All things considered, Ayn Rand is more a juvenile intellectual infatuation than anything. But even infatuations can provide valuable life lessons.
There is one passage of her that fits as a glove the behaviour of the BJP in making alliances. It is her 'rules' on compromise.
In any conflict between two groups who hold the same basic principles, it is the more consistent one who wins.
In any collaboration between two groups who hold different basic principles, it is the more evil or irrational one who wins.
When opposite basic principles are clearly and openly defined, it works to the advantage of the rational side; when they are not clearly defined, but are hidden or evaded, it works to the advantage of the irrational side.
Read the second rule.
Now, think about every alliance that the BJP has entered into. You will find that the BJP has always been in a position of disadvantage.
In Karnataka, H.D.Kumaraswamy; in Bihar, Nitish; in Maharashtra, Uddhav Thackery; in Andhra Pradesh, Telugu Desam; in Punjab the SAD - every party that entered into an alliance with the BJP has dealt with it from a position of power and to its advantage.
Remember how both Nitish and Uddhav Thackery went to polls with a BJP alliance and eventually parted ways.
BJP alliances in Tamil Nadu
In its alliance with DMK between 1998-2004, while of course the Vajpayee government required the DMK numbers in Lok Sabha, it was the DMK which ultimately benefitted. Tamil Nadu BJP has not yet recovered from the moral decay it got infected with because of this alliance with the DMK.
Before and after that, the BJP-AIADMK alliance also has worked for the benefit of the latter. The ADMK could blackmail the BJP. It could always show BJP to be a junior in the alliance and when faced with defeat it could blame the BJP for 'frightening' away the minority votes.
It is with this context in mind that one has to look at the events that have been taking shape in Tamil Nadu in the first three weeks of March 2023.
A series of so-called ‘sting’ operations on leading Youtube channels by a disgruntled former BJP member and a journalist of sorts, had led to a lot of mud slinging, allegations and counter-allegations.
Most of the targetted Youtubers are perceived as anti-DMK.
Near simultaneously, the by-poll held to the Erode East Assembly constituency has created yet another Dravidian model in conducting elections. Both DMK and AIADMK are perceived as parties indulging in money power to purchase votes.
The overall feeling among neutral voters of the state is that of a deep sense of disappointment. They are looking for some new voice and face that shall promise them ethical politics. Between ethical politics and political ideology, the voters are now in need of the former.
The one party that seemed to have understood this clearly is the one-man party of Seeman, ‘Nam Tamilar Katchi’ (NTK).
However, its ideology faces serious charges of parochialism and xenophobia.
Many of its claims are laughable and yet dangerous. Most of the stories its one-man leader Seeman spins, from using AK-74 to eating turtle meat with LTTE chief, are hilariously outlandish.
Even with all of this, Seeman is now emerging as the face of alternative politics that is not based on money power.
But a real positive change to Tamil Nadu politics has been brought by by K Annamalai, the young ex-IPS officer who resigned his job to work for the BJP in Tamil Nadu. He immediately created a fresh fervour and hope. He has constantly sustained it.
But for this to take root in reality, the BJP of Tamil Nadu has to break away from the Dravidianist stranglehold of the AIADMK.
With respect to corruption, both DMK and AIADMK are ‘two logs in the same gutter water’ as Kamaraj was said to have remarked. Aligning with either of these parties would only create an impression among the disenchanted youth of Tamil Nadu that the BJP is just another party piggybacking on the corrupt.
Meanwhile AIADMK, with its second rung leaders, has been constantly and strategically making the noise that it is losing the minority votes to the DMK because of its alliance with the BJP.
The central leadership may decide in favour of an alliance. But it should understand that in Tamil Nadu whenever the BJP compromised on its core principles, it has suffered heavily.
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