The UP polls were a defeat for the BJP. The Delhi polls were pure disaster. The two polls ignited an inner-party debate. Why is BJP rolling downhill so fast? One view contends it is because the party's Hindutva is too diluted. The other holds that the party's governance and probity have suffered due to criminalisation and an overdose of Hindutva. So, is BJP suffering because of too much or too little Hindutva?
Muddle-headed media pundits have greatly exaggerated the positive electoral impact of Hindutva. They point to the BJP's rise from two parliamentary seats in 1984 to 86 seats in 1989. This was music to Advani's ears. He donned the mantle of architect of the BJP's rise.
The truth is otherwise. BJP got down to two seats in 1984 because the RSS sabotaged the party and helped the Congress. This columnist had warned Vajpayee he would lose, with information that the RSS was backing the Congress nationwide and Madhavrao Scindia in Gwalior.
The BJP rose in 1989 because of seat adjustments with V.P. Singh. In 1977, the Jan Sangh contingent within the Janata Party...