Ever since our Independence, the statesmen-like Deendayal Upadhyaya have endeavoured hard to do away with the dominance of the colonial worldview. Deendayal ji had a very clear and unambiguous vision of our civilisational antiquities, advanced ancient wisdom as well as of the discourse set by the 19th and early 20th century patriotic thinkers like Swami Vivekananda, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyaya, Dr Hedgewar and Shri Guruji. The dominance of and continuous rise of Westernised imitative intelligentsia in the country, out of political patronage of the ruling elite after the Independence, undermined the resurgence of our national ethos, cultural values, historical heritage and thoughts. The Russian and Chinese-sponsored Leftists had then been trying to give a pro-Left swing in the governance, polity and economic administration. To the contrast, Deendayal ji had a firm resolve to instil the nation with the pride of its own rich heritage and vision for embarking on a path to all-round prosperity and progress of masses.
In the very 1950s, he insisted on principled and value-based politics and thrust on the end goal of all-round development of country with Inclusive growth and ecological sustainability. He, therefore, drafted the concept of ‘Integral Humanism’ for balanced development. This theory of holistic development, entitled ‘Integral Humanism’ was adopted in 1965 as doctrine of economic philosophy of Jana Sangh, with a view to overcome all prevalent shortcomings of Capitalism and Communism or Socialism as were visible then itself. He gave paramount importance to building an economic model of the country with the human beings at the centrestage of development with utmost care and sensitivity towards nature.
Deendayal ji had stressed for a balance among the individuals, the family, the society, the nation, the world, the living world, the nature and the cosmos as a whole, under the guise of integral humanism, the age old essence of Bharatiya vision. According to him, the language is one of the prime sites of cultural dominations. So, he considered our Bharatiya languages as the foremost tool to decolonise the mind and stressed for indigenousness in language, literature, attire, food, life style and value system. Commenting upon the unsuitability of capitalism and socialism as a political ideology for the country, he asserted that human beings have to be put at the centre of all affairs and the humans are a ‘whole and integral individual’, comprising body, mind, intellect and the conscience. So, in addition to the physiological or economic needs alone, the individuals also have the social needs, and self-esteem needs and even the self-actualisation needs. He also stressed that every individual, every society and the nation has four-fold mission to fulfill. They are the Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha i.e. Dharma stands for self-righteousness, Artha stands for economic pursuits, Kama for humane desires and the aim of salvation from all kind of lust stands for Moksha.
Deendayal ji said the Dharma needs to be distinguished from religion. He says Dharma is not ritualism or a system of rites and ceremonies. It is not confined to places of worship or a sect or philosophical opinion or spiritual path. He clarified that Dharma is all time self-righteousness. So, he talked of Dharma Rajya.
His speeches and writings, in Hindi, were published in three collections: Rashtra Jivan ki Samasyaen, or ‘The Problems of National Life’, 1960; Ekatma Manavavad, or ‘Integral Humanism’, 1965; and Rashtra Jivan ki Disha, or ‘The Direction of National Life’.
According to him, the existence of a nation lies in its ‘distinctive consciousness’. It (the nation) rises or falls in the same degree as that consciousness comes into light or is obscured. Deendayal ji’s concern is to bring to light the real nature of Bharatiya or Indian consciousness, i.e. its chiti, as he calls it; for it is only then that one can obtain a satisfactory answer to the question, ‘what direction shall Bharat take or needs to take?’
The fundamental cause of the numerous problems that modem India is faced with lies, according to Deendayal Upadhyaya, in the indiscriminate application of the Western forms of thought to Indian political and social life, obscuring thereby the true nature of Bharatiya or Indian consciousness. The policies that have been advanced after independence for long did not reflect that consciousness. The Westernism or Marxism being alien to this land do not reflect our ethos. Far from achieving coherence and harmony of social purpose, the national life of India has been turned into a battle-ground of conflicting economic and political philosophies.
Deendayal ji had his own convictions about how Bharat be rebuilt with focus upon integral humanism in a holistic way. On economic front the devaluations of Rupee at the behest of the International Monetary Fund in 1949 and then in 1966 has attracted strong criticism from him. Indeed he prescribed a comprehensive philosophy for the socio-economic and cultural rebuilding of Bharat, away from western institutions aiming to make Bharat subservient to western cause. Even today after 75 years of Independence decolonizing the mind, thoughts and actions is the prime need to make Bharat the fountain head of vision for global wellbeing.