BJP stand on federalism contradicts own ideologue | delhi | Hindustan Times
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BJP stand on federalism contradicts own ideologue

In saying that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s comments against regional parties were against the federal principle, the BJP has ended up contradicting its ideologue Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya who openly criticised federalism. Ironically, the BJP’s manifesto insists it’s inspired by Upadhyaya’s ideas, reports Vikas Pathak.

delhi Updated: Apr 22, 2009 02:40 IST
Vikas Pathak

In saying that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s comments against regional parties were against the federal principle, the BJP has ended up contradicting its ideologue Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya who openly criticised federalism. Ironically, the BJP’s manifesto insists it’s inspired by Upadhyaya’s ideas.

Singh had recently told the Editors’ Guild that “regionalism may stand in the way of development.” The PM’s statement drew prompt retaliation from the BJP. “His (Singh’s) statement that the presence of regional parties is against development and against federalism. It portrays that development of the region is against development of the nation,” argued BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad.

However, in his work Integral Humanism, Upadhyaya had called federalism a fundamental error of the Indian Constitution. “Our Constitution needs amendment. We are one nation, one society. However, despite all this, we made our Constitution federal. It runs counter to the unity and indivisibility of Bharat. Therefore our Constitution should be unitary instead of federal,” he had said.

This thought is echoed in the BJP manifesto: “India should evolve a model (of development) suited to its genius and resources. The Integral Hum-anism of Deen Dayal Upad-hyaya provides such a model.”

These contradictory approaches show the party’s gradual shift from the ideal of ‘one people, one culture,’ which favours a unitary system.

The reason: Jana Sangh’s north Indian, urban upper caste base alone cannot bring the party back to power.

After its rise post-Ram temple controversy, the BJP has had to gradually revise its ideological position to become acceptable to the regional diversity. However, the lip service to Upadhyaya remains.