|2024 and Challenges for BJP. Task cut for JP Nadda. A reality check |
The BJP had its national executive body meeting on the 16th and 17th of January in New Delhi. It was expected that there will be a new president of BJP and second some changes in the cabinet will be announced. But none of the two happened. JP Nadda got an extension as President and no cabinet change took place.
A new president is more charged than his predecessor while the incumbent President is more experienced and already knows the strong and weak points of the party while being at the helm of affairs. Nadda enjoys the trust of both Modi and Shah and that is what is said to go for his extension basically. We have been hearing of Chandrakant Patil the Maharashtrian man in Gujarat for the position but it seems Mr. Patil will have to bide some more time. On paper, JP Nadda lost Himachal Pradesh which is his own state while Patil won BIG from Gujarat. But in politics, many factors are at play.
In a way, this is good for him as well as JP Nadda. Chandrakant Patil would have got less time to get into the nitty gritty of party affairs and the party cannot take any risks at the moment. Rahul Gandhi is on his Bharat Jodo Yatra in an attempt tp revive the party affairs. Though one cannot say it has strengthened the party basically the party got some fuel to keep it running. Those who know automobiles will understand that when the vehicle is running in Reserve it needs immediate feeling. That is what the Bharat Jodo yatra has done to the Congress party.
So shall we assume the BJP is all set to win the 2024 elections? The answer is a Cautious Yes and a warning No. 2024 is still far and one day is good enough in politics to make changes happen. Many things happen and we don’t wish to go through that. The anti-Indian lobbyist sitting in far-off places with enormous funds played the BBC story to tarnish PM Modi’s image. The wrestlers from Haryana are bent upon framing Brijbhushan Sharan Singh who hails from Uttar Pradesh. The issue is delicate, especially from a caste point of view and therefore the government has to be careful. There are also some instincts suggesting that this can be another campaign started by the anti-India lobby just like the one that happened in Punjab after the amendments in Farmer’s procurement laws. Though the flame has not converted into BIG FIRE as of now attempts have been started for the same.
Our Biggest worry is though on the borders and we expect some Chinese aggression to tarnish the image of PM Modi anytime now to run up of elections 2024. Though Pakistan has shown some conciliatory posture its a nation that can never be believed or taken up by its words.
The BJP and its president therefore will have major challenges coming up their way as we move toward the 2024 parliamentary elections. There are also inflationary pressures and employment among the youth that can play a major role. International politics is still uncertain and can throw surprises here and there.
Therefore it will be FOOLISH to take the 2024 elections as a plain simple election and assume victory prematurely.
We suggest the following for the Party, PM Modi, and its President JP Nadda, and the Sangh Parivar going forward:-
1. There is apparent weakness in the economy though on the surface everything looks good. This is a treacherous domain and the government would rather take it seriously. Both Inflation and employment along with agriculture are and can play a major ROLE in the 2024 elections as there is no other major issue for the opposition to play politics.
2. The DIFFERENCE between the perception between the government and the real on the ground can be BIG and play a huge role. This GAP needs to be closed.
3. Clearly the govt has to be more action-oriented on the ground rather than making Grandious statements.
4. As an example let us share the experience from the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas that was held in Indore this month. It looked really good and was indeed but then the message it sent to the local and state population was quite different. Similarly, the Investors summit immediately after also created the HYPE but then nothing on the grounds to change the schedule of the local man. We ourselves have written two posts on the same ( see in references below) and are quite aware of the situation.
5. BJP and Sangh have to still think LONG TERM and get over and above selfish interests whatsoever. We are not blaming or criticizing anyone but the dream of our national leaders like Sardar Patel, Pratap, Shivaji, Tilak, and Savarkar will be unfulfilled if we fail to see the larger picture. What is the larger picture here? For one, India is very very vulnerable to certain forces both internally and externally and will remain to be so unless and until we change our mindsets. So what are these changes:-
a. Let us build a core framework for a strong India. This framework has to be more spiritual and less materialistic. Sorry to say except for a few from BJP and from Sangh most of the leaders are immersed in the Matreialstic world. So how will we get into a spiritual frame of mind? This can be started only from the top. One by one the BJP and Sangh leaders have to show exemplary behavior that can be taken down the organization and percolate to the masses.
b. Transform the education system completely. NEP is still struggling and has to bring the necessary changes. Teachers’ training is very important. More importantly, we have to FOCUS on elementary school education. Get to the base and the BASICS. Nothing will happen without that. The generation which is accustomed to Bollywood and Hollywood culture will not change. Its only the unadulterated young and pure minds that can expect the changes coming. But for that we have to change the elementary education system and its teachers.
c. Go for SYSTEM Changes. Leave smaller things for other ministers. This message is for PM Modi and HM Amit Shah and top Sangh Leaders. Don’t get stuck with Infra projects or popular announcements. Unless the TOP Leadership thinks BIG the country shall remain vulnerable and weak. We need Changes in the System.
d. WE have been writing this again and again. Too much power in the hands of young people also poses challenges. We have seen many of them going the wrong way. Give them responsibilities but keep changing. People who stary at one place with power are more likely to get into corrupt ways. There has to be a continuous shuffle between power and organizational work. Every leader in the bJP and Sangh has to get into social and organizational work after every three years far away from the eyes and ears of power centers.
6. While keeping the free Ration scheme going for the poor its also important to see that its not misused. There are reports that many people are still selling them in the open market. There are two issues here. First is the quantity that is given and second the quality that is given. Quantity is large but of poor quality, therefore, leading for many to sell it off.
7. Connect RESEARCH, and EDUCATION with INDUSTRY. This should have been done by now. But the POOR LEADERSHIP at AICTE, NCERT HAS DESTROYED this.
What is more worrisome is we are losing precious time. Similarly, UGC is unable to do anything worthwhile. The Registrar has been there for more than 5 years and such things indeed lead to something negative. The government must bring fresh faces into all such places. There is no accountability at what is going on at various IITs and IIMs all BIG HOLY cows of the nation that produces engineers who all like to get into the stock market or go abroad.
8. WE would still like to convey that there are huge vacancies lying and unemployment is still high or rather at dangerous levels. Start-ups have been a very good phenomenon and we have seen some start-ups and young minds who are working 24×7. But then for a country of the size of us, Starts ups are still at very low levels. Recently the govt also announced more sops for starts ups but it will be always too little and too late. Startups have to be a given very big push even if that means a loss to the banks and funding agencies. There is a risk and reward theory here. One out of 100 start-ups gets success and should be sufficient to wipe out all losses accruing from 99. So the message is banks can’t be selective and they have to bear the losses and bet more. The Startup market is very unique and no one says what will click and what will not.
9. Like Agniveer think of more schemes for the youth. Maybe in the Police department and the like. Physical training is important as there are BIG dangers coming from the flow of Drugs and liquor and other vices in society. NCC has to make it compulsory at least till 10 classes.
10. The Govt has to still has to think of utilizing one and all. Sabka sath sabka Vikas is still not worked to its potential. The basic idea is there are many people lying with experience and expertise on the street. The PM has to open up to a wider section of people. We are not talking on religious or caste lines but pure Merit-based Sath and Vikas.
The message for BJP, its president, and Top leadership from both BJP and Sangh is that there are miles to go before we can take a breath. There is much more work to be done. We were always vulnerable as a SOFT nation with Soft religion and soft Sanskars. Perhaps that is its own unique identity but also Achilles’ heel. The leadership has to think for the next 50 years and not the next election. And if we are able to do that we think not only in 2024, but the party can really win many elections ahead. But then there is always a question mark on such issues and thinking.
Dr Asheesh Shah
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