BJP spits fire on scribe
New Delhi, September 12
In the latest issue of BJP party organ Kamal Sandesh its editor and BJP national secretary Prabhat Jha has directed all his ire at “journalist friends.”
The edit mentions no names. But there is a clear hint that it is directed at journalists like Arun Shourie, Swapan Dasgupta and Chandan Mitra who have been identified with the BJP even before it assumed power in 1998 but now tend to distance themselves.
The timing is significant for it must have gone to print precisely when the RSS was holding its introspection session in Mumbai where it kept out many important BJP leaders like L.K. Advani, Arun Jaitley, M Venkaiah Naidu and Ananth Kumar. But it chose to invite Swapan Dasgupta, Chandan Mitra and Balbir Punj, still considered Advani’s think tank. The invitation was also extended to former Union minister in the NDA government Arun Shourie, the former editor of Indian Express, but for some reason he did not go.
During the session BJP feigned ignorance, but the tone and tenor of the edit shows the BJP’s hurt over journalists given precedence over party workers and leaders. It is even more galling for the BJP because reports emanating from Mumbai indicated that the deliberations included the choice of the next party president and the name of former Goa chief minister Manohar Parikar was finalised there.
Jha wrote in Kamal Sandesh, “There is no threat to the BJP or the nationalist ideology from those who have consistently opposed us and our ideology. Those who spewed fire for our ideology once but have now started using their pen for different purposes, are the real danger to us.”
The editor seems to have in mind the recent write-ups of Shourie and Swapan. While one had called upon the RSS to take over the BJP, the other has been urging the BJP to throw away its Hindutva coat and adorn a more normal, informal and liberal apparel.
He writes, “Situation worsens when the wielder of pen lending his words to the ideology use the same pen as a stick to beat the BJP with for not sticking to the narrow track prescribed by such writers.”
He also chides the community of BJP sympathetic journalists for leaking out and publicising information given to them in confidence. He says, “The veil of privacy in a private and personal discussion mortified by mutual confidence should not be so shamelessly exposed bare in public that both the parties should hang their heads in ignominy.”
The edit regrets as to how through proximity to political leaders journalists get priority over ordinary workers and in due course become bigger than dedicated party workers.