http://www.tribuneindia.com/<wbr>2010/20100109/saturday/above.<wbr>htm "The same applies to Sikhs. The BJP’s partnership with the Akali Dal is one of convenience, as they have nothing in common. The BJP has two Sikhs to display * cricketer Sidhu, MP, Lok Sabha, and S.S. Ahluwalia, once chief noise-maker of the Congress, now chief noise-maker with the BJP." This Above All : Masters of doublespeak January 9, 2010 ALL politicians are glib talkers. They have to be like that to win people’s support. Indian politicians go further. They say one thing, mean something else, and do what suits them. The best example of this brand of doublespeak is Mohan Bhagwat, head of the RSS. He maintains that the RSS is a social organisation, which has nothing to do with politics. He repeated this not so very long ago, and told BJP leaders to sort out their differences themselves. A couple of weeks later he ordered Advani and Rajnath Singh to relinquish their posts — one as Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, the other as president of the BJP. He went further and said that new leaders should not be Dilliwalas but from other parts of India. Lest people had any doubts left in their minds, he nominated Nitin Gadkari, a fellow Brahmin from his hometown Nagpur and a successful PWD Minister in the Maharashtra Government, to take over from Rajnath Singh. Very dutifully BJP leaders made suitable speeches of accepting Mohan Bhagwat’s diktat, but quickly passed an amendment to their constitution, created a new post for Advani while preparing to welcome Gadkari. He arrived in Delhi, was duly garlanded by everybody, warmly embraced, had pedas popped in his mouth (he is fat enough) and all appeared hunky-dory. Mohan Bhagwat retreated back to Nagpur and reiterates that the RSS does not meddle with politics. You can be sure that Gadkari’s attempts at refurbishing the image of his party will be thwarted not by Opposition leaders but men like Advani, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley. Advani has no intention of retiring gracefully. The word sanyas does not exist in his dictionary. Gadkari says he will instil the spirit of national culture in the people. That sounds nice. But while doing so he must tell us whether he approves of demolition of the Babri Masjid, as does Mohan Bhagwat. It is not an outdated or an irrelevant question, as in the minds of most Indians it is the acid test of secularism. He must spell out the role of religious minorities — the Muslims, the Christians and the Sikhs — in the BJP. Giving two or three Muslims important posts in the party does not fool anybody. The BJP has had three showpieces on its rolls — Shahnawaz Husain (MP), Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Najma Heptullah, MP (Rajya Sabha). None of the three carries any weight in own community, least of all Najma Heptullah. She was a member of the Congress and cashed in on the spurious claim of being Maulana Azad’s niece. She was caught issuing a fake photograph of the Maulana beside her. People like them can be kept happy with a few crumbs from the leaders’ dining tables. The same applies to Sikhs. The BJP’s partnership with the Akali Dal is one of convenience, as they have nothing in common. The BJP has two Sikhs to display — cricketer Sidhu, MP, Lok Sabha, and S.S. Ahluwalia, once chief noise-maker of the Congress, now chief noise-maker with the BJP. I have not heard him make any coherent speech in the Rajya Sabha, and Navjot Singh Sidhu is better known for his wisecracks on TV shows than speeches in the Lok Sabha. Both men are self-promoters without any political principles. Gadkari has to find genuine supporters of his ideology from the minority communities, or do without them. I wish him luck in contending with leaders of the ruling party as well as detractors in his own party.