Non-resident Indian Anshuman Mishra, who was recently in the news as the Bharatiya Janata Party's controversial candidate for the Rajya Sabha polls from Jharkhand, has written an open letter to party patriarch L K Advani advising the latter to make a dignified exit and hand over the reins to the party's second generation leaders. Onkar Singh reproduces an excerpt from it.
Let me start with a story that you might be aware; it was told by Dr Deepak Chopra (whom you met with the late Narendra Mohan of the Jagran group).
The late US President Ronald Reagan used to hold on to a toy of his every day. One day his wife asked him, 'Ronnie, why do you have this in your hands?' Since Reagan had Alzheimer's, he struggled to respond. But all he said -- fondly looking at the replica of White House in his hands -- 'I don't know, but it has something to do with me.'
Have you thought about giving an opportunity to Arunji (Jaitley), Sushmaji (Swaraj) or Narendrabhai (Modi) to lead the nation?
Nitinji (Gadkari) goes around and raises resources for the party you built with your blood and sweat. With how much sincerity/dedication, Arunji works day and night, to assist partymen every day -- don't you think a father, who has nourished his sons, should make way for the younger generation?
I can vouch for the personal integrity of each of these individuals. None of these individuals has ever accepted a penny from anyone for personal gains. The problem is an 80-plus leader hoarding power. Only because these leaders respect you, they are not going to ask you to step aside.
In the West, people are desperate to retire -- in India, we are not able to let go. It is like Sachin Tendulkar batting for India in his late 30s -- the team is bound to lose so let us make way for the young. The country has changed, please realise this basic fact.
We prayed for you to take over from Vajpayeeji. You have given your life for the country. It is because of people like you that India is still going.
Please understand the thinking of a youthful nation -- they are attracted by Modi / Jaitley / Sushma -- the times have changed.
It is time for you and Dr (Murli Manohar) Joshi to hang up your boots. Out of respect and BJP's (Indian) culture, none of these people would say this to you on your face. But it is high time you realise that the nation rejected us in 2004 and 2009. Let them have clarity over Narendrabhai or any one else.
The statesman that you are, the time has come for you to take a dignified exit. It is time for you to read books and spend time with your grandkids.
Since you are an intellectual and have enormous wisdom, you should take a clue from Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal and left it for others to benefit. You don't intend to take the Taj with you, do you?
I know I would be asked who are you to say this, but let me be candid. This is coming from the lotus feet of my Master Mahesh Yogi (whom you visited in my presence in the '90s) and the Vedic tradition of Sankaracharya. I am a fearless Brahmin.
The country is not keen on having AK Hangal, but Amir Khan or Ranbir Kapoor. Accept this fact and move on.