In this three part series of article, yesterday I explained the first reason why inspite of having power packed of intelligent and talented people, BJP is unable to utilise them. Today, I will try to explain second and third reasons in this space and finally tomorrow a conclusion. The second reason is that of mediocrity ruling the roost in almost all political spectrums and its blinding effect leaders. Today, it may be more visible in BJP because of its expansion but the situation is the same everywhere. The ‘nuisance value’ weighs over other values in contemporary Indian politics. The low standards have permeated in our system. The malaise is wide-spread. The mediocres are becoming leaders. And as leaders, the first thing they do is to build a comfort zone around themselves which comprises sycophants, mediocres and yes-men. Anyone talented and able is always seen as a future threat and is kept away. They are afraid that their position which they have ‘managed’ without really deserving it, may soon slip away. The sycophants take advantage of such fears and surround such leaders always. That’s the reason, there are coteries everywhere. The end result is that these leaders cannot see beyond their nearest circle. They develop a politics induced ‘myopia’.
When in December last year, a vice-president and a rather permanent in-house intellectual of the party (in)famously told media that BJP lacked talent with reference to expansion of the cabinet, this ‘myopia’ was probably the reason. He could not see beyond a closure circle of ‘pariwar’ talent and the larger circle of sycophants.
Such BJP leaders have to realize that when party is in government, the talent-search to run it effectively must not be limited. To find the best in every field, personal egos must be set aside and search must go beyond Pariwar circles or even beyond BJP-RSS ecosystem if needed.
Even a hard-working and suave politician like PM Modi does not seem to see beyond his confidantes and trusted lieutenants when it comes to finding right people for the right job. Probably, no one close to him has the courage to tell him that there are many others in the party, who took his fight as their own personal fight, are equally trust-worthy and are no less talented.
The third reason is with intellectuals themselves. A talented man or an intellectual usually has a higher degree of self-respect, so he would not go and ask for any post or responsibility for himself. Sometimes their sense of self-respect also takes the shape of an inflated ego wherein they expect the party to call them rather than they approach the party. The fact is that, they would rather sulk than begging and this results the party losing the services of such worthies.
It’s up to the party to manage such assets. For example, Arun Shourie would never go begging for ministership but if ignored continuously, may eventually harm the party with his angry utterances rather than keeping quiet and ignoring the apathy. Subramanian Swamy would wait for two years to be given the Rajya Sabha but would make his displeasure known if asked. So, it’s not just important to recognize talent and nurture it, but it is also equally important to respect it and retain it.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)