Pt Deendayal Upadhyayaji was a vociferous spokesperson on national integrity and unity. He devoted his whole life to make Bharat a nation with one heart
Pt. Deendayal Upadhyaya is the enriched linkage in the Bharatiya agrarian tradition. The ultimate decade in the Freedom Struggle against British (1937-1947) was takenover by the agitation of Two-Nation Theory. The Independence Struggle that ran with the fervour of devotion to Bharat Mata and Vande Mataram was blanketed by plundering ferment of hunger for enjoyment. This was the black period that coincided with the Partition of Bharat on the altar of religion.
This was the same decade when a young and talented Deendayal entered the public life. He became a swayamsevak of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, with the sense of unified and integral nationalism and with an ambition of resistance to the divisive sequences, and later on became a fully devoted pracharak. He saw an absence of morality, braveness and kshatra-dharma and wrote a novel Chandragupta Maurya for the coming generation. He also wrote another novel Jagadguru Shankaracharya and became a vociferous spokesman of national integrality and national unity. At that time, he was the sahprant pracharak of RSS in Uttar Pradesh. He started the publication of daily Swadesh, weekly Panchjanya and monthly Rashtradharma.
Deendayalji never accepted the Two-Nation Theory and always moved forward bearing in his hands the torch of ‘Undivided Bharat’. His first book which was published in independent Bharat was titled Akhand Bharat Kyon? (Why Undivided Bharat). He never allowed this dream and thought to slip out of the agenda. He always insisted on undivided Bharat. An undivided Bharat is not only an identity of the geographical continuity but it is an icon of the Bharatiya outlook about the life that sees unity in diversity. Thus, undivided Bharat is not just a slogan for us, it is the foundation of all our philosophy of life.
Deendayalji entered politics in 1951 and became the Mahamantri of the Bharatiya Jan Sangh. As long as he lived, he declared the undivided Bharat to be an aim of the Jan Sangh in all election manifestos from1952 to 67. He said that war is not the actual way of unifying Bharat. The war can bring geographical unity but not the national unity. Integrity is not only a geographical but a national ideal too. The nation was Partitioned because of the Two-Nation Theory and the tendency to compromise with it. An undivided Bharat can become a reality by remaining steadfast on the principle of one nation in heart, speech and action. Whatever appears to be impossible today can be realised with the passage of time; however, the ideals must always be alive before us. When men like Dr Ram Manohar Lohia agreed with this logic, a joint statement of Dr Lohia and Deendayalji came that ‘the process to form a federation of Bharat-Pakistan should be taken further’.
In pursuance of this same integrity, Deendayalji organised a nationwide satyagraha against the hindrances created in the way of Kashmir’s accession to India. The tendency to compromise with nationalism again raised a voice in the form of demand for self-rule for Kashmir. Deendayalji said, “Pakistan's founders consider Islam to be the basis of nationalism and they feel their natural right on Kashmir on this basis. The day they would revoke this right, their very foundation will be lost. However, Bharat has never accepted the Two-Nation Theory and will never agree to it. Had India’s Partition been done on the Two-Nation Theory, not a single Muslim could have lived here. If we accept Pakistan’s right on Kashmir solely because Muslims are in majority there, we will give a major blow to our one nationality. Our announcement to carry referendum was principally wrong. Unfortunately enough, Pakistan is holding on to it today.” He considered the land and the people, separated from us in the name of Pakistan, as his own and considered Pakistan’s Two-Nation existence as his natural foe. Many people fail to understand this equation but Deendayalji lived this equation all his life.
It was the same sense that prompted him to demand, when the Constitution was being prepared, that Bharat is one country and as such, Bharat should be a single state. The existence of political Bharat should not be as a federation of artificial states but as a homogenous nation. The federalism as accepted in the Constitution was for him ‘a basic mistake of the politics of India’. He wanted the power of the homogenous state to be decentralised to the level of traditional janapada and panchayat units. Unfortunately, we aped the westerners and formed a union of states of Bharat. By putting the language at the bottom of formation of states, we mixed the toxicity of subaltern nationalism in our political life. We passed through a very horrible experience and extreme violence and separatism were nurtured through the linguistic states. Except for the Bharatiya Jan Sangh, there was not a single party to speak so equivocally.
The first state, Andhra Pradesh, was formed because of the violence and the newest State Telangana too has been formed through violence. We have created perpetual conflicts of rivers and regions. Deendayalji continued to announce the homogenous state as the ultimate goal in every manifesto of the Bharatiya Jan Sangh. His first and historic presidential speech at the Calicut also underlined the demand for the homogenous state.
The imperialistic education taught us that India was not a country or nation but a subcontinent. Eventually, the political leaders influenced by the western thought never imagined a great and ancient nation of Bharat but deemed British India as the real Bharat. That is why they did not consider those parts of Bharat as belonging to the country that were not controlled by British. They never tried to free Goa from Portugal’s control or Pondicherry from French, on the contrary labeled those who demanded freedom as imperialists. Deendayal Upadhyaya accepted this challenge, initiated the Goa Liberation Struggle, mobilised people from all over the country and sent a troop of 100 satyagrahis to Goa under the leadership of Shri Jagannath Joshi. He mobilised the people’s support to force the government to start police action. The Samajwadi Dal of Dr. Lohia also participated in this agitation and the partial freedom of the India was completed to a degree. This first phase of Pt. Deendayal Upadhyay’s life was devoted to the integrality of the nation.
This was the definitive time to shape up the economic system of the country. The imperialistic British had wrecked the production system of Bharat to make their industrial revolution a success. Bharat, once called the land of gold (sone ki chidia) became pauper and bankrupt. We became inclined towards another regulatory set of westerners – socialism. Five-Year Plans were devised on the footsteps of Soviet Russia. This phase of the cooperative agriculture and nationalisation of the industries was very challenging. Deendayal Upadhyaya accepted this challenge and cautioned government as well as the society. Two of his books appeared; first was in English—Two Plans : Promises, Performance, Prospects—and another in Hindi—Bharatiya Arthneeti : Vikas Ki Ek Disha. Through these books, he emphasised the Bharatiya dimension of economy and presented the concept of Economic Democracy. He said, “As the political democracy envisages the voting right for every adult, similarly the opportunity of employment for every adult is the parameter of the economic democracy.” He advised the strengthening of traditional self-employment. He advised to reject the artificial division of public and private spheres. While condemning the centralised economic order that came out of industrial revolution and colonialism, he put forward the decentralised economy as our ideal. He propounded the concept of Antyodaya and warned that our problem is not the lack of the money (poverty) alone. Actually, the lack of money and influence of the money, both are equally hazardous. He presented an equation with three formulas – production growth, equitable distribution and restraint in enjoyment. He wrote a book and five-part articles titled Yojana Badalo (Change the plan). Instead of being bound by western practice of ‘argument’, he advocated a pragmatic organisation with an understanding of Indian traditions and conditions. He said, “Only a two-word remedy is enough for the problems in Indian economy. First is ‘Swadeshi’ and another is decentralisation.”
His idea of Swadeshi was not limited to the economy alone. He wanted a comprehensive Indianisation of all systems and atmosphere. Hence, his articles appeared with titles like ‘Indianisation of Democracy’, ‘Indianisation of Education System’, ‘Indianisation of Economy’ etc.
While worshipping the Indianness and the integrality of Bharat, he was giving shape to Bharatiya Jan Sangh. The spread of Bharatiya Jan Sangh astonished the people. Jan Sangh was the only party after Congress that developed itself as a national party. The party surged ahead with every passing election. The elections held between 1952 to 1967 are witness to this. In 1967, it went past Socialist, Communist and Swatantra Party to become the number two party in Bharat. All these parties had some heavyweight leaders, they talked about the interests of one or another class because of which they had vote bank of one kind or another. Jan Sangh did not have any such leader neither it had vote bank. Yet, how the party could make strides was a perplexing question to many. Actually, the answer lays in the personality of Deendayalji Upadhyay. He was against the hero-worship politics. For him, principles, thoughts and organisation came first while person came on later. He created an army of devoted workers. He created an ideal from his own life and realised all these concepts in his life.
Post, success or glory are not wanted,
All should fall at the feet of mother.
The only chant of Bharat Mata Ki Jai,
Should the world hear.
This is why the unparalleled sessions of Jan Sangh, the first ever huge protests against Kutch Agreement could became the highlights of the Bharatiya history and though Jan Sangh was a political party, he ran it like a cultural movement. Jan Sangh was not a party but a movement. It is a vehement manifestation of the national expression. It was an aspiration to achieve the destined goal of the nation unwaveringly. Deendayalji himself said that he was the ambassador of culture in the politics. This was the secret propelling Jan Sangh forward, leaving all other parties behind.
The political idea of ‘nation state’ came from west; Deendayalji exposed the inhumanity inherent in it and gave a mantra of geo-cultural nationalism. He discovered the synonyms to nation in Bharatiya sociology and defined the words Chiti and Virat as per the new age. He challenged the materialistic regional nation-statehood because of which the Bharat Mata Ki Jai and Vande Mataram become the chants of Indian nationalism.
This thinking of Indianness and nationalism prompted Deendayalji to reach to the Ekatm Manavatavaad (Integral Humanism). Indian philosophy deems a person not only a human nor only a community. The Indian thought does not look at the individual and the society as mutually opposing as do the ideologies of Individualism and Socialism in the west. Deendayalji vehemently rejected this idea and said that an individual and society are not mutually opposing but homogenous units. The human is a product of this homogeneousness. Deendayalji extended the ideas in this integrality. An individual is not only a human and the society, but also a member of the nature. An individual is not only material, he has spirituality inherent in him. Hence, he said, “The integrality of an individual, society, nature and the divine is inherent in the human.” A comprehensive philosophy of integral human is his marvelous and unparalleled gift to his era. Making all workers of Bharatiya Jan Sangh a party in the consultations, he gave the final form in writing to this thought in the study class at Gwalior in 1964. An essay titled Sidhant Evam Niti (Principles and Policy) was prepared. In the prologue to this essay, Deendayalji said, “Today, we remember two men who brought the revolutions in Bharat’s history. One is Jagadguru Shankaracharya who ventured with a message of sanatan intellectual faith and to end the disorder prevalent in the country; and the second is Chanakya, who ventured to form a well organised empire taking on the responsibility of conception of Arthashastra and mobilising the fractured national power throughout the union of the states.”
Deendayalji create a new three-stage journey consisting of Vedant of Shankaracharya, Arthashastra by Chanakya and Integral Humanism as elaborated by him.
Deendayal was not only an idealistic and principled leader but was also pragmatic to the core. That is why he created such a grand political party and created an out-of-this-world chain of the party workers. He knew the limitations of the political parties in the set up of democratic politics in which he worked. Hence, he was focused on the voters. He thought that the ‘refinement of the public opinion’ was the first condition of a healthy democracy. He tried to develop it as a concept. One of his timeless quote is “The unprincipled voting is the father of unprincipled politics”. He wrote nine articles titled Apka Mat (Your Vote) before the third general elections. These articles themselves are the study material that defines the refinement of the public opinion. He used to say that the regulatory authority of the democracy is voter and not any parliament, party or the government. He insisted on making voters informed.
He looked at all the problems of his time with a vision. The temporal constraints could never shake him. He is yet to be studied in totality. If his discourse reaches to the coming generations, they will surely understand the relevance and propriety of Deendayalji. In 1967-68, Deendayalji became the president of Bharatiya Jan Sangh. The man who worked from behind the curtains came to the forefront. Deendayalji started getting the publicity that aroused curiosity. And the curse befell. He remained the president of Jan Sangh for just 44 days and the cruel hands of the conspiracies snatched him away from us. He gave an historic address as the president. In his valedictory address, he said; “The glory of the past is our life-support, but we do not think it as the zenith of our national life. We are realistic to the present, but not bound to it. We have golden dreams for the future, but we are not sleepy. Rather, we are the karmayogis who realise those dreams. We are the worshippers of the time-conquering culture of past that had no starting point, the present that is not stable and the future which is timeless. We have the confidence of the victory, come with the determination of the penance.”
Dr Mahesh Chandra Sharma (The writer is Guest Editor of this edition. He was the former President of BJP (Rajasthan))