Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya was a great social worker, visionary, renowned thinker, expert organiser and a man of admirable intellect whose star shone brightly on the Indian political horizon. He was born on September 25, 1916, in a village called Nagla Chandrabhan in Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh. The man was a votary of both an equitable Indian political system and the progressive philosophy of integral humanism. His views on Indian culture, religion, Indianness, unity and integrity, democracy, political philosophy, and social framework have rendered even his harshest critics and opponents speechless. Moreover, his philosophy and views prove that all these elements are deeply interlinked.
Pandit Deendayal espoused the idea that one must have faith in his/her own culture. “The people living in India and respecting her as a mother are a collective; their lifestyle, art, literature, philosophy constitute the Indian philosophy, so the foundation of Indian nationalism is this culture. Faith in the culture is crucial for the integrity of the country,” he said. He believed that the concept of a global family is a part of Indian culture and that is why all religions are respected equally in this country. In an article published in Paanchjanya, he said that if we try to analyse our age-old philosophy of life, we will find that our national consciousness has always been striving for unity and equality.
We never thought of land, people, and culture as separate entities. Rather, we saw our nation as a manifestation of their integrity. “The foundation of our nationalism is Mother India (Bharat Mata), not only India. If you take away the word mother, India will only be a piece of land,” he said. His idea of India was original. He believed that to understand the soul of India, one requires a cultural perspective and not merely its political or economic angle. If India can teach the world something, it should be our cultural tolerance and a life based on duty and service.
Panditji strongly believed that “Work for all’ is the only foundation of the Indian economy. “Just like it is mandatory in a political democracy to give voting rights to every adult citizen, in a similar manner, for the progressive development of democracy, it is essential to provide right or guarantee for work to every person. The work must provide livelihood and the person should have a right to choose. If the person does not get an equitable share of national income in proportion to his work, then that work should be treated as forced labour,” he said.
The present NDA government, under the able leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has taken several steps to fulfil the dreams of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyayaji. The Skill Programme, Pradhan Mantri Mudra Bank Yojana, and the Stand Up-Start Up scheme are all aimed at providing work to every person.
Pandit ji believed that human beings should be the focus of all systems and policies. In his historic address at Mumbai, he elaborated the concept of Integral Humanism. “Relying on the existing knowledge in the world and the whole framework of our time-tested traditions, we shall build such an India, which will be even more glorious than the ancient India. A person born in India will develop his personality in such a way as to feel one, not only with the whole humanity, but the whole universe, and will transform himself from a human being to a godly person. This is the eternal divine and flowing form of Indian culture. For the universal man stuck at crossroads, this is our divine vision,” he said.
On his birth anniversary, l bow my head in respect to this saintly person, great thinker and patriot. Let us all pray on this auspicious day that the Almighty may give us strength to live by and propagate the ideas, principles, and ideals espoused by Panditji.
(The author is Rural Development Minister, Government of India. The views expressed are strictly personal.)