Bandwagon of futility?

Top BJP leader LK Advani began his 38-day Jan Chetana Yatra on Tuesday from Bihar, saying he wants to rally the nation against corruption. Aptly, the theme he chose for the nationwide journey is "Enough is enough".

There is a problem, though. The Yatra as a political device itself has outlasted its utility. Moreover, at 84 years of age, will Advani himself be taken seriously by his own party people without resorting to barbs that pit him against Narendra Modi for the BJP's prime ministerial candidate?

Advani's other contention is that corruption has reached unmanageable heights under the UPA rule. This is a non-debatable point. The number of scams and their magnitude have indeed put the Congress-led UPA government under a cloud, and its credibility is at an all-time low. But, as this newspaper has argued often in the past, corruption is not a party-specific malaise in India. Both the Congress and the BJP have been hit hard by corruption scandals. It is nice of Advani to state he will also highlight the problems within his own party.

While this is seemingly a noble idea, it remains to be seen how much introspection there would be.

Despite the effort that will go into the Yatra, the truth remains that political gamesmanship is only the easy way out. The real hard work -- and this seems to be the ultimate aim of Advani's yatra -- remains in reforming the system he is trying to set right. Yet, there is no policy-making thought at the highest levels of the BJP.

This, indeed, is the true tragedy of Indian politics. More than the communal nature of the politics of both the Congress and the BJP, it is this shortsightedness in decision making that sets the nation back. Perhaps Advani could have made that his target.

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