Deen Dayal Upadhyaya

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-Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya
[Organiser, 18 December, 1961]
Changers and No-changers

Election alliances develop a sense of negativism in the people. It is not proper. They invariably involve a compromise of principles, and to some extent help the opportunist elements in the country. They should be avoided. Democracy imposes certain limitations with regard to the ultimate realisation of all political activity i.e. to capture power. It discards the use of the bullet but everything cannot be considered fair in the battle of the ballot.

It is also wrong to think that a united front of all the parties in necessary to defeat the Congress. An analysis of the last elections poll does not lead to this conclusion. In straight contests with the congress, except in a few notable cases where public sentiment was raised to a high pitch, the non-congress candidates have been losers on the whole. What we need is not a united front of all the opposition parties but the solid work of one single party to defect the Congress. If the Congress can win on the basis of a minority vote other parties also can win. In the last elections the Communists defeated the Congress in Kerala without forging any united front.

There may be a need of polarisation and reduction in the number of parties. But polarisation requires a nucleus. So far no party can claim to occupy that position. On an ideological basis the Jana Sangh and the Communists provide the nucleus round which the nationalist and the extra-territorialists have to gather. Organisationally that right is still not conceded by throwing their weight on the side of such parties as can serve the basis of a principle organisation of the people can help this process of polarisation. Let them, therefore, not dissipate their energies and votes.

Before dealing with the Election Manifestoes of the various political parties, it will be useful if their ideological basis is analysed in general terms. That alone would enable us to read between the lines and correctly appraise the programmes and promises outlined in the manifestoes. The same words and phrases used by different parties may not mean the same thing. To the common man a zero simply denotes nothingness, but not so to the mathematician. The missing links can also be found out on the basis of the past performance and doctrinaire outlook of the parties, for the election manifestoes of most of the parties miserably lack details.

In the West the political parties are generally termed as ‘rightist’ or ‘leftist’. In India also this terminology is growingly being used to denote the characteristics and aims of different political parties. But this categorisation does not give a correct idea of the polities of India. We say this not only because there are parties here which represent multifarious hues between the extreme right and the extreme left, but because many programmes of these parties defy any classification on this orthodox basis.

The Congress may be termed a leftist party in so far as it stands for a socialist pattern of economy, but the support it extends to and derives from the vested interests lends it a conservative colour. The Jana Sangh may be called rightist because it does not believe in doctrinaire socialism but its programme and cadre definitely make it more radical than some of the so-called radical parties of the country.

If we discard this Western terminology, the political parties in India can be classified on the basis of their source of inspiration. Most of the parties seek to fashion India’s politics on some foreign pattern. Their ideological basis is provided by Western political thinking. The Congress, the Communists, the PSP, the Socialists and the Swatantra, all fall in this category.

Whatever differences there are among these parties, they all seek to project foreign politics into the Indian scene. They refuse to think originally or take into consideration the basic thought-values of our nation. The utmost that some of there parties concede is an integration of Western ideals and Bharatiya culture. They want a Western political picture in the Indian background. In analysing the political situation in India, they readily and unquestioningly accept results of foreign analysts. The communists stand for unadulterated Marxism as developed in Russia.

The Congress, the PSP and the Socialists are all torn asunder between national loyalties and socialist ideals. They cannot afford to disregard democracy and want somehow to combine the twin philosophies of democracy and socialism. The Swatantra Party is opposed to socialism. It, however, does not know that there can be any better alternative to socialism except the discredited capitalism.

On the other hand there are parties which derive their inspiration from the eternal values of Bharatiya culture and life, and are not prepared blindly to accept Western ways and ideals. The Jana Sangh and the Ram Rajya Parishad fall into this category. Of these two, the Ram Rajya Parishad represents the more orthodox type and is opposed to all sorts of social and economic reforms. The Jana Sangh follows the reformist tradition of Dayanand and Tilak, not only in the social field but also attempts to extend it to economic issues.

Thus we have another classification viz. The ‘changers’ and the ‘no-changers’. The RRP and the Swatantra are no-changers. They would even like to reverse the order of change that has taken place during the last fourteen years. To them institutional arrangements existing today or during the British rule is something to be preserved. They attach sanctity to them. RRP considers them as part and parcel of Hinduism, while the Swatantraites would justify their existence on grounds of a liberal tradition tending towards conservatism.

Other parties are not satisfied with the existing state of affairs. They felt is desirable that economic and other institutions must change for they neither represent the ideal nor continue to have the vitality that they initially possessed. The socialist desire change in the direction set by their ideological savants in the West. The Jana Sangh wants to do in a direction to be determined by the principles and goals set for human endeavour by our forefathers. Thus if you want to maintain the status quo, vote for the Swatantra; if you want change imitating the West, choose any of the Socialists: if you want to reform and modemise your national life, in conformity with its age old ideals, back Jana Sangh.
Compiled by Amarjeet Singh, Research Associate & Programme Coordinator, Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation, 9, Ashok Road, New Delhi - 110001
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