Narendra Modi’s Aatmanirbhar Bharat is nothing but Deendayal Upadhyaya’s Economic Vision in Action.
Is Narendra Modi translating Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya’s Economic Vision “Ekatma Manav Darshan” into Action through his Aatmanirbhar Bharat?
The answer to the above question is, undoubtedly, a resounding yes after going by a careful, meticulous study of the various schemes being unleashed ever since Modi took over as Prime Minister in 2014 and its positive impact on the ground. First, let’s look at what Ekatma Manav Darshan is and means.
In 1965, at the national session of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh held at Vijayawada, its General Secretary Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya propounded new economic thinking named “Ekatma Manav Darshan”–Philosophy of Integral Humanism.
In his subsequent speeches and articles, Deendayal Upadhyaya argued that “Ekatma Manav Darshan” is purely based on time-tested Bharatiya ethos and civilisational values that believes in making people the proud partners in the process of development by tapping their innate skill and intrinsic character. He also asserted that this Bharatiya Economic Thinking was a viable alternative to Communism and Capitalism, as it was based on building a national character.
Five decades later, in 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi came out with the concept of “Aatmanirbhar Bharat”, which is exactly the thinking of Deendayal Upadhyaya’s Ekatma Manav Darshan. In that way, Modi is implementing and translating Deendayal Upadhyaya’s dream into reality. In fact, the characteristic features of the concept of “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” perfectly match the intricate details of what Deendayal Upadhyaya espoused in his Economic Philosophy.
Deendayal Upadhyaya maintained that the “disastrous self-oblivion” of the Indian masses was the root cause of economic ills of the country and asserted that “economic development” must be “Of the People; By the People; For the People” in the real and true sense of the word. This means that the people must be made proud partners in the process of development. In this connection, Deendayal maintained that instead of going in for “mass production”, it should be “production by the masses”, which means massive involvement of people in the manufacturing and service sectors that have the potential for generating jobs.
Modi, too, has been exerting gentle pressure on this concept of ‘people’s involvement’ in the developmental process. He has succeeded to a great extent in making people open bank accounts. He came out with the schemes “StartUp India, StandUp India, Jandhan, Krishi Sinchai Yojana, loans to youth to set up small-scale industries under the Mudra scheme, etc. But the biggest push undertaken by Modi was in the Defence Sector under Aatmanirbhar Bharat. A whopping Rs 5.52 lakh crores have been earmarked for Defence Sector in the budget 2022.
Modi’s repeated assertion to celebrate “Imandaari Ka Parva” (celebrating honesty) in terms of felicitating honest taxpayers is in perfect tune with Deendayal’s thinking. He had said, “In the Artha Purushartha of the society along with economic policy, one has to consider the power of the state to defend the good and punish the guilty.” Modi keeps telling that he won’t spare the corrupt and will go to any extent to felicitate the honest.
It is common sense that a vibrant and robust activity at the bottom of the sea leads to buoyancy that lifts every boat. Similarly, Deendayal Upadhyaya maintained that a vibrant economic activity at the grass-root level leads to economic buoyancy that has the potential to lift every economically marginalised section of society. Startup India, StandUp India, Mudra conceived and being implemented by Modi are nothing but tools to ensure a vibrant economic activity at the grass-root level. “Antyodaya” is one meaningful concept given by Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya. This is about the economic upliftment of the last man in the queue. Modi has been doing exactly by bringing out the schemes mentioned above.
The thrust and focus of the Jana Sangh’s economic ideologue was on building a new India through its inherent strength and values by triggering a nationwide movement, promoting indigenous ideas for a decentralised employment-intensive society, protecting traditional economies like micro, small, medium, cottage industries and self-employment sectors. A meticulous look at the intricate aspects of the Modi-driven budget reveals that the Prime Minister has been just translating Deendayal’s thinking into a reality. It is a vision in action.
Deendayal’s noble objective was to make Bharathavarsha an economic and military super-power, a culturally vibrant, morally sound, ethically rich nation with social cohesion. Modi is all set to translate Deendayal’s objective into a reality.
Deendayal Upadhyaya was a front-ranking pracharak of the RSS and leader of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh. After nursing and nurturing the Jana Sangh in his capacity as its General Secretary, he was elected as the President of Jana Sangh in December 1967. However, he was found dead under mysterious circumstances on February 11, 1968. His body was found on the tracks at the Mughalsarai Railway Station in Uttar Pradesh.