Whether it is a question of zamindari abolition or the issue of land-ceiling in urban areas, Deendayalji found his answers in Antyodaya
The British left Bharat in 1947 but left behind a legacy of political, economic and social system that would further the colonial objectives. Be it the field of agriculture or artisanship, or industry or education and healthcare. The political and economic systems that were not in consonance with the Bharatiya psyche, were accepted by the Constitution in 1950. A political system needed for Bharat to express self because political power is an important factor though it is not the total objective.
The Bharatiya Jan Sangh came into existence against such a background on October 21, 1951 under the leadership of Dr Syama Prasad Mookherjee. In his presidential speech on that occasion Dr Mukherjee said, “The Bharatiya Jan Sangh did not come into existence only for ensuing elections. Elections have their importance in democracy and we will field our candidates wherever possible. But they are only an opportunity for us to take our ideology to the people and to lay the unshakable foundation of Jan Sangh as a national political party. Our party would take the message of hope and goodwill to the people irrespective of the election outcome and continue inspiring them for contributing towards making Bharat a more prosperous and happy country.
Now the responsibility of all round development of Jan Sangh fell on the shoulders of Pt Deendayal Upadhyaya. Post 1950 Bharatiya parliamentary and party politics demanded organising a political power keeping in view of Bharat’s influence, vision, and requirement. For this, it was required to set up a political economic technique on the basis of Bharatiya culture in competition with the communism and its colourful expression in socialist streams. For this, new experiments were conducted and new avenues were searched on the ideological, organisational, political and election arena. Deendayalji was fully and deeply aware of this. He was all committed to democracy by his actions, speech and intentions he thought of giving priority to expand the organisation in the country. He was also clear in his mind that any document could be given its final shape only after it was seen, read, and accepted by the workers with their suggestions and opinions incorporated in it. His democratic mind would think that two-way meaningful dialogue and speed and expansion with trained workers are required for acceptance of the party. Deendayalji was an original thinker. He was expert in finding temporary solution to the problem besides searching for its permanent treatment. This quality of his is visible in his thoughts. His articles, resolutions, drafts and Bharatiya Arthneeti: Vikas Ki Ek Disha should be seen against this background.
That was the time when public psyche was influenced by socialism, cooperative farming, heavy industries, chemical agriculture and mechanisation. But Deendayalji was disturbed by the problem of Jammu & Kashmir, migration of Hindus from the then East Pakistan, the 1965 attack by Pakistan and before that the 1962 invasion of the Chinese that shattered the romantic and impractical policies of Bharat. He understood well that politics was not a smooth road but a difficult one with lots of ups and downs, turns and bends and the most uneven allies. Therefore one must be firmly committed to one’s target and objective and form the thesis in the light of philosophy and ideology. Policies should be made based on these theses keeping in view their practical applications. He agreed with Dr Mookherjee that political power is not the ultimate objective but a means only. He believed that the four pillars of the party viz. Ideology, organisation, political and elections are like a chair and should be in proper balance to conduct the party affairs. Amongst them, more emphasis was laid on ideology and organisation because it was imperative to train workers in party ideology and work system to build formidable organisational base. But it was not easy either.
In the 12th plenary session of the party held in 1965 at Vijaywada a document titled ‘Principles and Policy’ was presented keeping in view the post 1950 political history, experiences and challenges. This document was accepted by the party. Thus this document became the guidance point. The philosophy of Integral Humanism incorporated in the philosophy of Jan Sangh was born out of this document. This document forms the ideological base of the party from Jan Sangh to BJP at present.
This document contains two parts viz. Principles and policies. The principles are mostly unchanged even today and prove to be inspiring and guiding force to the party as they were at the time when they were presented. However, in context of the present debate on nation and nationalism, it is clearly stated that this is an ancient nation and independence has added a new chapter to its age old history and not heralded the birth of a new nation as perceived. Naturally, the basis for Bharatiya nationalism is Bharat and the faith in her Sanatan Sanskriti.
Regarding Bharatiya Sanskriti, he was of the opinion that it is one and unified as Bharat and the talk of mixed culture is not only against it but it is detrimental to national unity and integrity as it strengthens divisive tendencies.
What Deendayalji said in 1965 regarding the fate and future of Bharat holds true even today. He said: “The major reason of the present day situation is the lack of realisation of the real spirit of our national life and to impose foreign ideologies and life values on the soul of our nation. In our quest of ‘speedy growth’ we have developed a tendency of blindly aping the other countries and neglecting and insulting our own self. Without the realisation of our own self neither the independence is meaningful nor is it enough to generate awareness to work with a feeling of freedom, and happiness.”
Discussing this principle further he described the vision that would start from the self and merge with the Ultimate Supreme Reality through the society and how they are inter-related and unitary. He also discussed our view of cultural vision. He believed that Bharat has been an ideal Dharma Rajya but not a theocratic state as it showed equal respect to all the sects and religions and ways of worship. According to Deendayalji the English word ‘Rule of Law’ is the nearest in meaning to Dharma Rajya concept of Bharat. In principle it can be agreed to that democracy is indivisible and tolerance, dignity of individuals and integration with the society are its spirit. Electing our representatives and government is the main property of democracy. Freedom of business and consumption is necessary for economic democracy. Social democracy is must for opportunity and prestige.
Like democracy independence is also indivisible. There can be no existence sans free government. Without economic freedom the social and partially political freedom is out of reach for humans and without social freedom the society is landed in slavery due to lack and influence of Artha i.e. money.
Capitalism agrees to absolute authority of individual on finance and property while in socialism this authority rests with the government. Deendayalji is of the view that restraint is necessary in equitable distribution and consumption of the products along with more production. The basis of this restraint is essentially culture, sanskar and education and they in turn will have Dharma as their base. Then and then only the man will not become an economic animal but he will be happy in its totality.
Therefore, according to integral humanism, swadeshi and decentralisation will be the basis of economy and purified public opinion and decentralisation will determine the nature of the government of the state. Deendayalji seems to be commenting on the present situation when he says: “Almost all the political parties of Bharat are influenced by the western thought and relate them with some or the other political ideology of the west. They are just the replicas of those parties. They cannot fulfil the aspirations of Bharat and neither guide the global community standing at the corssroads toady.”
Deendayalji believed in one nation-one culture principle and felt that this is necessary to accelerate national integration. The integral state can be an apparatus in its expression. He favoured creation of some 100 janapads in place of linguistic states on the basis of history and common aspirations of the people. He also advocated panchayat janapad system of governance.
If we look at policies related to education, foreign, language, costing, agriculture, forests, industries, marketing, etc. deliberated in this ‘Principles and Policies’ document in the light of the above, we find most of the things discussed there hold good for today. He advocates for ban on cow slaughter besides their preservation and protection along with the legal ban. Whether it is land use for residential purposes or landless labours, eradicating zamindari or delimiting jot borders, or ceiling on urban property, Deendayalji always prefers to stand at the ‘Antyodaya’. The economic disparity should not exceed the 1:20 ratio and should lower down to 1:10 ration through samskars was his opinion. He favours Ayurveda being made national medical treatment system with inclusion of study and research in Ayurveda.
The last chapter of the document is titled ‘Our God’. This represents the personality and thoughts of Deendayalji. This one paragraph explains his views: “The focal point of our faith, our God, the instrument of our efforts and valour and barometer of achievements is that human being who is literally homeless (Aniket) and neglected (Aparigrahi). Our aim is to give him proper education and ensure his all round development and spiritually inspire him to serve the nation and global humanity with unattached involvement.”
Today, the politics of our country is caught in between internal contradictions and opportunism and seems to have lost its way. This document on ‘Principles and Policies’ can be the best anchor that would carry forward it through storms and turbulences. It has the capability of making the politics more meaningful today.
K N Govindacharya (the writer is a noted Swadeshi thinker)