Margdarshak Advani

Margdarshak Advani

Undaunted by snub


Faraz Ahmad

The Margdarshak is doing excellent Marg Darshan. Former Deputy Prime Minister of India L K Advani reduced by the new dispensation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah to a member of the Margdarshak Mandal (guidance committee) seems to be taking his much forgotten status as the advising elder, a bit too seriously.

Perhaps he wants to prove Modi wrong who in the words of his party colleague and one time close confidant Yashwant Sinha has pronounced all those above the age of 75, including Advani, Joshi and of course Sinha himself as “brain dead” and thrown all such dusty, post expiry date entities behind the shelf to hide from the eyes of the present day savvy consumer. With money running in his blood, by his own reckoning, Modi knows the mind of this trader party and its core constituency better than anyone else.

Days before the 40th anniversary of Emergency, which the BJP celebrates with much fanfare all these years, Advani rang the alarm bell prophesying doom in the shape of an authoritarian rule under Modi. He later tried to couch it, pretending he was only chiding the Congress party for not apologizing. But the message went out loud and clear and Advani was banished from all official celebrations of the annual ritual of Sanghis’ pretension to martyrdom by beating their chest over Emergency every year. (You never hear the loud wails and “Maatam” from the CPM and Naxalites who lost any number of their bright boys both to the ruthless tyranny of Sidhartha Shankar Ray in West Bengal and to the gross violation of legal system by the then Home Minister of Kerala K Karunakaran.)

I don’t’ recall any other party specially the Bhagwa brigade going through what the Reds had to face during those 19 months of Emergency. But that established the Left rule in West Bengal for 35 years.

But Advani has never felt daunted and believes in the adage of “Try, try, try hard till you succeed.”  So this time he has directly counseled the Modi ministers under Cloud to follow his example when he was charged with taking Rs 65 lakh Hawala money way back in 1994-95, put in their papers  and sit out awaiting a clean chit from the court.

Now it is easier said by Advani than to be adopted as a course of action by Modi’s ministers under a cloud. For instance Sushma Swaraj despite her seniority in the BJP has already been eating the humble pie to ensure her political relevance, even while making herself invisible to avoid stealing any limelight from the Gujju bhai. She also knows that her bête noire Finance Minister Arun Jaitley can influence the course of justice and ensure when if at all she gets a clean chit from a court. In effect she knows this could be a ruse to get rid of her all together.

Advani too seems to suffer from selective amnesia. He might have returned to glory within no time thanks to all the help rendered to the Ayodhya hero by the then senior CBI officer Amod Kanth and Delhi High Court judge Justice Mohammad Shameem in the Hawala case, but poor Madan Lal Khurana, one time uncrowned king of Delhi went into political oblivion since that day. Nothing was proved against him either or for that matter against anyone named in the Hawala case.

Vasundhara has been constantly fighting private battles with her Sangh detractors, lurking around her with daggers up their sleeves. Once she steps down, she knows the Sangh will make an Uma Bharti of her.

But then these two are not the only ones in Modi’s dispensation under a cloud. There is Education Minister and Modi’s “young sister” Smriti Irani as well. If the BJP can make such a song and dance about the fake degrees and wrongful claims of educational qualifications by former Delhi Law minister Jitender  Singh Tomar who had to be sacked and then jailed, why should Smriti Irani be judged by a different standard. That entails Modi sacrificing his “young sister.”

Amidst all this brouhaha people seem to be forgetting the remarkable feat of Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. Of the 55 people charged in Vyapam scam, 40 are dead. The Excel Sheet led directly to Chouhan’s doorstep and no fair probe can be held as long as Chouhan is in office. By any standards of morality or propriety Choudhan should have been asked to step down more than two years ago. But he, his party and the Prime Minister have been brazening it out. With every one pushing his hand in the till, Modi’s loud claim of “Na khaoonga na khane doonga” be damned. Yet Modi is the biggest crusader against corruption.



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