L.K. Advani - Makeover Man
With the handing over of power to Rajnath Singh ends the era of Advani-Vajpayee Regime. Quite the opposites in nature and yet they seemed to be just the perfect team. Politicians always have dirty linen, which their opponents wash in public. I will not dwell on the appropriateness or lack of it on the political doings of this person. I would rather probe a little deeper into the person per se to find out what differentiates this person from Mayawati, Mulayam and the other rag-picker-jabbers of UP Politics.
Lal Krishna Advani, sometimes called the iron man of modern India, has always been very candid and forthcoming in his interviews. The one covered in the cover story of India Today is no different. Speaking to Arun Poorie about his views and opinions about M.A.Jinnah, the gandhi-nehru family among others.
"I made two mistakes. I should not have agreed to take over as party chief from Naidu and I should not have withdrawn my resignation after they passed a resolution asking me to continue".
Apart from many other things he has told one thing very clearly, one is that there were certain facts about Jinnah that interestingly vanished much to the comfort of the Nehru-Gandhi leadership, and secondly that he has changed as a person after his stint in power. According to him he has begun to understand the nuances of governance and the various constraints which are applicable to it better.
This is quite interesting, especially the way he justifies the change, taking the example of the Tories and the Labour parties in UK. Gradually in governance the more you come to power the lesser remain the differences. This actually is quite true as the long term poolicies that any government pursues cannot be abandoned or overhauled by the new government which comes to power, because of social, political, economic and legal implications. It basically has no alternative than to pusue them with minor tailoring if so desired.
For example the case of De-regulation. Once the Narsimharao government initiated the process they set the wheel rolling. There was no way to stop it. A highly disgrunted government could at best slow it down, like the JD government did. But it was only a matter of time before it would follow its due course, as it did.
In this same context Advani echoes expected voices on being asked "Is UPA similar to NDA"; he says that UPA can never be similar to NDA with the Red bastion firmly entrenched in the center.
He goes on to say that congress and its alies have a concept of secularity which he is alien to, calling it vote-bank religion. I would put my two cents on this one. If reserving 5 % for Muslims or Government funding Haj yatra for poor Muslims is Secularism then maybe the term in itself needs a 180 degree phase shift. Comfort to minority does not and should not imply undue and unfair favours to them at the cost of marginalizing the majority. After all what is the fault of a Hindu child when he is preferred over a Muslim kid in any educational institution or governement office, only the fact that he is a Hindu ?