Golden opportunities, and how to grab them

BJP sees opportunities galore in the 400th birth anniversary of Guru Tegh Bahadur

Politics, more often, is a business of opportunities. More so, a business of tapping opportunities that come by. More than any other outfit, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is adept at catching hold of such opportunities. A case in point is the two-day celebration announced by the Centre to mark the 400th birth anniversary of Guru Tegh Bahadur.

The Punjab election debacle and the setback suffered owing to the ushering in of the farm laws and the related incidents, had dealt a body blow to the saffron outfit. The impact has been so fierce that the party ended up losing the confidence of the Sikh community. And it is at this juncture that the party sighted an opportunity – the 400th birth anniversary of Guru Tegh Bahadur.

The Bharatiya Janata Party has launched itself into an extremely proactive mode to do all that it can to make sure the Sikh guru’s 400th birth anniversary is a grand affair and that the Union government will be spearheading the celebrations in all grandeur.

BJP does not want to let golden opportunities pass

That will include Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address from the Red Fort. Not just in the capital, the party is going all out to woo the Sikh community elsewhere in the country too. Haryana will have BJP workers organising a series of events to mark the occasion. A grand event in Panipat on April 24 is one among them.

After the Punjab electorate dumped the BJP in the recently concluded Assembly elections, it had become imperative for the party to launch into trouble shooting mode so as to keep the Sikh community by its side. The Punjab Assembly poll results had witnessed the BJP settling for just two seats out of the total 73 it had contested. The farm laws were one reason for the hatred towards the BJP. The repeal of the farm laws too was sweetly timed by PM Narendra Modi, as he announced the withdrawal of the legislation on November 19 last year, day of Guru Nanak’s Jayanti.

The efforts to woo the Sikh community had begun soon after the Punjab election results were out. Just four days after the poll outcome, PM Modi had hosted a group of Sikh intellectuals from Punjab at his official residence in Delhi. The intention was to make them believe that the PM has a keen interest in the Sikh community’s concerns. Another instance of making the most of opportunities came in the form of the BJP government in Haryana organised buses to take youngsters to Bhagat Singh’s ancestral village in Punjab to observe his death anniversary. Many such efforts have been continuing.

PM Modi seen sporting a Sikh turban

Getting back Sikh support is prime on BJP agenda

Now, with the occasion of the 400th birth anniversary of Guru Tegh Bahadur coming up, the BJP has been presented with a platter of an opportunity. The party wants to grab it and show the Sikhs that it stands by them.  The party knows very well that it could be at the receiving end of anger from the RSS, who hasn’t managed to win over the Sikhs. The Sikh community is not very comfortable with the Sangh agenda, and the RSS had been keeping a distance from them.

However, getting back Sikh support means a lot for PM Modi and his party. And, as expected efforts aimed at that would go on. Even if that proves irksome for the RSS, the Bharatiya Janata Party wouldn’t mind having the extensive support of the Sikh community as they matter a lot in terms of electoral politics. As mentioned, politics, more often, is a business of opportunities. And the saffron outfit would not want to let go off such golden opportunities.

Sanjeev Ramachandran

A journalist with 23 years of experience, Sanjeev has worked with reputed media houses such as Business Standard, The Ne More »
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