In every political party there are two conflicting forces that operate simultaneously – wisdom and folly, affirmative acts and negative acts, progress and stagnation, logical and illogical acts for the simple reason that they belong together. In dealing with politics we ought to remember that its institutions are not apriori, are not pre-existent though they may have existed before we were born, before we entered the fray.
As citizens we need to remind ourselves that political parties are not superior to the citizen because every political party is the creation of a person at one time; every structure and every function was a person’s idea of how to meet a particular given situation, and that as members of the party we are constantly required to upgrade or revamp the structure of the party and meet the altered circumstances, because society is fluid so are the political structures that are built around that society. This is what I have observed is the indispensable need of the Party in the six months that I have spent as a functionary of the BJP.
The political philosophy of the BJP in Meghalaya seems to begin with a preposterous fancy that foreign ideas and ideologies are preferred over local ones, because everywhere one turns there is this crude, unformed, empty and ugly sense of lack of local knowledge, and in all things there is only something foreign that has been taken into consideration, the whole set up is one big illogical system. To the discerning observer that is very evident and was clearly on display throughout the recently concluded election – how despotically is worthy of note.
It is clear that the BJP preferred foreign ways to our local ways and that immediately distanced the voters and I daresay even some of the local party members from the election effort. A party that, in place of local tribal ways and customs, prefers to concern itself with that of another community, because the latter are perhaps more connected, predominant and more conversant with the kind of politics that has come about in the country, is basically more ill advised than any party can ever be.
To consider local customs and traditions as mere trivialities and to believe that the local people will have to rediscover themselves to a new culture reveals the low physical level of political discernment of the time and the unorganised observations of an empiric approach, and that is what I think has been the problem with the party from the very beginning till the present day, fortunately the party is still hanging around even now though still in an embryonic stage.
We do not need to discover what the BJP has to offer, it is just the opposite, the party must discover what the people can offer and thereby always keep on a leash the unsubdued thirst for brainwashing the people with knowledge and slogans from elsewhere because that will only confuse them all the more and build up a sense of disgust of everything that is foreign to their way of life.
It is not as if the people here do not pursue after knowledge as much as the people elsewhere, it’s just that here there is that inherently insatiable thirst for the kind of knowledge that promotes life and not necessarily the kind that promotes a fancier style of living. This is the kind of learning that differentiates the people of these hills with their counterparts in the rest of the country. It is important to understand that the people here, being people of a distinct culture, refrained from adopting the ways of their neighbours because they had already developed their own typical knowledge so much so that the inventions and the knowledge of their neighbours could add nothing essential, nothing valuable to what they had already acquired.
The Khasi society from those olden days was integral, entire and self contained as if dictated and embedded by a necessity that existed between their way of thinking, their surroundings and their inherent character. Even the ways of the British could not dislodge them from the conventions that they had come to live by because there was no thinker among the British that could think beyond what the Khasis had already established for themselves. It is this sublime nature of the Khasis that any outsider must initially relate with which sadly our modern hardness of hearing fails to hear and understand and least of all the ears of a political party that is bent on change rather than adaptation.
After such contemplations it should be accepted if I speak unfavourably about the way that the party in Meghalaya is being dictated to from across its border because now we have magnificent characters capable of expressing themselves, capable of redeeming the party, from among the local communities. It is a real misfortune that their capability is withheld from us because instead of gaining the appreciation of the public, the public learns nothing new from the current dispensation. Personally I feel it is a malicious act that their wisdom and foresight is deemed fit to be withheld from the public and that their ingenious, which is at par with any of our earlier statesmen, is not being utilised.
It may be hard to understand this complex pessimism but as a spokesperson for the party I felt it time and time again because in going about my task, in search of the best inputs, so that I could instill the highest kind of happiness and satisfaction upon the people I was to address, it was nowhere to be found, and try as I might to get the people to understand, the results made me realise that I was wasting a lot of superfluous energy in defence of the party. This was especially the case in the Q & A sessions.
The election results expressed once and for all, in a most unequivocal manner, that the management of the party needed a complete overhaul. The BJP could only manage two seats despite it having come up with an unassailable choicest manifesto that was heads and shoulders above that of any other party, and that it used its heaviest heavy weights from across the country to weigh in the canvassing for its candidates.
The party’s poor performance had to be because of something that it could not bring its head around and that was when the party members realised that its lowered merit in the eyes of the people was because of a singular reason – its organisation, and it has had to pay dearly for having sat on its hands instead of doing something about the party reorganisation – the BJP had lost its centre of gravity in Meghalaya and had plunged into opposite valuations despite all the energy and resources that it had at its command, and sadly it is still doing nothing about it even now.
Revamping the BJP is what every member of the party in Shillong is clamouring about not because the party failed miserably at the polls as some would presume; but because common sense and a precocious outlook demand the same. There has been quite an infusion of fresh blood into the Party, in the recent months and with them the party has imported a rethinking of the strategies by inducing a more indigenous approach as compared to that foreign approach that it had all these past years, still more is required.
If there are some radical supporters of the party in the rest of the country that cannot be prevented, but it is our job to see that they do not have any influence here. Its greatest drawback in Meghalaya was that the party never had an aboriginal culture, no, the party absorbed all the cultures flourishing in other communities and there was zero input from these hills at the time of its inception. It needs local inputs, and not just pedantic inputs, but meaningful ones, the ones that could be used as a foothold from whence it could leap higher and still higher to spread its message, its policy, hence a revamp.
The word “revamp” is said so quickly, it almost seems as if it contains only one action, only one root concept, only one replacement, when the truth is that it contains much more – and in order to do that we have to identify a starting point but the party “High Command” is distracted because elections in other states have taken centre stage and so the party in Meghalaya is back to square one…in search of the starting point.
Thus “revamp” which initially meant this, became that, and then became something very composite. But since one must never give up, we continue with every possible means at our disposal to bring it about, not by pointing fingers at anyone but by keeping the issue alive like a thorn in one’s side. The powerful may not appreciate attempts to dislodge them, but when it is the State that is at stake the members must be relentless.
In truth, when one intends to revamp time is needed – and seeing that before long the party must confront itself with this most difficult exercise it is indispensable for me to say a few words here. The party is by no means a bogey or something that harps around religious morals, it is in fact the very opposite of the type that it has so far been stamped with in Meghalaya. Everyone who seeks to understand the party has come to the same conclusion and that is, that it prides itself on development and zero tolerance of corruption in public service. This is what fascinates its supporters the most and these two factors have drawn numerous disciples to its fold.
One should closely examine these statements before casting any judgement on the party. Its failure in Meghalaya is basically the fault of the incumbents manning the different posts. A revamping is a necessity inspite of its drawbacks because if the BJP is to attain anything good, since all it has attained so far is bad, it must be prepared to face a fall before it can climb again.
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