Amid controversies of “culture pollution” and “subverting and diluting essential spirit of institutions”, Home Minister Rajnath Singh Friday called for a debate on all ideologies even as Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma said his attempt was to find place for all those who contributed to the making of modern India.
At a function to launch a year-long birth centenary celebrations of RSS ideologue Deen Dayal Upadhyaya at theNehru Memorial Museum and Library, Rajnath Singh said that some people in the country want to restrict any debate around few individuals. “Our belief is no matter how many ideologies there are, there can be differences of opinion regarding them, but there should be debate on all ideologies,” Singh said. The function was also attended by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
Referring to revolutionary Manabendra Nath Roy, founding member of the Communist Party of India, the Home Minister said if there can be debate on his Radical Humanism, why can’t there be a discussion on Upadhyaya’s idea of Integral Humanism.
“Radical Humanism, you will teach in textbooks, then why can’t Integral Humanism be discussed,” he asked.
Reiterating that Upadhyaya, a prominent leader of the Jan Sangh, stood for uplift of the poor, Singh said one way to do it is by extending them government facilities over a long period. The other way is to make the poor self-sufficient so they are no longer dependent. “Now you have to choose what is the best way. Our government has never tried to win support by offering baksheesh (tip),” he said.
While Jaitley lauded Upadhyaya for creating a parallel thought, Mahajan said he believed that a strong opposition is a necessity in democracy.
Speaking to reporters later, Mahesh Sharma, who recently sparked controversies with his remarks on religion and culture, denied that the NMML was chosen to launch Upadhyaya’s birth centenary in a bid to “saffronise” it.
“To call this saffronisation is indicative of a small mindset. For us Nehruji is as revered. Today, we are celebrating Deen Dayalji’s birth anniversary. I think it is fortunate if, as per the objectives behind this institution, others apart from Nehruji, who contributed to the freedom struggle or making of modern India, also find place here,” Sharma said.
Jaitley remembered Upadhyaya as a journalist, economist and political scientist, who had left his imprint on a variety of fields.
Referring to Jawaharlal Nehru without naming him, Jaitley said after Independence there was a political party and a prime minister who had tall political stature and ideologically there was dominance of Communism worldwide. He said in such a situation, creating a parallel thought and establishing a distinct organisation required an exceptional personality.
He said Upadhyaya’s vision was reflected in several measures taken by the Modi government for the people. The Centre will promote the humanitarian thoughts and philosophy of Upadhyaya throughout the year, Jaitley said.