It’s fortunate that the birth centenary of Pt Deendayal Upadhyaya (1916-1968) — political ideologue, thinker and progenitor of many innovative ideas that the BJP is now trying to implement — falls in a year when his successors are in government.
Otherwise, it would have been hard to know about a thinker who has not received enough credit for his role in shaping not just a homegrown political party but also ideas which are now culminating in Stand Up India, Startup India and Skill India.
In an important gesture, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will release a 15-volume complete works of Deendayal Upadhyaya — former president of Bharatiya Jana Sangh, the forerunner of the BJP — on 9 October that will comprehensively showcase the thoughts, writings and life of the leader.
Compiled and edited by Mahesh Chandra Sharma, president of Ekatma Manav Darshan Anusandhan Evam Vikas Pratisthan, the 15-volume complete works — Deendayal Sampoorna Vangmay — showcases the relevance of Upadhyaya’s views — social, political and economic in present times, his ideas on entrepreneurship and self-development, perspectives on the Indian way of education and even adoption of all that is good in foreign ideas.
“We collated and compiled the speeches, commentaries, writings, thoughts, anecdotes and various works of Deendayalji over a period of three years and converted it into complete works in 15 volumes,” Sharma told Firstpost.
Sharma, a former Rajya Sabha MP from Rajasthan and author of Economic philosophy of Deendayal Upadhyaya has been working on Upadhyaya’s life and work for the last 30 years.
“The relevance of Deendayalji’s views — social, political and economic — in present times is evident in the various measures that the Narendra Modi government has tried to introduce through various schemes, such as encouragement to entrepreneurship and schemes like Startup, Stand Up, Skill India, Jan Dhan Yojna, etc. Deendayalji emphasised that India’s economy could be strengthened through decentralisation. He said higher productivity could be achieved by involving larger number of people in the process,” he said.
The complete works to be released in English in 2017 will help readers to know about Upadhyaya’s political philosophy — ‘Integral Humanism’ – the guiding philosophy of the BJP. Integral humanism speaks of synthesis of the material and the spiritual, the individual and the collective.
“The society as a whole has to take steps to work on the principles laid down by Deendayalji. After the book release, it’ll be made available in the all the state libraries. Throughout the year, discussions will be organised,” added Sharma.
The research organisation on Upadhyaya has also prepared a documentary on the 15 volumes, directed by Atul Jain, which will be presented during the release of the written works at Vigyan Bhawan on 9 October.
“Contrary to general perception that Deendayalji’s works were in Hindi, nearly 50 percent of his works were in English. He penned Political Diary — a regular column in English in the Organiser magazine, when KR Malkani was its editor; but he laid down a condition that he wouldn’t write anything related to himself. This compilation provides an insight on revival of Indian economy, with a major thrust on skill-based education system. He welcomed modern technology but wanted it to be adapted to suit Indian requirements. He believed that the core strength in economic development lay in entrepreneurship in the small-scale sector,” said editor of Organiser magazine, Praful Ketkar.
Several anecdotes and incidents mentioned in the 15-volumes highlight Upadhyaya’s multi-faceted personality and his thoughts on politics and policy-making.
One such incident is related to the only election (by-election from Jaunpur) he contested in 1963. Upadhyaya opposed the use of caste politics in election and told his party (Bharatiya Jan Sangh) workers that it would defeat the party’s core ideology. “Deendayal may win (the election), but Jan Sangh’s ideology will get defeated,” Upadhyaya had told his party workers.
Recalled Ketkar, “Another incident shows how Upadhyaya, who was the president of Bharatiya Jan Sangh (1967-68) expelled seven of the nine Jan Sangh MLAs in Rajasthan for opposing the Zamindari Abolition Act. He was capable of bold, principled decisions.”
“Deendayalji, also the editor of Panchjanya and Swadesh was a true national thinker and was above partisan politics. He believed that politics was not the ultimate goal, but one should work for the larger national interest. This is important in the present political context for the BJP,” added Ketkar, one of the members of the editorial board that prepared the complete works.
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