Mainstream, VOL LIII , No 38, New Delhi, September 12, 2015
Implications of RSS-BJP Samanvay Baithak
Sunday 20 September 2015, by
Soon after the mid-term poll in 1998, when the results were yet to come but one was certain that the BJP and its allies would form the next government at the Centre, a political leader who later joined the A.B. Vajpayee-led Union Ministry, had asked this correspondent as to what should be done after the outcome of the elections. One had then clearly pointed out to him that regardless of what course the BJP-led government would follow (that is, a Right-of-Centre line or a Left-of-Centre line primarily with regard to economic policies) the basic problem was not with the BJP per se but the RSS, the extra-constitutional mentor of the principal party of the BJP-led alliance, as it would all along try to remote-control the government. The gentleman agreed but was lost in thought. Subsequently he did decide to join the Vajpayee Ministry and remained a Minister for six years (upto 2004). Perhaps he had been reassured by Vajpayee that come what may the RSS will not be permitted to dictate terms to the government. The scope for doing that was also limited then since the BJP under Vajpayee had not succeeded in winning absolute majority on its own.
The situation is radically different today. And the difference between 2015 and 1998 came out in bold relief in the RSS-BJP samanvay baithak in the Capital, the first such meeting between the two since Narendra Modi’s election to the post of head of the government at the Centre following the 2014 poll. As The Hindu editorial of September 7, 2015 perceptively noted,
...a meeting of this kind, with almost all the Union Ministers from the BJP present with report cards, is unprecedented. Clearly, the RSS is seeking to appropriate for itself the role of an extra-constitutional super-parliament, accountable to none but its own sanghchalaks.
It may also be added that such a meeting strikes at the root of the parliamentary democracy we have chosen for ourselves in this country and one that has served us well for the last 68 years since our independence.
But let there be no mistake: the process of jettisoning our democratic functioning will become irreversible if the BJP and its allies are able to secure absolute majority in the crucial Assembly elections of the northern State of Bihar. That is precisely why the Bihar Assembly elections, whose schedule has just been announced, acquire such extraordinary significance.
It is the bounden duty of secular democrats of all hues to strain every nerve to defeat this ulterior design of the BJP and its mentor by ensuring that the principal secular anti-BJP combine of the JD(U)-RJD-Congress comes out victorious in the ensuing polls frustrating all disruptions from the side of the Samajwadi Party, NCP and Left parties playing into the hands of the communal forces.
After all, we have not till today forgotten the history of the emergence of Hitlerite fascism in the Germany of the 1930s exploiting the division in the ranks of social democrats and Communists.
September 10 S.C.