16 September, 2013


Dear Mr Advani,
1) Mr Modi has cornered you. Now even if you stay in the party you will remain a second rank leader, in a party you built virtually from zero.
 2) Mr Modi has never tolerated dissent, never forgiven competition. He will not let you be even Number Two. Sooner rather than later you will be ousted in all but disguised disgrace. So, why not preempt that and instead make your own moves?
3) Instead, please consider quitting BJP and launching a separate party of your own. There are pockets in India that will never vote for Mr Modi’s party. Some of such pockets are also incidentally averse to the Congress. Some of them will opt for you. And in coalition politics even a few seats will matter.
4) At least you will have shown that you are a man of honour. And if you win some crucial seats, RSS will come around, too.
5) Moreover, the erstwhile NDA partners and some of the Third Front ones will be agreeable to align with you. Consider JDU, BJD, NCP, TMC, SP, BSP, AIDMK, even DMK and the Left parties and the AAP as your potential allies. By your quitting BJP you will have made Mr Modi’s acceptability and BJP’s victory even more remote.
6) Right-wing inclined, polished, conservative, moderate and cultured Hindus will see in you the better option. As of now they have nowhere to go.
7) For all you know, taking an anti-Modi posture might even earn you crucial Muslim votes, at least in pockets Congress is weaker in.
8) You, more than Mr Modi, are likely to enjoy Mr Vajpayee’s blessings, and claim his legacy.
9) In a single swell move you will have struck two goals. You have the experience and you will garner the resources to float and run a national party, even if takes a while. Keep your doors open. For Jaswants, Joshis, Yashwants, Sushmas, Anants...
 10) You owe no more loyalty to RSS, BJP etc anymore than they do to you. You have done all you could. And no sane Hindu can blame you for your decision.
11) With your exit from BJP it will have lost all its sheen. Only those like Mr Modi, or those afraid of him, will continue to stay. The self-respecting, the elders and the more talented ones will sooner or later walk out. Where do they go, but to you?
12) Your grievance is justified and the basis of your protest is legitimate. As I understand it involves the following:
 a. BJP has become a person-centric party while you built it as an ideology-driven party.
 b. BJP under you wanted to unite around Hindutva, not divide or polarize India along personality cult. Cultural Hinduism and not Hindu domination of India, was your stated plank.
 c. A national vision, universal acceptability and human rights approval is mandatory to lead India. This the proposed leadership lacks. India cannot develop without such global respect.
d. You do not wish that BJP should be led by leaders upon whom the Damocles’ sword is dangling. You had wished that Mr Modi’s coronation should have been deferred till the judicial scrutiny was completed.
13) BJP cannot afford to keep away from you for long. Sooner than you might think it will oust Mr Modi [unless the law catches up with him even before that!]
14) Yes, I am opposed to Mr Modi. And, yes, I am writing this partly because of that dislike. But why do I oppose him? No, Sir, not only because of 2002 riots. He is a liar, he is an opportunist, employs foul language and hits people below the belt, uses and ditches people. He is not a wellread person, is certainly not a statesman. And he is very vulnerable to blackmail by all and sundry. I hate my nation to be led by such a narrow-minded, ill-informed, un-cultured and uncouth person whom the civilized West denies visa and whom people like Vanzara can chastise.
 15) Do you recall my writing to you during the post Rath Yatra days on how I understood why your Yatra fulfilled an angst of millions of Hindus, even if erroneously, and adding that although I disagreed with your method I was quite willing to look ahead? Indeed, before it was demolished, I advocated that Muslims ought to volunteer shifting the Babri Mosque in the interest of permanent peace and lasting goodwill, and hand it over to a trust of the Sankaracharyas provided the Parliament legislated it a cognizable crime to lay claim to any other place of worship henceforth.
 16) I am apolitical, nationalist, rationalist, cultural Muslim who has a deep-seated love for and of India. You need to trust me on that. Yes, as of now between BJP and Congress my sympathies lie with the latter. But never mistake me for a sycophant. I have loudly questioned Mr Vadra’s dealings. Besides, does present day India offer me much alternative?

Hasan Jowher

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