Lutyens' Delhi Has a Date With Deendayal Upadhyay's Ekatma Manavad Next Week
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has credited Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay as his inspiration for almost every initiative of his government. (Photo: PTI)
New Delhi: From Skill India to Make in India and from power for all to jobs for all, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has credited Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay as his inspiration for almost every initiative of his government.
But very few people know about Upadhyay more than the simple fact that he was an RSS leader and president of Jana Sangh, the earlier avatar of Bharatiya Janata Party.
The Sangh Parivar wants to change this perception and teach people about the person who according to them was not only a political scientist but also a philosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, journalist and reformer.
And what better place to begin such teachings than the Lutyens’ Delhi, which the PM himself has described as a group of people “which is dedicated to only a few”.
In an interview with CNN News18 in September last year, Modi had questioned the way the Lutyens’ Delhi had treated and forgotten people like Sardar Patel, Morarji Desai, Deve Gowda, BR Ambedkar and Chaudhury Charan Singh. “These ‘custodians’ who are dedicated to a select few will never accept anyone who is linked to the roots of this country,” Modi had said.
Next week, cultural connoisseurs of India’s power hub will be get their first lessons in Ekatma Manavad (Integral Humanism), described as the essence of Upadhyay’s teachings.
RSS-run Deendayal Research Institute will be holding a special recitation of four lectures on Integral Humanism at India International Center. The four lectures delivered by Upadhyay in April 1965 in Mumbai are considered the essence of his philosophy.
Atul Jain, in-charge of Deendayal Research Institute, says, “With the Prime Minister Narendra Modi talking about Upadhyay in his speeches, and launching schemes under his name, the people are curious to know about him and Integral Humanism.”
Upadhyay’s thoughts on Ekatma Manavad are considered the bedrock of BJP’s socio-political and economic agenda, vis-à-vis Nehruvian Socialism.
As a part of year-long celebrations of Upadhyay’s birth centenary, the four lectures are being recreated so that his views can reach English-speakers who don’t know about him.
Interestingly, while the dates of the lectures remain the same (April 22-25), the place has changed from Mumbai to Lutyens’ Delhi.
Apart from RSS ideologues, several ministers in Modi Cabinet, including MJ Akbar and Ravi Shankar Prasad, will participate in the event.
Deendayal Research Institute has been named as the ‘Knowledge Partner’ by the Ministry of Culture to commemorate the lectures on Integral Humanism.
A 30-minute film based on Upadhyay’s life will also be screened, with English subtitles, at the event.
“By presenting his lectures in English, we will reach out to the English and other language speaking groups,” said Jain.
An ideological think tank, the institute was started by Nanaji Deshmukh, another senior RSS leader.
According to Rajya Sabha MP Prabhat Jha, the translations will reach out to English speakers who “play an important role in shaping opinions”. “There are people who are doctors, engineers, lawyers, who go to colleges and offices and shape the mindset of India. We want to appeal them to join us and understand Integral Humanism. It is notpunjiwad (capitalism) or samajwad (socialism), then what is it?” Jha said.
Through translating his lectures in English, the followers of the ideology aim to reclaim Upadhyay’s legacy. Jain said, “International centers like the United Nations are talking about sustainability and development, which Upadhyay spoke about at length. Entire Indian philosophy is based on fighting baseless consumption.
He spoke at length about ‘Maryadit Upbhog’ (rationalised consumption). Today, the international agencies like the UN are usurping his ideologies. And we want to tell the world it was always part of Bharatiya culture.”
In October last year, 15 volumes on complete works ‘Sampoorna Vangmay’ of Upadhyay were launched. This year, all these volumes are being translated in English as Complete works of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay. Seminars will be held in across the country. “There are many people who want to know about this philosophy. Everybody is not our partner in ideology nor a sympathizer, but we are going to hold such seminars to reach out to larger crowd,” Jha said.