Atal Behari Vajpayee was a gentle giant, Narendra Modi is self created portrait of muscular machismo trying to wake up his effete Hindu countrymen perpetually railing against the humiliations real and imaginary imposed by the other.
Caught in the middle is the BJP desperately trying to be a political party in danger of fast being reduced to a one man cult. And, ten years after the Gujarat riots with no one of any standing held to account the BJP also has to deal with this festering sore which comes back to haunt it as Modi is repeatedly treated as radioactive by the NDA while being one of the few leaders who still activates the anemic faithful.
Modi's megalomania where he has decided that he is a colossus while the rest of the BJP leadership should be grateful for his mere presence has also not gone down well for a party that used to pride itself on accountability and discipline.
As a hapless Nitin Gadkari drawing his authority from the RSS no less watches in horror as
Modi treats him and his dictates with utter contempt similar to what he reserved for best frenenmy Pravin Togadia.
While, the Modi brand of machismo which equated the size of his chest to the pride of Gujarat may work in the state elections to be held there later it does confront the BJP with a Modi sized problem.
What are they to do with him? Hs is anathema to the allies, can't get along with the other leaders whose egos match his even when they do not have his popular draw and will ensure that Nitin Gadkari currently lobbying hard for a second term as president with the RSS insisting that the BJP change its constitution to accommodate him gets torpedoed.
And what of Advani the perpetual bridesmaid never the bride under whose leadership the BJP lost two general elections? Will he finally make way for Modi?
Plan B of the BJP was always to replace the moderate Atalji with him pan Indian acceptance and charisma with Advani who is conspicuous by his lack of those qualities.
That was not to be. But pity, sensible leaders like Arun Jaitly, first having to defend the indefensible and then to pander to it.
If the BJP is to regain its space as a sensible party of the right it must make its moral accounting right. <i>Rajdharm</i> as Atalji gently reminded Modi has to take precedence over Newton and Modi's theories of equal and opposite reactions.
Otherwise the reality is that the BJP will never form the government again as a Modi led BJP will be an untouchable for all including Nitish Kumar and Mamata. Sure he might be friends with Jayalalitha but, he should learn the cautionary tale of the UPA government and its ATM ministries. She will not demand a pound of flesh but, a giant gouge will the BJP play along?
It's been ten years since Godhra. India needs a decent Opposition and closure. That will happen with genuine justice and an apology since the first and fundamental right of citizen is a right to life and no growth rate can be used as justification for not providing it.
The BJP needs to get in touch with its soul and look for the Atalji touch again.