Interview/ Complete Works of Deendayal Ji : ‘It is like Unravelling the Unexplored Treasure’
Complete Works of Deendayal are to be released in New Delhi by Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi and RSS Sarkaryavah Shri Bhaiyaji Joshi on October 9. Dr Mahesh Chand Sharma, the man who led this project, spoke about completion of his long cherished dream to Organiser editor Prafulla Ketkar and Sr Correspondent Pramod Kumar in New Delhi. Excerpts:
You have been working on Pt Deendayal Ji for a long time. What was the origin of this project on his Complete Works?
It has been a long cherished dream of Deendayal Research Institute (DRI), Ekatma Manav Darshan Pratishthan and me as an individual. During my Ph.D and my work with the DRI, I felt that this treasure should be preserved. I requested Nanaji Deshmukh to let me work on it, but he always insisted on working on the ground. Though he was right at his place, it was my dream to work on this project. This institution of Ekatma Manav Pratishthan, founded in 1999, was established with this project as one of the objectives. Some efforts were made when Atalji was Prime Minister, as he was also favourable, but could not be materialised. Now, it is a coincidence that the government at the Centre led by the BJP inheriting the legacy of Deendayalji and we completed it.
Volume 1: Literature produced as Sangh Pracharak between 1940 to 1950
We could start the actual work only in 2013 after the creation of this makeshift office at Deendayal Upadhyaya Marg. Initially, we felt that it will be finished in 8 to 10 volumes, but when the actual work began, we have produced 15 volumes. Our impression was that most of Deendayalji’s work would be in Hindi, but we found that around 50 per cent of his work is in English for which the credit goes to the late KR Malkani, the then Organiser editor who persuaded Deendayalji to write a regular column Political Diary.
What is the experience of those people working on this project?
Most people initially joined it as an academic work. Soon it became a mission. They wondered that we had such a visionary and people hardly know about him. We feel that we have endeavoured to unravel the unexplored treasure. In this duration of 2.5-3 years, many eminent people got involved in various capacities and actively contributed in the project.
Organisation of Deendayalji’s works was a gigantic task. How did you plan that?
We had elaborate discussion on this aspect as Panditji expressed his views on various aspects of national life. Generally, such works are divided on subjects based volumes. We decided to do it in a chronological order, in which Complete Works of Mahatma Gandhi was the model for us. This will help the readers in understanding the complete context of his works at one place. Each volume is dedicated to a personality associated with Pandit Ji. They are also introduced to the readers. It was another tedious task, because the information about many of them is not available. The era of his writing or speeches is also introduced in the beginning.
What were the problems in executing this project?
The problems were enormous and we could not overcome all of them. For example, Deendayalji had also started the publication of ‘Dainik Swadesh’ along with ‘Panchjanya’ and ‘Rashtradhrama’. But we could not get even a single copy of ‘Dainik Swadesh’. During first ban on RSS, he also started some other magazines like ‘Himalaya’ and ‘Utkarsha’. Again we could not get any copy of those magazines. In fact, the compilation of this literature was started by Nanaji Deshmukh. He collected most of his letters from all over the country. During Emergency, he handed over all those files along with his own diaries to a well wisher for safe custody. But we could find them after the Emergency.
Similarly, Deendalyaji delivered bauddhiks at the Sangh Shiksha Vargas. I went to Nagpur to collect some of his speeches delivered at third year OTC. But we could not get even a single speech. Then I took some contacts of the people who were close to Deendayalji from Nanaji and personally met them touring all over the country to collect information and documents during 1980s. I kept that material safe during all these years by handing over to Ms Arati Upadhyay and told her not to give to me also unless this project is started. In fact, if I did not have that material, we could not have done this work now. I also feel that if this work was done in 1970s, at least 30 volumes would have been published. If I did not preserve some documents during my Ph.D, the number of these volumes would not have been even 10. Perhaps it was God’s wish that we could do it now during his birth centenary year.
Any cooperation from other institutions?
Deendayal Research Institute, Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini and BJP President Shri Amit Shah in his personal and organisational capacity wholeheartedly stood by us. Prabhat Prakashan, New Delhi, has published all these volumes. We also gave an appeal to the people through Panchjanya & Organiser to contribute material of Deendayalji with them.
What is the policy relevance of Integral Humanism is the question often asked. What do you feel on it?
We most people believe in the theory that State has to do everything. But Deendalyaji said the society as a whole has to do most of the works. The Integral Humanism does not support the idea of doing everything by the government. We should understand that society is stronger than any government. That is why Deendayalji addresses to the society. See an example. The work being done by the RSS since 1925 has benefited the entire society. The youth who used to shout the slogan of ‘Inquilab Zindabad’ etc about three decades back to express their feelings on any occasion, now spontaneously shout slogans of ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ and ‘Vandemataram’. This change has not been brought about by any government. It was brought about by the society itself. Equally, the change about integral humanism will be brought about by the society itself. Deendayalji always emphasised on agriculture and allied services, which he referred to as ‘decentralised national sector’ not the unorganised sector as we call it today. In fact, the schemes like stand up, start up, Mudra Bank, etc started by the present government are all for this ‘decentralised national sector’ not for the Corporate.
Integral Humanism has not received the due prominence. Do you think this publication will get its due place?
I think this is a decisive step in that direction. As a visionary, what Deendalyaji said six decades ago, is more relevant today as many things he was referring to and predicting for have been witnessed by us. His commentary on Constitution making and linguistic reorganisation policy of States are some classic examples.
What is your feeling after completion of this project?
It is almost like completion of my life mission. Many queries used to come to me about references on Deendayalji as many people think that I know a lot on him and integral humanism. Now I will be able to satisfy many of them. Still there may be some reminiscent of this treasure scattered here and there. We would like to add them in the coming edition. Hope people having any material written or spoken by Deendayalji will come forward and enrich this work.