At the outset, OfBJP USA and BJP sound similar but they are poles apart, not just in the nature of business they conduct, but also in the presence,organizational process, modus-operandi, appointments and transparency. Lack of understanding leads to confusion among the people. OfBJP USA is an organization and BJP is a political party. Despite being a few decades old, above factors coupled with lackluster leadership explain the stagnant, more so downward trend in the growth of the Overseas organization. Voices of dissent have been brewing for quite some time; however never came out in the open.
Although, the Overseas organization got a boost in 2014 due to PM Modi’s victory in the 2014 general elections, the over-exuberance and victory celebrations, though initially served as a boost, over time, quickly condensed down due to internal politics. Lack of transparency, lack of proportional representation, exclusion of selective communities (namely Muslims), repeated appointments of the appointed by the appointees themselves, encouragement of nepotism (in its own way) and other factors led to a dwindling growth in what was supposed to be a powershot booster. Here’s a shot at some of the glaring in-your-face hurdles.
Repeated leadership team: This could be branded as nepotism in its own way. At a time when Prime Minister Modi talks about nepotism in other parties, the Overseas organization seems to be plagued by Nepotism in its own way. Individuals favoring members who practice subservience has been a complaint of many. The same people in the leadership team for multiple terms, in what could be juxtaposed to a never-ending karmic life cycle of life-and-death. Take for example the title of President. Either the President of the Overseas organization (of course nominated) seems to be in a passionate race to win the Guinness book of world records by being elected for never-ending terms (so far three uninterrupted terms) or seems to have borrowed a leaf from China’s President Xi Jinping’s “President for life” bill. This is something I’m sure even BJP wouldn’t cherish.
Community Affairs: Sikh affairs (formerly Punjabi/Sikh cell) raised many an eyebrow when similar committees were not formed for Muslims, for that matter Jain and several other religions. This clearly goes against the secular fabric established by the founding fathers of the Indian Republic. The organization could have its own reservations against certain sections of minorities, however, this goes against the narrative and the message sent across by the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi.
Lack of proportional representation in neither the national committees nor the constitution team (do not blame the author if no one, except a few, know what this is) is a major issue. There has been a longstanding demand within the Overseas organization to induct people from other states into the committee, not just two Indian states.
Never-ending Presidential cycle: This reminds us of never-ending death-life cycle mentioned in Chapter 2, Verse 27 in Bhagvad Gita. Similar analogy applies here. Karyakartas become secretaries, secretaries become Vice Presidents and Vice Presidents become Presidents, here ends the linear graph. This marks the beginning of circular shape. Presidents becomes past Presidents, past Presidents become committee members and then become Vice Presidents, only to become possibly future Presidents. Remember the karma cycle? This leaves all the hardworking karyakartas behind.
Inviting political leaders from India (Note the humiliating experience of Ram Madhav in a gathering of a Telugu Organization in Washington D.C in 2019), garlanding party officials will only fetch PR mileage but would not help the organization grow. There are overseas branches of other political parties, namely INOC (more in another article), which despite internal disgruntlement have surpassed the hurdles and are comparatively registering an envious growth, both in membership and display of ideological fervor.
Rudderless (yet efficient) karyakartas, remote-controlled teams in Florida, aging leadership,deep love for the titles are some of the many issues which seem to be a common consensus among many, as some reasons which could sully what should have been a phenomenal growth of the organization. Unless an organization gathers the ability to face up to its own subterranean prejudices and shuns arrogance, history suggests such an organization can never rise.
Has OfBJP become OffBJP? Only time will tell.
Bharat mata ki Jai!
True Journalism is fearless and mightier than sword!