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Saturday, February 24, 2024

Bharat Ratna for Advani ahead of LS polls

Lal Krishna Advani, a stalwart of the BJP and a key figure in the Ramjanmabhoomi movement, has been awarded the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's decision to honour Advani, after sidelining him for a decade, comes at a crucial time with national elections approaching in April-May. The timing of this gesture, right after the inauguration of the Ram Temple, raises questions about its political implications. While some view it as a move to appease discontent within the party and its cadre, others see it as a strategic manoeuvre to consolidate support ahead of the polls.

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Lal Krishna Advani, a stalwart of the BJP and a key figure in the Ramjanmabhoomi movement, has been awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to honour Advani, after sidelining him for a decade, comes at a crucial time with national elections approaching in April-May. The timing of this gesture, right after the inauguration of the Ram Temple, raises questions about its political implications. While some view it as a move to appease discontent within the party and its cadre, others see it as a strategic manoeuvre to consolidate support ahead of the polls. Modi’s decision to honour Advani follows the recent conferral of the Bharat Ratna on Karpoori Thakur, a socialist leader, which was seen as an attempt to appeal to marginalised communities and consolidate Hindu votes. However, Advani’s neglect during the Ram Temple inauguration event sparked discontent among BJP and RSS cadres, leading to questions about Modi’s motives.

The discontent within the party ranks stems from Advani’s significant contributions to the BJP’s rise to power, particularly his role in the Ramjanmabhoomi movement. Despite being sidelined in recent years, Advani’s stature within the party remains considerable, and his neglect by the leadership has not gone unnoticed. Critics argue that Modi’s decision to honour Advani is driven more by electoral calculations than genuine respect. They point to Advani’s past disagreements with Modi, particularly his opposition to Modi’s candidacy as the prime ministerial nominee in 2014. However, others argue that projecting Advani as the face of Hindutva could benefit the BJP electorally, given its emphasis on religious issues in its campaign. Advani’s complex relationship with the RSS adds another layer to the narrative. While he has faced criticism from the RSS leadership in the past, particularly for his comments on Jinnah and his role in Partition, he remains a symbolic figure within the Hindutva movement. The decision to honor him reflects a balancing act between acknowledging his contributions and addressing internal dissent within the party. Modi’s decision to honor Advani ahead of the elections is both a strategic move and a gesture of recognition for his contributions to the BJP. However, the timing of the gesture and the underlying political motivations raise questions about its sincerity.

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As the country gears up for elections, the BJP’s handling of its internal dynamics and its relationship with its founding members will be closely scrutinized. Overall, the decision underscores the complex interplay between politics, ideology, and personal legacies within the BJP and the broader Hindutva movement.  Furthermore, Advani’s significance extends beyond his role in the BJP’s rise to power. His leadership during the Ramjanmabhoomi movement, culminating in the construction of the Ram Temple, has solidified his legacy as a key figure in the Hindutva narrative. Despite disagreements and tensions within the party, Advani’s unwavering commitment to the cause of Hindutva has earned him respect and admiration among many party loyalists. By honouring Advani with the Bharat Ratna, Modi may be attempting to reconcile with a figure whose contributions cannot be ignored, especially in the context of upcoming elections where the BJP’s narrative of Hindutva and religious nationalism plays a significant role. This gesture may also signal a broader strategy to rally support and maintain cohesion within the party’s ranks during a crucial electoral period.

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The Hills Times
The Hills Timeshttps://www.thehillstimes.in/
The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.
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