Deen Dayal Upadhyaya

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The Jan Sangh was formed in 1952; it made the country aware of its seriousness and stature in 1957; in 1962 it became a strong political party in the country. There was a demand, in one form or another, among non-Congress parties to defeat the Congress somehow in the 1962 elections. Upadhyaya did not agree with this:

"The Bharatiya Representative Committee had on Nov. 12-14, 1961 at Varanasi and at its last sessions, decided that we should contest from the maximum constituencies and, without entering into any alliance or forming a united front with other parties, should try to win over the electorate to our policies and programmes...According to the above policy, Jan Sangh put forth 1162 candidates for the state legislatures and 198 for Lok Sabha. It contested from the maximum number of constituencies from among the non-congress parties.''

After the 1962 general elections, Upadhyaya analysed the gains and losses of each party. He also discussed the new emerging factors. Regarding the maintenance of democratic norms and expressing his concerns about new realities, he said:
"Bharatrya Jan Sangh washes to give a constitutional shape to politics. Its publicity and mass movements have always adopted constitutional norms. We maintained our standards in these elections also Our speakers chiefly presented, their own viewpoint and criticised other parties only in the background of our own convictions and beliefs. It is time that since we have alternate policy and programme and we have differences with the Congress and other parties which are its offshoots, our criticism is basic and penetrating. Because of our fearless and selfless nature, such criticism might have been sharp at places but Jan Sangh has nowhere resorted to personal allegations or roused communal or casteist feelings, nor has it ever resorted to regional and class conflicts.

How far this statement of Upadhyaya can be true at a lower level is difficult to say But he always tried to establish an organisation and educate his workers towards the creation of such an environment, can be easily understood by his deep- rooted beliefs. There were several untoward incidents during the elections that involved the Congress, the Communists and the Jan Sangh. In this context Upadhyaya said: "I demand that the administration should investigate the election publicity of various political parties impartially. It is essential not only to put an end to the prevailing malpractices but also to raise the standard of electioneering in the future."

Upadhyaya assessed the performance of the various political parties thus' "The Congress, the Communists and the Praja Socialist Party-all these three, in their quest for garnering Muslim votes, encouraged the forces of communalism and separatism... They raised the Jan Sangh bogey in their mind so as to create a scare and tried that they should not exercise their franchise independently because of the threat posed by Jan Sangh.''

The various alliances that the political parties entered into were not only suprising but also painful. This gave rise to the speculation that in their lust for power, they can go to any extent. The Communist Party had decided to support the Congress in order to defeat the Jan Sangh They proposed such an arrangement in Kerala. In West Bengal, they adopted their old leftist leanings and raised the slogan of an alternative government. This time, the Praja Socialist Party did not join them… In Punjab, they entered into an informal agreement with the Akali Dal and in Andhra with the Swatantara Party. Probably, they did so because of the prevailing caste equations there. In Maharashtra, they contested the elections in the name of Republican Party and Shetkari Kamgar Paksh ''

"The Swatantara Party entered into alliances with practically every party other than the Congress including the Akali Dal, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and the Communists. Hindu Mahasabha and Ram Rajya Parishad entered into a compromise and contested the elections. The Republican Party contested with two groups - Praja Socialist Party supporting Vidharbha and the Communists. In Uttar Pradesh there was an agreement between the old Muslim League elements and the Republican Party. The Congress tried to enter into an alliance with the Jharkhand Party, but it was not successful... The Bharatiya Jan Sangh and the Socialist Party are the only parties that contested the elections on the basis of their policies.''

"...The Congress is disintegrating rapidly. Defeated in their bastions, the communists have slightly increased their tally by picking up in other parts of the country. The beginning of the end of the Praja Socialist Party has started....The Bharatiya Jan Sangh has taken a step forward, but it still lags behind in fulfilling the historic mission with which it was formed.''
Upadhyaya considered shortcut and opportunistic alliances for winning elections a social weakness He favoured principled policies He, therefore, attempted to analyse the third elections on the basis of principles and healthy political norms. According to him, "It is difficult to arrive at Indian polity's principled stand on the basis of these election results because a voter's decision is based on several factors. Principles have a very small role to play in this. Probably this is why eminent leaders of various political parties did not feel any need to define their ideals in these elections. The Congress staked its claim to power because it is the largest political party and no other party has a leader of Jawaharlal Nehru's stature. The other political parties have been saying that the Congress has failed on all fronts or they have given tickets to such people who have tried to be different from the Congress candidates on the basis of their communal or regional view points. It is difficult for me to say what success they have achieved in this... If we say that the people became victims to greed or fear or were swept by communal and casteist forces imply that we have failed to prepare them for their democratic rights.'' He formed a sub-committee of his party to go into this issue and arrive at its resolution.

The 1962 general elections had transformed the Bharatiya Jan Sangh into an important force and the person who contributed to it, largely through his efforts and talents, was Deendayal Upadhyaya. This was becoming increasingly clear now. It was not easily transparent because Upadhyaya always worked in the background; he was not easily seen and the RSS and the Bharatiya Jan Sangh were his outward reflections.

Strengthening of the organisation enthuses the workers, but it can also mislead them through enhanced self-esteem; They come to consider it their birthright to violate all rules under the guise of their commitment. Many political parties encourage this tendency in their workers in order to create a radical and agitational image for themselves. Upadhyaya was constantly on his guard against this danger. He made the Jan Sangh's planned and disciplined movement a part of political functioning: "Rail fares were to be linked from July l, 1962. It was decided to stage demonstrations against this hike and generally against the imposition of new taxes at railway stations. It was also decided that the demonstrations should be peaceful and the railway employees were not to be put to any inconvenience and no law was to be violated. Accordingly, demonstrations were organised at all stations and the public was made aware of the new taxes through distribution of leaflets all over the country. Barring a few places, where the railway employees did not issue platform tickets and the police arrested a few demonstrators who had platform tickets, there was no untoward incident anywhere." In his resolution, Upadhyaya generally took care to include these factors so that no one violated it at lower levels. Also, people must remember, where they had gone wrong and the newly-recruited workers understood the doctrine of protest and discharged their responsibilities positively.

While Deendayal Upadhyaya opposed opportunistic political alliances, he considered political untouchability undesirable. He wanted that the different political parties should work together for the resolution of national problems. "Communist China's aggression on India and the declaration of a state of emergency by the President have not led to stable conditions in the country. The dormant nationalist sentiment of the people has been awakened; there is an atmosphere of unity. It has given a golden opportunity to the various political parties to come together on a common platform to understand one another and put an end to their prejudices. lf this atmosphere of cooperation and goodwill continues, it will be certainly healthy for the nation's political development"

There was a sort of unity among the non-Communist parties, especially the Bharatiya Jan Sangh and Dr. Lohia's Socialist Party, against the Chinese aggression and in support of Hindi as the National Language. The two parties fought the 1963 by elections in Uttar Pradesh on a common platform. The goodwill between the two parties increased and there was a move to launch a permanent anti Congress front. But Upadbyaya did not see anything concrete emerging out of such a move. He, therefore, suggested that both the parties should work separately on the basis of their programmes and policies: "Different parties have different viewpoints. People do not have any opinion about their thoughts. Sometimes they think of the basis of goodwill that all political parties should come together, but there are certain basic points to justify separate existence. For that, only goodwill is not enough. That is why we have decided that we won't live in an imaginary world and enter into some alliance the success of which is doubtful. It would be better to work together on issues where we reach a consensus; otherwise we should operate from our own platforms."

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