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Monday, July 16, 2018

View from the Right: Sangh’s Federalism

Organiser on Jana Sangh founder Deendayal Upadhyaya notes that he “never accepted the Two-Nation Theory and always moved forward bearing in his hands the torch of Undivided Bharat”.

Published: April 6, 2016 4:37:49 am

The cover story in the Organiser on Jana Sangh founder Deendayal Upadhyaya notes that he “never accepted the Two-Nation Theory and always moved forward bearing in his hands the torch of Undivided Bharat”. Noting that “an undivided Bharat is not just a slogan for us, it is the foundation of all our philosophy of life,” the article traces Upadhyaya’s journey and says that he “organised a nationwide satyagraha against the hindrances created in the way of Kashmir’s accession to India”. Elaborating his views on the nation-state, it says “the federalism as accepted in the Constitution was for him a basic mistake of the politics of India”. Upadhyaya wanted power to be decentralised to the level of janapada and panchayat units, but we “unfortunately, we aped the Westerners and formed a union of states of Bharat”.

Criticising Nehruvian economics, the article says that “we became inclined towards another regulatory set of Westerners — socialism. Five-Year Plans were devised on the footsteps of Soviet Russia.” It quotes Upadhyaya: “Only a two-word remedy is enough for the problems in Indian economy. First is ‘Swadeshi’ and another is decentralisation”. Pointing out that “the political idea of ‘nation-state’ came from [the] West”, it says that “Deendayalji exposed the inhumanity inherent in it and gave a mantra of geocultural nationalism”.

Mother Tongue

An article in the Organiser talks about the significance of imparting education in the mother tongue. It quotes Kannada writer S.L. Bhyrappa, who said at an event at the Guwahati Press Club, “as English-medium schools are growing in number across the country, we have to think over the implication of this development seriously”. He added, “In Karnataka, English-educated youths are not interested to read anything in Kannada, not even the newspaper headlines in language dailies”.

The article says English has emerged “as a major challenge to all Bharatiya languages” as people no longer want to send their children to non-English-medium schools. “The result is that more and more youths in our country now remain unaware of the local languages and literatures,” Bhyrappa said.

The Kannada Sahitya Parishad moved the high court and subsequently the Supreme Court with an appeal that the medium of instruction for children should be the mother tongue till Class 10, but the apex court dismissed it. “Unless there is a specific law in this regard, we cannot expect justice,” the article says, and hopes for new legislation because “Prime Minister Modiji also supports the concept [of educating] children in [the] mother tongue”.

Hedgewar’s Dream

An article in Panchajanya, on RSS founder Keshav Baliram Hedgewar says that his dream to “unify Hindus was based on factual and historical evidence”. History shows that “those who created this great nation… were known as Hindus,” it says, and notes that “Hindus existed before the emergence of Islam or Christianity”. The nation remain-ed at the pinnacle as long as the Hindus remained united, and when they disintegrated, it was “swallowed by the darkness of slavery”.

Therefore, “Dr Hedgewar reached the conclusion that for the nation’s resurrection” the awakening of Hindus become imperative. The nation faced a new challenge after the Mughal invasion. “They were keen to destroy our national identity and structure,” the article says, and notes that “they were against every aspect of our national life”.

Hedgewar’s perspective on Muslims was determined by nationalist concerns and didn’t have any communal tone. “He did not have any hatred towards Muslims,” it says, adding that “he had a heartfelt bond with patriotic Muslims… He did not differentiate between a patriotic Muslim and a patriotic Hindu.” The article cites several instances when Hedgewar had close bonds with Muslims, who also praised him for his honesty and integrity.

Compiled by Ashutosh Bhardwaj

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