In Chinese script, the word ‘crisis’ is written as a compound of two characters, one denoting, ‘danger’, and the other ‘opportunity’.
In the mid-seventies, Indian democracy came face to face with the danger of becoming extinct.
The Emergency of June, 1975 was not just to rescue Prime Minister Smt. Gandhi from the consequences of the Allahabad High Court verdict. It was also a conscious bid to remodel free India’s political system.
The Emergency Proclamation was really a Thunderbolt hurled at Democracy. In one of her speeches justifying the Emergency, Smt. Gandhi proclaimed that “the nation was more important than democracy”. The Congress Party’s National Herald wrote gushing editorials on the virtues of a one-party system like that of Tanzania (at that time, the Revolutionary Party of Tanzania was the only party regarded legal, all other parties were outlawed).
During the emergency, the entire network of mass media, including the all-pervasive All India Radio, was harnessed to brainwash the people into believing that liberty, civil rights, press freedom, judicial independence, democracy etc. were elitist, western concepts irrelevant to the Indian situation, and that the nation should be grateful to Smt. Gandhi for dumping all this useless baggage overboard and creating an atmosphere of discipline and order in the country.
When in March 1977, the occasion came for testing how effective this mendacious campaign had been, all political pandits were astonished. Even the unlettered elector was not taken in by Congress propaganda. A neat ballot-box coup was effected. The 1977 Lok Sabha elections witnessed a wholesale electoral massacre of Mrs. Gandhi’s men in all the northern states, and Shri Morarji Desai was installed in New Delhi as P.M. with a comfortable majority.
The danger to democracy had been averted and the crisis had become converted into an opportunity.
A second crisis was precipitated by the Congress Party when in the eighties it mounted an assault on cultural nationalism. The Shah Bano episode, the support extended by Government to the Babari Mosque Action Committee were manifestations of this.
In both these crisis, the BJP (in the earlier phase we functioned as the Jana Sangh) was in the vanguard of the people’s resistance. So we became the main beneficiaries of the opportunities that emerged.
The transformation of India’s single-dominant party polity into a bipolar polity, and a widely acclaimed 6-year tenure for the BJP – led NDA at New Delhi has been the result.
Today HRD Minister’s ill-considered moves to gamble with institutions of excellence which has earned for India respect the world over as a ‘knowledge society’ have precipitated yet another crisis. It is not a minor matter that senior members of the Knowledge Commission have publicly protested against the Government’s moves.
Let the BJP respond to this crisis by giving the people a correct lead, we will once again convert this situation also into a valuable opportunity for the party.
According to Asian Development Bank, 60-70 percent of India’s population is in the 20-35 years age group. No other country has so massive a youth component. This section has very high expectations from the BJP. While framing policy, we must never forget this section.
Yesterday, our Party President complimented the Karnataka Unit for proving the first State of the South where BJP has become part of the Government. This should not be regarded as an accidental development.
In the last Assembly elections in Karnataka the electorate made the BJP the largest single party in the State. That the largest party in the Assembly was not part of Government till now was a distortion, which has now been corrected.
Andhra is another State where the BJP can look forward to making great gains. I could sense this very clearly during my Suraksha Yatra.
In Andhra, I summed up my comments on the UPA Government’s record in Andhra thus: it has inflicted on Andhra HATYA, ATMA-HATYA and VISHWASGHAT.
HATYA by Naxalites
ATMA-HATYA by Farmers
VISHWASGHAT by Congress on Telangana
The Andhra BJP should go all out in support of Telangana.