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BJP Future - 6
With so many states under its control, can BJP/NDA have majority in Rajya Sabha?
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>BJP’s UP strategy draws on heavyweights, ties with RLD</b>

New Delhi, June 12: After setting into motion the exercise to identify candidates for the forthcoming general elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party is exploring options to maximise its gains in Uttar Pradesh. As of now, the party is in the dumps in the state which sends as many as 80 members to the Lok Sabha.

One proposal said to have been discussed with party’s prime ministerial candidate L K Advani entails dividing the state into six “clusters” and putting political heavyweights like Murli Manohar Joshi, Kalyan Singh, Kalraj Mishra, Maneka Gandhi and Yogi Adityanath in charge of each. Party general secretary Arun Jaitley, who played a key role in crafting the Karnataka win, may be asked to coordinate.

“When general elections are increasingly becoming an aggregate of local elections, it’s important to have a national perspective. This arrangement will also ensure micromanagment of the elections besides imparting a national perspective to the campaign,” said a source. State BJP organising secretary Nagendra met Advani recently to discuss the proposal.

The proposal defines a cluster (comprising 10 to 14 Lok Sabha seats) as having “common caste groups or communities”. This will help in combining the Lok Sabha campaign with local and primordial concerns. Leaders identified with caste groups may be asked to focus on clusters where they wield considerable influence or where their caste constitute a majority.

The western UP cluster, with 15 seats, is dominated by the Jats. The two clusters in the east with 26 seats have Thakurs, Bhumihars and Muslims as dominant groups. The Bundelkhand cluster has Lodhis, Dalits and Kurmis, while the one around Farukahabad has Yadavs and Lodhis as dominant communities.

The RSS has divided the state into six zones — Gorakhpur, Kashi (eastern UP), Avadh, Kanpur, Braj and Pashcim (western UP), a classification that has been used by the BJP in the past as well. The party had deputed heavyweights from outside in all six zones in the last Assembly elections, but results showed that the arrangement didn’t help. “We must have heavyweights identified with the local milieu. They should be able to match caste / regional aspirations with a national perspective,” said a leader.

Another proposal is a tie-up with Ajit Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal which wields considerable influence in western UP. While Ajit Singh, talking to The Indian Express on Thursday, denied the possibility of any such deal, one of his deputies confirmed that talks were on and the party had identified a “list of seats”.

The BJP’s Mission Delhi would come a cropper if it fails to improve its tally in UP. Party leader Kalyan Singh had recently said unless the party wins “25-30 states” in the state, “it can forget about its onward march to Delhi”.


Out of these 5 - Murli Manohar Joshi, Kalyan Singh, Kalraj Mishra, Maneka Gandhi and Yogi Adityanath - Joshi, Kalraj and Maneka have no mass base, and other than their own constituency, can not win other seats. BJP should think better plans. Bring Modi to UP big time.
<!--emo&:cool--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/specool.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='specool.gif' /><!--endemo--> On the face of it, a likely contest between an octogenarian and a thirty-something for ‘Youngistan’ seems like a no brainer. But the BJP is rolling out the biggest person-to-person electoral outreach programme, Pratham Matadata Samman Abhiyan, to connect with the country’s 10 crore new voters.
<!--emo&:thumbsup--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/thumbup.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='thumbup.gif' /><!--endemo--> India TodayAsk PrabhuStory
Have you published a poll on Advani's popularity eversince he became the NDA's prime ministerial candidate?
June 13, 2008
Prabhu Chawla Answers...
We have in the last week of January 2008 which showed the rise in his popularity after his anointment as the NDA's PM-in-waiting.
-Asked by Brinder

‘BJP got minority support’

KOCHI: The BJP came to power in Karnataka with the support of minority communities, president of the BJP Minority Morcha in Karnataka Derrick M.B. Fullinfaw said. Addressing mediapersons here on Saturday, he said that the BJP was the fastest-growing political party in the country.

Open Forum

BJP: A party with clear-cut philosophy and distinct features
By K.K. Gupta, IFS (Retd.)

“In Bharat the principles of ethics are termed as dharma—the laws of life.”

The ‘Integral Humanism’, as elucidated at length in the four lectures delivered by Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya in September 1965, is the guiding philosophy of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). While reading these four lectures with an objective mind, the reader clearly gets an impression as if the best precepts (or rather it would be more appropriate to term it as the ‘crux’) from the holy books of all religions have been well summarised by a great thinker/philosopher. There is nothing in any part of the lectures to suggest any kind of insinuation/ill will against any community/caste/creed/group. The following ‘excerpts/quotes’ from these lectures would amply corroborate this viewpoint:

* “It is essential that we think about ‘our national identity’ without which there is no meaning of ‘Independence.”
* “The basic cause of the problems facing Bharat is the neglect of its national identity.”
* “Opportunism has shaken the confidence of people in politics.”
* “Opportunists with no principles rein in politics of our country.”
* “We had taken pride in resisting things-British while they (Britishers) ruled us, but strangely enough, now that the Britishers have left, Westernisation has become synonymous with progress.”
* “Western science and the Western ways of life are two different things. Whereas Western science is universal and must be absorbed by us if we wish to go forward, the same is not true about the Western ways of life and values.”
* “In the past 1000 years whatever we assimilated—whether it was forced on us or we took with willingness—cannot be discarded now.”
* “The principles of Marx have changed both with the changing times as well as with varying conditions to the extent that parrot-like repetition of Marxism for solving problems facing our country would amount to a reactionary attitude rather than a scientific & pragmatic one.”
* “Human knowledge is common property.”
* “Independance can be meaningful only if it becomes instrument for expression of our culture.”
* “Both from the national as well as human stand point, it has become essential that we think of the principles of Bharatiya culture.”
* “The fundamental characteristic of Bharatiya culture is that it looks upon life as an integrated whole.”
* “There is diversity and plurality in life but we have always attempted to discover the unity behind them.”
* “Hegel put forward the principles of thesis, anti-thesis and synthesis; Karl Marx used this principle as a basis and presented his analysis of history and economics; Darwin considered the principle of survival of the fittest as the sole basis of life; but we in this country saw the basic unity of all life.”
* “The unit of seed finds expression in various forms—the roots, the trunk, the branches, the leaves, the flowers and the fruits. All these have different forms, colours and properties. Still we recognise their relation of unity with each other through seed.”
* “Unity in diversity and the expression of unity in various forms has remained the thought of Bharatiya culture.”
* “Conflict is not a sign of culture of nature rather it is a symptom of their degradation.”
* “Human nature has both tendencies—anger and greed on the one hand and love and sacrifice on the other.”
* “The principles of ethics are not framed by any one, these are rather discovered.”
* “In Bharat the principles of ethics are termed as dharma—the laws of life.”
* “When nature is channeled according to the principles of dharma, we have culture and civilisation.”
* “The English word ‘religion’ is not the correct word for dharma.”
* “Here in Bharat, we have placed before ourselves the ideal of the four fold responsibilities of catering to the needs of body, mind, intellect and soul with a view to achieve the integrated progress of man.”
* “The longings for dharma, artha, kama and moksha (the four kind of human efforts) are inborn in man and satisfaction of these in an integrated way is the essence of Bharatiya culture.”
* “When state acquires all powers, both political and economic, the result is a decline of dharma.”
* “A nation is a group of persons who live with ‘a goal’, ‘an ideal’, ‘a mission’ and look upon a particular piece of land as the Motherland. If either of the two—the ideal and the Motherland—is missing, then there is no nation.”
* “Religion means a creed or a sect and it does not mean dharma.”
* “Dharma is very wide concept which concerns all aspects of life sustaining the society.”
* “The fundamental principles of dharma are eternal and universal. However, their implementation may differ according to time, place and circumstances.”
* “The nearest equivalent English term for ‘dharma’ can be ‘innate law’, though even that does not express the full meaning of dharma. Since dharma is supreme, our ideal of the state has been ‘Dharma Rajya’.”
* “Strength lies not in unrestrained behaviour but in well regulated action.”

An in-depth study of all other related literature concerning BJP’s Ideology clearly brings out the following distinct features of this ‘Ideals Oriented’ Party:

1. Well defined principles/ ideas/ideology/approach;

2. Respect for democratic norms/ways;

3. Firmness in maintaining high standards of discipline;

4. Dynamic/reformist;

5. Inspires pride in Indianness/ dharma/culture/civilisation;

6. Strong belief in good governance;

7. Strengthens organisation without compromising individual’s identity, and;

8. Promotes participation/ merit/development/perspective.

That BJP is truly a Bharatiya party and does not subscribes to any kind of discrimination on account of community/caste/class/ creed/colour/gender/status, is amply evident from the following ‘pledge’, incorporated in the form prescribed for the new entrant to attain the primary membership of the party:

“I believe in Integral Humanism which is the basic philosophy of the Bharatiya Janata Party.

I am committed to nationalism and national integration, democracy, ‘Gandhian approach to socio-economic issues leading to the establishment of an egalitarian society free from exploitation’, positive secularism (Sarvadharmasama-bhava) and value-based politics.

I subscribe to the concept of a secular state and nation not based on religion.

I firmly believe that this task can be achieved by peaceful means alone.

I do not believe in discrimination based on caste, sex or religion.

I do not observe or recogonise untouchability in any shape or form.

I am not a member of any other Party.

I undertake to abide by the Constitution, rules and discipline of the party.”

Do the unfounded insinuations maliciously drummed up by the pseudo-secularists against BJP hold any water in the light of aforesaid facts?

(The writer is former Secretary, NCST, Government of India.)

<img src='http://www.hindu.com/2008/07/01/images/2008070156050501.jpg' border='0' alt='user posted image' />

Senior BJP leader L. K. Advani with spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravishankar and yoga guru Baba Ramdev in Bhopal on Monday for the launch of the Hindi version of his book ‘My Country My Life’. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan and State BJP chief Narendra Singh Tomar are also seen.


Rajnath Singh: BJP will do away with Article 370

Luv Puri

It gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir

“We will bring J&K on a par with other States”

Many State leaders say the abrogation will make the Instrument of Accession to India void

JAMMU: The Bharatiya Janata Party will do away with Article 370 of the Indian Constitution — which gives special status to the State of Jammu and Kashmir — if the party comes with a two-thirds majority in the Parliamentary elections, BJP president Rajnath Singh has affirmed, thus clearly indicating that abrogation of the Article 370 is going to be one of the prime issues the party proposes to raise in the coming Parliamentary election campaign.

“Abrogation of Article 370 has been a prime issue for the BJP for quite some time and the party is committed to it. The party is still committed to it. And if the party gets two-thirds majority in the Parliamentary elections, the party will amend this article and bring the State of Jammu and Kashmir at par with the other States of the country,” said Mr.Rajnath Singh who was flanked by BJP leader and former Law Minister Arun Jaitley at a news conference.

The State, by virtue of the Article 370, has its own constitution and any law passed by the Indian Parliament can only be extended to the State if it is ratified by the J&K Legislative Assembly. The abrogation of Article 370 has been opposed by the Congress, the National Conference and the People’s Democratic Party. Many J&K leaders have stated that if Article 370 is abrogated, it also makes the Instrument of Accession of the State to India — which was signed between then Governor General of India Mountbatten and last Monarch of the State Maharaja Hari Singh — a void document.

BJP Minority Morcha programmes

Special Correspondent

BANGALORE: The Minority Morcha of the Bharatiya Janata Party has decided to hold programmes in four districts of the State, including Bangalore, to felicitate its minority community representatives in the Legislative Assembly, Legislative Council, urban and rural local bodies.

A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the morcha office-bearers held in Bangalore on Saturday.

Derrick M.B. Fullinfaw, party’s Minority Morcha president and nominated MLA, told The Hindu that felicitation programmes would be held in Bidar, Mangalore and Hubli, apart from Bangalore. Mr. Fullinfaw said that the meeting had decided to take steps to set up morcha units in all the Assembly constituencies of the State. At present, nearly 50 assembly constituencies do not have morcha branches. Several office-bearers from the districts said at the meeting that minority leaders from other parties were interested in joining the BJP.

<b> ‘Islamic charity groups should focus on education’</b>

Special Correspondent

— Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

DATA BANK: Karnataka State Minority Commission secretary Tahsam Ahmed (left) and Minister Mumtaz Ali at a release of directory of NGOs in Bangalore on Saturday.

Bangalore: Muslim charity institutions, which tend to focus on religious work, should pay more attention to initiatives that provide education and livelihood to the community, said Mumtaz Ali Khan, Minister for Wakf, Haj and Minority Welfare.

He was releasing a directory put together by the Karnataka State Minorities Commission that listed all government schemes meant for minority communities and 600-odd non-governmental organisations that were working for their welfare here on Saturday.

This is the first effort of its kind anywhere in the country to involve NGOs in creating awareness on all the 270 government schemes dedicated for the minorities. Prof. Khan advised the NGOs to periodically do evaluation to establish their credibility.

Ranjini Srikumar, Principal Secretary, Minority Welfare, said that a Rs. 40-crore special package had been planned for the uplift of Bidar and Gulbarga districts which had a high population of minorities.

S. Tahsin Ahmed, secretary of the commission, said although there were 28,000 wakfs institutions and mosque committees in Karnataka, there was a need to create awareness on welfare schemes for Muslims.

BJP to work for welfare of Muslims: Advani</b>

New Delhi (PTI): With an eye on minority votes, BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate L K Advani today said if elected to power, the party will work for the welfare of Muslims, irrespective of how many of them vote for it.

"Irrespective of what percentage of Muslims vote for the BJP and NDA, our government, if voted into office by the people of India, will work for the welfare, development and security of the Muslims," Advani said addressing a Muslim women's conference here on Sunday.

Asserting that the politics of minorytism must be defeated, the senior BJP leader alleged that some parties in India want Muslims to remain forever in the minority mindset.

"It is for this reason that I say that the BJP follows anti-minoritysm but is not anti-minority", he added.

Appealing to members of the community not to fall prey to the politics of minorityism, he clarified that the BJP is more interested in their welfare, all round development and security than in their votes.

Lashing out at 'other parties' for paiting BJP as an anti-Muslim party, Advani, who came to the forefront of National politics after the Ayodhya movement, said his party totally disbelieves in any kind of discrimination on the basis of religion.

"We accept and are indeed proud of-the religious diversity of India," he said adressing the seminar organised by the minority cell of the party.

Just because a section of the Muslim leadership mistakenly, and for its own vested interests, pursued the flawed policy of the 'two nation' theory, and brought about the tragic division of India, there is no justification to view Indian Muslims today through the prism of what happened 60 years ago, he observed.

<!--emo&Smile--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile.gif' /><!--endemo--> t is imperative for the BJP to try and squeeze the upper end of the Congress base and, simultaneously, consolidate its standing among the middle castes. These are social challenges that require both tactical flexibility and an aggressive campaign to win over Congress voters. Some of this flexibility was in evidence during the run-up to Tuesday's trust vote but there was also alarming indications of the all-familiar internal subterfuge that the column has alluded to in past weeks. If the BJP doesn't succeed in persuading enough Congress voters from the upper and middle castes and the middle classes to switch sides in the General Election, India may well end up with a Third Front-led Government. For L K Advani, Tuesday's vote will be a step -- albeit an important one -- in the campaign for the hearts and minds of Middle India.
The IM leadership- both Westernized and Ummahized supported the INC thinking that they can preserve their interests in India. What the deal does is give free hand to US to tackle the greater ummah. The choice before the IM leadership is to be relevant and protect the group interests in India and abroad or lose their base ot more radical IM leaders who will emerge. So they will support the BJP or move over to the new leadership that will follow.
<!--QuoteBegin-ramana+Jul 20 2008, 08:25 PM-->QUOTE(ramana @ Jul 20 2008, 08:25 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->The IM leadership- both Westernized and Ummahized supported the INC thinking that they can preserve their interests in India. What the deal does is give free hand to US to tackle the greater ummah. The choice before the IM leadership is to be relevant and protect the group interests in India and abroad or lose their base ot more radical IM leaders who will emerge. So they will support the BJP or move over to the new leadership that will follow.

The IM leadership consists of
1. Deobandi mullahs - Maulana Azad types who plan to islamise India by
2. Left over Muslim Leaguers who wanted to merge with pakistan

The INC gave them a lifeline in 1947, since it wanted a captive
vote bank
The INC did not need to have given them a life line in 1947-48
and let nature take its course as in east punjab

Are you calling Owaisi as less radical than future muslim radicals
Owaisis dad was a Razakar leader

They will never support BJP
( except for Shias, who know that TSP is worse for shias than hindutva )
BJP, BJD, TDP expel errant MPs, others to follow suit
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Stung by his fellow MPs switching loyalties, BJP's prime ministerial candidate L K Advani [Images] said it sparked so much outrage in the party that it did not take more than five minutes to proceed against the MPs.

The eight members were among 24 opposition MPs who either voted for the government or abstained or remained absent.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Any discussions on leadership of BJP for next elections?
The expulsion of the crossvoting/abstaining MPs and going public with their names is a disincentive for the UPA to accomodate those folks as it will prove the incentives for vote barter. So the MPS will get only the money and not other perks. The UPA cannot turn around and take those folks into their constittuent parties without being chraged with abeting horse trading.
Re #54:
Can anyone put up the %ages for India: Shia, Sunni (within Sunni how many of what major school of thought etc)?
Good op-ed from Pioneer, 24 July 2008

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Confidence vote trickster

Ashok Malik

For the Congress, the July 22 victory was decisive but also misleading. The general election, in spring or winter, will be a grim battle.<b> However, for the Congress's main rivals, such as the BJP, the existential questions are equally troubling</b>

It goes without saying that the result of the confidence vote in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday is not necessarily an indicator of the winter/spring general election. With an artful mix of stealth and acumen, the Congress-led UPA Government has proved its majority. <b>There has even been a generous mood of middle class sympathy for and solidarity with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh following his dogged pursuance of the nuclear deal. Yet, this is a passing moment.</b>

<b>The Congress faces ferocious anti-incumbency for reasons as far apart as inflation and economic mismanagement, national security and a general sense of listless governance.</b> For the first time in 20 years -- since the Bofors election of 1989 -- a ruling party will go into a Lok Sabha election battling pointed unpopularity, rather than just indifference. How the Congress addresses this challenge will be a truer test of its capacities than the July 22 vote.

If the Congress needs to take its victory with sobriety, however, there is ample reason for the Opposition too to go back to the drawing board. What is the upshot of the confidence vote experience for the three major entities that led the attack on the Manmohan Singh Government -- the BJP, the Left and the BSP? Frankly, it's not all rosy.

<b>For the BJP, a certain momentum that had begun to build up following the victory in Gujarat in December 2007 and had gathered vigour after the Karnataka Assembly poll has been halted. </b>For a supposedly resurgent Opposition party to be unable to defeat a precarious, unpopular Government in its final year is an extraordinary setback.

The BJP saw desertions from its own ranks which it has chosen to explain as impelled by local, constituency-level factors. <b>More important, it did not see an accretion in its numbers. It expended precious time, energy and political capital in convincing allies in the NDA that they needed to stay together.</b>

At one level, this speaks for shortcomings in political management. However, the issue is far deeper than merely one of individuals or of removing personality X from position Y. <b>The fact is the BJP is gripped by an existential crisis. Many within the NDA sense the party, at least this version of the party, is past its prime, its platform is not inspirational enough for its target voter.</b> Despite successes in key states, there are question marks about its 'winability' in the 2009 election.

The BJP may believe that it can exploit the Congress's 'bribe-tainted' confidence vote, but does it have the political wherewithal and the credibility to run a sustained anti-corruption campaign? Second, at no point after 1984 has the disconnect between the urban middle class and the BJP been as sharp on the eve of a Lok Sabha election as it is today. <b>The party may still win a protest vote, but there is no positive identification with its goals, ideals and programme.</b>

<b>The divergence between the party's key electoral constituency and its spokespersons on the India-US nuclear deal is a symptom of this problem. In the past months the question was often asked: "Why is the BJP opposing the deal?" This was, really, shorthand for a whole host of other questions: "What does the BJP stand for? It's alright the BJP wants to come to power, but what does it want to do in office? Has the BJP figured out if the Congress is the bigger enemy or the Left?"</b>

There are six to nine months before the next election. <b>In this period, the BJP needs to move far away from the pointless and politically counter-productive nuclear debate -- which has got hijacked within the party and its related organisations by a small clique of pedants and hysterical hyper-nationalists -- and focus on stitching together social coalitions, tying up State alliances and deciding upon and articulating its programmatic content.</b>

Admittedly, not every party faces such hard questions from even natural sympathisers. Yet, the BJP's potential voter expects more clarity and consistency from it than, say, regional/caste party adherents do from their leaders.

<b>The Congress is a free-floating entity that, broadly speaking, believes in nothing at all-which is why Mr Manmohan Singh stands out and wins respect because, for all his failures, he appears to believe in at least the economic and strategic potential of the nuclear deal. </b>The BJP, however, is expected to be more anchored.

The outlook is scarcely better for the Left. <b>Irrespective of Mr Somnath Chatterjee's expulsion, the rift in the CPI(M) can no longer be wished away as bourgeois fiction. Power pragmatists who see themselves as an election-oriented regional political force in West Bengal will now seek to temper the Delhi-based apparatchiki who want to refashion the CPI(M) as a 21st century League against Imperialism.</b>

Even if a Third Front Government comes to power in Delhi in 2009, the CPI(M), with a possible 40-50 Lok Sabha seats, and with a diminished, impolitic general secretary, will not be able to control it. For four years, the Congress deferred to comrade Prakash Karat. The Mayawatis and Jayalalithaas are not going to be as accommodating.

<b>Finally, there is the BSP. On paper, Ms Mayawati has triumphed. She raided the Samajwadi Party and deprived it of half-a-dozen Lok Sabha MPs, networked with the UNPA leadership, and even embraced the world view of Mr Karat.

In the coming elections, she could damage the Congress's Dalit vote in Madhya Pradesh, Delhi and Rajasthan and perhaps elsewhere in north India. Nevertheless, her all-India appeal is constricted. She has had little impact in Maharashtra and Karnataka, for instance.</b>

That aside, she has to concede that an SP-Congress alliance in Uttar Pradesh will severely test her, and probably check her hopes of winning 50 or more of the State's 80 seats. If Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav's Muslim support stays true, the BSP will be in some trouble.

<b>Also, there are limits to a rainbow coalition. Ms Mayawati cannot incorporate the likes of Atiq Ahmed -- the SP rebel and criminal-MP from Phulpur -- and still hope to mobilise middle class/upper caste voters in, say, the Allahabad region, where Atiq is widely regarded as a gangster.</b>

Despite its decisive result, then, the confidence vote and attendant episodes have thrown open a bag of imponderables. Once again, like in the mid-1990s, India fears it is on the edge of political instability and a very confused mandate. Suddenly, 2009 looks a very grim year.


Need for an enlightened and elastic <span style='color:red'>Hindu Vote Bank</span>

By Ram Chandra

When I googled to find a definition for ‘vote bank’, I stumbled upon the Wikipedia link. Being the largest democracy in the world, India has contributed immensely to the electoral lexicon. The site informed me that the term ‘vote bank’ too is indigenous, thanks to M.N. Srinivas.

The site defines vote bank as “a loyal bloc of voters from a single community, who consistently back a certain candidate or political formation in democratic elections. Such behavior is often the result of an expectation of real or imagined benefits from the political formations, often at the cost of other communities”. It goes on to state that “Vote bank politics is the practice of creating and maintaining vote banks through divisive policies. As this brand of politics encourages voters to vote on the basis of narrow communal considerations, often against their better judgement, it is considered inimical to democracy.” I am not sure whether Srinivas would have agreed to this definition. I, for one, am a votary of a ‘Hindu Vote Bank’, and would disagree.

We are in an era of divisive and exclusive politics, harping on narrow communal, casteist, regional and even sub-regional grounds. Vote bank politics as it is practised today, would largely subscribe to the given definition. Proliferation of regional and local parties, with its own limited and narrow mandates, offer immense opportunities as well as serious threats. The mushrooming of these parties largely owe to the feeling of alienation of the marginalised, and the failure of the larger national parties to give voice to these voiceless. The rising expectations and unmet needs of these social groups could now be appropriately raised and redressed. At the same time, opportunitive politics and fragmented electoral mandates pose a peculiar situation, where often the larger interests of the nation is often seen to be compromised. It is not the least to say that national parties are more responsive to national needs; but rather in this complex multi-party system, national priorities give way to sub-national political compulsions. I find only a single solution to this problem. In a competitive democratic system, for preserving the unity and integrity of India, we should have a vibrant and enlightened Hindu Vote Bank.

To begin with, the first premise of the definition that for “creating and maintaining vote banks” we have to follow “divisive policies”. I am rather envisaging a Hindu Vote Bank though ‘consolidative policies’. It has to target a larger audience, transcending regional, casteist, or even narrow communal considerations. Democracy is a game of numbers, and he who has the benefit of numbers on his side, wins. For the success of any vote-bank, the primary prerequisite is to have substantial number of voters committed to it. In the process of mobilising largest numbers, the expectations and needs of the marginalised and the voiceless minorities would also be incorporated into the broader agenda. Hindu vote bank, even by wierdest stretch of imagination, cannot be a homogeneous and monolithic entity; but rather a mosaic of multifarious and diverse groups of people, coming under the socio-cultural umbrella of pan-Indian cultural nationalism.

It has to be uncompromisingly ensured that Hindu vote bank is not to bring in a “tyranny of majority” to quote Tocqueville. Being pro-Hindu is not to be presumed as anti-Islam or anti-Christian. Majority vote bank politics is not to rival, compete or outdo the minority communities; it is rather an engine that would drive and steer the country along its path of progress, inclusively, without delinking a single bogie from the train. Hindu vote bank is to be consolidated not on narrow communal considerations, but on inclusive ideological considerations.

To have a strong vote bank, there should be a strong apolitical ‘guardian’ for this vote-bank. Vote-bank should not be identified with any specific political party; but should rather exist on its own, independent, and self-assertive. If the ‘guardian’ fails in its unflinching integrity, efficacy and unquestionable credibility, the whole proposition would be detrimentally counter-productive. It should be ensured that the vote-bank is not highjacked and used for manipulative bargaining. Else it could well be an anti-national Frankenstien.

The theories of social choice and public choice, with champions like Nobel Prime winner economist Kenneth Arrow and eminent social scientist Maurice Duverger, have established benefits of a constructive pressure-group in voter market. This aggregation is of “individual interests, or judgements, or well-beings, into some notion of social welfare, social judgement, or social choice”. A healthy and vibrant Hindu vote bank with a credible and honest ‘guardian’, will transform and clean up the existing opaque and inefficient voter market.

In a competitive voter market, Hindu Vote Bank would enjoy ‘inelastic’ demand from various parties. Voter market is traditionally a demand driven market, and if transparent and efficient would enable an enlightened and informed supplier i.e. voter to avail constructive bargaining power. The ‘guardian’ can leverage his strengths, bargain with political parties from a position of strength, and ensure maximum benefits to its constituents.

Hindu vote bank would also have cascading effects in dislodging the hardliner drivers of minority vote bank politics. As a result we can anticipate emergence of liberalist thinking dominating the minority vote banks, trying to establish some commonalities with the majority.

With an enlightened and elastic ‘pressure group’ which can on its own win or defeat parties in elections, no government would be compelled to make another Shah Bano amendment, or to delay the execution of court orders against a Terrorist or to repeal a much needed anti-terrorist Act, fearing the brinkmanship of present hardliner-dominated minority vote bank. And there can be no more opportune time than the present one, to go about doing it.

(The writer is a social thinker and administrator.)
<!--QuoteBegin-Shambhu+Jul 23 2008, 01:25 PM-->QUOTE(Shambhu @ Jul 23 2008, 01:25 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Re #54:
Can anyone put up the %ages for India: Shia, Sunni (within Sunni how many of what major school of thought etc)?
According to wiki:

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Majority of Muslims in India are either Sunni Deobandi or Sunni Barelwi, there are Shia, Sufi, Salafi and other smaller sects as well. Darul-Uloom Deoband is the most influential Islamic seminary in India and is considered second only to Egypt's Al-Azhar in its global influence.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

As cited in the article, the real population of IM is pegged at 20%, rather than the 13% detailed in the 2001 census. I can't find % values for different schools and divisions, you might find it listed References section of the wiki article named, Islam in India.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->They will never support BJP
( except for Shias, who know that TSP is worse for shias than hindutva )<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
There might be minor support for some time, but in the end all IM's are the same. Dangerous and a threat to national security.
Thanks Pandyan..

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