Thursday, November 19, 2009


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      • If the BJP wants to emerge successfully from the intense, painful but inescapable churning that is now beginning to gather speed, it will need to do much more than appoint a new party president. There are many issues that it will have to fully address well before the next general elections in 2014. Some of these, in my view, are:
        • The RSS must limit its intervention to life-saving surgery and amputation only. It should not thereafter succumb to the temptation of running the party full-time.
        • Leaders of proven integrity alone should form, to begin with, at least the core of the party's leadership.
        • Lumpen elements of the Sangh Parivar must not, under any circumstance, be patronised or encouraged in any manner.
        • Criminals must not be given party tickets, no matter what the immediate cost. Definition of 'criminal' must not be dishonestly legalistic; it must be based on the perception of voters - it is their trust that needs to be won, not just in one constituency but across the country.
        • Dynastic practices should be firmly banished. Not more than one member of a family should be allowed to contest elections at any level.
        • The party must find, as Sagarika Ghose puts it pithily, "a modern leader rooted in the traditional idiom".