LK Advani’s Blog On Democratic Tolerance Is ‘Too Little, Too Late’

Twitterati said this ‘wrath yatra’ of Advani will not absolve him of his ‘past evils’. 

Social Dangal
3 min read
Hindi Female

Senior BJP leader LK Advani who retired from politics last month wrote a blog post, five years after he wrote the last piece on his web page. Titled ‘Nation First, Party Next, Self Last’, the blog aims to commemorate BJP’s Foundation Day and talks about India’s diversity and freedom of expression.

“Right from its inception, the BJP has never regarded those who disagree with us politically as our “enemies”, but only as our adversaries,” Advani says in his blog. He goes on, “In our conception of Indian nationalism, we have never regarded those who disagree with us politically as “anti-national”. The party has been committed to freedom of choice of every citizen at personal as well as political level.”


Ironically, the BJP government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been criticised for curbing free speech and the space to ask questions, rising intolerance against minorities and branding dissent as ‘anti-national’.

Young BJP leaders like Tejasvi Surya had even gone to the extent of saying, “If you are anti-Modi, you are anti-India.” During the election campaign, both Narendra Modi and Amit Shah had accused the Opposition of speaking the language of Pakistan. And maybe that’s why the blog was seen as a jibe at the Modi government.

Congress leader P Chidamabaram said the blog is an indictment of “Mr Modi and his government”.

But amusingly enough, Narendra Modi endorsed the blog with a tweet that said, “Advani Ji perfectly sums up the true essence of BJP, most notably the guiding Mantra of ‘Nation First, Party Next, Self Last.’”

The 91-year-old’s blog post was seen as a welcome change by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. “The views AdvaniJi has expressed about extending democratic courtesies, is significant. Of course, all Opposition who raise their voices are not anti national,” she tweeted.

Too Late For Liberalism

But many Twitters scoffed at the idea of LK Advani speaking about tolerance and liberalism. The Advani-led Rath Ytra of the 1990s and the subsequent communal riots, deaths and demolition of Babri Masjid were recounted on Twitter.


Journalist MK Venu said that in 1990, as Advani, the then BJP President, led the Rath Yatra through Bihar, he would repeatedly tell the crowds, “we need unity among only 80% of Indians (remaining 20% didn't matter)”.

Historian Ramachandra Guha also tweeted along the same lines, saying, “A disingenuous blog written out of disgruntlement cannot make a 'liberal’ out of someone who spread so much hate and bigotry .”

Guha implied that Advani is taking potshots at the BJP because he was not given a ticket in the Lok Sabha polls.

One Twitter user said the architect of Babri demolition has “woken up to give gyaan. Too little, too late.”

Singer Vishal Dadlani said while the veteran is right to speak up in national interest, one cannot forget that he is responsible for shedding the fabric of India “in the most divisive event since Partition”.

Journalist Arfa Khanum Sherwani also recounted her childhood where Advani was seen as a “symbol of terror” in UP. “History will never forgive him for his sins,” she tweeted.

Why Was He Silent Until Now?

Why did the veteran not speak up for the last five years, asked economist Rupa Subramanya. “No sympathy for those who don't speak up when conscience demands not when it's convenient,” she tweeted.


Journalist Rohini Singh tweeted along the same lines too. “If Advani himself had believed in this nation first spiel he would have spoken up when the first lynching happened, when the first attack on press freedom happened, when students were first called anti nationals,” she said.

‘Wrath Yatra’?

Puns also made an appearance in the discussion of Advani’s blog. Writer and journalist Salil Tripathi said the ‘Wrath Yatra’ is Advani’s sole contribution to Indian politics.

Historian Audrey Truschke tweeted a map of India showing the trail of communal riots and deaths after the 1990 Rath Yatra led by the then BJP President LK Advani.

“LK Advani may be on a wrath yatra at the moment, but his 1990 yatra is what we should all remember, which left a trail of blood and paved the way for the murder of thousands,” she wrote.

Be it the wrath of being denied a ticket or repentance, the timing and the content of the BJP veteran’s blog seem to be impeccable.

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Topics:  Narendra Modi   BJP   blog 

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