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On a day his pre-eminence in the BJP took a decisive blow, an "unwell" L K Advani penned a blog entry which had references to a wounded Bhishma Pitamaha and warrior Arjuna from the Mahabharata, as well as to historical figures such as Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini.
Isolated within his party, Advani spent the day of Narendra Modi's anointment confined to his 30, Prithviraj Road, residence in Delhi. However, having made his reservations apparent, Advani appeared to be letting his allegories and metaphors speak for themselves.
Advani and Modi though did have a brief conversation after the latter was made chairman of the BJP election campaign panel for the 2014 polls. According to the Gujarat Chief Minister, Advani gave him his blessings. In the evening, the BJP veteran addressed an event in Jaipur organised by the Pandit Sriram Dave Smriti through video-conference.
In his blog, Advani talked about Kamal Haasan's movie Vishwaroopam and a meeting with the actor at his residence last week. As a preface, he talked about a sandalwood carving of Lord Krishna's Vishwaroop avatar at his house, which has scenes from the Mahabharata like Draupadi's "cheerharan (disrobing)" and that of Bhishma Pitamah on his bed of arrows.
Having taken on a partriarchal role within the BJP, Advani could be forgiven for fancying himself in the same role as Bhishma, and finding himself sidelined.
In the blog, Advani went on to recount an anecdote about Hitler and Mussolini — the former dictators of Germany and Italy — which he told Kamal Haasan when they met.
"The story is about a meeting Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini had during the Second World War, in which Hitler tells the Italian supremo that the sins committed by the two of them would prove very costly for them after death. When Mussolini said to his friend that so far as he was concerned, when his own end came, he would go to the Vatican and seek help from the Pope who was believed to have a pass for Heaven, Hitler asked him to recommend to the Pope his name also," Advani wrote, adding that "the story ends up with both the Fascist leaders landing in Hell, and only the Pope reaching Heaven."