karyakartas at all levels to live up to the people's expectations, keep up the BJP's image of a "Party with a difference" and gain their confidence on that count. One of the manifestations of indiscipline is the tendency to use the media to air one's grievances. Internal party matters must not be discussed with the media and the temptation to settle personal scores through the media must stop altogether.
We need to strengthen the system whereby workers and functionaries can air their grievances freely at proper forums and feel satisfied. In cases of gross indiscipline and repeated misconduct, deterrent and demonstrative action must be taken.
In addition to enforcing discipline, efforts should be made to address the underlying problems and grievances, if any. In other words, discipline-strengthening activities and problem-solving activities should go on simultaneously. There should be no delays in discussing and deciding on issues of discipline. Grievance redressal should be strengthened while acts of indiscipline are nipped in the bud.
Strengthening internal democracy:
We are proud that ours is the only major political party that conducts organizational elections regularly. We must ensure that the tradition of unanimity based on consensus continues. Care should also be taken that no recrimination or factionalism happens in the aftermath of organizational elections.
Developing leaders with moral authority:
Full-time karyakartas are a source of strength for our Party. In our strategy to re-energize the party organization at all levels, it has become necessary to induct, train and develop a large number of full-time activists, who have no ambition to enter electoral politics or to get positions in the organization. We should make special efforts to ensure that our karyakartas reflect the broad social composition of our diverse society. Ideological education, which motivates a person from within, has to be an important part of this strategy.
An attempt must be made to identify and encourage a category of members who are not interested in contesting elections. They should rise to leadership positions and guide other workers and leaders. They would constitute the core group and work selflessly to strengthen the party organization. This category of members who do not have individual ambitions will set an example before the others.
Re-orienting the social identity of the Party:
In terms of its social base, its activities as well as its image, the BJP should be seen as a Party of all sections of society (Sarva Sparshi and Sarva Vyapi), and one, which is broadly anchored among the common people and fervently champions the cause of their upliftment. We should go out of our way to transform the image of the BJP as a party that is "Gramonmukh" (Pro-Village) and "Gareebonmukh" (Pro-Poor). Our Party should strongly associate itself with the new jagruti and chetana (self-awareness and assertiveness) among the under-privileged and less empowered sections of our society. We should be in the forefront to espouse their legitimate aspirations and expectations, keeping in mind the overall needs of samajik samarasata and samanvay (social harmony and balance).
The record of the NDA Government at the Centre and the party s governments in the States must be appropriately highlighted to demonstrate the BJP s commitment to Dalits, tribals, OBCs, and other disadvantaged sections. Party karyakartas must be trained to expose the lip service paid to these sections by our opponents and propagate the BJP s belief in samrasta in both thought and action.
Energising Morchas and Cells:
Morchas, Cells and the proposed Subject Committees are the means whereby the BJP can reach out to specific sections of society. We recognize that, in recent years, new groups and constituencies have emerged, both at the local and national levels, which require setting up new Cells.
Expanding Party's activities among different sections:
The Party has resolved to further expand its activities among farmers, farm workers and other sections of the rural poor. It is the duty of the entire Party to increase its work in rural areas in a major way. Hence, Party functionaries and workers at all levels should get associated with this work in a consistent way, tour rural areas frequently, spend enough time including night halts in order to acquaint themselves with the day-to-day problems of the village communities so that they can effectively articulate the issues of farmers and other rural communities in various forums. Such prolonged interaction will enable our workers to communicate our party s ideas and programmes to the people in the countryside.
The BJP has rapidly expanded its support base among the SCs and STs in recent decades. However, there is an immense scope and also an urgent need to further intensify our efforts in this direction. Not only the respective morchas of the BJP, but also the Party as a whole have to redouble our activities among these sections of society by championing their causes, highlighting their problems, protesting against their exploitation and oppression, and, where needed, by launching agitational activities.
The BJP believes that minorities form an integral part of our society. We care for them as much as we care for any other section of society, without any kind of discrimination. We should champion their issues in education, economic development and empowerment (what we call the "3-E Formula"), with a view to bringing them in the mainstream of the Nation's progress. We should also vigorously expose how pseudo-secular parties have failed to address these real issues and, instead, have been treating them only as a vote bank for narrow electoral considerations.
For a long time the Party has been aware of the need to expand its women-focused activities and develop new women activists at all le vels. This need has become more pronounced and urgent in view of the growing debate on the Women's Reservation Bill, which was first mooted by our Party. It has become necessary to substantially increase women activists' participation in decision-making within the party organisation. Mahila Morcha should increase its work among the rural and urban poor, SCs, STs, backward classes and minorities. It should also identify and develop new activists from these sections of society.
Developing young leadership:
Developing and projecting young leaders has become one of the urgent tasks before the Party. It should be our endeavour to bring promising young men and women in the age group of 20-25 years into the Party fold, train them for 3-4 years in our ideology and practical activities, and thereby enable them to emerge as competent young leaders of the BJP.
Among all the Morchas of the BJP, the Yuva Morcha plays a crucial role in expanding our base among the youth, who now form a decisive constituent of India's population. Therefore, the Party units at all levels will have to pay utmost attention to encouraging its growth and guiding its activities. Non-student youth, who are numerically the largest section of the youth and also the least organised, will continue to be our focus. However, we should also endeavour to reach out to idealistic and socially conscious students in universities and other educational institutions through appropriate methods.
Upgrading training activity:
Our determination to strengthen the ideological thrust in all our activities makes it necessary for taking up training of party workers not as a sporadic and marginal effort, but as a systematic and regular programme to be run at all levels of the organization. Also, training should not only cover issues of ideology, idealism, and development-related subjects, but also personal conduct and style of functioning. We are in the process of institutionalizing this programme by setting up training centres with necessary infrastructure in various places across the country.
It must be understood that training programmes are not meant only for lower level karyakartas. In a rapidly changing world with more challenges and opportunities emerging every day and technology providing greater access to information that hitherto, there is an imperative need even for experienced leaders to upgrade their knowledge base and skill sets. Thus, Ministers, MLAs, MPs, members of local self-government bodies and party functionaries at all levels need to undergo periodic training or refresher courses.
Tasks before Elected Representatives:
Improving performance of BJP-run State Governments:
As the fervent proponent of Good Governance, the Party cannot overlook the imperative need to improve the performance of State Governments run by the BJP, alone or as a coalition partner. It is our bounden duty to ensure that the BJP-run governments are able to fulfill the aspirations of the people in their respective States and to meet the promises made in our election manifestoes. This has become all the more important in view of the growing importance of the anti-incumbency trend in Indian elections. BJP-run or BJP-led State Governments must perform as role models for the entire country so that the party can showcase their achievements as prime examples of good governance.
This is possible only with close coordination between the Government and the party. We have to evolve a workable system whereby the Party organization provides guidance to Chief Ministers, Ministers and elected representatives and monitors their performance. Equally, there has to be a systematic channel of getting feedback from the people as well as grassroot workers and communicating it to those in the Government for suitable action. This channel should also be used for communicating the Government's policies, programmes and achievements to the people, and for countering the negative propaganda of our opponents.
BJP in Parliament and State Legislatures:
After having governed the country for six fulfilling years, the BJP's responsibility as the main opposition party in Parliament has grown manifold. Now we have to bring to bear on our new role the full benefit of our knowledge and experience of governance. The people of India expect the BJP to be "an opposition party with a difference", just as the Vajpayee government was seen as "a government with a difference". This casts a big responsibility on our MPs and MLAs to perform well both in and outside Parliament and State Legislatures.
Evaluation of the performance of party functionaries, MPs and MLAs:
Experience has shown that a fairly large number of sitting MPs and MLAs of our Party fail to get re-elected. Often this is due to the "anti-incumbency factor" at the constituency level. We paid a fairly heavy price on account of this in the 2004 Lok Sabha elections. Our State units should conduct periodic evaluation of the Party's elected representatives in local bodies.
We have to evolve a system of accountability for functionaries by laying down clear-cut guidelines of what they are expected to do and judge them on the basis of what they have done. They must be periodically assessed on their ability to carry out tasks assigned to them. Elected representatives performance in legislatures, participation in party activities, handling of people s problems, transparent disbursal of Government funds including MP and MLALADS, attitude towards party workers, must all be subjected to periodic evaluation and review.
Interaction between karyakartas and elected representatives:
It is necessary to put in place improved institutional ways of responding to karyakartas' suggestions and needs, and pursuing specific people-related works brought by them. MPs and MLAs must visit Party offices regularly, attend Party meetings and participate in Party programmes wherever expected.
Improving performance in local self-government bodies:
A large number of our members are elected members of Panchayats, Zilla Parishads, Municipal Councils and Corporations. Many of these local self-governance bodies are also being run by the BJP. There is a need to improve the functioning of our representatives in these bodies. Panchayat and Municipal good governance is an integral part of our commitment to Good Governance (Sushaasan).
Tasks on the Development Front:
The BJP's vision has two focal points: Nationalism (Rashtravaad) and Development (Vikas). We believe that both are a precondition for realizing our dream of a Resurgent India. There is a tremendous hunger for development among all sections of our society and in all regions of our country. The BJP has to respond effectively to people's rising expectations for a better quality of life, as an integral part of its political strategy.
Making development a regular subject in Party meetings:
Subjects of development and people's welfare should become a regular part of the agenda of Party meetings at all levels. Concerted efforts should be made to associate experts in various fields with the formulation and articulation of Party's stand on these subjects. Party offices should have up-to-date information on key development parameters in their respective areas and knowledge about the performance of banks, development agencies, etc. We need to form subject committees at national and state level. All this will impart to the BJP an image of a development-oriented (Vikasonmukh) party.
We must make constructive activity an integral part of our organization building. Indeed, we have observed that wherever our karyakartas and functionaries are actively involved in social organizations, educational and healthcare institutions, NGOs, and cooperatives of various kinds, not only have they benefited but the Party too has been able to expand its support base. In this context, Self Help Groups have become an important employment-generation and income-enhancing means for mobilizing women and the youth. Similarly, social welfare activities undertaken by dedicated religious institutions have a large appeal in society. It is therefore worth considering that we make it necessary for every active Party worker to associate himself or herself with some constructive work.
Back to the Basics
The Bharatiya Janata Party has a glorious history that needs to be seen in continuity with the achievements of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh to which we trace our lineage. We draw our inspiration from leaders of the stature of Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee and Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay. When we talk about back to basics, it is not ideology alone but also more about our work culture. Thousands of party workers have sacrificed their all because of their commitment to our ideology and idealism. BJP workers are often targeted by our political opponents first because our cadre is driven by a firmness of resolve not seen among others. That is why many party activists have incurred the wrath of fundamentalists, anti-national elements and Naxalites in different parts of the country. The martyrdom of such people must never be forgotten and their example must continue to inspire our future journey. We have to recall the sacrifices made by many of workers, teach and preach martyrdom and continuously educate our Generation Next members about the party s glorious history, the contributions of our founding fathers and their role in creating the BJP as a party that can make India proud.
To sum up, we must go back to our respective States and constituencies with the following commitments:
1. Uphold ideology and idealism as our distinctive characteristic under the banner of Nation First. At the same time, we must emphasise ideal and model behaviour on the part of party members.
2. Renew our commitment to build a progressive, inclusive and harmonious social order
3. Strengthen the party organization at all levels, combining discipline and internal democracy
4. Expand the party s base among kisans, women, youth and less privileged sections
5. Work untiringly to make the natural party of government by setting examples of good governance wherever we get the opportunity.
The organizational tasks outlined in this document can be best summarized by the phrase "Back to the Basics". As in the days of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh and in the early years of Bharatiya Janata Party our functionaries and main karyakartas must devote the main part of their time for party work for touring in their respective area of work, interacting with party workers, reaching out to the people, conceptualizing, planning and executing mass programmes. They should set standards in every sphere of work through their ideal behaviour. It is important that each one of us is able to inspire the people with our idealism and our ideology.