M.G. Vaidya, the senior RSS leader, had once famously said that “the BJP is not the life-breath of the Sangh”. The BJP must take this to heart and commit the much-needed patricide. If the lessons of 2004 and 2009 are to be deciphered for the BJP, they are reducible to just one very significant element: there is nothing called a Hindu vote. Extending the argument, there is no political or social outfit that can claim to represent all Hindus, much less hope to transform a mythical Hindu unity into votes.This advice is not without its merits, given that the RSS is limping along the lines of an ideology flawed by the standards of any time or clime.
Today, leaders of more and more states (including, and perhaps led by none other than BJP's own Narendra Modi of Gujarat) are giving the message loud and clear: "My state first, India next". This, despite the fact that most Indian states have a whopping Hindu majority. This message is, of course, a post-British-rule message, since before the British there was no political unit called India other than in the minds of a handful of ideologues who either twisted or misunderstood history - such as Mr. M.S. Golwalkar of the RSS and Mr. M.K. Gandhi of the Indian National Congress.
The statement "there is nothing called a Hindu vote" has for its equivalent of the pre-British era the statement "there is nothing called India". Most Indian states were followers or patrons of one or the other branch of Hinduism, but as we've pointed out elsewhere, there was no such thing called as a political unity amidst them.
In India, the term "Hindu vote" is by-and-large equivalent to the term "Human vote" since most humans in India are Hindu anyway - and equally meaningless in politics. As Mr. Sharma says, it is impossible for the BJP to build a succesful political party on the basis of an assumed political unity among Hindus which is further assumed to magically transform into votes.
Most Kannadigas are Hindus, and so are most Marathis and Tamils. But people in these states are divided on certain things, and vote on the basis of those things and of course stuff like education, employment, infrastructure, health, etc. Nobody cares for the RSS-fabricated history with absolute silence and political unity all over today's India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh (and more)!
The BJP has much to learn, and the time is opportune to cut down arrogance levels and lend an ear to what's being spoken here and elsewhere.