Deen Dayal Upadhyaya

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Tandon & Jana Sangh

-Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya
[Organiser, 8 April, 1963]
Speaking about the Rajarshri Purushottam Dash Tandon exhibition at Luck now. U.P. Chief Minister, Shri C.B. Gupta, accused the Jana Sangh of misusing Tandon Ji’s name. Tandon Ji’s ideals and Jana Sangh’s policies were poles apart; he is reported to have said.

Tandon Is Not The Property Of Congress

So far as the Samiti is concerned, which organised this exhibition, it had nothing to do with the Jana Sangh. Some Jana Sangh members of course had been associated with it, just as there were, some Congressites too, including some members of the UP Cabinet, connected with it. In fact, it was a committee constituted on a non-party basis. But it seems that some people are incapable of eschewing partisan thinking under any circumstances, and they are inclined to trace everything that happens to one or other party. I do not propose to comment here on the exhibition itself. I would however like to say something about the specific accusation made by Shri Gupta Ji.

Rajarshi Purushottam Das Tandon was a great soul, Such great men may have during their life time been associated with a particular section or creed or party but I am sure Gupta Ji will agree that they do not there by become the exclusive property of that section or creed or party. The entire nation takes inspiration from them and can lay claim to them. To try to confine them to a small sector is in itself a manifestation of narrow sectarianism.

Let There Be No Party Label After Death

Can Maharana Pratap and Chhattrapati Shiva Ji, for instance, be limited to the regions of Mewar or Maharashtra? Is Guru Govind Singh as inspiring ideal only for the Sikhs? Would we not be dwarfing the stature of Lokmanya Tilak. Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Rajendra Prasad if we were to regard them as great men only of the Congress? Rajarshi Tandon and Sardar Patel may have been in the Congress all their lives but the principles that informed their policies cannot become an exclusive belonging of Congressmen. The lives and ideals of Dr. Hedgewar and Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee are a source of inspiration not only for members of the RSS and the Bharatiya Jana Sangh but for the entire country.

Even while working in different parties, we ought to have tolerance and generosity enough to respect leaders of other parties. If they offer something worthy of emulation, let us ever be prepared to imbibe it. And after death, they certainly cease to belong exclusively to that party or region. This is the accepted Indian tradition and it is on that basis that national history is built up. If they are to be tied down to their parties even after death, we would have not only the nation¹s present badly split up, but it’s past too. It is therefore, perhaps, that despite all sorts of diversities in social life, crematoria have always been common to all. Every man, high or low, goes to the same smashan ghat.

So if today Congressmen seek to confine Shri Purushottam Das Tandon or any other great men within the four walls of their party, we are constrained to say that it is they who seek to misuse Tandon Ji’s name. They are doing an injustice to his hallowed memory and are trying, we would say, to belittle his greatness.

And as to Tandon Ji’s ideals, and their relevance to Jana Sangh’s policies, we can say that if there is one party in the country that unreservedly and in to accept Tandon Ji’s principles, it is the Bharatiya Jana Sangh. Let any one who would with to test this, just pick up Tandon Ji’s speeches and pronouncements as Congress President, and read them side by side with the Bharatiya Jana Sangh’s manifesto. He would immediately note how completely the two accord with each other. Fact is that if Rajarshi Tandon, had continued to be Congress President, and if the Congress had accepted the views which he propounded, there would have been no need to create the Jana Sangh. And as to Tandon Ji’s ideals, and their relevance to Jana Sangh’s polices, we can say that if there is one party in the country that unreservedly and in to accepts Tandon Ji’s principles, it is the Bharatiya Jana Sangh. Let any one who would wish to test this, just pick u[ Tandon Ji’s speeches and pronouncements as Congress president, and read them side by side with the Bharatiya Jana Sangh’s manifesto. He would immediately note how completely the two accord with each other. Fact is that if Rajashi.

Even student of Indian politics knows how Tandon Ji was forced to quit presidency, though he had been democratically elected by Congressmen, how later his followers in the Congress forsook him, and how ever since the Congress has been ideologically drifting farther and farther away from nationalist sentiment. If Tandon Ji’s associates in the Congress, even today, were to wake up and promote Tandon Ji’s ideals, they would only repaying the great debt they own to Tandon Ji, a Rishi Rin indeed.

How Vidyarthi Parishad Had Backed Tondon

In the corruption-infested public life of today, acceptance of Tandon Ji’s uncompromising insistence on purity of personal conduct may be impossible for many, I do not wish to embarrass Shri Gupta and other Congressmen by making any such proposal to them. But I think it should be possible for them to take a leaf out of Tandon Ji’s attitude towards Hindi. Tandon Babu de-voted his entire life to secure for Hindis its rightful place in national life from having it accepted in law courts, to making it India’s official Language. The place that Hindi has in India’s Constitution today owes mainly to him. The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad which had now set up this Maa-Ki-Pukar pavillion had even then backed Tandon Ji’s efforts for Hindi. By organising a gallup-poll on whether India’s official language should be “Hindi or Hindustani”, the parishad was able to give articulate expression to public opining and thus reinforce Tandon Ji’s efforts inside parliament with organised opinion outside it.

Call Of The Mother Vs. Call Of The Chair

But unfortunately the cause of Hindi that Tandon Ji despotised with such zeal is being allowed to languish today and Hindi is sought to be made subservient to English. A Bill is to be brought forth to make English Associate Official Language. Will Shri Chandra Bhanu Gupta, Shri Kamalapati Tripathi and other Congressmen who claim to be Tandon Ji’s followers harken the voice of Tandon Ji’s soul? They were not able to hear the Call of the Mother, but should they not at least heed the call of the Mother Language? Or is it that the noisy call of the Chair downs even the voice of their soul?

As Speaker, Tandon Ji saw to it that Hindi completely displaced English in all Assembly work. Can Shri Gupta also similarly ensure that during his regime as Chief Minister, Hindi would fully replace English for all administrative and official work throughout the State? If be could do that much alone, it would certainly give great satisfaction to Tandon Ji’s soul, who would bless him for that, But if he fails to do this, we would be justified in saying that he invokes Tandon Ji’s memory only in name, and that only to exploit it for party ends. If only the recent happenings help to resuscitate the memory of Tandon Ji’s ideals and principles in our Congressite brethren, the objective of the Rajarshi Purushottam Das Tandon Samiti, I think, would be fulfilled in great measure.
Compiled by Amarjeet Singh, Research Associate & Programme Coordinator, Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation, 9, Ashok Road, New Delhi - 110001
Content copyright © Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation
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