The Telegraph
Thursday , April 20 , 2017

RSS reaches out to English-speakers

Deen Dayal Upadhyaya

New Delhi, April 19: The RSS has decided to break out of its "Hindi, Hindu, Hindustan" slogan and reach out to English-speaking sections with the " Ekant Manav Darshan (Integral Humanism)" doctrine of Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, one of the leading lights of BJP forerunner Bharatiya Jana Sangh.

The Deen Dayal Research Institute (DRI), an RSS wing, will organise a four-day reading of Upadhyaya's lectures on the topic in English at the India International Centre in Lutyens' Delhi. The April 22-25 event coincides with the dates on which Upadhyaya had delivered those lectures 50 years back in what was then Bombay.

The BJP claims the "Integral Humanism" lectures form the party's core socio-economic ideology.

"This year, as we celebrate Deen Dayal ji's birth centenary, it is high time we reach out to those sections of society that have hitherto remained non-conversant with this truly indigenous philosophy.... Such sections often frequent places like IIC (India International Centre), IHC (India Habitat Centre)...," DRI general secretary Atul Jain said.

According to him, the Sangh had so far not reached out to the English-speaking class, with all Upadhyaya-related events in Hindi and limited to RSS circles. "We may have erred but now we want to correct it."

The RSS feels that with the BJP coming to power at the Centre with an absolute majority, followed by its surge across states in recent elections, there has been a keen interest among the English-speaking class about the party's political ideology and socio-economic philosophy, presenting an opportunity for both organisations to spread their influence.

Asked why the RSS and the BJP were interested in connecting with the English-speaking population - which constitutes a very small fraction of voters - BJP MP Prabhat Jha pointed out that the class played a big role in moulding public opinion.

"Once former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee was asked the same question and he said this 2 per cent population plays a big role in forming opinions," Jha said.

Jha is also associated with organising the four-day lecture series. "The English-speaking class wants to understand the politics and philosophy of the RSS and the BJP, so why not reach out to those who are outside our constituency," he said, justifying the event.

Several senior ministers are slated to deliver the opening remarks at the programme, with RSS ideologues presenting the concluding addresses. Ravi Shankar Prasad, M.J. Akbar and Prakash Javadekar are among the ministers slated to attend. They are expected to shed light on Upadhyaya's life and philosophy that form the core of the BJP's socio-economic ideology.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi repeatedly refers to Upadhyaya's stress on lifting the poor out of poverty and swears by his political philosophy. He had done so even at the recent BJP national executive in Bhubaneswar and asked party leaders to follow the ideals.

The Modi government has named several welfare schemes after Upadhyaya and decided to celebrate his birth centenary in a big way. The DRI has been designated the "knowledge partner" for the celebrations.

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