Deendayalji stiched together concepts of swadeshi and decentralisation to guide the path of integral development
One factor which is pivotal to maintain are the geographical and political integrity of a society/nation is the unambiguous judgment of self-identity, a realisation of what we are.
Swadeshi is that factor which has kept Bharat together for centuries. Swadeshi manifests considering nation as mother, thus nurturing a sense of belonging to all her native assets and concept of decentralisation. Deendayalji stitched together these two concepts of Swadeshi to render the philosophy of Integral-Humanism.
Disintegration of USSR in 1991 into 16 countries and that of Yugoslavia in to 4 countries forever put to rest all the perceptions around ideology as an integrating factor for society and nation. Division of Pakistan in 1971 and recent events in Indonesia also corroborated that religion too cannot be that integrating factor. Civil wars of Sri Lanka and Nigeria proved that racism as a glue for integration is also futile. Hence it is prudent to contemplate as to what has kept Bharat composed for more than 7000 years and will remain so in coming times as well. Statements from Winston Churchill, Richard Nixon and Chinese bloggers stating that Bharat is an imitation which will soon be broken stand in contradiction to the longevity of Bharat standing as an cohesive nation. A comparative study of nations which remain united and which segregated substantiate beyond any doubt that one factor which is pivotal to maintaining geographical and political integrity of a society/nation is the unambiguous judgment of self-identity, a realisation of what we are. That we remain relevant, it is essential to nurture, innovate and bud this idea. Experiences from USSR and Yugoslavia amply establish the fact that such ideas can neither be forced upon nor can they be used to establish ones chauvinism as preached by Hitler. If done, it derails the whole society/nation. It is also not judicious to assume these ideas to be half baked and undefined for perpetuity.
Recently a book named, “Who are we”, authored by Harvard Professor Late Samuel Huntington was inaugurated. It details the intention and viability of United States as a nation. He mentions that root of US lies in American Identity which has two broad principals, prominence and revelation. Prominence puts American identity over and above any other inferior identities based on region, language or profession. Revelation distinguishes Americans as a group from the rest. He believes that a nation ingrained with such principals will only uphold its identity and rest all will perish eventually.
I believe that Swadeshi is that factor which has kept Bharat together for centuries. Swadeshi manifests considering nation as mother, thus nurturing a sense of belonging to all her native assets and concept of decentralisation in the form of revelation. Deendayalji stitched together these two concepts of Swadeshi to render the philosophy of Integral-Humanism which emphasised the need of coordination. Integral-Humanism conveys the fusion of materialism and spirituality. In the 1969 Patna conference of Bhartiya Jansangh, Swadeshi plan mooted by me baffled the Leftists. It was a very sensitive national event.
On 4th March 1970, the then prime minister of India, Smt. Indira Gandhi, who was also holding finance portfolio, presented budget for 1970-71. During budget discussions, she criticised my Swadeshi plan and castigated me as “Dangerous”. She was basically against the principal of compromising socialism for an open market economy. If these principals were accepted, Bharat had the chance of growing at 10% year on year, become self-reliant and acquire nuclear power status. My Swadeshi plan was inspired by the Integral Humanism philosophy of Pandit Deendayal Updadhyaya. Shri Dattopant Thengdi had some special comments on my plan. Shri Guruji foresaw the ill impacts of materialism on human society long time back. He realised collateral damage of globalization named consumerism long before we realized it. Hence he asserted the need of more values and spirituality in physical world. He stressed the need of synchronisation between our economic policies and ancient mystical values. The same thought process Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya developed as part of Integral-Humanism philosophy.
Both capitalism and communism philosophies failed to meet the aspirations of common man. Both philosophies played with the humanity aspect and did not give it its due importance.
Deendayalji discarded both Gandhian and democratic socialism as both failed to portray the human aspect of a society. He said that socialism values human aspirations and practices as much as jail manual is valued. Guruji proclaimed that communism is not the dictatorship of selected few but the dictatorship of a dictator of a dictator party.
In 1977, on the invitation of Dr. Mahesh Mehta, I delivered a lecture titled “Economic aspect of Integral-humanism” in New York. It was later published in an article edited by Dr. Mahesh Mehta. On the basis of this research and activities, I wrote an essay.
Structure of Economic Policy
5 dimensions of a structure an economic policy are:
- Resource Planning
- Institutional Structure
When we compare Communism, capitalism, socialism and Integral-humanism, we realize that in principal communism attempts to fetch most for society.
Whereas in capitalism, some invisible powers follow the jungle rule and attempt to maximize the production for producer, profit for owner and consumption for the masses.
Socialism takes upon welfare activities for its citizens in terms of providing guarantees for healthcare and employment. This is the concept of welfare under the ambit of socialism.
Deendayalji suggested that all the above mentioned goals are materialistic in nature and are thus hindrance to human progress. He said that human progress should be viewed as pious activity. Hence he advocated the need for synergising materialistic and spiritual goals and make it the primary objective of any economic policy. Deendayalji portrayed how policies for Indian purpose are different from those envisaged by foreign ideologies such as communism, socialism and capitalism. The most invaluable contribution of Deendayalji is defining the fundamentals of a nation. These fundamentals form the spirit of a nation. Every nation must know it’s fundamentals to devise appropriate economic policies of nation. Hence Integral-Humanism is different from communism, socialism and capitalism.
As per Deendayalji, both capitalism and communism failed to understand the aspirations, structure and personality of a human being. Capitalism is a mean and money oriented arrangement which only comprehends the fierce competition as that of a jungle. Whereas communism comprehends human a weak and inferior entity.
Socialism was born out of a response to capitalism. But that too failed to understand the importance of human.
Swadeshi and Decentralisation, are two contemporary terms most appropriate for current day economic policies. Thoughts of Deendayalji on the need to contemplate in an integrated context is termed as System Analysis or a holistic view by western countries. Not all human beings are equal is what Deendayalji suggested. No human being stands in isolation. He rejected sectarian struggle and accentuated sectarian harmony while keeping the resolve for struggle against injustice. Need for such thoughts has arisen out of the love lost for capitalistic arrangement in west.
Principles of Integral-Humanism
I would not like to spend my attempts towards highlighting shortcomings of other ideologies, but it is sensible to understand in a positive way as to what Integral-Humanism of Deendayalji has to offer in economic context. I am just marking my principals on fundamental economic matters by using words of Deendayalji.
The Objectives of our Economy should be
- An assurance of minimum standard of living to every individual and preparedness for the defense of the nation.
- Further increase above this minimum standard of living whereby the individual and the nation acquires the means to contribute to the world progress on the basis of its own 'Chiti'.
- To provide meaningful employment to every able bodied citizens by which the above two objectives can be realised and to avoid waste and extravagance in utilising natural resources.
- To develop suitable machines for Bharatiya conditions (Bharatiya Technology) taking note of the availability and nature of the various factors of production.
- This system must help and not disregard the human being, the individual. It must protect the cultural and other values of life. This is a requirement which cannot be violated except at a risk of great peril.
- The ownership, state, private or any other form of various industries must be decided on a pragmatic and practical basis.
These are a few general directions which we must bear in mind while developing our economy. “Swadeshi” and “Decentralisation” are the two words which can briefly summarise the economic policy suitable for the present circumstances. As Panditji says, “The concept of “Swadeshi” is ridiculed as old fashioned and reactionary. We proudly use foreign articles. We shall forget our individuality and become virtual slaves once again. The positive content of “Swadeshi” should be used as the cornerstone of reconstruction of our economy.”
Subramanian Swamy (the writer is a former Union Minister and senior leader of Bhartiya Janta Party)