Spectre mongering

In case BJP President Rajnath Singh harboured any hopes that he could get away with a half-hearted clarification about his lament on the destructive effect to Indian culture by the English language, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat put a firm lid on that. In articulating anxieties about diverse, foreign, hybrid influences in India, the men in Nagpur remain undeterred by the electoral rebuff that has met earlier anti-English rhetoric. Most recently, the Samajwadi Party had to quickly abandon the anti-English plank in its election manifesto. But where will this leave the BJP?

Word is about that the BJP is likely to allow the passage of the insurance and pension bills. It is believed to be a long-overdue realisation in the party that its reflex position of rebuffing every legislation or business put forth by the ruling UPA is taking a toll on its reputation as a party of governance in waiting. A section of the party, whose capacity to pull its weight will only be clear after the fact, feels that an image makeover is important. To signal the change, they say that the party should shift from obstructionism to constructive opposition, by voicing its reservations on the legislative agenda inside Parliament. It speaks of the muddle-headedness that has been driving the largest opposition party that such a commonsensical idea would amount to a tactical shift. However, for the party to invite confidence, it will take more than changes in strategy in such homeopathic doses. For an opposition party that pillories the Congress-led UPA government for economic mismanagement and scams, the BJP is not very forthcoming on its own economic vision. Offering the sum total of its state-level experiences as its promise at the national level will not be enough for a party of responsible opposition, let alone one that offers itself as a presumptive successor to the ruling party.

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