The Modi-Shah juggernaut has set its eyes on a new frontier--establishing Deen Dayal Upadhyaya--a key figure of the BJP's forerunner Bharatiya Jana Sangh--and his concept of "integral humanism" among the English-speaking audience. The move comes after a spectacular performance in the recently-concluded state assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur, and Goa.
Over the next four days starting today, guests at New Delhi's India International Centre (IIC), whose membership list is a venerable who's who, will be given an introduction to the life, work and philosophy of Deen Dayal Upadhyaya. Guest at ICC will get to hear speeches, watch short films on his life and engage in free-wheeling discussions.
Senior Union Ministers like Ravi Shankar Prasad, MJ Akbar, Nirmala Sitharaman, Vijay Goel, Mahesh Sharma and Arjun Meghwal have been roped along with senior RSS functionaries.
It was on April 22, 1965, that Deen Dayal Upadhyaya delivered the first of the four lectures to the Jana Sangh leaders in Mumbai and expounded the idea of "integral humanism". Deen Dayal Upadhyaya teachings form the core of BJPs ideology.
The move to reach out to the larger English speaking audience is being organised by Deen Dayal Research Institute (DRI), an associated organisation of the RSS--the ideologue and mentor of the BJP--and is being partnered by the Union Ministry of Culture. "The lectures have been translated into English and there will be reading sessions for the guests," DRI general secretary, Atul Jain said.
Ironically, it comes at a time when the government has triggered a controversy by proposing to make Hindi compulsory in schools. For the RSS the move is also break from the past mould that is encapsulated by its slogan "Hindi, Hindu, Hindustan." And, the once little-known doctrine of "Ekant Manav Darshan (Integral Humanism)" of Deen Dayal Upadhyaya will be its means to reach out.
The RSS thus-far had confined itself to Hindi and had made no effort to reach out to the English-speaking section, Atul Jian, DRI general secretary said and added, "we want to correct that." "This year, as we celebrate Deen Dayal Upadhyaya's birth centenary, it is high time we reach out to those sections of society who are unware of his philosophy," Jain said.
The English speaking section of society is small but nonetheless plays a significant role in moulding public opinion, BJP MP Prabhat Jha said explaining the outreach.