Bharatiya Janata Party is an organisation built on certain principles. Its strength is its cadre. It is not centered around any individual, leader, family or dynasty. Its driving force is national approach to all issues rising above caste and religion.
We draw out strength from ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’. This is our central theme. ‘Bharat’ (our land), ‘Mata’ (our heritage and culture) and ‘Jai’ (people’s aspirations) are expression of our deep commitment to the nation. Nation emerges from the union of land, people and culture. We have faith in cultural nationalism.
The founder of Bharatiya Jan Sangh, the precursor to BJP, Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee was the person who saved Bengal from being swallowed into the then East Pakistan during the partition of India. He founded the party after discussions with Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Sarsanghachalak Shri Guruji (M. S. Golwalkar). RSS too was against partition and its workers had made huge sacrifices to save Hindu-Sikh brethren from violent mobs of Muslim League during the partition. Dr. Mookerjee became a martyr leading the movement for complete integration of Jammu and Kashmir.
Jan Sangh organised many movements to protect the integrity of India, like Berubari Movement and Goa liberation movement. Many karyakartas of Jana Sangh sacrificed their lives in Goa. The movements to oppose Kutch Agreement, Tashkent Agreement tainted by the death of Lal Bahadur Shastri, are worth mentioning. National integration is not a political slogan for us but a matter of commitment.
In 1947, we got freedom from the British, but we could not get freedom from Western ideas. While opposing five-year plans based on Communist Soviet model of centralized government controls the Jana Sangh called for ‘Swadeshi Economy’ the basis of which was ‘Economic Democracy’ and ‘Decentralisation’. Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay called it ‘arthaayaam’ (economic dimension).
Bharatiya Jana Sangh gave a new direction to the politics trapped in the debate of Western Socialism and Capitalism. Pandit Deendayal formulated an entirely Bharatiya philosophy of ‘Integral Humanism’ that was adopted in its Vijayawada national conference in 1965.
The philosophy of Integral Humanism looks at the individual not merely as a material object but one who has a spiritual dimension. It talks of integral approach to economic development that has individual at its core that is linked to the family, the society and the nation. The integration of ‘vyashti, srishti, samashti, and parameshti is the essence of existence of man. Centre piece of this philosophy is Antyodaya – the welfare of the last person in the queue.
Secularism, a leitmotif of Indian politics has been distorted beyond recognition. Secularism had emerged in the West as a reaction to clash between Papal control of politics. It talks of separation of the State and Church. In India, neither was there theocracy ever, nor it can be in future. Indian culture is a culture of ‘equal respect for all religions’. It can be translated as ‘sarva panth samabhaav’ or ‘panth nirapeksha’. Unfortunately in India Secularism has been reduced to minority appeasement, that too at the cost of majority. This is what Shri Lal Krishna Advani called ‘Pseudo-Secularism’ When we say ‘Ram Rajya’ or ‘Dharma Rajya’ we mean an ethical governance based on rule of law of Constitution. It is not linked to any faith or way of worship.
BJP believes that with all its short comings, Democracy is the best system of governance. Deendayal ji presented it in Indian context as the concept of ‘Chastening the Public Will’ Emergency was the biggest conspiracy to undermine democracy in India. Mass resistance against this onslaught under the leadership of Shri Jayprakash Narayan led to restoration of democracy. As the political events that unfolded the need for collective politics was felt and Bharatiya Jana Sangh was merged into the Janata Party on directive of Shri Jaiprakash Narayan, However, fear of principled cadre based Jan Sangh resulted in petty politics and Jan Sangh was eased out of Janata Party. This led to the birth of Bharatiya Janata Party.
In its first convention, BJP declared ‘Pancha Nishthas’ or five guiding principles that
would guide its political path : –
- Commitment to nationalism and national integration
- Commitment to Democracy
- Commitment to Gandhian Socialism (Gandhian approach to socio-economic issues leading to the establishment of a samaras samaj free from exploitation)
- Commitment to positive secularism (sarva dharma sambhava)
- Commitment to value-based politics
With time, it was felt that the complete philosophy which the Jana Sangh had accepted in 1965 at Vijayawada in the form of ‘Integral Humanism’ expressing basic commitment in Indian culture should be accepted by the BJP again. Therefore, 1985 National Council accepted ‘Integral Humanism’ as its foundational principle.
Whether in governance or in opposition, BJP is committed to using constitutional means to bring out socio-economic change in the society and is committed to its all-round development on the basis of Integral Humanism with ‘Sab ka Saath, Sab ka Vikas’ as its core belief. BJP has given space to all the sections of the society irrespective of caste and creed that can lead to a ‘samaras’ or harmonious society.