Two developments that are intricately interwoven around Jammu & Kashmir, India-Pakistan bilateral ties, BJP’s politics and political identity and National Democratic Alliance government are taking some curvaceous churning these days.
The BJP and Narendra Modi have had a reflection of nationalist pro-Hindutva politics with a tough stance on dialogue with Pakistan.
But in the changed political scenario, with the responsibility of running the world’s largest democracy, any hard-line stance needs moderation. In fact, the stance needs some fundamental changes to redefine what constitutes nationalism. And it requires effectively nullifying the pro-Hindutva reflections here.
The BJP and Narendra Modi realize it. The party, along with its most popular and successful leader of the time, has to go through this transition, something on the lines of having a ‘nationalist, secular identity’ with a global vision of being a responsible world power. And whatever we think or have discourses on, the global community along with its world powers, still want India and Pakistan to talk, even if bilaterally, over J&K. Yes, it’s true that Pakistan has lost most of its currency on the issue, but it is still some years away that the world finally discards Pakistan’s hollow rhetoric on it.
So, there are different approaches to the two core problems that have shaped the BJP’s politics over the years – the party’s stand on Jammu & Kashmir and on dialogue with India Pakistan.
The ups and downs in talks with Pakistan are its truest reflections. First inviting Nawaz Sharif, even with other SAARC head of states, to his government’s inauguration, then suspending India-Pakistan Foreign Secretary level talks on Pakistan’s High Commissioner’s meet with J&K separatists, then again pushing for the talks with FS S. Jaishankar’s Pakistan visit beginning tomorrow, even if it is part of an extended trip, the ‘SAARC Yatra’.
And these reflections are further reflected in the prolonged discussions on government formation in J&K. The PDP and the BJP are two extremes in terms of ideologies and it took months of negotiations to arrive at some deal to form the coalition government in the state with BJP MLAs taking ministerial oath for the first time. Everything about this alliance has been uneasy so far, including its beginning with the chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed thanking Pakistan, separatists and militants for ‘allowing’ peaceful elections in the state.
But, these may be written off as the initial hiccups of some unusual, uneasy formations, that if the BJP pulls of effectively, will become milestones in redefining its political identity and thus its political space in the India’s socio-political future.
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/