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Destination nowhere

Despite the scepticism over the utility of the yatra within the party, the Singh-Advani duo feel compelled to go through their 11,000-km journey.

india Updated: Apr 05, 2006 02:50 IST
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Tomorrow, if things go as per plan, BJP President Rajnath Singh and his senior colleague LK Advani will embark on two rath yatras from two ends of the country -- journeys that will culminate in New Delhi on May 10. History, it has been famously said, repeats itself the first time as a tragedy and the second time as a farce. Just how should we categorise what Mr Advani proudly says is his fifth yatra? To recall, these latest yatras were conceived in the wake of the bomb blasts in Varanasi, when the BJP sought to fan the flames of communalism by declaring the blasts a consequence of the UPA government’s ‘minorityism’. Mr Advani claims that every yatra has been a learning experience. But the country, too, has learnt a great deal from his yatras and their divisive agenda, and the result was that the people of Varanasi displayed exemplary restraint and refused to be provoked by either the terrorists’ acts, or the politicians who hoped to make capital from them.

Despite the scepticism over the utility of the yatra within the party, the Singh -- Advani duo feel compelled to go through their 11,000-km journey that will cover most of India. All they can hope for now is that it will generate some hype and pump some adrenalin into the cadres. But even they should know that the exercise is unlikely to resolve the party’s major problem of finding a viable political message for the people.

Mr Advani is no doubt hoping that at some place or time during the yatra, he will find the magic formula to resurrect his fortunes, while Mr Singh’s aims are perhaps more modest -- to ensure that he is not outflanked by the ageing veteran who refuses to retire. But all these pale before the party’s real problem-- getting the RSS genie back into the bottle.

First Published: Apr 05, 2006 02:50 IST