Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay – A man of simple living, high thinking, strong determination
Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay was a man of simple living, high thinking and strong determination. He was a brilliant student, ace organizer, writer, journalist, thinker, philosopher, true nationalist and a humanist par excellence. He joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in 1937 and went on to become a Pracharak. He was given the responsibility of the General Secretary of Bharatiya Jan Sangh, a post which he held from its inception 1951 till 1967. He became the president of the Jan Sangh on December 29, 1967. A political alternative to the ruling party was created. The Jan Sangh even joined the Samyukta Vidhayak Dal (SVD) government.
His vision of life was aligned to that of Swami Vivekananda and Mahatma Gandhi. Instead of capitalism or socialism – which has its own inherent shortcomings – Deen Dayal Upadhyay Ji stressed the need for adopting Swadeshi economic policies based on our cultural, civilizational, nationalist values and ethos to make India strong, vibrant and self-reliant. That is called Ekatma Manavavad. It is neither capitalism nor socialism. It is suited to the Indian model of economy. He felt the need for a value driven system for India, which takes along all.
Adhering to the principle of Nation First, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Ji propagated and practiced the politics of probity, inclusion and appeasement of none. For him, politics was a means to serve the people. He was of the view that politicians must not crave for power, positions and money and should remain committed to ideology, pure life and serve ‘Janata Janardan’ in the best possible manner. With this vision, he inspired thousands to join politics.
Deen Dayal Upadhyay Ji’s philosophy of integral humanism – Ekatma Manawvad – underlined the need for India adopting an indigenous economic model, which is inclusive and empowering masses in a wholesome manner. He was also a great votary of natural farming. He knew that natural farming won’t only increase farmers’ income but will also make agriculture sustainable and resilient. Swadeshi and small scale industries should be the cornerstone of India’s economic planning, marked by harmony, primacy of cultural, national values and discipline. He was not against adopting innovations taking place globally but wanted to manufacture the things of our needs here in India itself so that our dependence on other countries remains minimal.
His concept of Bharatiyata, Dharma, Rama Rajya and Antyodaya will ever be relevant to make Bharat Vishwa Guru. His vision of ‘Education for All’ and ‘Har Hath Ko Kam, Har Khet Ko Paani’ showed us the path to be self-reliant in a democratic economic set up. Deen Dayal Upadhyay Ji was opposed to a system which reduces opportunity for employment and batted for a system, which is free from social inequality and where capital and power are decentralized. Unfortunately as a nation we did never try to look for the solution to our problems and challenges in his vision, based on Indian culture guaranteeing freedom, equality and justice to all.
Bharat Ratna Late Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee followed the footprints of Deen Dayal Upadhyay Ji in pursuing the goal of good governance where people in particular those in rural areas are provided with every possible facility to improve their ease of life. It is heartening indeed to see the emergence of a new India which is ‘Vocal for Local,’ aspiring to be self-reliant under the visionary guidance of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji. Our Covid-19 pandemic management, manufacturing of vaccine, mass vaccination drive, and use of technological platforms like CoWIN proved our capabilities to the whole world, which is now heavily dependent on us in their fight against the coronavirus. This was precisely the idea of Deen Dayal Ji to have our own indigenous economic model.
Today our Start-ups are changing the rules of the game and are laying the foundation of a strong new India. We are rapidly moving towards hitting the century of the unicorns. During 2020-21, over 2.5 lakh trademarks were registered. The recognized startups have contributed significantly to job creation, with 5,49,842 jobs reported by 48,093 startups with an average number of 11 employees per startup. About 1.7 lakh jobs were created by the recognized startups during 2020-2021.
The Central government’s Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana is an overarching scheme aimed at uplifting urban and rural poor through enhancement of livelihood opportunities through skill development and other means. Even the Haryana government is leaving nothing unturned to ensure holistic empowerment of all by putting in place a slew of schemes. For example, the Mukhyamantri Antyodaya Parivar Utthaan Yojana (MAPUY) is an ambitious initiative of the state government to financially empower the poorest among the poor.
In conclusion, I would like to quote his brilliant words he made in the Calicut session of the Jan Sangh: “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 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 … with faith in ultimate victory, let us dedicate ourselves to this task.” As we are engaged in the build back process, let us resolve to build an Atma Nirbhar and inclusive India, which will be our true tribute to Deen Dayal Upadhyay Ji.
(The views are personal of the author)