ADVANI, LAL KRISHNA (1927- ) Of the scores of Indian leaders who held power in New Delhi, four had a profound impact on the country’s relations with Pakistan This group included Lal Krishna Advani, along with Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of India; Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the first home minister; and Atal Bihari Vajpayee, India’s prime minister from 1996 to 2004 In this group of leaders, Advani occupies a special position since he changed his position with respect to Pakistan in a spectacular way in the summer of 2005 Lal Krishna Advani was born in Karachi 20 years before the departure of the British from India and the partition of their domain into the independent states of India and Pakistan Partition of the subcontinent led to a mass migration of people across the newly established border Eight million Muslims moved to Pakistan from India, and six million Hindus and Sikhs moved in the opposite direction The Advani family moved from Karachi, the capital of the new state of Pakistan, to Delhi, the capital of independent India Soon after arriving in India, Advani plunged into politics on the side of the Hindu nationalist parties He aligned himself with Jan Sangh, the predecessor of the Bharartiya Janata Party (BJP), which he was to eventually lead For several decades, the Hindu nationalists remained on the fringes of Indian politics; following a campaign led by Advani in 1992, which resulted in the demolition of the Babri mosque at Ayodhya, a small town in the state of Uttar Pradesh, the BJP gained national recognition and support

In 1998, Vajpayee and Advani led the BJP to electoral triumph over the Congress Party that had ruled in the country almost uninterrupted for a half century Advani advocated a hard line approach in India’s dealings with Pakistan In July 2001, when President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan met with India’s Prime Minister Vajpayee at Agra, it was Advani’s unaccommodating attitude that led to the summit’s failure He vetoed the document that the Indian prime minister and the Pakistani president had agreed to issue as a joint statement In 2001-2002, when more than a million Indian and Pakistani troops faced each other across their long border, Advani threatened to obliterate Pakistan if it did not stop its support of the mujahideen who were fighting the Indian occupation of the state of Kashmir At the height of the crisis with Pakistan, Advani was appointed deputy prime minister to provide support to the ailing prime minister The BJP suffered a surprise defeat in the election held in 2004 and went into opposition, while the Congress party formed a coalition government in New Delhi Advani was elected president of the BJP following Vajpayee’s resignation from the position and was chosen also to lead the opposition in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Indian parliament In early 2005, Advani accepted the invitation of the Pakistan Muslim League, the governing party in Pakistan, to visit Pakistan During this historic visit, Advani went to the Minar-ePakistan, a monument in Lahore that commemorates the passage of the “Pakistan Resolution” in 1943, at the annual meeting of the AllIndia Muslim League that demanded the partition of India and the creation of a separate state for the Muslim population of the country This demand was bitterly opposed by the Hindu nationalists

By going to the Minar, Advani said that he was sending a clear message that he regarded Pakistan’s creation as a fact of history and was prepared to work for peace between the two South Asian countries He then visited Karachi, the city of his birth, and laid a wreath at the tomb of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, calling him a great secular leader who had served his people wellThese statements did not endear Advani to his base back in India There were demands for his resignation, but when he resigned the more moderate elements in his party pressured him to stay on as president of BJP He withdrew his resignation, and his gamble had paid off His statements in Pakistan signaled a profound change in the thinking of the party that he now led, something that was required if it were to build a base that extended beyond the community of Hindu nationalists Advani retired as BJP president on 31 December 2005 after celebrating the 25th anniversary of the founding of the party He was succeeded by Rajnath Singh See also HINDUVTA

What do you think?

0 points
Upvote Downvote

Total votes: 0

Upvotes: 0

Upvotes percentage: 0.000000%

Downvotes: 0

Downvotes percentage: 0.000000%