M Venkaiah Naidu writes: L K Advani, a leader who never craved power


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Bharat Ratna: India's highest civilian award.

Mains level : Advani's contributions, emphasizing his commitment to Indian values, secularism, and nationalism.

Advani's last hurrah? | Mint

Central Idea:

The article praises Lal Krishna Advani’s significant contributions to Indian public life, emphasizing his role in promoting Indian civilizational values, correcting historical distortions, and fostering national unity. It highlights his quiet yet effective leadership, dedication to a new India, and his instrumental role in the formation and growth of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The author commends the government’s decision to confer the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, on Advani.

Key Highlights:

  • Advani’s life mission focused on promoting the glory of Indian thought and building a modern, united nation.
  • His extensive travels and yatras played a crucial role in shaping public opinion on critical issues.
  • Instrumental in founding the BJP, Advani, along with Atal Bihari Vajpayee, contributed to the party’s remarkable rise.
  • Advani’s commitment to a new India, drawing strength from its past and rising to its potential, is highlighted.
  • He vehemently opposed historical distortions, pseudo-secularism, and advocated for the right spirit of secularism and nationalism.

Key Challenges: The article does not explicitly mention challenges. However, it may be inferred that Advani faced challenges in steering Indian thought away from historical distortions and in promoting a vision of nationalism that unifies all Indians.

Key Terms/Phrases:

  • Bharat Ratna: India’s highest civilian award.
  • Yatras: Extensive travels or journeys for a specific purpose, often used in the context of political or religious outreach.
  • BJP: Bharatiya Janata Party, a prominent political party in India.
  • Pseudo-secularism: The article criticizes false narratives and distortions in presenting the concept of secularism.
  • Rath Yatra: A chariot procession, referring to Advani’s national movement in 1990.
  • Ram Mandir: Refers to the recently consecrated temple dedicated to Lord Ram.

Key Quotes/Statements:

  • “Advaniji emerged as one of the leading voices of India during the 70 years of his public life.”
  • “His life’s mission has been to create awareness about the glory of Indian thought and build a modern united nation.”
  • “He spared no effort to correct historical distortions and insults to the idea of India.”
  • “Advaniji is more a man of deeds and less of words.”

Key Examples and References:

  • Advani’s role in launching a Rath Yatra from Somnath in 1990.
  • The successful partnership between Advani and Atal Bihari Vajpayee in founding and expanding the BJP.
  • Reference to the recently consecrated Ram Mandir and Advani’s contribution to unleashing the power of nationalism.

Key Facts/Data:

  • Advani’s public life spanning 70 years.
  • The BJP’s parliamentary performance in 1984 and its subsequent rise to a national political force.
  • Advani’s role as the Home Minister and efforts to fortify internal security.

Critical Analysis:

The article presents a positive and appreciative view of Advani’s contributions, emphasizing his commitment to Indian values, secularism, and nationalism. It portrays him as a quiet yet effective leader, focusing on tangible results. The author applauds the government’s decision to confer the Bharat Ratna on Advani.

Way Forward:

The article does not explicitly suggest a way forward. However, it implies that Advani’s legacy will endure through the principles and morals he upheld, the leaders he mentored, and the impact of his contributions on shaping the idea of India.

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