Text of Rajnath Singh’s speech at BJP National Executive Council meet

published on June 21, 2009

Dear Friends,


A warm welcome to everyone in this meeting of the National Executive in Delhi today. We had met in Nagpur. We fought the 15th Lok Sabha elections with our full political strength. I would like to personally thank each and every one of the millions of supporters and voters as well as our Karyakartas who supported us in the recent Lok Sabha elections. The results were not upto our expectations. The people have once again given us the mandate to sit in opposition. We accept the verdict with humility and will once more resume our work. While we may be surprised by the results, we are certainly not demoralized by them. Why have such results come? This is definitely a subject of serious introspection and analysis for us. At every step we will undertake introspection and analysis. The conclusions that emerge from this process of churning of ideas will become our guiding light, and keeping that in mind, we will untiringly proceed further on our path by taking everyone along. We will neither stop nor get tired. I am fully confident that in the end, we will be victorious. But in order to realize this dream of victory in the true sense, it is incumbent on our part that we should have a feeling of Nishkaam Karma and dedication. In my opinion, there might have been some shortcomings in our dedication and action. With time we need to do away with these shortcomings.


The Results of the Lok Sabha Elections


Friends, the results of the Lok Sabha Elections have not been upto our expectations. We accept these results. However, there is a widespread propaganda that the BJP has got defeated nationwide. I do not accept this, because if we analyze the results regionally, then the results are varied and not uniform from state to state. At some places our performance has been spectacular, in some places we have substantially improved as compared to earlier, in some places it has been as it is and in some states our performance has been disappointing.


Yet the reality is that in totality we have lost 22 seats from what it was in the previous Lok Sabha.

We all are aware that over the last five years we emerged victorious in the maximum number of states that went to the polls across the nation. We defeated the Congress in Jharkhand, Bihar, Punjab, Himachal and Uttarakhand. In Gujarat we got elected once again. Not only this, by forming the government in Karnataka, we hoisted our flag in the south. This was a historic day in the political journey of the country.


No doubt we were unsuccessful in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi. But we once again formed our governments in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. On account of the BJP’s increasing strength and the UPA’s unpopularity, the atmosphere appeared becoming favorable for us. No one can deny this that even one day prior to the election results, the Congress leadership was in search of support from allies. Even the leaders of the Congress were not expecting so many seats. In any case, the political situation favored them and the Congress was successful in getting over two hundred seats.


The Meaning Behind the Results


If we analyze the results of the Lok Sabha results not from the point of victory and defeat, then one can find some intrinsic positive indications in them. The results have given a big jolt to those parties that used the politics of pure opportunism and had made it a fashion to unnecessarily pressurize the government to display their strength. All such parties who followed this type of unprincipled politics that had emerged over the last 15-20 years, suffered heavily in these elections.


On the one hand, the dreams of those parties who pursued caste based politics got shattered, and on the other hand, several candidates having the image of musclemen were also badly defeated. So at least on this account, the results of the 15th Lok Sabha have given an indication that our democracy is becoming more mature.


This election has virtually demolished the politics of despotism and absolute opportunism. In West Bengal and Kerala the people have not only taught a lesson to the communists by defeating them, but have also put a stop to their political blackmailing.


In this Lok Sabha, not only has the Congress emerged as the largest party and the BJP has the second largest party, but the parties which are at the third position like the Communists, SP, BSP and DMK, their strength is about 1/5th (around 20 seats) of ours. The big difference between the second largest and third largest parties clearly indicates that the people’s confidence in the country is increasing towards bi-polar politics. That is why we can claim that if in the forthcoming years we properly expand our organization and take effective steps to get the people’s mandate, then tomorrow will definitely be ours.


In contrast to many political parties who never hesitated in taking the help of caste, creed and religion for the sake of votes, there we placed greater emphasis on the nation over votes. Not only me but all of you believe that for us the nation is bigger than votes and we can draw satisfaction from the fact that the issues that we have raised was our national duty. We are not burdened by guilt. How can any nationalist support reservation on religious lines? How can one justify the allocation of budgetary support on religious lines? Politics and backwardness should not be viewed on communal angles, rather it should be viewed from a humanitarian angle. Be it the Sacchar Committee recommendations or the headcount of muslims in the armed forces, all these are a blow on the secular fabric of the nation. Even today I believe that constitutionally and morally, we are on the correct side. Eventually, even the country will accept that like social justice, National Justice is a concept and politics cannot be above the national interest. In my opinion, the BJP stands for national justice, and in the future we will present this aspect in a more effective way before the people and get their support.


Emphasis on Nationalist Policies
This time in our election manifesto we reiterated, our commitment for building a grand temple on the Shri Ram Jananbhoomi, our clear views for abrogating Article 370 and our appeal for implementing the Uniform Civil Code. Even today we are firm on these issues because we believe that they are the core issues of the unity and integrity of the country.


All these issues are in national interest. In the coming years we need to more effectively convince the people about these issues.


Our Role as an Effective Opposition

The responsibility entrusted upon us by the people is not ordinary. I would like to make it clear that the Congress now cannot shirk from its responsibilities. It can no longer take the alibi of its allies. We will continue our fight for the cause of India’s poor, farmers, labourers and the common man.


Here I would also like to make it clear that on all issues of national interest and those connected with the welfare of the average citizen, we will fully support the government. However, for this the government will also have to step forward. As is expected in a democracy, it will be the responsibility of the government to show that it is continuing with the tradition of building consensus on all important issues.


Hindutva / Bharatiyata / Cultural Nationalism




after the results of this Lok Sabha election, some people have started to give us this advice and in many newspapers it is being propagated that the BJP should now leave the issue of Hindutva, because the BJP has for the second time not won the election.


Firstly, Hindutva has never been a political issue and the BJP has never made it an issue that now it should discard Hindutva. A propaganda is being made that the defeat of the BJP symbolizes the rejection of the ideology of Hindutva by the people of India. I would like to ask whether this election was a referendum on Hindutva? If not, then how can the adverse results symbolize the rejection of our ideology? Since we have emerged as the main opposition party, how can it be said that we or our ideology has been totally rejected by the people?


Whenever anyone questions the BJP as to what we have to say about Hindutva, in this context I would like to state that Hindutva is not only ours but is an eternal way of life. In its famous judgement of 1995, the Hon’ble Supreme Court had ruled that Hindutva is not a religion but it is a way of life.


Friends, Hindutva is such a geo-cultural concept which has a sense of respect and a place for everyone and it is a concept of co-existence. It is this cultural consciousness imbibed with the concept of co-existence which has made Hindutva so benevolent and flexible. That is why Hindutva is eternal. Hindutva is the national essence of India. It is the natural flow of India’s national consciousness. Hindutva has not emerged out of a political resolution from the parliamentary board or executive of a party or organization; it is the national identity of India. On account of this very identity, the political nature of India is inherently democratic.


When we won, then also these people had propagated that Hindutva is behind the BJP’s progress and expansion. To associate a vast concept such as Hindutva with the politics of power, is nothing but one’s own lack of understanding. That is why we should not be confused by any such talk. Ideology is a perpetual flow. This flow can reduce or increase but it can never stop. Therefore, only those who are confused should think about this, we need not ever be confused about Hindutva.


Many reasons behind the defeat in the elections are being identified.  We are analyzing them. We are not conservative in a negative sense. We welcome advice from society as “Amrit Prasad”. However, if someone advices us to sever ourselves from our very roots and remain attached only to the stem, in my opinion they are themselves confused and have not been able to understand the basic core of the BJP.


Any political party has four dimensions – ideology, organization, leadership and strategy. In my opinion, organization, leadership and strategy play a more significant and immediate role in determining victory or defeat in elections. Ideology is a constant which is a perpetual guiding force for a party over and above victory or defeat in elections.


Hindutva / Bharatiyata / Cultural Nationalism occupies the same esteemed space in the politics of the BJP as the Constitution of India occupies in the politics of the country.


Our political power emerges out of both, the policies and programmes of the party. Though we may not have got the expected success in the elections, but even today I am not willing to accept that our policies based on the feeling of stanch nationalism are faulty. Even today we are firm on all the issues raised by us, be it related to external and internal security of the country, foreign policy, terrorism, appeasement or disrespect to the cultural symbols or those related to the plight of the common man or farmers, as these issues are relevant for the country.


Yes I accept that we may not have been able to disseminate our position on these issues among the people as effectively as it was required in the present context. Perhaps we need to present our views in a better and more contemporary context.


For this, it is necessary that we evaluate our organizational structure, campaign and strategy.


As the President of the party I would like to make it clear that as per the BJP’s tradition and ideology, success is a collective credit and failure is a collective responsibility. Therefore, we must collectively find out the solution. Yes, if anyone feels that any person should take the responsibility, then as the President of the party, I am willing to take this responsibility.


Today, the manner in which the comments and propaganda is being made about the defeat of the BJP, it can create confusion in the minds of our workers and supporters as to what were the reasons that we were unable to get the requisite support. According to one theory, we were unable to get the requisite support because we were unable to maintain our character. According to another theory, we were unable to get the requisite support because as per the political terminology in fashion, we remained right wing and could not emerge as moderate as was required today.


Even though many learned persons have commentated on this, nevertheless a clarification on this subject is required to create clarity in the minds of our workers, voters and supporters.


The Direct and Indirect Effect of Hindutva on the Politics of India


The ideology of staunch nationalism, which is also termed as the ideology of Hindutva, has always played a decisive role in the politics of independent India. The rise of the BJP in the decade of the 1990s  was not only due to this but if we analyze it then the great popularity of Indira Gandhi after the 1971 Bangladesh victory was also a subtle expression of this staunch nationalistic ideology.  At that time the people of India attached this ideology with Indira Gandhi. If we analyze carefully, the uninterrupted support which the Congress enjoyed for about one full generation after 1947, basically originated from a reaction in the sub conscious psychology of the common man due to partition in which the Congress emerged as a symbol nationalism in contrast to the Muslim League.


If we delve into the history of the country, the politics of the so called right wing as described by today’s political analysts always had a definitive space not only in the politics but also history of India. This space never got vacant though it’s context kept on changing.


At the time of the freedom movement, in the eyes of the British rulers, the Congress was a right wing party.  After independence, the Congress become more centrist and the Bharatiya Jan Sangh and today’s BJP subsequently occupied this space in Indian politics and ultimately changed the political configuration of the polity in independent India by making it bi-polar.


When we study the pre-independence Congress, then the division of the Congress in 1907 into “Naram Dal” and “Garam Dal” actually germinated the seeds of a full fledged freedom movement. In 1905 when Tilak demanded total freedom, then he was termed as a right wing leader and the Britishers considered him as the cause behind the discontent in India. But from here itself the seeds of the freedom movement were sown which ultimately led to our independence.


Even when we read the views of the Viceroy of India Lord Dufferin at the time of the establishment of the Congress in 1885, it reflects that the formation of the Congress at that time was a right wing thought. The moderate thought at that time was to see more rights and concessions from the Viceroy and not the formation of a separate party.


Prior to this, in the first war of independence in 1857, which actually laid down the foundation of our struggle for freedom, its architects Nana Saheb Peswa, Rani Laxmi Bai and Mangal Pandey who are considered hero’s by the nation today, at that time symbolized the right wing staunch nationalist thought in the politics of the kings and princes of that period.


Even before this, the rise of Guru Govind Singh in the north and Chhatrapati Shivaji in the south of the Vindhyas against the despotic rule of Aurangzeb who at that time had the most powerful army in the world, also symbolized that staunch nationalism could never be suppressed by might.


Prior to this, the diplomatic politics of Akbar under the influence of which most of the Rajput kings at that time opted for a moderate path, then Maharana Pratap raised the flag of nationalism. By doing so, he became immortal in the history of India. If one views him through the eyes of modern analysts, the politics of Maharana Pratap would be today’s so called right wing nationalist or Hindutva politics.


What I am trying to say is that what is called right wing today, its context has kept on changing not only over the last 40-50 years but actually over the last four or five centuries, and the historical changes were brought about by this. From Maharana Pratap to Shivaji, Guru Govind Singh, Nana Saheb Peswa, Tilak and India’s independence emerging out of their efforts, the entire history is a proof of this. I am giving you these examples of history because without understanding the politics of the past, the foundation of future politics cannot be laid down. The past indicates that this so called right wing positions in Indian polity never left vacant. We are the natural flag bearers of this legacy. In this is imbibed our pride of past, the strategy of the present and achievement in the future.


Political Reality of Today


Leaving aside the historical facts, if we look at the hard political reality of today then in the states where we are a political power, where we are in government on our own, where the chief minister belongs to BJP or where we have had a BJP chief minister earlier, in all such states like Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Himachal, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Jharkhand and Karnataka, if we are in a direct fight with any single party then it is the Congress. In Uttar Pradesh also we had our government earlier and in these elections if any party which has registered the maximum success then it is Congress. It means that our political power would be assessed in standing on the pole opposite to Congress. Therefore, the political reality of today indicates that we should be seen clearly on the pole opposite and different to the Congress. Otherwise any kind of confusion not only in principle but also in political terms would be detrimental to us.


If we look at the results of this election for instance, then indications are that the political parties relinquishing their basic character in Indian politics had to bear losses.


In Indian politics there are mainly two political parties with respect to ideology, first the Bharatiya Jansangh / BJP considered torepresent right wing ideology and second the Communist parties considered to be representing left wing ideology. In addition, the Congress as a third stream is considered to be representing a centrist ideology. To a certain extent socialists represented socialist ideology and BSP the dalit.


In this election the leftists had to bear the maximum damage. The left front government was seen acting contrary to their basic character on issues related to Singur and Nandigram. Not only they compromised for power but also gave an impression of enjoying the power by practicing the politics of convenience which is in complete contravention to leftist ideology.


The result of the BSP trying to change its character by posing to be harbinger of social harmony through the slogan of sarvasamaj in the form of the so called Dalit-Brahman alliance is very much evident. Its dream of taking a big leap forward stands shattered.


Therefore, whether it is the past or present, political or ideological, in every aspect the conclusion is that changing the basic character or ideology proves to be fatal for any party. Therefore any such idea would be fatal for us in future. We should free ourselves from any such illusion.


Former US President Ronald Reagan had once said that – If you have to choose between character and strategy in politics, then, leave the strategy but be with the character – because you can survive without strategy but cannot survive without character.


Therefore we should keep in mind the eternal words, “swadharme nidhnam shreyoh, pardharmo bhayavaha”, said in Bhagwad Gita by Bhagwan Krishna.


When we talk about the basic character of the party we should keep in mind that we are not an ordinary political party which has the sole aim of forming the government. But we are a representative party of such an ideology the goal of which is to establish a new era and civilization. Our thinking has a civilizational parameter. Therefore, defeat in one or two elections cannot deviate us. Senior leaders like respected Atal ji and Advani ji are symbols of this before us. Through a major part of their political life while working for the party with dedication, they might have never thought about coming to the power within their lifetime.


Most of us have ourselves seen Atal ji, Advani ji and before them Deendayal ji and Dr. Shyama Prasad Mookerjee and numerous symbols of the great tradition of dedicated activists like the late Sunder Singh Bhandariji and late Kushabhau Thakreji. All of them used to work with the clarity that they will never come in power in their life. When we did not deviate at that time then can defeat in one or two elections deviate us? If we want to change history then we will have to possess an extremely strong will to stand against the tide of time.


Foreign Policy


In the present time, many important changes are taking place in the neighbouring countries of India.   A few months ago, in Nepal the Maoist government has fallen and a new government under the leadership of Shri Madhav Nepal has been formed. On behalf of the Bharatiya Janata Party, I congratulate Shri Madhav Nepal and his new government and hope that in coming days the Indo –Nepal relations will become normal and close as per the century old traditions.


Even now in Nepal attempts are being made to use violence and force in the political system. BJP believes that the change of system in Nepal should take place in a democratic manner and not through use of force. Even now the Maoists do not appear to be ready to leave the policy of using force. In Nepal the constituent assembly ably enforcing the new constitution through democratic means and strengthening the roots of democracy are not only in the interest of Nepal but also of India.  


With the fall of LTTE in Sri Lanka, the politics based on violence has in a way come to an end and along with this a responsibility of presenting a stable political solution to the problems of Tamils by taking the advantage of a violence free atmosphere has come on Sri Lanka. We completely respect the sovereignty of Sri Lanka but it is necessary that proper representation of Tamil sentiments are given in a united Sri Lanka.  I believe that long term solution of this problem may be reached only by giving proper representation to the Tamils in the political system of Sri Lanka.


But, the kind of violence used in the course of operations against LTTE and the kind of news that have been received, it appears that common Tamil citizens had to face heavy violence. Thousands of deaths have taken place and Tamils have to live in an atmosphere of pain and fear. The Indian government has not taken any effective measure for its resolution. We believe that the government of Sri Lanka should initiate such measures to see that Tamil people are free from fear and an atmosphere of confidence is built, so that mutual confidence is established between the Tamil and Sinhalese people. Government of India should take initiative in this direction.


Whatever is taking place in Pakistan today has at least shattered the myth created by certain intellectuals in India and the international community who used to cite Jammu & Kashmir as the main reason behind worsening relations between India and Pakistan. The kind of internal situation that exists in Pakistan shows that the basis of poor relation with India is inherent in the ongoing internal radical politics of Pakistan. All those countries who want to help Pakistan should understand that it is not prudent to do so without changing the basic system of Pakistan. As long as the army in Pakistan doesn’t accept the system of working under the democratic government, the resolution of the internal problem of Pakistan is not possible.


The situation in Pakistan is deteriorating continuously. I have been saying it for the last two years that the central government should keep a watchful eye on the condition in Pakistan as Pakistan is seen as moving towards disintegration. The extent to which the influence of Taliban has reached, it may definitely have an impact on our internal security. The kind of slackness which the UPA showed in its last tenure on the internal security front, if it keeps moving in the same direction the future may be grim.


The Government of India should make it clear that no formal dialogue with Pakistan is possible until Pakistan reiterates its commitment to its promise made to the Vajpayee government on January 6th  2004 that it will not allow its soil to be used for anti-India activities.  The Atalji led NDA government had extracted this promise from Pakistan but the UPA has failed to get it implemented. Now terror attacks like 26/11 in Mumbai and the peace process cannot go on simultaneously. I would also like to tell the international community that whatever is taking place on the western borders of Paksitan, nothing less is happening on its eastern borders. If the Pak activities on the Afghanistan border are grave then India can also now not remain a mute spectator to the activities on its borders. The Indian government should take effective diplomatic steps in this direction.


The incidents of racial violence against Indian students in Australia have risen over the last few days. The BJP expresses concern over this. Even before this, in Malaysia, the manner in which oppressions against people of India origin were carried out, the central government failed to respond suitably. Today violence is taking place against Indian students in Australia. As long as the central government does not make a clear and strong policy vis-à-vis Non Resident Indians (NRIs) and People of India Origin (PIO), such kind of problems will keep cropping up. We expect the central government to make a strong policy in this regard so that not only in Australia but in the coming time NRIs and PIO are not harassed in any other country.


Our Working Method – All Embracing Principle of Coordination and Progress


We are passing through a difficult phase.  We have all the possibilities. People are also not denying the possibilities present in us. But we will have to kindle trust in their minds. Only those who have the capability to sacrifice themselves can kindle trust in society. The basis of our working method is trust and coordination. These are not two words but represent the basic spirit. The work of the organization cannot progress without them.


We will have to expand ourselves organizationally, ideologically, socially and on the political plane. Somewhere limits of our expansion have stunted or we have not reached upto it. We will have to gear up for entering into a new horizon of expansion and progress. We will have to start making efforts collectively. In fact coordination is the all embracing philosophical perspective which would help us in finding answers to our all questions related to life and politics. We will have to keep chanting the basic mantra of BJP ideology to meet the challenges facing the country and the organization. While treading on this path we should be free from all doubts in our mind that coordination is a formula of compromise and therefore a path meant for weak people. No, it is a path of the strong. In fact it is an important component of the leadership and we will have to move ahead in this direction. The tradition of “Not me, but you” will have to be revived.


Developing Youth Leadership


I have no doubt in saying that the Bharatiya Janata Party gives maximum importance to youth in the state and national level politics. We have many young MPs, MLAs and Chief Ministers. Even then we should definitely develop youth leadership at the district, state and national levels. We believe that the work of identifying and grooming youth leadership should be done speedily.


On the national and state levels, such public programmes should be organized which attract the youth and the Morcha should link them to the ideology. The youth have the power to change – there is no doubt about it.


Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes


Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes have been associated with the BJP for years in comparison to other parties. We always say with pride that the BJP has the largest number of SC / ST MPs. But this time the situation is not as per our expectations.


We all know that in our organization, both SC and ST Morchas have been active. We will have to undertake an intense and well thought plan of expansion in this direction. Along with this we will have to carry social campaigns through these Morchas. In the states where we are in government and wherever we are in opposition we will have to take effective measures among these sections and we will have to expand our efforts in the seats we have lost and also by identifying the other seats as well.


Activate the Ground Level Units of the Party at all Levels


Even after constituting the organization upto the booth level, we will have to make plans and organize programmes to keep them always active. We also feel the need to monitor and take care of the efforts of these units at our levels. We will have to keep in mind that only our activists at the ground level units move among the people in villages and towns. The strength of our organization increases by his ideological commitment, activism and his personal contacts.


I feel that in every state, district Presidents and Mandal Presidents should compulsorily tour upto ground level units. Not only for election results, but for organizational expansion and activism of the ground level units it becomes necessary to establish continuous links with them. They should also be linked with social and other constructive works along with party works. If we succeed in doing so then I feel that in coming five years the strength and hold of our organization will increase.


People’s Representatives


I have been informed that out of all the MPs that we had in the 14th Lok Sabha only 37-38 have been re-elected. This is a matter of concern for us. I also remember that in the 14th Lok Sabha too the number of MPs getting re-elected from 13th Lok Sabha were less.


In the first National Executive Meeting after the election of 2004 Lok Sabha, respected Advani ji had expressed his concern about our MPs and MLAs not caring properly for their parliamentary and assembly constituencies. He had expressed grave concern over whether the ideologically motivated voters who form our constituencies were getting reduced. I feel that elected representatives should take care of his constituency at all levels. Along with this there should be close relation between the elected representative, organization and the core activists. After being elected, the representatives mostly get engaged in various other works leaving their constituency. I believe that the image of the part

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