Kaleem Kawaja | Caravan Daily
IF we look at what BJP was under the long leadership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee who was India’s Prime Minister three times and we look at what BJP has become under the leadership of Narendra Modi who will be completing his first term as Prime Minister, we find a contrast.
Vajpayee was a life-long, humble Hindu nationalist, a learned Hindi poet
PM Vajpayee governed India and made chief ministers in states where BJP was in power, govern in a principled manner, what he called Raj Dharma – the governing philosophy from ancient days when Hindu kings ruled in India. For his cabinet of the central government Vajpayee choose capable people of integrity e.g. Murli Manohar Joshi, Jaswant Singh, Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shori
When in 2002 large scale killings of Muslims occurred in Gujarat, then ruled by Chief Minister Narendra Modi, Vajpayee publicly admonished
In contrast, PM Modi has little use for principled politics and does not hesitate from horse-trading to govern. His machinations to form BJP governments in states in recent years where BJP did not get
Both in Gujarat as CM and at the Center as PM,
However, to cover his tracks he has blindfolded the media, especially TV media to such an extent that major national problems like the extreme grief of starving farmers, huge unemployment of the youth and rampant corruption are routinely described by the media as conspiracies of the opposition in collusion with India’s enemies.
Vajpayee proudly glorified Hinduism and Hindu culture but did not allow BJP activists to make the religious minorities feel like they were second class citizens.
(The writer is a senior aerospace engineer at NASA. He is also the Executive Director of the Association of Indian Muslims of America, Washington DC.)