A decision that was never in favour of India and left India underachieved – Freedom!
Today’s post will be mostly concentrating on how BJP was born after the merger between Jan Sangh and Janata Party. As we have seen in the last post, the ultimate idea for the merger between dissimilar ideologies from right-wing to left-wing was only to bring down the power of Indira Gandhi’s Congress party.
Not just Indira Gandhi, it was always the same with Jawaharlal Nehru as well. The first Prime Minister of India had no opponents. The seed for the crisis was already sown, not it was not the death of Jawaharlal Nehru in 1964. In my opinion, the seeds for the depleting Indian economy and the Emergency of 1975 were the unacceptable conditions on which India got ‘Freedom’. Will figure out the actual problem in some time.
Leaving that, India went on war with China in 1962 on border issues and that had a huge impact on the financials of our economy. We tasted both losses of battle and loss of money. 3 years later, India battled Pakistan as the enemy country tried to infiltrate into Indian territory and create tensions. Their persistent tool of terrorism was used to fight the Indian army. Whom did we have as our Prime minister during these tough days? It was Lal Bahadur Shastri, a leader who controversially lost his life at Tashkent. Soon after his death, India Gandhi took the throne.
During the tenure of Indira Gandhi, multiple droughts were leading to famine. Added to this was the lost wealth due to wars. Yet the biggest worries of all was a population explosion. Every birth would mean added pressure on the food supply. India has a chunk of imports and exports. Indira Gandhi had no other option but to ask for help. For the first time as Prime Minister of India, she approached America. She had the unfortunate disadvantage of ideological differences with American President Richard Nixon who was Republican. As expected she didn’t receive any help.
Opening up of Service Sector and Bank Nationalisation
With no other option left, Indira Gandhi took the aggressive route. She opened up the service sector and went for Nationalization of Banks. All the free services to 548 princely states were stopped from Central Government. She successfully defeated Pakistan in 1971 war and liberated Bangladesh. While her intentions were good, to her surprise many Bangladeshis started pouring into India. Illegal immigration and more people to feed.
Rubbing salt on the wound: India is struggling to pay its imports. Then a bombshell in the form of OPEC and increased crude prices hit India. A country that has 80% population dependant on kerosine was witnessing a surge in prices. This opened the space for a new revolution and that was led by JP Narayan’s Janta Party. The coalition party was able to bring everyone together, parties, students, govt employees and even police. The moment JP Narayan called the Army to join the movement, Indira Gandhi declared emergency.
Jan Sangh and Janta party sensed power but not for too long!
So, till 1977 there were no major parties to counter and oppose the rule of Indira Gandhi. People of the country were significantly backing Congress and Gandhi family. Indira Gandhi was not at all a bad leader. She had a clear vision for the country and was trying to do the best she can, but her policies and reforms didn’t bring sufficient growth and development in the nation. She badly lost power in 1977 elections and Janata Party which included Jana Sangh came to power with a majority. Thus there was the first non-congress Govt in India first time after 30 years!
The story of Jan Sangh and Janata Party lasted for just a couple of years. The coalition didn’t work out. The RSS wing, the right-wing party Jan Sangh couldn’t adjust with the left ideology of communists and socialists. Too weak a coalition, power-hungry leaders like Charan Singh brought the end to Non-congress rule and the midterm elections in 1980 gave a huge victory to Indira Gandhi.
They have demolished all our Temples and Universities, Blame Who?
Seeing all this unfolding, Jan Sangh was disappointed. The Jan Sangh then reinvented itself as Bharatiya Janata Party after the elections of 1980 and formed the Bharatiya Janata Party or BJP on 6th April 1980. Vajpayee was elected as president of the party and under his control, BJP debuted in the General Elections 1984. To their utter dismay, BJP could win only 2 seats while Congress riding on the sympathy wave of the assassination of Indira Gandhi won more than 400 seats. Vajpayee took the moral responsibility for the defeat and resigned.
A new president ‘LK Advani’ was elected. The big difference in Advani’s style and Vajpayee’s style was aggression. Advani was also an RSS member like Vajpayee. But Vajpayee was more generous and liberal while LK Advani was more of a nationalist. Advani was from a rich family with an interest in sports. It was that one tennis match with his friend took him to RSS. Impressed by RSS’s sports facilities Advani joined RSS.
But the love for sports was short-lived as in one of the RSS Shakha meetings he heard how Hindus themselves presented chances to outsiders that led to demolishing of Indian heritage and culture. It was that story of Marathas not getting help from Rajputs & Scindias which led to the defeat of Marathas in the hands of British pained LK Advani. This had sown the seeds of Hindutva and consolidation of Hindus in the mind of Advani. With this vision he started to guide the next rung of leaders in BJP and the most prominent amongst them was Narendra Modi.