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Jaitley does it

india Updated: Sep 10, 2011 19:51 IST

Hindustan Times
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The BJP was never as dumb as it looks. So why deny Hindutva being an ‘opportunistic issue’?

Here’s another editorial courtesy those fine folks of WikiLeaks. And once again, we shall feign shock for the benefit of all those television studio anchors. This time round, it’s BJP Rajya Sabha MP Arun Jaitley who comes under Julian Assange’s nerdo-anarchic war against the Establishment. Mr Jaitley apparently had told Robert Blake, the US charge d’affaires in New Delhi in 2005, that Hindutva was an “opportunistic issue” for the BJP. Everyone, barring the RSS, seems to be pouncing on the poor man — Jaitley not Blake — for this ‘admission’ which, strangely, Mr Jaitley has since the Wiki leaked, denied making. We say ‘strangely’ because one would have thought that by stating that Hindutva was an “opportunistic issue”, Mr Jaitley was confirming that the BJP wasn’t really a nutty, paleolithic party that wanted a Hindu nation, but was a master of political branding.

If anyone needed to be upset, it should have been the foaming-at-the-mouth set from the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bajrang Dal and other sundry groups that believe parliamentary democracy to be a necessary digression before the coming of the revolution: Ram Rajya. Instead, liberal folks, who always found Hindutva’s hard exclusivism abhorrent, are the ones getting het up. Mr Jaitley’s ‘admission’, of course, doesn’t mean much beyond confirming the established fact that politics and advertising are professions that demand some amount of tricking people with low IQ levels. But then, it doesn’t really matter whether a mosque was torn down because those instigating the violence genuinely believed that the structure was obnoxious or just played along with the mob.

Being a hypocrite about a bad thing is better than being a hypocrite about a good thing. Imagine if the BJP was open about Hindutva being nothing more than a political tool and if Mr Jaitley was exposed as saying that he genuinely believed in it. So the BJP isn’t really a ghoul but a chap who pranced about wearing a Halloween mask. Till the next WikiLeak then.