By Neeraj Mahajan
“If I had two Deendayal Upadhyayas, I could transform the political face of India,” these were the word the legendary Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee used to describe Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya the great Indian philosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, journalist, and political activist. He was the man behind the concept of Akhand Bharat.
A historic meeting between Deendayal Upadhyaya and Lohia resulted in the two leaders issuing a historic joint statement on April 12, 1964 clarifying the meaning of Akhand Bharat and possibility of an Indo-Pak Confederation with both India and Pakistan realizing that partition was not good for Hindus or Muslims and benefitted neither India nor Pakistan. As a consequence both countries become mentally prepared for Akhand Bharat or unified pre-partition India!
According to Deendayal Upadhyaya the English word Religion is not the correct word for Dharma…In Bharat the Principles of Ethics are termed as Dharma–The Laws of Life…The principles of Ethics are not framed by any one, these are rather discovered… When nature is channeled according to the principles of Dharma, we have culture and civilization….The longings for Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha (the four kind of human effort) are inborn in man and satisfaction of these in an integrated way is the essence of Bhartiya Culture….When State acquires all powers, both political and economic; the result is a decline of Dharma.
“We are pledged to the service not of any particular community or section but of the entire nation. Every countryman is blood of our blood and flesh of our flesh. We shall not rest till we are able to give to every one of them a sense of pride that they are children of Bharatmata. We shall make Mother India Sujala, Suphala (overflowing with water and laden with fruits) in the real sense of these word”– Deendayal Upadhyaya
A visionary and front ranking leader of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh Deendayal Upadhyaya used the following words to describe his dream and passion, “We are pledged to the service not of any particular community or section but of the entire nation. Every countryman is blood of our blood and flesh of our flesh. We shall not rest till we are able to give to every one of them a sense of pride that they are children of Bharatmata. We shall make Mother India Sujala, Suphala (overflowing with water and laden with fruits) in the real sense of these words.”
One of the tallest moralist and ethical political leaders of his times, he was a philosopher and organizer par excellence and an influential ideologue behind the Jana Sangh which formed the nuclei for the formation of the BJP. As L K Advani wrote in his blog the credit for this goes to four stalwarts Deendayal Upadhyaya, Nanaji Deshmukh, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Kushabhau Thakre. Deen Dayal Upadhyay is best remembered for his sincerity and personal integrity as well as for being a guiding force behind an alternative model of governance and politics.
If Hegel put forward the principles of thesis, anti-thesis and synthesis; Karl Marx used these principles in his analysis of history and economics; Darwin propounded the theory of survival of the fittest as the sole basis of life; Deen Dayal Upadhay saw all these converging to give unity of life. “The Unit of Seed finds expression in various forms-The Roots, The Trunk, The Branches, The Leaves, The Flowers and The Fruit. All these have different forms, colours and properties. Still we recognize their relation of unity with each other through seed,” he said. According to him, “Unity in diversity and the expression of unity in various forms has remained the thought of Bhartiya Culture.”
Deendayal Upadhyaya’s treatise on Integral Humanism- the guiding philosophy of the Bharatiya Janata Party is critical of both communism and capitalism and provides a holistic perspective for political action and statecraft– consistent with the laws of Creation and needs of the human race. The philosophy of Integral Humanism advocates synthesis of the material with the spiritual, individual with the collective and catering to the needs of Body, Mind, Intellect and Soul with a view to achieve the integrated progress of Man. The philosophy behind Integral Humanism is pragmatic and down to earth political and economic goals are concerned. Upadhyay’s vision for India is of a decentralized polity and self-reliant economy with village at the base.
According to him independence was meaningful only if it becomes instrument for expression of Bhartiya Culture, both from the national as well as human stand point. “The fundamental characteristic of Bhartiya Culture is that it looks upon life as an integrated whole”
He firmly believed that Independent India should not ignore her ancient culture and unduly rely upon superficial western concepts like individualism, democracy, socialism, communism, capitalism. He wanted to inculcate the spirit of Indian-ness or Bharatiyata to save Indian intellect from being intoxicated by Western theories and ideologies. He was not averse to use of technology provided it was adapted to suit Indian requirements. “Western Science and Western Ways of life are two different things. Whereas Western Science is Universal and must be absorbed by us if we wish to go forward, the same is not true about the Western Ways of life and values,” he would say.
Known for his constructive approach, he exhorted his followers to co-operate with the government when it was right and fearlessly oppose it when it was wrong. For him National interest was paramount. “It is essential that we think about Our National Identity without which there is no meaning of ‘Independence” he said. “The basic cause of the problems facing Bharat is the neglect of Its ‘National Identity”, he lamented.
Born in village Nagla Chandraban of Mathura District—Deendayal Upadhyay’s fate was decided by an astrologer who predicted that he would achieve great heights in public life – provided he did not marry. He lost his father at the age of three and his mother before Deendayal Upadhyay was eight and was brought up by his maternal uncle and aunt. While studying at the Sanatan College, Kanpur Deendayal Upadhyay came in contact with the RSS through his classmate Baluji Mahashabde and through him met the founder of RSS, Dr. Hedgewar who used to stay with Babasaheb Apte and Dadarao Parmarth in the hostel. Dr. Hedgewar invited him to one of the shakhas. Deendayal Upadhyay was so inspired by the RSS ideology that he decided to become a lifelong pracharak of RSS and instead of a western suit as was a trend those days – appeared for a competitive examination in dhoti, kurta and cap. This earned him the nick name – Panditji –that continued in later life. He founded ‘Rashtra Dharma Prakashan’ in Lucknow and launched ‘Rashtra Dharma’ a monthly magazine, ‘Panchjanya’ weekly and ‘Swadesh’ daily.
The events that followed Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee’s resignation from the Union Cabinet as a Minister following differences with Nehru after the Nehru-Liaquat pact in 1950 – saw him and Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay form a team that firmed up the RSS organization. But after Dr. Mookerjee’s death in 1953, the burden of strengthening it as a nation-wide movement fell on Deendayal who remained its general secretary for 15 years and raised a band of dedicated workers full of enthusiasm and idealism. He consolidate the RSS and Jan Sangh which became its President in 1968 but for the jaws of death which suddenly snatched him at Mughal Sarai Railway yard.