After the pandemic, the BJP vision for the new India: analysis
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) turns 40 today. It was founded on April 6, 1980, at an India-wide convention in Delhi Ferozeshah Kotla Maidan, now Arun Jaitley Stadium. The party has come to identify with the masses, having won two consecutive comfortable majorities at Lok Sabha, the only non-Congress party to have done so.
For the BJP, political power is only one means of serving the nation: the party’s central ideology puts the nation first. The “nation first” ideology is based on the principles established by the founder of Jana Sangh, Shyama Prasad Mookerjee. Jana Sangh, the BJP’s political predecessor, adhered to this throughout the emergency. The members of Jana Sangh not only went to jail, but also agreed to merge the organization with the Janata Party to fight the forces that were trying to subvert the Constitution.
This ideology is what led Atal Bihari Vajpayee to represent the country on a national issue at the international level, even when the congressional government led by PV Narasimha Rao was in office. Furthermore, in July 1991, when Manmohan Singh presented his Liberalization Budget, leftist parties made it difficult for the then Minister of Finance (FM) to complete his speech. LK Advani asked Lok Sabha spokesman Shivraj Patil to allow the FM to complete his speech.
The BJP sticks to the consensus policy even now. In the past two months, the coronavirus pandemic has forced the world to stop and reflect on where we are headed and make course corrections. We need to go back in time to see important lessons that we might have missed.
The genesis of the new world order dates back to the French Revolution. The revolution tore the old regime to pieces and modern France emerged from this rubble. The printing press had made it possible for ideas to spread and for a culture of dialogue and debate to take hold more deeply in the West. The industrial revolution and the development of information technology that followed put the world on the path of rapid growth. With the growth of manufacturing and the debate and discussion, the world began to democratize at an unprecedented rate. India, which has always believed in “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (the world is just a family) “, was also part of this project.
Despite the challenges of global warming and the climate crisis, the world refused to reflect on its development model. It was not sustainable given the rampant exploitation of precious natural resources. The Covid-19 pandemic has alerted us to the dangers of unsustainable development. The strongest economies have been brought to their knees and the best medical team has failed to reduce the number of deaths from the virus.
Scientists are racing to find a vaccine to deal with the greatest threat since World War II. But our search for development stripped science of its human aspect. Scientific advances cannot be sustainable unless they are balanced with human concerns.
What should be the path for us at the individual, organizational and community levels? The BJP has to think about how to rebuild the country and its relations with the global community.
Mahatma Gandhi gave the answer when he proposed the concept of Gram Swaraj. Gram Swaraj, along with comprehensive humanism, is the only way to counter the setbacks we will face due to the virus. Although Gram Swaraj is the model for sustainable development, integral humanism places the individual at the center of development and in harmony with the environment.
The BJP, in its first budget presented in 2014, presented a development model based on Gram Swaraj and comprehensive humanism. The government has been working on the implementation of that model. The government is using panchayat raj institutions to develop governance capacities to meet the Sustainable Development Goals. It has launched various schemes to strengthen villages as units of sustainable development. The stories of Jana Dhan, the Ujjwala Yojana, among others, are intended to fulfill the goal of antyodaya (prosperity for the last person) enunciated by the leader of Jana Sangh, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya.
After the national shutdown, as migrant workers and daily bets began heading towards the villages, the government announced a 1.74 lakh crore relief package under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana. The scheme will ensure that around 800 million people get free food grains, in addition to cash through direct transfers for the April to June quarter. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reached out to leaders not only in the Indian neighborhood, but also to the G-20 nations, advocating a global response to the challenge. The BJP continues to believe that the world is a community and that you cannot fight a pandemic without everyone coming together. The Prime Minister has shown great calm in handling the crisis and has reassured the nation during these difficult times.
On its 40th Foundation Day, the BJP remains committed to working to rebuild the nation with greater determination. With the reckless development that has paralyzed the world, our salvation lies in our villages that produce enough for the needs of the people and not for the greed of the people.
Bhupender Yadav is BJP Secretary General and Deputy of Rajya Sabha
The opinions expressed are personal.