Home » The Rise of Pan-India Nationalism and Evolution of the Bharatiya Janata Party – a perspective

The Rise of Pan-India Nationalism and Evolution of the Bharatiya Janata Party – a perspective

by Rinku Khumukcham
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By: Laimayum Bashanta Sharma
Bharat is shining. Whether in the field of Aerospace with the recent launch of 36 satellites of UK-based one web by ISRO’s reliable launch vehicle LMV-3 or ISRO successfully conducted autonomous landing of India’s first reusable rocket. From India’s first Oscar for 2023 for Netflix’s ‘The Elephant Whisperer’ by Kartiki Gonsalves and Guneet Monga in the Best Documentary Short Film category at the 95th Academy Awards and Naatu Naatu’ from film ‘RRR’ wins the ‘Best Original Song’ at 95th Academy Awards to Indians shining in fortune 500 companies of the world. There is a sense of pride and a surge of nationalism seen among Indians everywhere. From supplying wheat to starving people of war-ravaged Afghanistan, a humanitarian initiative Vaccine Maitri undertaken by the Indian government to provide COVID-19 vaccines to countries around the world, to sending humanitarian assistance to earthquake-devasted Türkiye and Syria, or India’s exports Hit Record High of US$ 750 Billion Despite Global Recession or India on the course to achieve 5 trillion US$ economy and I can go on and on. The bottom line is since 2014 over the last 9 years of BJP rule one can see a massive transformation of India from a fragile 5 economy to the world’s fastest-growing economy. There is a sense of pride among Indians of all age groups within India and abroad. India first is now the mantra among all Indians.
On the 6th of April Thursday, the world’s biggest political party is all set to celebrate its 43rd foundation day. It was on April 6th, 1980 a group of leaders including Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L.K. Advani, founded the party to promote logy of Hindu nationalism and promoting good governance in the country. It came to power under the leadership of Swargiya Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee as the 10th Prime Minister of India, first for a term of 13 days in 1996, then for a period of 13 months from 1998 to 1999, followed by a full term from 1999 to 2004. Popular mass leader of substance Shri Narendra Damodar Das Modi was elected as PM of India in 2014 and he is all set to complete his second consecutive term as PM and by all accounts set to return for the third consecutive term as PM when the LS election will be held in May 2024.
Over the years, the BJP has grown in strength and popularity and is now the ruling party at the center with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the helm for the last 9 years. The party has a strong presence in many states, and its political influence is felt across the country. The popularity of the party was echoed by the recent election results in 2023. Out of five states that went to the poll BJP won four states under the leadership of PM Modi.
The BJP remains a formidable political force in India, with a strong support base and a vision for a prosperous and culturally vibrant India. As the party celebrates its foundation day, it is worth reflecting on its achievements and challenges, and its role in shaping India’s future.
The basic philosophy of BJP- integral humanism:
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) believes in the philosophy of “Integral Humanism,” which is the party’s guiding principle for governance and policymaking. Integral Humanism is a socioeconomic and political philosophy that emphasizes the holistic development of human beings and the integration of material and spiritual values.
Integral Humanism, as propounded by Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya, the founder of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, the predecessor of the BJP, believes that democracy is not just a political system but a way of life. The philosophy emphasizes the importance of decentralization, where decisions are taken at the grassroots level, and governance is based on the principle of self-governance.
Integral Humanism believes in the concept of “Antyodaya,” which means the upliftment of the last person in society. It emphasizes the importance of social justice, equality, and inclusiveness, and advocates for the welfare of all sections of society, particularly the marginalized and disadvantaged.
The philosophy also emphasizes the importance of economic development, which is sustainable and equitable. It advocates for the integration of traditional knowledge and modern science and technology to promote economic growth, reduce poverty, and enhance the well-being of citizens.
Integral Humanism also emphasizes the importance of cultural nationalism, which emphasizes the preservation and promotion of India’s cultural heritage and values. It emphasizes the importance of maintaining social and cultural harmony and promoting the spirit of “unity in diversity.” The party has planned a week-long social harmony campaign from April 6 till the birth anniversary of Baba Saheb Ambedkar on April 14 this year in support of its core ideology.
Five commitment of BJP: Nationalism and national integration:
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is a political party in India that is known for its strong emphasis on nationalism and national integration. From the BJP’s perspective, nationalism is the core of the Indian identity and a vital ingredient for a strong and united India. The BJP believes that India is a diverse country with various religions, cultures, and languages. However, it also believes that these diversities should not lead to disunity but should be celebrated and integrated to form a unified national identity. The party believes that national integration is essential for India’s progress and development and that the country should move beyond caste, religion, and linguistic barriers.
The BJP’s ideology is rooted in the idea of Hindutva, which emphasizes the cultural and historical unity of India’s diverse population. The party believes that Hinduism is not just a religion but a way of life that is an integral part of India’s cultural and social fabric. However, the party also advocates for the inclusion and respect of all religions and cultures in India. The BJP also believes that national security is crucial for the country’s well-being, and it advocates for a strong defense and foreign policy. The party has taken several measures to strengthen India’s security, including increasing defense spending and modernizing the armed forces.
Value-based politics:
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is known for its commitment to value-based politics, which emphasizes moral and ethical values in governance. The party believes that politics should not be based solely on the pursuit of power, but on principles and values that promote the welfare and progress of society. The BJP’s ideology is rooted in the principles of Hindutva, which emphasizes the importance of moral and ethical values in public life. The party believes that politics should be driven by principles such as honesty, transparency, accountability, and social justice.
The BJP’s value-based politics is reflected in its policies and programs. For instance, the party has launched several social welfare schemes such as the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, which aims to provide banking facilities to the unbanked population, and the Ujjwala Yojana, which aims to provide clean cooking fuel to poor households.
The BJP also emphasizes the importance of good governance, which involves the efficient and effective delivery of services to citizens. The party believes that good governance is essential for promoting economic growth, reducing poverty, and enhancing the well-being of citizens.
The BJP also places a high value on national security and the integrity of the nation. The party believes that a strong and secure India is essential for its progress and development, and it has taken several measures to strengthen India’s defense and foreign policy.
Gandhian socialism:
Gandhian socialism is a socio-economic and political philosophy that combines the principles of Gandhian thought, such as nonviolence, self-sufficiency, and community-based living, with the principles of socialism, such as collective ownership and democratic control of resources and means of production. It emphasizes the importance of decentralized economic planning, social justice, equality, and nonviolence.
Positive secularism:
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is a political party in India that believes in the concept of “positive secularism.” According to the BJP, positive secularism is a form of secularism that promotes harmony among different religions and communities and does not discriminate against any particular religion or community. The BJP believes that positive secularism is essential for India’s progress and development as it promotes unity and inclusiveness. The party emphasizes that India is a secular country, and the government should treat all citizens equally, irrespective of their religion, caste, or creed.
The BJP also believes that positive secularism should not mean the suppression of religious beliefs or practices. Instead, it advocates for the protection of the rights of all religions to practice and promote their beliefs without fear of discrimination or persecution. The BJP has taken several steps to promote positive secularism in India. For instance, the party has implemented policies that aim to promote interfaith harmonies, such as organizing dialogues and meetings between different religious leaders to promote understanding and cooperation.
The BJP also supports the freedom of religion and has opposed laws or policies that discriminate against any particular religion. For instance, the party has opposed the practice of “triple talaq,” a form of instant divorce that is prevalent among some Muslim communities in India and has supported the Supreme Court’s decision to declare it unconstitutional.
The Nehruvian democratic legacy was a honeymoon that never lasted. Democracy in India didn’t come even close to the Western definition of democracy by Abraham Lincoln – “Democracy is a government of the people, by the people and for the people”. Greed for absolute power led to the declaration of 21 months emergency from 1975 to 1977 by the then PM Mrs. Indira Gandhi. Might is Right became firmly entrenched in Indian democracy which led to the gradual criminalisation of politics. Muscle powers were excessively used to win elections. Article 356 was misused rampantly to dismiss democratically elected governments citing flimsy excuses. Money power was used to buy politicians which led to the massive circulation of black and bad money. In troubled torn naxal, militancy, and insurgency-affected regions elections became a joke due to the selection of winners by the ones who had excess muscle and money power. Boot capturing became rampant. The intimidation of voters was used excessively by the ruling party to force voters to vote for the ruling party. The BJP model of democracy is a free and fair election where people are given the right to choose the candidates exercising their free will. BJP’s democracy is based on the election of those who have the merit to represent the people. BJP strongly opposed appeasement politics to cater to the vote bank.
BJP is committed to observing democracy in its true sense. BJP honours every democratic institution as sacrosanct and would never attack it like others. BJP is duty-bound to honour, defend and strengthen the constitution of Bharat and this is an established convention laid down by the party’s constitution. BJP in past, present, and future shall never cross the Lakshman Rekha that would infringe on democratic values laid down by the framers of our constitution.
The list of Achievements is very long.
During Swargiya Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s tenure in 1998, Vajpayee authorized a series of nuclear tests at Pokhran, Rajasthan, which earned India the status of nuclear power and demonstrated its strength on the global stage. Vajpayee implemented several economic reforms to liberalize the Indian economy, such as the divestment of public sector undertakings and the introduction of the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act. Vajpayee initiated the Golden Quadrilateral project, a major highway network connecting the four corners of India, which improved connectivity and transportation across the country. Vajpayee launched the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, a flagship education program aimed at achieving universal elementary education in India. Vajpayee launched the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, a rural road connectivity program aimed at providing access to all-weather roads to remote villages and connecting them with the mainstream.
During the tenure of the incumbent PM, Modi the list of achievements is staggering. Demonetization of 1000 & 500 rupee notes breaks the backbone of terror financing, curbing black money and fighting rampant corruption in the country. The aim was to reduce counterfeit cash used to fund criminal activities and create a cashless economy. Today we are seeing huge success in creating a cashless economy shortly. 79% of Indians are responsible for making a cashless economic society through UPI systems. To promote cashless transactions, Banking cards, UPI, Mobile wallets, Internet Banking, Micro ATMs, etc. JAM trinity – the government of Initiative to link Jan Dhan accounts, mobile numbers, and Aadhaar cards of Indians to plug the leakages of government subsidies. During Swargiya Rajiv Gandhi’s tenure as Prime Minister, he said that for every rupee targeted towards welfare and poverty alleviation only a fraction, 15 paise, reached the intended beneficiary. That has been redressed by PM Modi. The integration of Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370 was an unprecedented mission impossible made possible. Ayushman Bharat scheme aimed at providing free healthcare to the poor and underprivileged sections of society. Beti Bachao Beti Padhao campaign aimed at promoting gender equality and empowering girls. Ease of Doing Business index, including simplifying regulations and reducing bureaucratic red tape. Make in India campaign aimed at boosting manufacturing in India and promoting India as a global manufacturing hub. Digital India campaign aimed at digitizing India’s economy and creating a digitally empowered society. The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is a nationwide cleanliness and sanitation campaign aimed at making India clean and free from open defecation. From the 11th position in 2014, India is today the world’s 5th largest economy and it is now anticipated that India is all set to become the 3rd largest economy with a GDP of 10 trillion dollars by the end of this decade.
BJP, the party strength:
The total number of BJP MPs (Members of Parliament) in the Lok Sabha (lower house of Parliament) was 303 ( 1 BJP MP expired recently and reduced to 302)out of a total of 543 seats. In the Rajya Sabha (upper house of Parliament), the BJP had 83 out of 245 seats.
In terms of state governments, as of April 2023, the BJP was ruling in 8 states independently – Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttrakhand, Gujarat, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Goa, and Arunachal Pradesh. Additionally, the BJP was also part of the ruling coalition in 8 states under the National Democratic Alliance(NDA) Assam, Maharashtra, Haryana, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Manipur, Tripura, and Puducherry.

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