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Advani’s Sanyas Yatra

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India Today reports an aging politician’s latest antics:

L. K. Advani fuelled his ambition for the country’s top job by announcing on Friday yet another yatra promising “good governance and clean politics”.

The announcement took most in the BJP off guard and crushed the hopes of the party’s GenNext. It was perceived as the 83-year-old patriarch throwing in his hat at a time when the leadership question is still wide open in the saffron quarters.

“I will undertake a yatra against corruption. This journey is to make a promise of good governance and clean politics. It will encompass issues such as corruption, black money and all other misdeeds of this government,” Advani said.

Party president Nitin Gadkari has emphasised on collective leadership, saying there will be “no one PM candidate”. There was also an assumption that the RSS had convinced Advani to let his ambitions rest. But the man who brought the BJP from fringes to the mainstream of Indian politics through his Ram rath yatra clearly has different plans.

To a question on whether such an ambitious plan should be seen as him projecting himself as the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate one more time, Advani posed a counter question, not quite refuting the suggestion: “Why are you repeating the same old things?” Asked if this venture will be similar to his previous rath yatras, Advani said: “It will be similar to the other rath yatras.”

Advani has carried out a number of such yatras that were aimed, at various points, to consolidate the Ram Janmabhoomi movement in the form of Ram rath yatra, the swarna jayanti rath yatra to celebrate the golden jubilee of India’s independence, the Bharat uday yatra in 2004 to campaign for the BJP in the general elections, etc.

However, his recent attempts at conducting yatras have not been as successful, particularly when he insisted on carrying out the Bharat Suraksha Yatra in 2006 with the then BJP president Rajnath Singh. The RSS, which by then had pushed him out of the BJP president’s chair following his spiel on th secularism of Mohammed Ali Jinnah, did not give the adequate support to the yatra. It was finally cancelled when Pramod Mahajan was killed.

Even in 2009, when he decided to carry out another such venture, the RSS did not give its consent. Advani was, therefore, careful about stressing that his decision had the support of the party president.

Advani was 81 years old in 2009 according to his own website. He will be over 85 when the next election rolls around. If he were to become the prime minister then, he would be India’s leader till the sprightly age of 90!


Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

September 9, 2011 at 4:09 am

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