Demystify “integral humanism”, the key philosophy that guides the BJP and its governments

philosophy of integral humanism proposed by Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya (pictured) | deendayalupadhyay.org

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New Delhi: Article 3 of the constitution of the Bharatiya Janata (BJP) party states that “integral humanism” is the basic philosophy of the party.

The philosophy was proposed by Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya, a pracharak of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), who was also the chairman of Bharatiya Jana Sangh, the precursor of BJP.

“Integral humanism” as a documented philosophy was first introduced at the Gwalior session of the Jana Sangh in 1964 and was duly accepted the following year at the Vijaywada session of the party. From April 22 to 25, 1965, in a series of four-day lectures, Upadhyaya explained this philosophy to the point.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while paying tribute to Upadhyaya on the occasion of his 53rd anniversary of the death on February 11 this year had noted, “His commitment to serving the poor, the marginalized and our villages continues to inspire us.

“Today, UpadhyayaI haveThe views of are as relevant as they were in his day. In fact, they will continue to be relevant for times to come as well. ”

The Prime Minister, who addressed the workers of the BJP on this occasion, also had attributed his government’s efforts to make India self-sufficient from Deendayal Upadhyay’s vision.

In this context, let’s take a look at the key principles of “integral humanism” which is considered the guiding philosophy of the BJP and its governments.


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On the definition of the nation

When a group of people live with a goal, an ideal, a mission and consider a particular land as their homeland, that group constitutes a nation. If one of the two – an ideal and a homeland – is not there, then there is no nation.

There is a “Self” in the body, the essence of the individual; when his relationship with the body is severed, a person is said to die. Likewise there is this idea, ideal, or fundamental principle of a nation, its soul … a nation also has a soul. There is a technical name for it.

In the “Principles and Policies” adopted by the Jana Sangh, this name is mentioned – Chiti (Chiti is a Sanskrit term which broadly means universal consciousness. It constitutes the heart of the philosophy of integral humanism)

If there is a standard for determining the merits and disadvantages of a particular action, it is this. Chiti: Anything that is in accordance with our nature or Chiti is approved and added to the culture. These things have to be cultivated.

All that is against Chiti is rejected as perversion, undesirable and should be avoided. Chiti is the touchstone on which every action, every attitude is tested and judged acceptable or not. Chiti is the soul of the Nation. It is on the basis of this Chiti that a nation emerges and becomes strong and virile. And this is it Chiti it manifests itself in the action of every great man in a nation.

On the role of the state

The state is one institution among many, an important institution, but it is not above all the others.

One of the main reasons for the problems in the world today is that almost everyone thinks that the state is synonymous with society. At least in practice, they see the state as the sole representative of society.

Other institutions have lost their effectiveness, while the state has become so dominant that all powers are gradually centralized in the state. We had not seen the state as the only representative of the nation.

Our national life continued uninterrupted even after the state fell into the hands of foreigners.

The state is not supreme. The question then arises, if the state is not of fundamental importance, what is absolutely important.


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On dharma and its role in a nation

The state is created to protect the nation and to create and maintain the conditions under which the ideals of the nation can be translated into reality.

The ideals of the nation constitute Chiti, which is analogous to the soul of an individual. It takes some effort to understand Chiti.

Laws that help manifest and maintain Chiti of a nation are called dharma of this nation. So it is this dharma it is supreme. Dharma is the custodian of the soul of the nation. Yes dharma is destroyed, the nation perishes. Whoever gives up dharma, betrays the nation.

On religion versus dharma

Religion means a belief or a sect; it does not mean dharma. Dharma is a very broad concept. It concerns all aspects of life. He supports society. Further still, it supports the whole world.

What sustains, is dharma. The fundamental principles of dharma are eternal and universal. However, their implementation may differ depending on time, place and circumstances.

On the supremacy of dharma

The nearest equivalent English term for dharma may be an “innate law”, which does not, however, express the full meaning of dharma. Since dharma is supreme, our ideal of state has been dharma rajya.

On the rajya dharma against the theocratic state

Dharma Rajya guarantees religious freedom and is not a theocratic state. Dharma Rajya accepts the importance of religion for the peace, happiness and progress of an individual.

Therefore, the state has a responsibility to maintain an atmosphere in which each individual can follow the religion of their choice and live in peace. The freedom to follow one’s own religion necessarily requires tolerance towards other religions.

Economic thinking

Upadhyaya gave a detailed account of the economic principles that a society and a state must follow to achieve balanced and sustainable economic growth. Here are the main points to remember:

Use: Full employment must be a primary consideration… Instead of the usual exhortation of “every worker must have food”, we must think of “all who eat must find work”, as the basis of our economy.

Capitalism and Communism: These two systems, both capitalist and communist, did not take into account “the integral man”, his true and complete personality and his aspirations. He is seen as a simple selfish being greedy for money, having only one law, the law of fierce competition, in essence the law of the jungle; while the other saw him as a weak, lifeless cog in the whole scheme of things, ruled by rigid rules, and incapable of all good unless directed. Centralization of power, economic and political, is involved in both. Both therefore result in the dehumanization of man.

Upadhyaya specifically highlighted six goals that the Indian economy should pursue:

  1. Assurance of the minimum standard of living for each individual and preparation for the defense of the nation.
  2. To further increase this minimum standard of living by which the individual and the nation acquire the means to contribute to world progress on the basis of their own Chiti.
  3. To provide meaningful employment to every able-bodied citizen, through which both of the above goals can be achieved, and to avoid waste and extravagance in the use of natural resources.
  4. Develop machines adapted to Bharatiya conditions (Bharathya technology), taking into account the availability and nature of the various factors of production.
  5. This system must help and not neglect the human being, the individual. It must protect the cultural and other values ​​of life. This is a requirement which can only be violated at the risk of great peril.
  6. The ownership, state, private or in some other form, of the various industries must be decided on a pragmatic and practical basis.

He was a proponent of both Swadeshi and decentralization and viewed centralization as one of the main obstacles to economic growth.

“Centralization and monopolization have been the order of the day for all these years, knowingly and unknowingly. Planners have become prisoners of the belief that only large, centralized industry is economic, and therefore, regardless of its harmful effects, or knowingly but powerlessly, have continued in this direction. The same fate was reserved for Swadeshi, ”he said.

“The concept of Swadeshi is ridiculed as being old-fashioned and reactionary. We proudly use foreign items. We have become too dependent on foreign aid in everything from thinking, management, capital, production methods, technology, etc., to standards and forms of consumption. This is not the way of progress and development. We will forget our individuality and become virtual slaves again. The positive content of Swadeshi should be used as the cornerstone of rebuilding our economy. “

(The author is research director at the RSS-related think tank Vichar Vinimay Kendra. The opinions expressed are personal.)


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