The new BJP President Shri Rajnath Singh is very clear about the road map for his party. It'sbuilt on a vision of a strong, united and prosperous India. How does it jell with his ideological underpinnings? To find out, Organiser correspondent Deepak Kumar Rath interviewed the leader whose clarity of thought is as disarming as his candid response.
India will remain united because of its culture. The main driving force of this country is our culture. India will not remain united because of political reasons. India is not a politico-territorial state. India is a geo-cultural nation.
What is your definition of the role of a political party in democracy?
The role of a political party in democracy is very important. It is because of the political parties that democracy survives in a country.
There is a feeling that to make electoral adjustments, political parties often discard ideology. Is it true?
No, there is no need to discard ideology, even if we have to forge an alliance with 50 allies. Although there are some issues and programmes on which a consensus is made in order to run the government smoothly.
Do you think that ideology is a hindrance in coalition politics?
Ideology cannot be a hindrance in coalition politics. There may be some issues and programmes on which there may not be a consensus among the allies of a coalition.
What is the role of ideology in polity?
Ideology or philosophy provides a direction or vision to a person, institution or a political party. Also, philosophy determines the ultimate goal of the human life. Therefore, I think that importance of philosophy is not confined merely to political field but it has significance in personal life too. For instance, BJP has its ideology of Integral Humanism, which provides a vision to us. And how do we get vision from it? We think of human being as a mix of body, heart, intelligence and soul (tana, mana, buddhi and atma). Naturally, every human being wants to attain a goal in his life and the most important goal is to attain happiness and prosperity.
This can be attained if the four things the human is made of, get their every desire fulfilled. So, what is the desire of body? They are good food, good clothing, car, etc, i.e. sense-based happiness. And how to attain them? They will be attained by wealth. So, wealth is needed for the happiness of body. Likewise, every man has a heart and its strongest feeling is to have honour and respect. This honour and respect happen to be personal, social and national. If this feeling of respect and honour had not been there, then so many people would not have sacrificed their lives for the Independence of the country.
Wealth is required for the happiness of body and respect and honour for the happiness of heart. If intelligence is impaired, the human being cannot attain happiness even if he has plenty of wealth. And the most important necessity of intelligence is knowledge. Atma (soul) is a part of Parmatma. The more the human establishes his relation with soul, the greater the magnitude of happiness he attains. And what is the final desire of the human? It is that atma should merge with Parmatma.
Deendayalji has given this philosophy that the human being can achieve the ultimate goal if he gets wealth for body, honour and respect for heart, knowledge for intelligence and merging with Parmatma for atma. So, for all-round development of a man, only materialistic development is not enough, spiritual development is also equally important. It is defined only in BJP'sideology of Integral Humanism that how a man should maintain his relation with other human beings, with family, with society, with nation, with world, with nature, with universe and with Parmatma.
So this provides us with a vision as to how to maintain relation with other human beings and how to attain the ultimate goal of life. Therefore, ideology plays an important role in the life of a human being, an institution or a political party.
There are some people who believe that a political party exists for power and governance. Is it its primary concern?
The aim and objective of a political party should not be power. Politics should not be centric only towards forming the government but towards creating society and nation. Every politician and party should work for this cause.
When we talk of Congressisation of the BJP, we talk of a situation where political parties in practice are not different from one another. The BJP was known as a party with a difference. Was it because of its ideology that it was considered different?
Ram Temple at Ayodhya should certainly be reconstructed. There are no two opinions about it.
I don'taccept that BJP has undergone the process of Congressisation. We also ran the government and there were no scams and our ministers were not charged with allegations of corruption. On the other hand, if Congress runs the government for even two years-from the first Congress government till now-several scams and many cases of corruption are exposed. The BJP is a party with a difference and it is the only party that gave Indian politics a philosophical concept.
During the NDA regime, the BJP had forsaken all its core ideological planks. As the new President of BJP, are you planning a return to these core ideals?
Well, as regard Uniform Civil Code and Article 370, I think there is a need for a debate on these issues. The main aspect of Indian culture is unity in diversity. And Ram Temple at Ayodhya should certainly be reconstructed. There are no two opinions about it. I appeal to the members of the Muslim community to come forward. This is also necessary for strengthening the integrity and sovereignty of the country. Those people who say why Ram Temple, why not a hospital or a library there, I would like to tell them that utility of a hospital and library may last for 50 or 100 years. To maintain unity, integrity and asmita of a society, a library or a hospital will not prove effective for a long time. Emperor Solomon constructed a temple one or two thousand years ago in Israel. All the Jews residing in different parts of the world came to offer prayer at this temple, which was a dilapidated wall. They saw it as their cultural symbol. And this dilapidated wall brought into existence Israel-a powerful country-which had vanished from the map of the world thousands of years ago.
How would you bring this issue to fruition?
This matter is sub judice but I don'tthink that this matter will be resolved in the court. It will be the best thing if the matter is resolved through consensus.
For this, Advaniji undertook several yatras. Do you plan to undertake such a programme to bring about awareness among the masses?
An awareness should certainly be made among the people. The future programme will be decided after we meet on January 20. This is a very serious issue and it is in our priorities.
There are people who say that because of globalisation, nationalism, patriotism, Hindutva, etc, are outdated. Do you agree with this?
No, I don'tagree with this. The concept of Hindutva is larger than globalisation. Globalisation only professes that nations of the world should serve the interests of each other and be watchful towards them. Whereas, the concept of Hindutva is so vast and elaborate that it gives the message of Vasudhaivakutumbakam. Globalisation cannot be compared with Hindutva.
Do you agree with the view that in a globalised world, ideologies create friction and flashpoints?
No, I don'tagree with this. Globalisation, liberalisation and modernisation might cause this, but we do not want to isolate India from global activities. But it will be a matter of great concern if in the process India'sautonomy and asmita are damaged.
Do you think that to win an election, ideology is not necessary, particularly when we see parties without any ideology form governments.
This is true that government is not formed only on the basis of ideology. The voters in India do not share the same level of social and economic background. But ideology gives direction and vision to our work. Elections are fought on issues, not necessarily based on ideology. Many regional parties have no ideology. They only think of how to form government. They have no concern for human beings, society or country. Whereas our ideology inculcates this feeling into us that we do politics not only for forming the government but also to serve the society and country.
The BJP was considered a separate ideological pole in Indian politics. But now, people say that the BJP is no different from Congress. Do you think that pursuit of power politics dilutes ideological sharpness?
Such a confusion has been created after the government ran for six years. But this confusion needs to be rooted out. I maintain that India will remain united because of its culture. The main driving force of this country is our culture. India will not remain united because of political reasons. India is not a politico-territorial state. India is a geo-cultural nation. If we remember one cultural symbol, the whole country is attached to that. For example, we find Lord Krishna'stemple not only in northern India, but in all parts of the country. This is also the secret behind India'sunity. Look at Russia, which was formed as USSR in 1919 by annexing several states. But by 1991, it disintegrated into 15 parts. It was united because of political reasons, not because of cultural reasons.
You have said so many things about ideology. But in the recent past, several BJP MPs and members appeared to be straying from ideology.
One should not wander away from ideology. Ideals are different from ideology. In politics, one should maintain ethics.
As regards Sanjay Joshi, as soon as the allegations were levelled against him, he himself offered resignation from the party and declared that he will not accept that position in the party until found not guilty. He himself filed an FIR and demanded a probe into the matter.
Would you keep such people away from your team that you will soon be forming?
Certainly. It will be our endeavour to keep such people away. But we do not have any instrument that could measure ethics and morality, since a person can only be evaluated when he is working. Also I don'tclaim that all have a clean image in BJP. But BJP will take a stern action against all those who are found involved in wrong activities.
Do you think that behind the CD scandal, there is an attempt to defame this ideological Parivar?
This possibility cannot be denied. But this should also be taken as a warning. We need to be cautious. Also we should continue to introspect ourselves. As regards Sanjay Joshi, as soon as the allegations were levelled against him, he himself offered resignation from the party and declared that he will not accept that position in the party until found not guilty. He himself filed an FIR and demanded a probe into the matter. Those persons who do not have the confidence can never show such courage. I can never have such a doubt about Sanjay Joshi. I have full faith on him.
And if he is found not guilty, then will he be re-inducted into BJP?
If he had not offered resignation and had not insisted on it, we would never have accepted it. Only levelling allegations does not make one guilty. Anyone can be charged with allegations. But Sanjay Joshi has shown the courage by undertaking this tough test.