Tag Archives: BJP

Atal Behari Vajpayee on the RSS

The Sangh is my Soul – Atal Behari Vajpayee
20/01/2012 01:12:01

I came in contact with the RSS in 1939 through Arya Kumar Sabha, a youth branch of Arya Samaj, in Gwalior-then a princely state which was not part of any province. I came from a strong ‘sanatani’ family. But I used to be at the weekly ‘satsang’ of Arya Kumar Sabha. Once Shri Bhoodev Shastri who was a senior worker of Arya kumar Sabha, and a great thinker and an expert organiser, asked us: “What do you do in the evenings?” “Nothing”, we said, because the Arya Kumar Sabha used to meet in the morning on every Sunday. Then he recommended us to go to the shakha. Thus I started going to the Shakha in Gwalior. It was my first association with the RSS. At that time the shakha in Gwalior had just begun. It had only Maharashtrian boys, and naturally all the swayamsevaks used to speak only Marathi. I started going to the shakha regularly. I liked the games played in the shakha as well as the weekly ‘bauddhiks’ (intellectual discourses).

A pracharak, Shri Narayanrao Tarte had come from Nagpur to start the shakha. He was indeed a superb human being; a very simple man, a thinker and an expert organiser. What I am today is the making of Shri Tarte. Next to him I was inspired by Deendayal Upadhyaya and Bhaurao Deoras. Gwalior was then not within the field of Bhauraoji. But once he had come to Gwalior with Shri Balasaheb Apte who was the then Bauddhik Pramukh. Apteji was very soft-spoken. We were soon drawn towards him. I had talked with him for only a few minutes. But the same year (1940) when I went to see the first year Officers’ Training Camp (OTC), I came in close contact with him. I went there just to attend the valedictory function of the camp, not for training. Dr. Hedgewar had also come there for the some time. I first saw him there. When Doctorji was ill I went to see him. In 1941 when I was in High School I did my first year OTC. In 1942 when I was in Intermediate class I did my second year OTC, and I did my third year in 1944 when I was doing my B.A.

When I wrote ‘Hindu Tan-man Hindu Jeevan’ I was a student of class X. After completing my graduation from Gwalior I did my M.A. from the DAV College in Kanpur, because there was no post-graduate college in Gwalior. I then got State Government’s scholarship also. Owing to Partition, I could not complete my Law. And then in 1947, I decided to give up my studies to come out as a whole-time worker of the RSS. Till 1947 I did the RSS work at the shakha level and carried on my studies. I also participated in the Quit India Movement in 1942 and was jailed. I was then studying for my Intermediate examination. I was arrested from my native village Bhateshwar in Agra district. I was then 16.

My father was not attached to the RSS, but my elder brother was. He would go to the shakha. Once he went to the winter camp where he created a problem. He said: “I cannot take my food with the other swayamsevaks. I shall prepare my food myself.” And see how deftly the RSS handled the situation. The ‘sarvadhikari’ (superintendent) of the camp complied with his request and provided him all the necessary thing for preparing his food. After taking his bath and properly adjusting his sacred thread, etc., he started cooking his food. On the first day he prepared the food for himself. the next day, however, he could not prepare it and joined the queue of all swayamsevaks for partaking of the food. Within 44 hours he was changed.

The RSS does not change only individuals. It changes also the collective mind. This is the beauty of the RSS ethos. In our spiritual tradition an individual can attain a great height. Even self-realisation is possible if one undertakes the right ‘sadhana’ and also attain ‘nirvana.’ But what about the society? Nobody thinks about his obligation to the society in general. Now for the first time the RSS thought about it and concluded that by changing individuals we shall change the society. Had the sarvadhikari at the camp scolded him and not allowed him to prepare his food himself his spiritual development would have been thwarted, whereas in the RSS within 44 hours he was a changed boy. This is the “secret method” of the RSS. That is how society is changed. It is true that it is a long process but then there are no short-cuts, no instant recipes.

Gandhiji had praised the RSS for the absence of untouchability in the organisation. Only the RSS organises the society. Other movements only divide the society by emphasising distinct ‘identity’, different ‘interests’, special ‘status’, etc. They only encourage untouchability by constantly reminding the so-called untouchables of their “separateness.” “You are being insulted. You have no place in society.”

The RSS has a two-fold task before it. One is to organise the Hindus. To build a strong Hindu society, well-knit and rising above caste and other artificial differences. Some differences will persist but then variety is the spice of life. Like, we have the differences of the language. We don’t want to destroy this diversity. The other task is to assimilate the non Hindus, like Muslims and Christians in the mainstream. They can follow the faith of their own conviction. No one can object to it. We worship trees, animals, stones, and what not. We have hundreds of ways of worshipping God. They can go where they want. But this country must be looked upon as the Motherland for them. They must have a feeling of patriotism for this country. But the Islamic division of the world into ‘Darul Harab’ and ‘Darul Islam’ comes in the way. Islam has yet to learn the art of existing and flourishing in a country where Muslims are in a minority. They cannot convert the whole of India to Islam. After all, they have to live here. So they have to recognise this fact. And today it has become a matter of grave concern and deep thinking in the Muslim countries. Because Quran offers no guidance in this regard. It only talks of killing kafirs or converting them to Islam. But they cannot do it always and everywhere. How can they do it where they are in a minority? If they try to do it, a major clash will take place and only the members of the minority will be killed. But Muslims themselves have to change this state of affairs. We cannot change it for them.

Congress has not correctly understood the Muslim problem. They continue to carry on their policy of appeasement. But to what effect? The Muslims of this country can be treated in three ways. One is ‘tiraskar’ which means if they will not themselves change leave them alone, reject them as out compatriots. Second is ‘puruskar’ which is appeasement, i.e., bribe them to behave, which is being done by the Congress and others of their ilk. The third way is ‘parishkar’ meaning to change them, that is, restore them to the mainstream by providing them samskaras. We want to change them by offering them the right samskaras. Their religion will not be changed. They can follow their own religion. Mecca can continue to be holy for the Muslims but India should be holier than the holy for them. You can go to a mosque and offer namaz, you can keep the roza. We have no problem. But if you have to choose between Mecca or Islam and India you must choose India. All the muslims should have this feeling: we will live and die only for this country.

I wrote “Hindu Tan-man Hindu Jeevan” when I was studying in the tenth class. I had then said, “koi batlaye Kabul mein jaakar kitni masjiden todin.” I still stand by my words. But we (Hindus) did pull down the structure in Ayodhya. In fact it was a reaction to the Muslim vote-bank. We wanted to solve this problem through negotiation and legislation. But there was no puraskar for burai (evil act). We change burai also with parishkar. Now I think, the Hindu society has been regenerated which was the prime task of the RSS. Earlier Hindus used to bend before an invasion but not now. This change in Hindu society is worthy of welcome. So much change must have come with the new-found self-assertion. This is a question of self preservation. If the Hindu society does not expand itself it will face the crisis of survival. We have to expand ourselves. We have to take others along with. Now the Yadavs and the so-called Harijans are going with us. After all we have to live as Hindus. Once a Yadav leader came to me and said: “Don’t condemn all Yadavs. All Yadavs are not with Mulayam Singh and Laloo Prasad. A ‘samskrit’ (cultured) Yadav does not like them. There can be sections of Rajput, Kurmi and Gujjar Muslims but you cannot find any Yadav Muslim anywhere. The Yadavs never accepted Islam. This talk of “Yadav-Muslim” Unity – MY card – is nothing more than an empty slogan for votes.”

The simple reason for my long association with the RSS is that I like the Sangh. I like its ideology, and above all I like the RSS attitude towards people, towards one another which is found only in the RSS. I remember an incident, when I was in Lucknow. The Socialist movement was its peak. Suddenly a senior socialist activist fell ill. He was lying alone in his house, and nobody went to enquire after his well-being. Then Acharya Narendra Deo came to know and he went to his house to see him. The Acharya then said, “What fraternity is this in the Socialist Party? Nobody has come to see you. It can never happen in the RSS. If a swayamsevak does not go to the shakha only for one day the same day friends will promptly reach his house to enquire about his well-being.”

When I was ill during the Emergency, my family members did not turn up to see me. They were afraid of being arrested for any such action. Only the RSS workers helped me. See, how much living contact and fraternal feeling is in the RSS. Actually the Sangh is our family. We are all one.

In the beginning we could not spread our work in all sections of the society because we did not have enough workers. “Man-making” is the prime job of the RSS. As we now have more workers, we are covering all sections of the society in all fields of life. Changes are taking place in all spheres. But the work of man-making will not be discontinued, it will go on. It must go on. That is what the RSS movement is.

Did Muslims vote for BJP in Bihar – An Analysis by Vishnu Prasad

Muslims voted for BJP in BIhar – A myth challenged – An Analysis by Vishnu Prasad

“For the first time since 2002, Muslims rallied behind BJP”, screaming Media for the last few days. Will BJP learn its lessons? Questions analysts after the triumph in Bihar . BJP needs a Vajpayee and a Nitish, not Modi, laments the anchors. And the poor reader taken for a ride and started believing that BJP should change, should leave Modi behind and embrace Nitish for success. But a deeper insight into the results will astonish anyone and espouse the fact that it was not Nitish’s sort of Victory, but it was Modi’s indeed.

Since some in the group raised their eyebrows about ballyhoo of the media, I felt like taking a look into it and here is my take.

I took 54 Muslim influenced constituencies in which Muslim voters exceeded 20% and tried to analyze in which way these Muslims voted. I tried to figure out that did Muslims really vote for Nitish?
( Data in link below)
Bihar Election data 2010

Did Nitish Charisma really helped BJP pulling miraculous victories in these Muslim majority constituencies?

Or, Is it the underground polarization of Hindus against Muslims in the wake of Prince Rahul gandhi’s uncalled for statements equating RSS with SIMI just a week ahead of Polls?

One has to analyze the data keeping the backdrop of the elections that were held in the wake of Ayodhya verdict, Congress’ blatant siding with Muslims and Targeting RSS amongst many others.

Here are my findings

1.Of these 54 constituencies, BJP contested in 32 and won a whopping 29 as against those of JDU’s 12 out of a total contested 22.

2.Of those 29, in 16 seats BJP won against Muslim candidates and 15 of those candidates were Hindus. The only Muslim candidate won from Amour, which is 75% Muslims and here too the margin of victory when put against the combined LJP-Congress duo, is a mere 2000 votes. ( Yet this can be an exception to my claim)

3.in all the three seats where BJP lost, BJP lost to Muslim candidates and all those defeated were Hindus. And all these three constituencies have more than 45% Muslim votes. Interestingly, in Kishangunj,where Muslims are 65%, BJP lost by a mere 244 votes and amassed the votes almost equal to polled Hindu votes ( proportionately calculated) and 65% Muslim votes seem to be exactly got divided between Congress and RJD.

4.On the other hand, look at the fate of the Nitish led JDU. JDU has lost 10 out of 22 seats contested. More interesting is the way it lost. Of the 10 seats it lost, it lost 5 seats to Muslim candidates.

5. In another 4 seats it lost, JDU fielded muslim candidates keeping the demography in view but surprisingly lost to Hindu candidates.

What do these results suggest? One plausible explanation could be that Hindu vote bank got consolidated while Muslims were confused and scattered between Congress and RJD but surely not rallied behind BJP, and definitely not behind Nitish as claimed by the secular media. But unfortunately our minds have been so trained that we could not dare to imagine that Hindu vote bank could be consolidated and throw the mlechha out.

True , development could have been one, in fact the biggest, factor but never undermine the undercurrent of Hindu renaissance. To me , Bihari voter has categorically answered the secular media and secular leaders too, with one go. Enough of belittling Hindu cause, Hindu leaders and Hindu organizations.

With their voice loud and clear, They avowed “What if you don’t welcome Shri Narendra Modiji, we do.”

I hope Nitish and secular media listening.

Nanaji makes Gramswaraj a reality

Ed Note : This article was written when Nanaji was alive and therefore the article is in present tense.

Nanaji makes Gramswaraj a reality
The savant of Chitrakoot – By Sangeet Verma

Chitrakoot

Chitrakoot is famous for its significant role in the exile of Sri Rama. It was in these forests of Chitrakoot that Sri Rama spent a large time of his exile. This made Chitrakoot a place of devotion and faith for Hindus worldwide. However in recent years, apart from its religious significance, life for the villagers in this holy place gradually lost relevance with the teachings of Sri Rama. The dense forests disappeared with time, agriculture lost its profitability and governance was limited to tax collections and VIP visits. Poverty grew with increasing unemployment and water shortage ruined agriculture. Bandits controlled the area and spirituality shrunk to religious shrines and temples. By the early seventies, Chitrakoot became a dry and poverty-struck area with temples and shrines as the only source of income.

nanaji-deshmukhIt was in 1969 that Nanaji Deshmukh visited Chitrakoot. He was moved to see the pathetic condition of the society in the karmabhoomi of Sri Rama. He sat by the holy river Mandakini, and resolved to change the picture of Chitrakoot. Nanaji gave up an illustrious political carrier, politely refusing a ministerial birth offered by the then Prime Minister Morarji Desai and announced his retirement from active politics. He returned to Chitrakoot to lay down the foundation of Deendayal Research Institute now famous as DRI. Named after the famous thinker and organiser Deendayal Upadhyaya and designed to implement development programmes through his vision of ‘Integral Humansim’, DRI was aimed at rural development and research, targeting villages around Chitrakoot. Nanaji laid down the objectives of DRI, aiming at complete independence of villages and villagers in agriculture, water resources, health, moral character, education and employment. His vision was to design a system of development based on local knowledge and technology and enhancing the same for the prosperity of the locals rather than invite external investments. The challenges were massive and the primary challenge was to win over the trust of the villagers in order to prepare them for the change.

Work started with minimum resources and maximum efforts. The primary focus was on making agriculture a profitable venture as Nanaji believed that only prosperity can make a happy society. A meeting of farmers from 19 villages was called and a decision to create local dams to sustain rainwater was taken. Men, women and children contributed to the call and before the rains could arrive, dams had come up in every possible location. Interestingly, no cement, concrete or iron was used for the purpose and only local stones and mud was used. Many ‘leaders’ laughed at the idea and said that these dams will not even stand the first rains. But they did, and are strongly standing till date. The experiment has recharged the entire ground water system around Chitrakoot and even in the months of May and June, local wells carry 10-15 feet of water. Nanaji went further to launch Krishi Vikas Kendras (KVKs) resource and research centres aimed at transforming unprofitable landholdings of poor farmers into profitable ones. The KVKs helped the poor farmers harvest rainwater, use latest methods of agriculture and provided knowledge and resources for the same. They also created Seed Villages in a cluster of villages and Seed Clubs at village levels where farmers could get better seeds for better yields in their own villages, rather than awaiting government machinery to supply them. These villages are now not only meeting the seeds requirements of their own village but also supplying the surplus seeds to nearby villages that provide good income to the growers. The members of the Seed Clubs exchange their seeds for food grains within the village (for1 kg seed they take 1.25 kg food grain from farmers).

Nanaji’s focus on education was clear since the time he established the first Saraswati Shishu Mandir in Gorakhpur in his days as a Pracharak. In Chitrakoot, he has ensured that not only do the students get good education to earn a happy living, the same education evolves them as responsible citizens and integral components of a happy human race and not just money making machines that work under the pressure of a mad market frenzy. The pre-primary education begins at Nanhi Duniya or the ‘little world’ where children in the age of 3 to 5 years come not to study, but to experience nature. They play with everything from colours, balloons to geographic models, maps and toys, and learn by interaction rather than reading and writing. Nanhi Duniya is an interactive world that teaches important lessons of the world to toddlers while playing with nature. It has interactive and play-based models and galleries on themes of geography, history, zoology, sports and yoga, swimming, words and numbers, and art and creativity. Primary education in Chitrakoot begins at Surendra Pal Vidyalaya where the children study standard curriculum. The hostel accommodations here are designed as family units. Ten students stay in a flat as a family, with their responsibility assigned to an aged couple called Guru Mata-Pita who ensure that the children get a family atmosphere and do not feel isolated in a big world. They are also responsible for inculcating cultural and moral values in these children. Each family is provided with a cook. For post secondary education, Nanaji founded the first rural university in India, the Mahatma Gandhi Chitrakoot Gramodaya Vishwavidyalaya. This university has state-of-the-art courses and equipments, including a fully equipped Geographical Information System Lab in its Geology department.

Nanaji believed that only a healthy society can be prosperous. Thus came into existence the Aarogya Dhaam, a world class comprehensive health care and research centre that focuses on serving through naturopathy, yoga, and Ayurveda. The many components of Aarogya Dhaam include the Aayurveda Sadan (meant for Ayurvedic treatments and research), The Nidan Sadan (Out Patients Department), The Yoga Sadan (for yogic cure and training), the Ras Shala (where locally grown herbs are used for preparing ayuvedic medicines), Swasthya Kutir (health cottages that offer five star facilities with programmes for healthy physical, mental and emotional recovery), Matri Sadan (maternity and paediatric unit), Swasthya Sadan (In Patients Department), a fully furnished dental unit, Aahar Vihar Sadan (canteen), a spawning herbal garden spreading many acres, and a large library and documentation centre. Located on the hills of Chitrakoot surrounded by forests and overlooking the holy Kamtanathji mountain, this health centre with its lush green lawns, gushing waterfalls and picturesque surroundings are a feast to the eye. It is clearly aimed at handing over a suffering body to mother nature, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically, helping it with the very components derived from nature in the form of herbal medicines and cure, thereby bringing a comprehensive recovery of the entire human system that heals the mind, body, heart and soul, permanently. The DRI has also developed and designed a pack of 34 local herbal medicines that are derived from local knowledge and have been found to be very effective in curing frequently occurring ailments and diseases. They call it Dadi Maa Ka Batua. This kit has gained tremendous popularity in the villages and has helped save the villagers from expensive treatment and medicines. Adjacent to the Aarogya Dhaam is a well-maintained and well-equipped Gau Shaala where cows of different Indian breeds are kept and conservation of superior genetic germ plasm and their propagation for milk production and agricultural needs is done, specially for breeds which are in danger of extinction. The Gau Shaala is also engaged in maintaining pure Indian breeds through artificial insemination of cows and bullocks for better and quality milk production in order to make the Indian cow an economically feasible, useful and profitable option.

Nanaji’s commitment to Chitrakoot further extends to its people in addressing their employment needs. His vision of providing local options of livelihood with minimum investment and maximum profits resulted in the institutionalisation of Udyamita Vidyapeeth, an entrepreneurship development and research centre that works round the clock for developing, training, and establishing low cost and high income enterprises in the rural areas with the help of self-help groups and individuals. At present this industrial training centre is providing training on fruits and vegetable processing, dal poha and lai production, oil expeller units, readymade garments, screen and offset printing, MCR tiles, sakar blocks, processing of cereals and pulses industry (PCPI), flour mills, cane and bamboo craft, fabrication, computer training, bakery products, soap and detergent production, hand made paper making, and radio electronics. Rural youth from all over the region come here and get trained in the areas of their individual interest. Training is provided in state-of-the-art class rooms and laboratories that help them understand every aspect of their future livelihood. They then go to their respective villages and establish the ventures giving employment to themselves and many others. The focus in designing all industrial solutions is keeping them a low investment enterprise based on local raw materials in order to ensure sustained supplies and profits.

A prosperous society is incomplete without its moral and cultural values. DRI has set-up Ram Darshan, a unique interpretation centre of the Ramayana, based on the life and teachings of Sri Rama. Through its unmatched paintings, sculptures, collections and crafts, Ram Darshan not only looks deeper into the meaning of Ramayana, it helps one understand the universal acceptability of his teachings and their relevance in today’s life and society. It is a mirror that tells us where we went wrong, and how the course can be corrected. It is a bridge that connects the islands of religion, knowledge, karma and spirituality for the supreme benefit of a glorious society. In order to ensure that his good work is sustainable, Nanaji, introduced Samaj Shilpi Dampattis, newly wed graduate couples who have a commitment for community service, that live in the villages and look after the work of DRI in a cluster of five villages. The couples are responsible for overall implementation of the DRI programmes.

Kalam and Nanaji

It is in Chitrakoot that Nanaji has shown the world that religion is meant more for the benefit of society than individuals. He has proved that pilgrimages like Chitrakoot should not just be places of worship, but also icons of development and self reliance. He has shown that ideals of Integral Humanism as propagated by thinkers like Pandit Deendayal Upadhayaya, can be made a living reality. Gandhiji’s dream of Gram Swaraj has finally been brought true, not by a congressman, but by a swayamsewak. Last but not the least, Nanajii has shown this generation what is meant by the life of a sage spent in penance.