Hindu dharma is implicitly at odds with monotheistic intolerance. What is happening in India is a new historical awakening... Indian intellectuals, who want to be secure in their liberal beliefs, may not understand what is going on. But every other Indian knows precisely what is happening: deep down he knows that a larger response is emerging even if at times this response appears in his eyes to be threatening.

Monday, June 23, 2008

BJP: A party with clear-cut philosophy and distinct features

By K.K. Gupta, IFS (Retd.)

“In Bharat the principles of ethics are termed as dharma—the laws of life.”
The ‘Integral Humanism’, as elucidated at length in the four lectures delivered by Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya in September 1965, is the guiding philosophy of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). While reading these four lectures with an objective mind, the reader clearly gets an impression as if the best precepts (or rather it would be more appropriate to term it as the ‘crux’) from the holy books of all religions have been well summarised by a great thinker/philosopher. There is nothing in any part of the lectures to suggest any kind of insinuation/ill will against any community/caste/creed/group. The following ‘excerpts/quotes’ from these lectures would amply corroborate this viewpoint:
  • “It is essential that we think about ‘our national identity’ without which there is no meaning of ‘Independence.”
  • “The basic cause of the problems facing Bharat is the neglect of its national identity.”
  • “Opportunism has shaken the confidence of people in politics.”
  • “Opportunists with no principles rein in politics of our country.”
  • “We had taken pride in resisting things-British while they (Britishers) ruled us, but strangely enough, now that the Britishers have left, Westernisation has become synonymous with progress.”
  • “Western science and the 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.”
  • “In the past 1000 years whatever we assimilated—whether it was forced on us or we took with willingness—cannot be discarded now.”
  • “The principles of Marx have changed both with the changing times as well as with varying conditions to the extent that parrot-like repetition of Marxism for solving problems facing our country would amount to a reactionary attitude rather than a scientific & pragmatic one.”
  • “Human knowledge is common property.”
  • “Independance can be meaningful only if it becomes instrument for expression of our culture.”
  • “Both from the national as well as human stand point, it has become essential that we think of the principles of Bharatiya culture.”
  • “The fundamental characteristic of Bharatiya culture is that it looks upon life as an integrated whole.”
  • “There is diversity and plurality in life but we have always attempted to discover the unity behind them.”
  • “Hegel put forward the principles of thesis, anti-thesis and synthesis; Karl Marx used this principle as a basis and presented his analysis of history and economics; Darwin considered the principle of survival of the fittest as the sole basis of life; but we in this country saw the basic unity of all life.”
  • “The unit of seed finds expression in various forms—the roots, the trunk, the branches, the leaves, the flowers and the fruits. All these have different forms, colours and properties. Still we recognise their relation of unity with each other through seed.”
  • “Unity in diversity and the expression of unity in various forms has remained the thought of Bharatiya culture.”
  • “Conflict is not a sign of culture of nature rather it is a symptom of their degradation.”
  • “Human nature has both tendencies—anger and greed on the one hand and love and sacrifice on the other.”
  • “The principles of ethics are not framed by any one, these are rather discovered.”
  • “In Bharat the principles of ethics are termed as dharma—the laws of life.”
  • “When nature is channeled according to the principles of dharma, we have culture and civilisation.”
  • “The English word ‘religion’ is not the correct word for dharma.”
  • “Here in Bharat, we have placed before ourselves the ideal of the four fold responsibilities of catering to the needs of body, mind, intellect and soul with a view to achieve the integrated progress of man.”
  • “The longings for dharma, artha, kama and moksha (the four kind of human efforts) are inborn in man and satisfaction of these in an integrated way is the essence of Bharatiya culture.”
  • “When state acquires all powers, both political and economic, the result is a decline of dharma.”
  • “A nation is a group of persons who live with ‘a goal’, ‘an ideal’, ‘a mission’ and look upon a particular piece of land as the Motherland. If either of the two—the ideal and the Motherland—is missing, then there is no nation.”
  • “Religion means a creed or a sect and it does not mean dharma.”
  • “Dharma is very wide concept which concerns all aspects of life sustaining the society.”
  • “The fundamental principles of dharma are eternal and universal. However, their implementation may differ according to time, place and circumstances.”
  • “The nearest equivalent English term for ‘dharma’ can be ‘innate law’, though even that does not express the full meaning of dharma. Since dharma is supreme, our ideal of the state has been ‘Dharma Rajya’.”
  • “Strength lies not in unrestrained behaviour but in well regulated action.”
An in-depth study of all other related literature concerning BJP’s Ideology clearly brings out the following distinct features of this ‘Ideals Oriented’ Party:

  1. Well defined principles/ ideas/ideology/approach;
  2. Respect for democratic norms/ways;
  3. Firmness in maintaining high standards of discipline;
  4. Dynamic/reformist;
  5. Inspires pride in Indianness/ dharma/culture/civilisation;
  6. Strong belief in good governance;
  7. Strengthens organisation without compromising individual’s identity, and;
  8. Promotes participation/ merit/development/perspective.

That BJP is truly a Bharatiya party and does not subscribes to any kind of discrimination on account of community/caste/class/ creed/colour/gender/status, is amply evident from the following ‘pledge’, incorporated in the form prescribed for the new entrant to attain the primary membership of the party:

“I believe in Integral Humanism which is the basic philosophy of the Bharatiya Janata Party.

I am committed to nationalism and national integration, democracy, ‘Gandhian approach to socio-economic issues leading to the establishment of an egalitarian society free from exploitation’, positive secularism (Sarvadharmasama-bhava) and value-based politics.

I subscribe to the concept of a secular state and nation not based on religion.

I firmly believe that this task can be achieved by peaceful means alone.

I do not believe in discrimination based on caste, sex or religion.

I do not observe or recogonise untouchability in any shape or form.

I am not a member of any other Party.

I undertake to abide by the Constitution, rules and discipline of the party.”

Do the unfounded insinuations maliciously drummed up by the pseudo-secularists against BJP hold any water in the light of aforesaid facts?

(The writer is former Secretary, NCST, Government of India.)

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