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HybridKashmiri @HybridKashmiri
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Hopefully the departed soul is settled now. So before history gets distorted under a fashionable wave of anecdotal sympathy, here's a humble thread to restore objectivity on Atal Behari Vajpayee:
1. He joined RSS at the age of 16. To be in RSS at such an impressionable age can indeed color the brain, in the event you have one, given that you joined RSS in the first place. Vajpayee had some brains which is why he strayed from the RSS and joined AISF, CPI's student wing.
2. AISF & CPI showed the up yours sign to nationalism and instead embraced internationalism. Which is as exactly opposite as RSS, as brains are from gobar. It also proves what a confused character Vajpayee was. Till date he remains a puzzle - Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde of politics.
3. Atal was no fighter or freedom fighter. In 1942 Quit India movement, he and his brother Prem were part of protestors at Bateshwar village on 27th Aug. True to RSS tradition, he gave an undertaking that he had only strayed into the crowd and on this basis he was released.
4. For the Quit India Movement, a theory did the rounds that Vajpayee was a traitor and approver. So "tolerant" Vajpayee had the Jan Sangh file a defamation case against Blitz. This whole episode made 2 things clear: one he was no freedom fighter, two, he wasn't tolerant.
5. But Vajpayee kept trying to plant the notion that he participated in that Quit India protest. He wrote an article on 15th August in Dainik Jagran claiming to part of the protestors. Thus when facing arrest he denied it but for popular appeal, he claimed it! The original Feku!
6. To read about this murky episode that basically points to how Vajpayee always managed to put a different public face when deriving political advantage while invariably compromising for personal gain, read this comprehensive piece:…
7. In 1948 RSS was banned for killing Mahatma Gandhi. So he joined the Bhartiya Jan Sangh, the political arm of RSS, with so called muddled idealogy of Hindutva, an enduring puzzle. Vajpayee accompanied founder Shyama Prasad Mookerjee to the favorite waterloo of RSS - Kashmir.
8. Mookerjee was famous for Hindu Mahasabha's official decision to boycott Quit India Movement. Mukerjee went to Kashmir to observe a hunger strike and was arrested. Later he died mysteriously.
As usual once again, Vajpayee survived! He simply was nowhere during the agitation.
9. Vajpayee was neither a fighter nor a real winner. He always pillion rode on someone. In fact in 1957, Vajpayee lost in the Lok Sabha seat of Mathura to Raja Mahendra Pratap, a Marxist. To be safe he contested from another seat, Balrampur, where he won.
10. Interestingly it was Nehru who praised Vajpayee's oratory and even predicted one day he will be PM. And if there was one man who Vajpayee was mersmerized by, it was Nehru. With Nehru's praise, Vajpayee suddenly became significant. He became National President of Jan Sangh.
11. In 1975 Emergency, once again Vajpayee showed the typical cowardly RSS traits. When arrested, he appealed saying he needed treatment and got himself moved to hospital.
12. Subramaniun Swamy wrote in The Hindu on 13th Jan 2000: "Most leaders of the BJP / RSS had betrayed the struggle against emergency. It is on record in the Maharashtra assembly proceedings that RSS chief Balasaheb Deoras wrote apology letters to Indira Gandhi . . cont'd.
13. " . . .from Yerwada jail. Atal Behari Vajpayee wrote an apology to Indira Gandhi. For the 20 month Emergency, Vajpayee was out on parole after giving an undertaking he would not participate in any program against the government".
14. In 1977 post emergency, when Jan Sangh was part of the coalition Vajpayee became the external affairs minister. And like Modi he was notorious for forever being abroad but making zero impact. In 2 years that much disgraced govt, fraught with infighting collapsed.
15. Jan Sangh became BJP and Vajpayee its President. In 1984, Vajpayee was trounced in a humiliating defeat on his home turf of Gwalior at the hands of Madhavrao Scindia. BJP won a miserable 2 seats in Lok Sabha. Vajpayee offered to quit. No one noticed:))
16. In 1986, a defeated Vajpayee sneaked in Jaitley-style into Rajya Sabha. And Advani became President of the BJP. No one noticed either:)
17. In 1990, Advani's chaddi got tight. He had ants in his pants. Restless, he started the Ram Janmabhoomi mandir movement. Vajpayee preferred whiskey till he suddenly woke up and realized Advani's nonsense was working! So he quickly collected his dhoti and jumped onto piggyback
18. As a result suddenly they smelt victory in the assembly polls of the two states which were most amenable to treating the chaddi as kingly attire - Gujarat & Maharashtra. And Karnataka followed. But the fear that Chaddis may get banned by Congress made many a chaddi go wet.
19. So Advani looked around for someone so sleepy that Congress won't see it as hardline. And lo and behold he saw Vajpayee snoozing in the room after a few pegs. That's how Vajpayee became the moderate face of the BJP. Who the fuck says fortune favors the brave!
20. In 1996 while the BJP became the single largest party courtesy Advani and Ayodhya, Vajpayee sat on the PMs chair for 13 days but it was too hot for his flimsy dhoti. But in 1998, because of a coalition (yes sir coalitions work!) BJP was leading the NDA for longer.
21. Till Jayalalita, whose hobby was to pull chairs before someone sat down, pulled Vajpayee's chair just when he was planning to settle down and snooze. His government fell in 13 months. Till today BJP is shit scared of coalitions.
22. So it's actually a very stupid theory that Vajpayee carried his partners along. He was too sleepy to do any of that. But in 1999, the NDA started its full term and Vajpayee his full term pregnancy.
23. When he realized he couldn't give his constituency the Ayodhya temple, he exploded a nuclear device at Pokhran to make them happy. It led to a rapid decline in foreign investment and sanction s. He was internationally on his knees, and we know how weak kneed he was. Literally
24. So he toodled off to Lahore to mend fences. Not because he was a statesman but because he was on his knees. To make his nationalists happy who wanted a temple, he did Pokhran. When he got kicked for it, he ran to Lahore. In doing so yet again he confused his chaddi supporters
25. In this period, in the breaks he got between drinking and sleeping (please read Time Magazine's "Asleep at the Wheel"), he did only two jobs. One to appear good by placating Pakistan. Two, to survive, by placating allies.
26. But on both fronts he failed. Pakistan moved into Kargil and Jayalalita into opposition. How Pakistan was able to get deep inside Kargil without anyone noticing, is a shameful chapter of Vajpayee's tenure.
27. Further, by not allowing the army to cross the LoC (remember India was diplomatically crippled after the Pokhran explosion), Vajpayee made life hell for the army. They were now battling uphill on high mountain peaks, while he blew the spurious smoke of principles. 500 died
28. Waging a war yields great dividends. And that is how Vajpayee returned with NDAs first full term with 303 seats. Nehru turned Vajpayee from nobody to somebody. Advani got him PMship with Ayodhya. Kargil got him a full term. Be careful, Modi is aware of this formula.
29. When Indian airlines plane was hijacked, Vajpayee proved to be so weak kneed, that eventually his knees had to be replaced. It also emboldened terrorism and gave it a big boost worldwide. Here was a country supposedly with military might that couldn't handle one highjacking
30. In this term of Vajpayee India stumbled upon a magical insight. That when you spend massively on infrastructure, you earn fabulous kickbacks. New highs in corruption were scaled. Ranjan Bhattacharya was a household name in Chambal, Pramod Mahajan bigger than Sultan of Brunei
31. In Maharashtra, democracy had acquired a new meaning as members of all political parties were now joint shareholders in various private projects. In the Vajpayee people stopped bribing politicos. They simply made them partners! Now you understand Pramod Mahajan and allies?
32. But it was in the year 2000 that the chaddi truly went International. When Clinton came calling, Vajpayee appeared waddling about in suit and tie. Every chaddi in the country felt like his proud father. This led them to believe India was "shining".
33. But this non swadeshi stuff made RSS and VHP sulk and wear such long faces that there was no need to wear pants also to cover their parts. So they threatened Vajpayee that they will revive Jan Sangh because the swadeshi agenda had disappeared once again.
34. Eeerily Vajpayee's hate speeches at Ayodhya started getting played to expose him. Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi were indicted for their role in the demolition. Advani and Joshi would take a leak everytime ANY temple or masjid was mentioned.
35. Suddenly corruption was rampant. Bangaru Laxman, senior army officers & BJPs politicos were caught taking bribes in a sting operation by Tehelka. Vajpayee's response was even longer pauses in speech. His knees were literally replaced. There is no official word on his spine.
36. George Fernandes, the defense minister was forced to quit on a defense scam pertaining to Kargil (in those days Defence Ministers would quit when caught in a scam!). Plus an inquiry Commission finding revealed that Kargil war could have been prevented.
37. So Vajpayee now flirted with Musharraf in the Agra summit but it bombed and he had egg in his face. But being a meat eating liquor loving sanghi, he simply slurped it in.
38. In 2001, Parliament was attacked by terrorists. Close to elections, Vajpayee became jingoistic & moved troops to the border. When Pakistan responded by moving their troops, Vajpayee took off his dentures and went to sleep. Nothing happened, except worse relations with Pak.
39. In 2002 VHP marched to Ayodhya. A petrified Vajpayee now pulled at everything in sight including Advani's pyjamas, but heaved a sigh of relief as VHP shelved the plan. But 2002 riots exposed Vajpayee's doublespeak. His mask to stay in power, his vitriol to appease the Sangh.
40. In fact, in the national executive of the BJP in 2002, Vajpayee said "Wherever Muslims live, they don't like to live in co-existence with others". KR Narayan, the President of India, blamed Vajpayee for the riots.
41. In 2004 Lok Sabha polls, after just one full term, Vajpayee was trounced and the Vajpayee led NDA lost half its seats and the INC led by an Italian Sonia became the single largest party and led the UPA government. Vajpayee disappeared and Advani was left twiddling his thumbs
42. Vajpayee was the first theatre artist, but a sophisticated one. Modi is crude copycat.
Vajpayee's biggest idol was Nehru and he liked people with class - Jaswant Singh, Arun Shourie.
Modi repelled him.
43. KN Govindcharya said: "Vajpayee often spoke eloquently about things he absolutely had no conviction about".
Vajpayee managed to eat meat have liquor and be sanghi.
Vajpayee managed to be unmarried and yet . . .
Vajpayee managed to deliver a zero on the Hindu agenda.
44. Vajpayee managed to claim many things that he never did, from Quit India to Emergency.
He managed get political mileage from Ayodhya & Nellie, even Jammu where he "pioneered" the thought of Hindu Jammu and Muslim Kashmir.
Basically Vajpayee managed . . .
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