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The RSS-BJP row

RSS chief K.S. Sudarshan's outburst that Atal Bihari Vajpayee did not do a good job as Prime Minister and its endorsement by the VHP show the BJP in a very poor light. The impression that the BJP's ideology has always been dictated by the sangh parivar has now gained credibility. But the party should not despair and must take comfort from the fact that it has something to call its own — the six years it was in power. It should dissociate itself from the parivar and make an earnest effort to build itself into a viable national alternative.

Jayasree Saranathan,
Mysore

The fissures in the sangh parivar are now in the open. This is the moment of reckoning for the BJP. It should stand up to the RSS leaders and tell them that their vision of a Hindu rashtra is both narrow and impossible to achieve. It should impress upon its masters in the sangh parivar that there are no takers for a hardline ideology. India cannot compromise on secularism, moderation and tolerance. Now is the time for the BJP to turn its back once and for all on the RSS. It should go a step further to establish its credibility as a national party and apologise to the nation for Gujarat.

Pranav Sachdeva,
New Delhi

If the BJP wants to remain in electoral politics, it should reinvent itself. The fact is there is no common Hindutva identity just as there is no Hindu political space that can be occupied by a single party. By making coalition adjustments, the BJP may come to power again. But it will mean compromising on its core ideology and inviting more scowls from its godfathers in the sangh parivar. Mr. Sudarshan's latest reprimand was not the first of its kind, nor will it be the last.

P.P. Sudhakaran,
Bangalore

Though Mr. Sudarshan has a point in demanding a change in the BJP leadership, his utterances on Mr. Vajpayee are unfair and uncalled for. Mr. Vajpayee was a charismatic leader. In spite of old age and failing health, he worked hard and put his talent and experience at the service of the country. Any attempt to write him off just because he is in the evening of his political life is not in good taste.

M. Somasekhar Prasad,
Badvel, A.P.

It was Mr. Vajpayee's leadership that brought the BJP to power at the Centre. Mr. Sudarshan should also realise that several young BJP leaders took the lead in campaigning for elections 2004 but failed to return the party to power.

R. Akhil Ratheesh,
Thiruvananthapuram

Mr. Sudarshan might have meant well in urging that a new generation needs to be groomed to take over the BJP mantle. But by saying so publicly he has opened the floodgates of glee among the secular brigade. Besides, it is unfair to suggest that Mr. Vajpayee and L.K. Advani have been clinging to their positions.

Asha Krishnamurthy,
Bhadravathi, Karnataka

Mr. Sudarshan's tirade is uncalled for. The former Prime Minister has already withdrawn from routine party affairs. Mr. Advani was persuaded by younger leaders to assume the BJP's reins in the wake of its shocking defeat in 2004. However, Mr. Sudarshan's call for younger leadership is a suggestion that the BJP and the RSS itself should act upon.

Hema Satyakal,
Hyderabad

It was Mr. Sudarshan who suggested that the old guard in the BJP give way to the younger generation. But it seems the CPI (M) has taken a cue from his suggestion and elected Prakash Karat as its general secretary.

R. Ramarathinam,
Pondicherry

Related Stories:
Vajpayee did not do a good job: Sudarshan
RSS BOMBSHELL

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