Lacking fire in the belly

Lacking fire in the belly

You can lead a horse to water, but you can-'t make it drink. That is for sure. Ask the central leadership of the BJP for its confirmation and you get...

You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. That is for sure. Ask the central leadership of the BJP for its confirmation and you get it. Teaching something to people who are generally disposed towards it not so favorably is always a daunting task. More so in politics.

If there is no fire in the belly, it will simply not yield any result. Why blame the teacher then? One might always say, perhaps, the teacher has not utilised, to any considerable extent, the principle of teaching by example.

Suppose the teacher in question is the one who teaches a language then it could always be said the teacher only taught his students how to write, not how not to write; but has not actually written for him or with him. Sometimes, the students would not understand because they are only shown examples of what has been written, but no examples of something being written.

Dr Wendell Johnson who proposed General Semantics reiterates that to try to learn to write by reading literature that has already been written and thoroughly jelled, instead of by observing the actual writing of literature, is much like trying to learn to bake a cake by eating one, instead of watching the baker.

More basically, you cannot write writing. If the emphasis is on 'writing', it is a wrong emphasis, rather than on 'writing about something for someone.' So unless the emphasis is placed upon writing as a form of communication and directed very definitely, therefore, to an actual, live reader, the importance of clarity, organisation and validity is not likely to become very apparent.

That is as far as teaching is concerned. When it comes to politics, effective use of language is more important than correct use of it. Correctness in grammar is not really necessary for a leader to succeed in his profession. He should be capable enough to convey the meaning that the listener or the audience wants to receive to convince them that he is right. This 'making sense' business is key to success in the field of politics.

The BJP leadership has been very coherent and intelligible in asking its leaders in these States to work with the people on issues that matter to them. It has directed them to become relevant to people and not remain on the fringes. It is ready to work with the units alongside like a good teacher with the students.

Inflation, drought, farmers' issues, urban woes, students’ issues, corruption, unkept promises ...anything could become an effective tool in the hand of a politician to outsmart the ruling party. Now-a-days land is a major issue with every government trying to acquire more and more of it by any means.

The BJP leadership has reposed confidence in its leaders in AP and TS and has given them its mandate to pick up the local issues and chalk out protests and agitations on their own. It is up to the local leadership to hone its skills in public interface.

The headquarters cannot chalk its local programmes on a day-to-day basis. If they do it, it could join them. A closer look of the ground tells us that the public interface of the BJP leaders is too insignificant in the two States. A down and out Congress is doing a better job of it in both the States despite the heavy odds.

Let us take the case of AP. The BJP always had a chance here to grow and become an alternative to the regional forces in the 1980s. It could not, and remained a failure. The region could have become a strong bastion for the party but its leadership lacked the will to emerge as a lead player. It was happy playing second fiddle somehow, and remained content with its diminished role in the local politics.

No different is the tale now. Take a look at the political scene of the present days. Along with TDP, the BJP is in power here. In fact the allies came to power because of the BJP which could rope in Pawan Kalyan's support. The Congress is in the dumps and needs arecuperating period of at least two general elections.

The YSRCP's future is linked to the fate of Y S Jaganmohan Reddy's (cases). There is enough political space for the BJP to grow, and, yet, the local leadership does not pine for power. Rural populace is seething in anger over forcible land acquisition. There is outrage over several projects to which fertile lands are being allotted. Still, the BJP prefers to toe the TDP line on everything.

Otherwise, it would have gone hammer and tongs to garner public attention highlighting its contribution to the development of the State. Instead in listing out the benefits that accrued to the State in the last two years amounting to the tune of Rs 2.25 lakh crore, itmade it all sound like a result of the TDP's efforts and not its own.

And this is the party that is seeking to strengthen its base here! Not so different is the case of Telangana. There is a chance for it to emerge as a major player. All that it needs to do is fight for the position. The fighting spirit is sadly lacking in it.

The honeymoon phase is over for the ruling parties in both AP and Telangana. It is time for public scrutiny. Yet, the State BJP leaders could not identify any cause to wage a fight that could catapult them into limelight. Just as the Congress, the BJP too suffers from an identity crisis.

It has to draw heavily from the image of Modi and cannot showcase even one struggle of its own in the public domain to emerge as an alternative. There is not a single leader whose body language is right or appropriate. Farmers are reeling under drought and agri labour is out of employment. Migration from rural areas is at an alarming high and still, the BJP cannot find an issue. Its voice against the acquisition of land for projects is feeble.

This is getting worrisome to the party headquarters which has its strategy drawn clearly for them. As far as AP is concerned, they have to go all out and own up the contribution of the Centre to the development of the State. It cannot afford to shy away from declaring its contribution to the development of the State. It is not going to go easy on AP as it is key to its calculus with 25 LS seats.

In Telangana it has not only to take on the TRS but should not allow Congress to revive itself. Hence, it has to keep away from the TRS so that minorities do not sail with the Congress. The BJP leadership has been as much. This is not possible unless the party occupies the political space of the Opposition overwhelmingly.
Both the party units seem to be content with their inaction. Their minimalistic approach towards public life is a cause for concern here.

No politician could say he could live without power or he does not need it. Or that he or she prefers to remain in the Opposition forever. Opinion makers in the party feel that this lack of ambition could prove very dear in the run-up to the general elections. They wonder whether this amounts to expecting too much from them. If the BJP leaders fail to live up to the expectations, they will have to blame themselves.

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