Sunday, February 28, 2016

When Jaggi was mistaken

Swarajya consulting editor R Jagannathan, popularly called Jaggi, has made an excellent transition from Firstpost to the new home of the Indian right. In a short span of time, he has written excellent articles, from questioning judicial overreach to articulating his thoughts on Arun Jaitley and even the Gandhi dynasty, his works have been a pleasure to read and have largely been spot on. Except this time. On the issue of JNU, he has made a great mistake however, a mistake that Vajpayee and Advani had made and paid dearly for. The belief that the Left should be left untouched, that they are more trouble than they are worth, or that they can be won over by acting like them, is false. The Left is committed to its ideology, pampered and shielded by the Deep Congress, and will never go down without a great fight.

Therefore, a fight is what must come to them, for go down they must! The JNU incident was a godsend for the BJP, not a crushing defeat as Jaggi had opined. In one fell swoop, the BJP energized its base, put the Opposition on the defensive, exposed an extremely compromised media, and stared down the ideological bastion of the radical Left. Indeed, if handled correctly, this incident could change the axis of India politics from a secular-communal narrative to a national-anti-national one, a narrative that will ensure future electoral victories for the party. This may be described as Modi's potential Reagan moment, provided he is willing to fight for it, when the BJP's ideology could finally come out of the shadows without any fear - nation first, then the party, and individual last.

Jaggi is wrong when he says that nationalism is a dead horse to beat. It is a very potent and emotive tool. It is wrong to believe that the poor don't care about nationalism - most soldiers come from poor families, and they do care. It does matter. By siding with the JNU 'students', Rahul Gandhi has made his priorities clear - he is willing to partition India again for the sake of ruling whatever is left of it. If the BJP can play its cards right, JNU might prove to be his Waterloo. 

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