Deen Dayal Upadhyaya

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There were two important events in the history of Jan Sangh and the country in 1963. First, three parliamentary elections were held that had gained national importance for two reasons. One, there was a polarisation of the political parties between the Congress-Communist and the non Congress-non Communist parties. Important political leaders contested these by elections They were: Acharya Kripalani, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia and Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya who were the joint candidates of the opposition. The second important incident of the year was the death of Dr. Raghuvira, reputed linguist and National President of Bharatiya Jan Sangh, in a car accident. After the death of Dr. Mukherjee in 1953, this was the second occasion when the Jan Sangh had got such a person of eminence of Dr Raghuvira as its President. His death was an irreparable loss to Jan Sangh. Upadhyaya remembered him with pride and gratitude at the annual session. It was also the first time that the party General Secretary did not present an analysis and assessment of the parliamentary byelections, may be because he was himself a contestant in those elections Whatever the reason, the absence of an analysts and assessment of the year's parliamentary byelections was jarring.

The year 1964 was a milestone in Indian history. Jawaharlal Nehru died this year. This was a shock to the Congress, it was the end of an era. It was a testing time from the organisational and policy point of view. A historic training camp of the executive committee of the Jan Sangh was organised at Gwalior from August 11 to 15, 1964. The resolution Upadhyaya had prepared on its principles and policies was given the final touches at his camp. Jan Sangh had come into being on the basis of the cultural resurgence thinking in 1952. The 1964 document was the culmination of such thinking. The Jan Sangh declared its concept of Integrated Humanism authoritatively, to elaborate which Upadhyaya delivered four historic addresses in Mumbai
 The Vijayawada session on January 23-24. 1 965 marked a new beginning in the history of Jan Sangh. It was the first session held on a large scale in the South. The Jan Sangh manifesto on its policies and programmes was formally presented at this session. Its acceptance marked the beginning of a new chapter in Jan Sangh history. So far, the President of the party had been a reputed elderly, affluent and eminent personality. This was the first occasion when a seasoned Jan Sangh worker, Bachhraj Vyas, was elected President. Comparatively he was younger and belonged to the first generation of Jan Sangh leaders; he was among those workers who had been trained by Dr. Mukherjee and Golwalkar. His entire political life had been shaped and developed by Jan Sangh, and he was its first worker-President who had risen from the ranks. Upadhyaya had prepared a list of workers for Jan Sangh's political leadership, which had now come to take over the organisation completely. All-India President Bachhraj Vyas, organisational Secretary. Sunder Singh Bhandari, Secretary Jagannathrao Joshi and Election Organiser Nanaji Deshmukh were all first-generation Jan Sangh pracharaks, who had come up from the ranks. Upadhyaya mentioned these names with a great deal of satisfaction in his address. By this time, Atal Behari Vajpayee had become a leader of note, he was leader of the party in Parliament. The second important leader was Balraj Madhok. Both of them did not attend the Vijay-Wada session. Their conspicuous absence was another notable feature because they were not in favour of Bachhraj Vyas' election as President.

The conditional deadline for English as the official language of the Centre was January 26, 1965; its place was to be taken by Hindi. Around this time there were protests and demonstrations for the further continuance of English and opposition to Hindi in the South. Shri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry and Dr. Radhakrishana's library in Tirupati were set on fire. There was widespread violence in Tamil Nadu. Upadhyaya said in Jalandhar, "The root cause of the movement was not language, but politics. Chakrawarty Rajagopalachari and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam inflamed public passions and adopted all means to incite them. The Congress infighting also contributed to this. What added fuel to the fire was the Madras Chief Minister's intransigence and the Congress President's call to throw all papers in Hindi in the wastepaper basket. After the movement was launched, it soon slipped into the hands of the leftists and old Muslim Leaguers. Some foreign missionaries also encouraged it." Upadhyaya wished to convey through this statement that the Tamilians were really against Hindi. The occasion was exploited by vested interests. The statement may appeal to those who subscribe to Upadhyaya's and Jan Sangh's views on Hindi as the National Language, but it is not easy to simplifying issue of Indian languages in this manner. Deendayal also conceded the inability of his own party to meet the challenge. "The Jan Sangh influence in Tamil Nadu is new and limited. We could not, therefore, be effective there."

Upadhyaya was constantly endeavoring to make Jan Sangh dignified, cultured, disciplined and democratic in its conduct. A member of his party, Pandharirao Kridant, threw a shoe at the Deputy Speaker of Madhya Pradesh Assembly. This was painful for Upadhyaya. He made a mention of this incident in this address and said: "Whatever the reasons for the member's agitation and frustration, this conduct is against all parliamentary conventions and against the Jan Sangh code of conduct. None of our workers should resort to this. We must exercise self-discipline.''

The social set-up does not become democratic merely by accepting democracy as a form of government. By 1965-66, it had become clear that all constituents of the system were lacking in democratic functioning. While describing this in his address, Upadhyaya suggested: "The Prime Minister should convene a meeting of all parties and try to constitute a body on the lines similar to the National Integration Council which should make efforts to work for democratic norms. There should be a model code of conduct for the state, the political parties and the press. The State must itself accept a process through which it should change its policies in accordance with public opinion between one general election and the next. Democracy and stubbornness cannot go together. "It would have been better if such a council was formed to deliberate over what Upadhyaya had proposed. "Changing policies on the basis of public opinion'' can be the starting point of a constructive debate. It is still left to a democratic society to find a practical approach to the powers of the legislature that is affected by party politics and an inefficient executive.

Under its young leadership, Jan Sangh had made adequate preparations for the 1967 general elections. The Jan Sangh emerged as the largest political party after the Congress in the 1967 polls. The resolution regarding these elections is Upadhyaya’s last most important document. The era of non- Congress parties started after these elections and Deendayal Upadhyaya was a respected leader of India's second largest political party in the opposition. Dr. Rammanohar Lohia was the leader who had given this idea; the age of a single-party monopoly in Indian politics was gradually coming to an end.
"The five years from 1962 to 1967 were so eventful and mass-based that there were many apprehensions in the public mind. But they proved to be baseless. The public participated peacefully and judiciously in these elections and this gave proof of the strength of democracy in Indian"

There was an attempt at bringing together the non-Congress parties on the same platform. But Upadhyaya did not agree with the suggestion. He said in his address: "There was an atmosphere of weakness and lack of strength in the Congress which led the non-Congress parties to think of coming together to fight elections. Their justification was they could defeat the Congress as one entity. Bharatiya Jan Sangh's experience has been that such a compromise has no value because when it comes to a direct contest, the other non-Congress parties prefer to join the Congress instead of Jan Sangh in such contests. These elections have justified our contention."

Regarding the formation of an alternative to the Congress, he opined: "Since there is a gradual decline in the influence of the Congress and it is slowly losing its effectiveness, it is of paramount importance that there should be a national and democratic party as an alternative, but this task is not possible through manipulation. We require a clear policy, a well-defined programme, the right principles and a strong organisation for this." Jan Sangh won 35 seats in the 1967 general elections. Besides, there were 75 constituencies where the Jan Sangh contestants directly faced the winners. Out of these, it lost in 15 constituencies by a margin of 200 to 5,000 votes. Upadhyaya was not dissatisfied with his party's performance: "It is clear that the Jan Sangh is not only ahead of all the other non-Congress parties but it has secured more votes than both the Communist parties, Socialist Party and the Praja Socialist Party put together.'' He presented a detailed assessment of the parliamentary and state legislature party positions in this address.

After interpreting and analysing data in these elections, Upadhyaya commented on the newly-emerged realities and tendencies: "The Muslims have voted against the Congress at most places, but it is not appropriate to say at this juncture, that they are veering to other parties on the basis on economic, political and other issues. Obviously, the Majlis-e-Mushawwarat-e-Musalman has been organised on communal basis and it has voted on these lines. The Mushawwarat leaders are definitely using this party for political bargaining. In Andhra, lttehadul-Musalmeen has also been formed on communal lines...The Muslim league has added to its clout through a united front in Madras and Kerala. The influence and expansion of these parties is a stumbling block in the way of Indian Muslims joining the national mainstream.''

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