Wednesday, August 22, 2007

BJP's opposition to nuclear deal puzzling

I have been a supporter of the BJP for most of my adult life, and I can right now visualize that this is unlikely to continue if the party continues to act like it has been doing. When it was in power, and doing good, it was still difficult to condone the violent and threatening doings of the zealots of the VHP and Bajrang Dal, but somehow one accepted this. And then came the riots of Gujarat that were a big shock; never in my dreams would I have believed that the party could condone riots that killed thousands of Indian citizens.
But the BJP has always seemed to be the natural choice for citizens of many urban areas, propounding policies that seem to be nationalistic and more liberal than the policies of the Congress and other emerging parties. However, in the recent past, they seem to be going down the path of destruction.
First, their fight in the game for the Presidential election was an unnecessary fight. The UPA always had a higher number of votes, and most of the others would not have supported the NDA choice because the return was not good enough, and they feared getting tarred with the anti-Muslim touch. Yet the BJP persevered and finally had a bad loss. The BJP seems to have never recovered from the loss of 2004, and at current levels, with the infighting, rivalry and corruption, it seems to have become a 'B' team of the Congress.
And now this. After initiating the discussion with the US over a nuclear deal, they are fighting the same deal. Most people even in the BJP would not admit that they could not have get a better deal, but they still seem to be opposing just for the sake of opposing. This is a good deal for India overall in terms of acceptance into the technology regime, into removal of many dual-control lists, and overall acceptance as a non-NPT nuclear power, and yet, for the sake of politics, the BJP wants to oppose the deal.
If they were to look closer into their vote base, they would find that a number of them have their lives and fortunes closely linked to faster development, more job growth, more amenities and civil facilities. Turning down the deal now because of politics has the potential to shake all of that. Seeing this short-sighted attitude by the BJP makes me very concerned about the path being followed by the party.

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posted by Ashish Agarwal @ 4:53 AM