All India Radio – Contribution of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay in Indian Politics

  • December 2, 2016
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All India Radio
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Contribution of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay in Indian Politics


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2016 is birth centenary year of Deendayal Upadhyay. On his birth anniversary, a rally was held in Calicut as in 1967, Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay had assumed charge as President of Bhartiya Jan Sangh in Calicut.

On his birthday, PM launched a series of works dedicated to him. He also launched a compendium of 15 volume dedicated to life of Deendayal Upadhyay ji.

Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay’s political ideologies

The key element was humanism in political thought. His thoughts are relevant in today’s circumstances in national life of India. He was a political leader but more than it, he was a fundamental political thinker. India’s 1947 independence is political independence but Pandit Upadhyay is one of those thinkers in India who exercised on Swaraj of ideas. It means decolonisation of ideas, i.e. decolonisation of Indian minds. India was free politically but ideologically, colonial hangover was there.

His relevance lies in the fact that in political, social and cultural discourse, he introduced basic concept of Indian philosophy.

For example- he propounded in 1950 that there should not be artificial differences between left and right. This concept is irrelevant for India. In 2016, in latin America and EU, political thinkers are deliberating that left and right distinctions are artificial and damaging political discourse. He conceptualised that politics can’t free from ethics.

Deendayal Upadhyay were known for his organisational skills as after death of Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, he managed Bhartiya Jan Sangh for 15 years.

Doctrine of integral humanism

According to Upadhyay ji, Integral Humanism is different from western ideologies. Most of western ideologies is based on materialism. They emphasise on development in economic term and eventually every individual is treated as economic man. His social contacts, his cultural milieu and special bent of mind is ignored in this theory. Economic without ethics and political discourse without morality are creating crisis in society. Therefore he propounded that every economic theory and policy should be in context of specialism, local tradition and nature and temperament of people. In Indian thought he said- dharm kaam arth moksh- all four are important. If there is balance between them, there is social equilibrium.

Dharma and religion are different in Indian context. Dharma is more related to morality of person in individual and collective life. It is less about religion. But religion in western countries is more concerned about sects. There is difference between sects and dharma. No society can live without dharma but can live without religion. Dharma is above religion. On this, he propounded Integral Humanism. It means that an individual’s development should be in all four areas- dharm, kaam, arth and moksh

Alternative of Congress

In 1960, Deendayal Updhyay started polarisation against congress. He actualised it by 1965 and by 1967, there was anti-congress regime. He is called architect of non-congress movement along with Ram Manohar lohiya. In 1967 election, for the first time after independence, in the hindi belt of India, a political non-congress government was formed.

Thus, Deendayal Upadhyay paved a way for non-congress alternative in India. It was not opportunism. According to him, there should be diversity in democracy. There shouldn’t be one leader-one party-one policy. This is detrimental for democracy. He believed in India’s tradition and culture and was not against modern tech but he wanted policies which suited Indian requirements and conditions. His approach was also constructive but at the same time he was not soft when it came to principles. For example, In Rajasthan, he had expelled 6 MLAs of Jan Sangh out of 8MLAs because they were opposing Zamindari abolition act. For him, quality mattered than quantity.

He was a Philosopher, journalist, sociologist, economist, thinker, and worked dedicatedly for organisation and with principles. For him, morality in public life was important.

In 1950s, there was a proposal to merge Jan Sangh and Swatantra party, Hindu Mahasahba and Ram Rajya Karpatri maharaj as these parties constituted 16% vote. But Deendaayal Updhyay objected the merger. The reason was that Shyama Prasad Mukherjee had asked Hindu Mahasabha to open its door for all religions but it didn’t agree. So Deendayal Updhyay objected to it. According to him, Ram Rajya Karpatri maharaj’s cottage was run from palaces which was not acceptable to Deendayal Upadhyay in politics. He believed in purity in politics and principle. This is the difference between contemporary politics and Upadhyay ji. He sacrificed LS seat for values in politics. His message should be spread across the political parties for casteless politics, communalism les politics. He stood for politics which should be value based. This is why Jan Sangh got credibility due to his value based politics.

The present government is following his ideal through Last mile delivery-Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas- Development for all. Deendayal Upadhyay also talked about cottage industries, village based industries where people could be self reliant. This is reflected in Gandhiji’s philosophy also.

He gave three cardinal principles for Indian politics:

  1. Decentralisation– Basic for indian republic. So village central development is there. Thus, agri should be given prime importance.
  2. Diversity in social and cultural ideas. It should not be an environment of uniformity. Because he followed this principle, he appealed to most population.
  3. Planning should be decentralised. Bottom top approach was proposed so that real needs can be known.

These things are to be adopted in new context because new political discourse is posing threat to culture, society and community life. This is why Deendayal Upadhyay is more relevant in neo-liberal era. He practiced what he preached and today’s contemporary politics needs to learn it too.

Connecting the dots:

  • Who was Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay? How did he contribute towards ethics in politics? Elucidate.
  • What is the meaning of Integral Humanism? Explain.


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