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The views of Deendayal Upadhyaya reflected "true secularism", but the Nehruvians and the Marxists have created a "pseudo-secular environment" in the country over the last 70 years which needs to be "corrected", Prasar Bharati chairman A Surya Prakash said today.
Addressing an event at Jawaharlal Nehru University here, he stressed the need to understand the vision of Upadhyaya to build a "truly modern" India.
He called for "correcting" the "historical injustice" meted out to the Hindutva icon by the Marxists and the Nehruvians.
"Deendayalji had sown the seeds for a new India. His ideas were completely ignored for decades because Nehruvians and Marxists who have a dominant role in our educational and academic system did not want to give him his due. But to truly build a modern India, we need to understand his vision," he said.
He was addressing the 3rd Dr K R Narayanan Memorial Lecture on 'Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya's Integral Humanism'.
Prakash said those who had not read Upadhyaya were propagating "falsehood" that he had favoured a "Hindu state".
"Deendayalji has shown the distinction between democracy and a theocratic state. In my view, Deendayalji's views reflect true secularism. The Nehruvians and Marxists have created a pseudo-secular environment for the last 70 years. This needs to be corrected," he added.
Referring to economic policies of former prime minister Indira Gandhi, Prakash said some of "her terrible" decisions were based on her "dependence on Communists" who were supporting her in Parliament.
"Unfortunately for India, in 1971 when Indira Gandhi stood at the crossroads, she had to take the 'right turn', this is my view in terms of economic policies but she took the 'left turn' because of her dependence on Communists who were supporting her in Parliament.
"Gandhi's decision had taken India back economically by at least 25 years," he said, adding that "fortunately former prime minister P V Narasimha Rao reversed these decisions in 1991".
He said that Deendayal Upadhyaya was a strong votary of free education, free healthcare, the right to food and right to work.
"It is a travesty to call such a revolutionary thinker who wanted every citizen to be guaranteed food, employment, free education and free healthcrare as a 'right winger' or as an icon of one party. This is criminal in my view," he said.
Upadhyaya was a "great thinker" who had the capacity to take a holistic approach to tackle social, economic and political problems, Prakash said, adding that "unfortunately" Nehruvians and Leftists had "conspired" to keep Upadhyaya's thoughts away from the national consciousness.
"But the time has come for Bharat to know about his extraordinary life and his thoughts. The historical injustice done to Upadhyaya must be corrected. The sooner we do, better it will be," he said.
Prakash said Upadhyaya's thoughts today influence Prime Minister Narendra Modi and lawmakers in Parliament and the states ruled by the BJP or its coalition partners.
"Many schemes launched by the Indian government bear the stamp of Upadhyaya," he said. "I dare say that Upadhyaya is to the BJP, what Jawaharlal Nehru was to the Congress," he said.
Prakash also advocated incorporating Upadhyaya's thoughts in the syllabus so that students can learn about him and his philosophy.
Referring to alleged anti-India slogans raised in JNU, he said it was "sad to see some individuals raise slogans and say 'Bharat Ko Tukhde, Tukhde Karenge (will disintegrate India)' in the precincts of this very university where Dr Narayanan presided over. I hope for the sake of Bharat, that will never happen again."
Former President Narayanan had served as vice chancellor of JNU during 1979-80.
Referring to the attack on journalists by Maoist in the past, he said as the "Left does not mean the extreme Left which has taken to arms, (and) the Right does not mean that extreme right".
"I want everyone here to reflect over this. When you refer to the Right, you talk of extreme Right but when you refer to Left, you talk of liberal Left. If there is liberal Left, then please remember and note there is (also) liberal right," he said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)