This writer is no great admirer of Ayn Rand but if there is one thing Ayn Rand stated, that has worked well in the real world, it is her evaluation of compromises, particularly in Indian context. Ayn Rand stated that in any collaboration between two groups, holding opposite principles, i.e. who hold different basic principles, it is the evil or irrational one who wins. It was true when democratic states, for various reasons, tried to placate Hitler. The result was the Second World War and holocaust.

In India, it has even a longer and more tragic history. The law came true in the case of Khilafat when one side adhered to secular ideals and the other was organized purely based on religious fundamentalism. Muslims organized themselves to fight for the bringing back medieval Khilafat while the Hindus were advised that standing with Muslims for this ideal is their way forward towards achieving a democratic secular free state. The result was Moplah Massacre, the Great Calcutta killings, Navkali and ultimately Pakistan with partition holocaust.

In free India, each time there has been a coalition between the Hindu nationalist ‘saffron’ party, which stands for true secularism, and the pseudo-secularist parties, which stand for vote-bank communalism, it has been proven beyond doubt that each time, it is the pseudo-secular parties that emerged stronger and called the shots. It has happened with AIADMK. It has happened with DMK. The NDA alliance with DMK of-course had a moderating influence (DMK loot little less at the center), compared to the corrupt UPA  that allowed DMK to loot the nation without any restrain. But the real advantage of DMK being in NDA, was for DMK and Islamic fundamentalists in South India. It helped DMK to stall and dilute the Coimbatore bomb blast cases and made possible the release of the kingpin of Southern Jihad. To this day the victims of Coimbatore bomb blast have been denied justice, and the South Indian Jihad network has become much stronger.

Now let us see the way JD(U) has acted. After endlessely heaping insults on BJP  and in the most undemocratic manner, Nitish Kumar unilaterally broken the alliance. Of course he will definitely survive as Chief Minister. With the card of pseudo-secularism, Congress may embrace Nitish Kumar, even as NDTV anchors like Burkha Dutt have been openly suggesting a grand alliance of Congress with BJD and JD(U).

It was just four years after the demolition of the disputed structure at Ayodhya that JD (U) entered into an alliance with BJP. In 1998, barely six years after demolition, Advani the man behind the Ayodhya movement became the Home minister of India. JD (U) was a partner then. In 2002 Nitish Kumar congratulated Modi for his election victory and rebuked the suggestion that his victory was because of the communal divide. He criticized Paswan for his exit from NDA over the Gujarat riots. Yet today suddenly he has become the champion of (pseudo-)secularism by walking out of NDA over the elevation of Narendra Modi, ungracefully sacking BJP ministers from the cabinet.

The most important thing in all these events is the way each allies whether DMK or AIADMK or JD (U) has broken the relation with BJP. At each time BJP was reduced to pathetically request them to continue in the alliance. Each time BJP has suffered an image loss and each time the departing partner has called the shots. In a way, this is a telling thing on the nature of principles each party is adhering to. BJP stands for ‘appeasement for none and justice for all’. It does not stand for vote bank politics. It is for common civil code for all Indians – something very fundamental for a secular democracy to function. But its pseudo-secular NDA partners stand for vote-bank politics, religion based personal laws, special concessions for religious minorities in secular establishments. When these two fundamentally different groups come together then it will be interesting to observe in whose ideological interest and advantage that coalition works.

In the case of DMK it has worked in favor of DMK. In Tamil Nadu BJP institutionally or ideologically could not get any way better. In fact, there was no dilution of Dravidianist ideology. On the contrary, BJP in Tamil Nadu got muddled in a political style that distinguished very little from the Dravidianist cultural degradation.

This law of compromises works not only with political allies but also with the choice of media houses the party chooses. Before the last Loksabha elections, BJP again compromised and gave the prime Advani interview to NDTV’s Barkha Dutt and the recordings of the sting operation on the money for votes to CNN-IBN. Both the channels clearly anti-BJP sabotaged subtly and crudely both the media exercises. Advani came out as a hyper-emotional person talking only about his personal achievements with Barkha. The way sting-operation –cash for votes- was made to fizzle out by CNN-IBN is now history. One really wonders why the BJP did not choose more neutral and less biased ‘Headlines Today’ or ‘Times Now’.

Now in the case of Nitish, BJP has been repeatedly humiliated. Nitish Kumar has acted from the beginning in a totally unethical manner. Modi’s impartial administration, the way he single-handedly defeated the hate campaign against him, the way he made Gujarat proud after being negatively stereotyped in a racist manner by the media blood hounds – all these have been mocked at by the Prime Ministerial ambitions of individuals – who have proved that they are not worth that ambition.

The law on compromise made by Ayn Rand should be engraved at the party headquarters of BJP at every state: In any collaboration between two groups who hold different basic principles it will be the evil one who will win.

In a compromise between a party wedded to national integration and true secularism with a party that is based on vote-bank politics or pseudo-secularism, the divisive forces will inevitably win. And Ayn Rand stated it more poetically ‘In a compromise between milk and poison death alone will win.’ In a compromise between positive secularism and pseudo-secularism the nation will be defeated.

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Aravindan Neelakandan

Co-author of acclaimed book "Breaking India", Aravindan Neelakandan has worked for the past decade with an NGO in Tamil Nadu serving marginalized rural communities in sustainable agriculture. He is also a popular science writer in Tamil and is part of the editorial team of highly popular Tamil web portal www.tamilhindu.com.

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