ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Historical Necessity: Chanakyanagar

The assembly of over 17,000 delegates from all over India for the 16th annual session of Jan Sangh at Chanakyanagar in Patna reminded one of the early gatherings of Germany's National Socialist Party at Nuremberg. Though the Nuremberg of Jan Sangh is Nagpur, northern India has proved to be its Bayern (Bavaria). It was from Bayern that Hitler went on to capture the mind of the German people and the Reichstag. Here it is from conservative, orthodox Hindi-speaking north India that Jan Sangh is making headway, slowly but surely. The Chanakyanagar session has to be assessed in this context. For the session the ancient historic city of Patliputra was bedecked with hundreds of saffron flags and portraits of Rana Pratap, Shivaji, Guru Gobind Singh, Shyama Prasad Mukherji and Din Dayal Upadhyaya.

The assembly of over 17,000 delegates from all over India for the 16th annual session of Jan Sangh at Chanakyanagar in Patna reminded one of the early gatherings of Germany's National Socialist Party at Nuremberg. Though the Nuremberg of Jan Sangh is Nagpur, northern India has proved to be its Bayern (Bavaria). It was from Bayern that Hitler went on to capture the mind of the German people and the Reichstag. Here it is from conservative, orthodox Hindi-speaking north India that Jan Sangh is making headway, slowly but surely. The Chanakyanagar session has to be assessed in this contcxt. For the session the ancient historic city of Patliputra was bedecked with hundreds of saffron flags and portraits of Rana Pratap, Shivaji, Guru Gobind Singh, Shyama Prasad Mukherji and Din Dayal Upadhyaya. Bharatiya Jan Sangh was born when Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) felt the need for a political front organisation during the ban on its functioning after Gandhiji's assassination. It was then decided that RSS must have a political forum capable of working through the democratic parliamentary system. The move has proved an unqualified success and Jan Sangh has today emerged as a major political force in the country. Us parentage ensured that, unlike other political parties, Jan Sangh does not face a paucity of disciplined, dedicated workers. RSS has also provided the party with a clear-cut political ideology. For National Socialists in Germany their party was a historical necessity. Jan Sangh leaders today take the same view of their party. After the First War the German people suffered untold humiliations as a nation; a large chunk of their fatherland had been occupied by the victors; and the country's economy had slipped into the hands of nonGermans with extra-territorial loyalties. Neither Social Democrats nor Communists had any concrete programme for lifting up Germany from its humiliated and confused state. Both were more concerned with the international reactions to their actions and policies than with finding solutions to pressing national' problems. Their total bankruptcy was demonstrated when economic crisis gripped Germany as part of the European economic crisis of 1929- 30. What Germany needed was a strong political organisation with a national outlook and approach. This was a role which perfectly suited National Socialists with their supercharged nationalism, iron discipline and simple but clear approach to issues. Their task was made easy for them by Social Democrats and Communists, both of whom encouraged Hitler's men. Social Democrats expected that if Hitler came to power Communists would be wiped out, while Communists thought that it would be Social Democrats who would be the main sufferers. 

In the present political crisis in India, Jan Sangh is convinced that, like Social Democrats and Communists, both Congress and the parties of the Left have failed miserably and that the task of rebuilding India has fallen to it. In his valedictory address at Chanakyanagar, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Sangh President, told listeners in the plainest terms what his party thought of other political parties. Congress was divided and was in its last days; then there were the four socialist parties, no one knowing which was the real socialist party; and, finally, there was Swatantra which was only a mercha (front) and not a party with a political outlook and programme relevant to the entire Indian people. The threat, if any, to Jan Sangh was from Communists and this threat Sangh was fully prepared to meet in the sansad (parliament) and outside. Jan Sangh did not want Communists to be banned; it would light them with lokamat and lokashakti ('people's vote* and 'people's strength'). India in 1970 may not turn out to be all that dissimilar to Germany of 1933 and so Jan Sangh's challenge cannot be taken lightly. With a strong organisational base over large parts of the country and an ideology which is summed up by the slogan Ek New Ek Path Ho ('one leader, one path') — the Nazi slogan was Ein Land, Ein Volk and Ein Fuhrer — Vajpayee's pronouncements were not a boast, but a real challenge to all other political forces. Will other parties sec them in this light? Despite the intellectual talent at their command and their sophisticated economic theories, Social Democrats and Communists could do nothing to lighten the misery of the common man in Germany in the thirties. It was thus left to the most conservative and the least democratic party to raise the slogan of brot oder blut ('bread or blood') on behalf of the common man. Not just that, after capturing the Reichstag the National Socialists did prove that a well organised and disciplined party can perform miracles. Jan Sangh has come out with an economic policy which differs not much from that of Communists. What marks it out is its nationalist flavour which has an overpowering appeal for the common man. The economic policy resolution adopted at Chanakyanagar declares that the party "stands for establishment of an economy which guarantees the minimum wants of every individual as well as his right to live and work freely'"; further, it "considers the concentration of economic power as the negation of economic democracy". The resolution has also called for a "real new deal which can put the economy on the road to healthy and integrated growth ".  

In the resolution on the political situation, Jan Sangh has comc out stridently against forces which it considers anti-national. The craft of the resolution was prepared by Balraj Madhok, former president of the party. It strongly asserts that the only solution to the problems facing the country is all-out Indianisation. Briefing the press Madhok said at Chanakyanagar that by Indianisation the party meant "subordination of all narrower loyalties like those of religion, region, language or dogma to the overriding loyalty to the nation of all fissiparous elements, especially of those with extra-territorial loyalties or allegiance, overt or covert, to the twonation or multi-nation theory". He went on to add; "this particularly applies to Indian Muslims because over 93 per cent of them voted for Muslim League and Pakistan in the general election of 1946 which preceded the partition of 1947". This specific reference to Muslims was, however, later omitted. Jan Sangh has repeatedly denied that there is taking place a polarisation of political forces in the country. But its own pronouncements make it clear that as it sees it, the political sruggle in the coming days will be between the rightist-nationalist forces led by it and Leftist forces led by Communists. It is with this development in view that Jan Sangh leaders at Chanakyanagar lashed out at Communists and repeatedly called upon their workers to remain vigilant against the communist threat. 

 

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