Deen Dayal Upadhyaya

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He warned his workers; "Wherever the Communist Party take up an issue, their aim is not to resolve it but to generate dissatisfaction and create a conflict. As a result of their agitation, there is no relief to the people. Instead there is a feeling of bitterness and frustration. One who stands by you in difficult times and liberates you from injustice and tyranny is truly God's messenger. This is the key to strength and organisation. "In this manner, Upadhyaya played the role of a teacher through his speeches. By 1957, the Jan Sangh workers proved their superiority in the country through their leadership of mass movements, organisational skills and unbiased approach. Consequently, in the second general elections held in 1957, Jan Sangh put forth 127 candidates for Lok Sabha and 650 for state legislatures. Out of these, four were elected to Lok Sabha and 51 to state legislatures. It garnered about 60% of the local votes; this was double its tally in 1952.

Comparatively, the Jan Sangh was better organised in North India by 1957. Upadhyaya proposed to organise the 1958 annual session of the party at Bangalore. This was because he wanted to give an all-India outlook to the organisation. In the North, Jan Sangh workers emphatically connected Hindi with nationalism and National Language. Why was the session being held in Bangalore? Upadhyaya replied;

"Some delegates from Punjab told me after the session that this journey down south has pacified their feelings that Hindi was being hastily imposed on them. This also led to nullifying the exaggerated anti-Hindi feelings that were emanating from there."
In his address at the Bangalore session, Upadhyaya dwelled at length on the essential point of his party's programme for development. The Jan Sangh workers were emotionally involved with countrywide and national issues naturally. Ban on cow slaughter, undivided India, Kashmir, Berubari etc., were issues that agitated and enthused the party cadres. But the party had its own limits in trying to convince local forces and make them think of party lines. He, therefore, directed his workers; "Although no political party can exclude countrywide issues from its mass movement, we should largely concentrate on local issues.'' Explaining the process underlying a democratic movement, he said: "A movement in democracy does not mean opposition or fighting; it is an expression of people's sentiments. The state suppression may benefit political parties that play the role of a mediator for a short while between the state and the people, but it does not bode any good for the nation. Some political parties have adopted such an irresponsible attitude as a part of their programme. I feel we must give serious thought to this issue and fix limits for all political parties as well as the state."

A good political worker must have positive capabilities. Any developing party must be ready to take over the reins of the country's administration. A political worker must, therefore, be conversant with administrative processes and various laws. While we must make the state aware of people's reaction over its wrong policies, represent the electorate and influence the administration, it is our duty to attempt to know their problems and try to resolve them sympathetically by adopting a positive approach. We must study all the issues accordingly. We must constantly strive to properly understand the viewpoint of the administration.

Integrity of the nation and its security were the favourite subjects of the Jan Sangh. It had a different approach from that of other political parties, towards Pakistan. Upadhyaya said: "Pakistan's aggressive designs are clear. Its violation of our territory are a challenge to our sovereignty, and are disgraceful. No other political party, except the Jan Sangh, speaks on this issue. They are scared of losing the support of pro-Pak Muslims in elections. They are mum not only on this issue but also on the communally explosive and fifth columnist activities of Muslim fanatics. This is a wrong and condemnable incident of party self-interests.''

Here it must also be mentioned that, through his speeches. Upadhyaya introduced some new things in the organization every year. The Jan Sangh had sent its elected representatives to various state legislatures, in the 1957 general elections. This strength was likely to rise in 1962. There was an urgent need to prepare a model code for legislators so that their conduct was in keeping with the democratic norms and dignity, and they received adequate training in this respect. A training camp for legislators was organised at Poona from June 28 to July 7, 1959. At the eighth annual session held in 1960 at Nagpur, Upadhyaya moved a resolution: "The base of Jan Sangh being basically principled, we urgently require such training camps and workshops. Without these, we shall not be able to assess the different approaches of other political parties." The various points of the legislators’ code of conduct were decided in 1960 at Poona. "Walking out of the House and a tendency of create chaos through shouting or sloganeering, which are always aimed at capturing newspaper space, are not considered right by the Jan Sangh. We have advised our members to keep away from such a conduct; they should not protest in this unbecoming manner during the Governor's and the President's address to the House in order to register their protest. Dedication to democracy means that we must observe the parliamentary form of government scrupulously. Democracy cannot function without such conventions."

While the Jan Sangh's fight for power was with the Congress, it considered the Communist Party more dangerous for the country. Upadhyaya called upon his workers to counter the influence of the Communists thus. "We must go deep into society in order to shake them from their roots. People, who only understand the language of community, regionalism and their own selfish interests, must be taught the real meaning of nation and 'dharma'.

The same year (1959) Swantantra Party was formed. It welcomed several regional parties, rulers, landlords, capitalists and defectors from other political parties in its fold. Consequently, it was perceived as an effective political party right at its inception. Upadhyaya warned of the dangers arising out of this short cut to power: "We must be more disciplined and organised as a party. A single instance of indiscipline weakens our party and people lose faith in us. If we are self- disciplined, we can train the people to be disciplined. People must identify themselves with principles and party today. People who change parties today give rise to loss of faith in democracy. The centre of their interest is not the society but the individual…The society has been shocked by this betrayal. We must try to re-establish this faith through hard work and sacrifice, and commit ourselves to the service of society."

Upadhyaya issued a manifesto to elaborate his thoughts: "The Jan Sangh has to work for the defence of the nation, nationalism of the masses, democratization of administration and decentralisation of democracy. We should be so effective that our work is not misguided and misunderstood. The truth must be complemented with strength." Upadhyaya used to conclude his remarks with inspiring and emotional expressions.

The third general elections were held in 1962. Jawaharlal Nehru's charisma was gradually on the wane. The Jan Sangh had been warning the people of Pakistan's and China's designs for long, The public started taking the Jan Sangh's voice seriously. On the other hand, because of lack of Nehru's clout, indiscipline and groupism were on the rise. The opposition parties were waiting for a break-up of the Congress because they obviously stood to gain from its disintegration. However, Upadhyaya did not think that it was in the nation's interest. To come to power by defeating a disorganised Congress was an evidence of negative thinking. Internecine fights in any party as well as indiscipline in any party weakened democracy. Upadhyaya wanted to defeat a united and capable Congress through the efforts of Jan Sangh legislators. He, therefore, cautioned his workers: "Groupism in the Congress is assuming serious proportions. In view of the 1962 elections, every group in the party in adopting its own strategy. It is certain that many people will leave the Congress on the matter of distribution of tickets. Many political parties, which believe that Congress dissidents will help them win elections are keenly looking forward to this. But we should strengthen our own organisation and establish intimate contacts with the society." He outlines a plan to implement this.

Compiled by Amarjeet Singh, Research Associate & Programme Coordinator, Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation, 9, Ashok Road, New Delhi - 110001
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