Since Narendra Modi has rode BJP to power in centre on his own the real challenge he is facing to build a solid base of legacy on which foundation his future politics can stand. In this effort the most easiest way he has chosen to find out those leaders from Congress history whom he can describe as near to his ideological and political vision and it is not a bad strategy at all because during the freedom struggle and even after the independence the difference of opinion existed within congress party and particularly those leaders who had close association with Arya Samaj and wanted more vocal cultural and Indianised Identical look to congress in general and government in particular always had some soft corner for those social and political groups who did not have political strength but their social base and acceptability was always there in society and RSS as an organization and ideological family of Hindu Nationalists like Hindu Mahasabha and later Jansangh were part of this grouping .
Dr Rajendra Prasad, K M Munshi, Sardar Patel, Rajgopalchari and Ayengar were some leaders who had more strong cultural appeal with civilizational vision.
It seems Narendra Modi focuses more on this fault line of Congress in search of legacy for his future politics and in this process he not only tries to present him as an alternate of congress before people of India simultaneously he tries to get the credibility for his ideological base in freedom struggle movement but this strategy can be called as forced compulsion also because in long run RSS and BJP lacks its own leaders or ideologues who can sustain their political legacy in long run.
Even though this strategy seems to be very smart in first look but it is also full of contradictions because the over emphasis on the political legacy with cultural appeal cannot work in long run with borrowed leaders who cannot provide the answers to those basic ideological issues and political or economic philosophy for which BJP stands for or it can be presumed that BJP does not stand for any ideological conviction and it is ready to appropriate any leader from Congress who can be described as did not have cordial relations with Jawahar Lal Nehru but it does not elaborate any encrypted message that these leaders were approving the ideas and philosophy of RSS or their ideological family members in politics because if it would have been the case most of these leaders would have revolted against Pt Nehru and joined the RSS or Jansangh but it never had been the case .
The simple strategy of branding and marketing has been applied by Narendra Modi successfully since 2012 elections in Gujarat when he successfully invoked Netaji Subhash Chandra Bosh in his election campaign and called for “ Tum mujhe vote do main tumhe vikas doongaa” . Since then he has been consistently using the icons of regions who have strong following in the consciousness of the local people and he tries to cash them politically but he has not been able to do so successfully in Bihar and he has started with his same strategy in Kerala when he invoked one of the past Congress Chief Minister R Sankar and connected his memories with Hindu Mahsabha and his contribution in Hindu consolidation.
The recent buzz of BJP leaders and their supports with demand of the declassification of the files related with Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose is another example of appropriating the past figure to build the base for future in west Bengal elections.
The glorification of Dr Bheemrao Ambedkar from BJP and RSS is also full of contradictions because the ideas and philosophy of both are totally different as later founded its base to defend the values of Hinduism and Hindus on the other former not only changed his religion to deny the authority of the Hindu religion which is the fusion of Mahyan Buddhism and Advaitik interpretation of Adi Shankar more accommodative to Mahayan sect of Buddhism but Dr Ambedkar rejected the traditional Buddhist stream which were popular in East Asia and supports the idea of Avtar and idol worship and he converted himself to neo Buddhism which demands very radical anti views to traditional Hinduism not only in cast but in some basic fundamentals also. In this process Narendra Modi swinging much in favor of Neo Buddhism which was founded by Dr Ambedkar and this paradox of taking traditional Hinduism and Neo Buddhism together is tough task and both of them will never walk together no matter who is leading them to walk together.
There is no problem in appropriating the past leaders from congress party because leaders can become relevant at any occasion no matter which party they belong but this strategy of Modi will not work in long run because one image, past figure or brand with regional consciousness loses its utility in electoral politics once it is exploited.
The dilemma to appropriate leaders from other parties or ideological streams indicates the helplessness of BJP and RSS in their efforts to build any political legacy of their own for solid and long innings in politics.