That, most of us don’t know when to stop, is a known fact. We work hard, struggle, survive, succeed and then relax hoping to reap the well deserved benefits of our struggle. Time flies and we remain cocooned refusing to sense the changing winds. The resulting conflict leads to a lot of emotional turbulence and gives birth to a sobbing and sore old man living in his past.
Pictures of a weeping Advani at recent book launch function is an example of this conflict. Frankly, Advani has wept too often in public for it to be a news anymore. For a man who was termed the iron man of BJP, who was projected as a strong leader capable of taking tough decisions, public crying is a little too frequent. What’s so special about book launches that force a flood of emotions out of him. Do those books directly or indirectly touch important phases of his life, remind him of his glory days ?but shouldn’t that make him proud and boastful? Instead we see a sorry figure sobbing in full public glare mindful of the fact that media and opponents will make a story out of it.
Advani is an old school shrewd politician. He played his part in Indian politics and is often credited with making BJP, the force it is today. At the peak of his politics during Ayodhya, tens of millions of people were following him and he was the undisputed leader of BJP. He also cultivated and patronized a slew of second rung leaders at national and state level who remained loyal to him, for the most part. That Advani nurtures prime ministerial ambitions is no secret. He’s served in government in various capacities and even became deputy prime minister during NDA rule.
Elections since 2004 were fought under his leadership and each were a bigger disaster than the previous. He tried winning over Muslim votes by expressing regret for Babri demolition and even went to Pakistan to certify Jinna a secular. We all know what a monumental mess that turned out to be. He forced Bihar BJP to take a subservient role in government formation despite being the larger partner and allowed Nitish Kumar to be Bihar chief minister. Nitish Kumar is often called Advani’s stooge. No wonder he followed Advani’s steps in visiting Pakistan in search of Muslim votes. Advani also indulged in behind the scene games to demolish anyone whose rise within BJP threatened his position. His cronies would oppose and slander any challenge. No where was it more evident than in case of Narendra Modi. From opposition to downright insult, everything was tried by the likes of Nitish Kumar, and when everything failed Advani resigned from BJP like a sore loser. The reason for his resignation, he said, was because BJP was no longer following the ideals of its founders and only serving wishes of some individuals. He forgot this applied more to him than Modi, who got promoted only because of a groundswell of support from people and cadres.
Almost all political decisions Advani took boomeranged and have hurt BJP more. From party cadres to general public everyone thinks its time for Advani to take a backseat and yet he refuses to wake up from his delusions. If one follows his recent public speeches, it’d be evident that he is a man living in past. His frequent public sobbings emanate from this delusion and sense of entitlement that party owes him the PM post. He has embarrassed his party through his blog posts in the past and now he tries to convey his hurt in public by exposing his moist eyes. History has a strange way of repeating itself. In 1973 ,when he became the president of Bhartiya Jan Sangh, first thing he did was to expel the founding member and patriarch Balraj Madhok, who led the party to its biggest ever tally in parliament at that time.
Mr. Advani should be thankful for not getting the exact same treatment from BJP despite his embarrassing dramatics. Instead of hovering around BJP like a “Atript Atma (Ghost)”, he should choose a graceful exit. His sobs aren’t getting him the sympathy he is expecting. He should know when to stop before he turns into the sobbing and sore old man we talked about earlier.