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THOUGHTS ON STHAPANA DIWAS

10

Today is BJP’s sthapana divas (Foundation Day). The party is exactly thirty years old today.

In 1980, when the party was launched by Shri Vajpayee, April 6 was Easter Sunday. Two days earlier was Good Friday. It was on April 4 that the Janata Party had passed its resolution expelling from its fold all those who were associated with the RSS. It was contended that membership of the Janata Party could not co-exist with membership of the RSS. This was ‘dual membership’. In practical terms, this meant expelling all Jana Sangh members from the party which had been formed out of the fusion of Congress (O), Samajwadi Party, Lok Dal and Jana Sangh.

This year Easter Sunday fell on April 4. I happened to be at the Kumbh in Haridwar on the day, as also on the preceding day. On both days April 3 and 4, Swami Chidanandaji, revered head of the Paramarth Niketan had organized excellent functions to add two such dimensions to this year’s Kumbh as would make the 2010 Kumbh unique and unforgettable.

On April 3, an 11-volume Encyclopedia of Hinduism, produced by the India Heritage Research Foundation and published by Rupa and Co. was released by the Dalai Lama in Haridwar.

And on April 4, on the banks of the Ganga in Rishkesh, thousands of sadhus, sants, scholars, leaders led by Shri Dalai Lama along with their followers pledged to make the Ganga pollution free.

At the Haridwar conclave where the Encyclopedia of Hinduism was released, one of the speakers was Father Dominic Emanuel. He casually mentioned that this function was being held on the eve of Easter. That gave me an opening to recall how both the Christian festivals of the week, Good Friday and Easter, had a significance even for the BJP’s history.

Good Friday is the day on which Jesus Christ was crucified. Easter Sunday is the day of Christ’s resurrection.

The Janata Party’s resolution about Dual Membership expelling Jana Sangh members from the Janata Party was a bid to ‘crucify’ us.

And the launching of the BJP on Easter Sunday was certainly our ‘resurrection’, which changed the political history of the country, made India’s single-dominant party polity a bi-polar polity, besides enabling Shri Vajpayee to give the country good governance for six years.

I added that I had no doubt that the publication of the Encyclopedia of Hinduism would also prove a kind of a renaissance of India’s spiritual and cultural wisdom and would lead to the resurrection of India’s swabhiman.

* * *

My memoirs titled My Country, My Life were published in March, 2008. Its 9-page Epilogue was written by me at the Parmarth Niketan in January, 2008. I had first come to this idyllic ashram on New Year Day, 2007, and had been enchanted by its Ganga-aarati.

In my epilogue, I wrote: “Swamiji discussed several ongoing and future projects of his ashram with me. Among these were the cleaning up the Ganga; making Uttarakhand, which is considered ‘Dev Bhoomi’ (Divine Land), free of plastic and other litter; and renovating and beautifying all the pilgrimage centres in the state. The idea strongly appealed to me because the ugly sight of pollution at Haridwar, Rishikesh, Mathura, Varanasi and other sacred places in India, which attract tens of millions of devotees from all over the country each year, always fills me with despair”.

I added: “Going forward, it is my dream to see that Ganga becomes free of pollution all along its course, right from Gangotri to Ganga Sagar, the place in West Bengal, where it merges into the ocean. Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi had launched a commendable project for this purpose, called the Ganga Action Plan, in the mid-1980s. Sadly, it did not yield the desired results because it was sought to be implemented in a bureaucratic way, without eliciting the enthusiastic involvement of what I might call the Ganga Parivar – the people living on both sides of the river, the pilgrims coming from different parts of the country, and, most importantly, the hundreds of religious establishments located along the course of the river. I have no doubt that a combined, determined and sustained effort of the society and the state would restore the Holy Ganga to its pristine purity. It may take decades to fully reach this objective, but it is a maha yagya (mega mission) worth undertaking”.

I feel elated that this year’s Kumbh has been made memorable by this Sparsh Ganga Abhiyan. I told some journalists there how in Ahmedabad, Narendra Bhai has transformed Sabarmati (Gandhiji is known as Sabarmati ke sant because his Ashram is situated there) from a ganda nala into a clean, majestic river with impressive banks on both sides. I hope the exercise in Uttarakhand will inspire people in other parts of the country also to undertake similar programmes for other rivers of the land, and in course of time witness the revival of the project for inter-linking of rivers, NDA’s fond dream.

In this epilogue, I have also recalled what I said one evening in an impromptu speech at Parmarth Niketan immediately after the Ganga-aarati. I remarked :

“When I look back at the six decades that I have spent in public service - and this period has neatly coincided with the sixty years of India’s Independence – I can identify three main achievements that have imparted strength to our nation and raised its stature internationally.

Firstly, India not only adopted the democratic system of governance, but has zealously preserved it, belying the gloomy predictions of many foreigners that a country with a largely illiterate population and saddled with numerous ‘divisive’ diversities could remain neither democratic nor united. India has remained democratic essentially because of its Hindu ethos, just as it has remained secular because of its Hindu ethos.

“Our second greatest achievement is that India is now a nuclear weapons power, thanks to a courageous decision that our former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee took in May 1998. Although some countries, ironically states with nuclear arsenals more lethal than ours, did criticize our government for this decision, it nevertheless made every Indian proud, reassuring him that no evil power can dare attack or enslave a militarily strong India in the future, as had happened in the past for nearly a thousand years.

“Our third major achievement – and it is a recent phenomenon – is in the field of economic development. The entire world has now begun to view India as tomorrow’s economic superpower. As a result, India and Indians are commanding the kind of attention and respect in the eyes of the international community, which was absent two or three decades ago”.

L. K. Advani
New Delhi

6th April, 2010

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10 Responses to “THOUGHTS ON STHAPANA DIWAS”

  1. Chandan Kumar Says:

    Respected Sir,

    The success of a democracy heavily depends upon the strong opposition. Today India has a strong opposition in the form of BJP which was not the case 60 years before-undoubtedly a very remarkable achievement besides the three major achievements you have enlisted. It has long been said about India that it is a rich country inhibited by the poor people. The need of the hour is that both ruling and opposition work with better cooperation to ensure more respectable place for this country in the world especially by educating it’s people about the richness of the land.

  2. Amit Kumar Says:

    Thanks for the excellent blog post. When everybody wants the Ganga clean except some industrialists who will be inconvenienced, I think the cleaning up can be completed within months, not decades. There is a need for a sustained and continuous leadership that oversees this project, and the active participation of the people who want the holy river in its pristine state. Given how fast things move in the other countries (for example, Obama worked through the recession, started a new foreign policy and got the health bill passed within 14 months), these days targets have to be set to be completed within months or a few years.

  3. Praveen Shankar Kapoor Says:

    Respected Advani ji,

    Your today’s Blog’s topic is Party’s Sthapna Divas. At least, here you could have written about Party’s 30 years Yatra instead of Good Fridays, Easters and the Haridwar Yatra. You could have written on Party leadership transfer to younger hands.

    I have often said that since you are a political party leader, most of those visiting your Blog wish to know your political views and not your religious or social thoughts. It would have been better if you had used the occasion to speak out on the biggest Naxal attack on CRPF contingent and failure of Union Home Ministry.

    I SINCERELY REQUEST YOU TO PLEASE WRITE YOUR VIEWS ON CURRENT POLITICAL TOPICS.

    Praveen Shankar Kapoor
    Delhi

  4. nandhini Says:

    Respected Sir,

    I pray to God that BJP make next government in India. We expects your party to do more for our nation as we cannot expect wholly from UPA. BJP is the only government taking strict, correct and pefect actions.

  5. Abhilash M.R Says:

    It was inspiring to read the Sparsh Ganga Campaign in media, as well as in this blog. Such campaigns, if institutionalised, at national level, can lead to a nationwide movement. If guidelines are provided by leaders like Advaniji, we can bring in change. Further, it can make organisations like VHP extremely relevant for everyone. From being postured as an anomic group, VHP can raise itself to a new vantage position in Indian society, without compromising the core ideological issues. The theme of Environment should not be the monopoly of pseudo liberals and pseudo radicals. Let Carpe diem be the message for VHP and other socio religious leaders at this moment.

  6. Ram Prasad Says:

    Dear Sir,

    Nice to know the founding day of BJP( April 6, 1980) and that it has completed three decades as principal opposition party and party with principles. I hail you and your government for the momentous decision of going nuclear in Operation Shakthi in 1998, amidst a very strong opposition both within and outside the country. I am of the firm belief, if the governance of India is enshrined to our constitution, then BJP should be the only party which can favorably drive the country both as ruling and opposition party to safe-guard our country from catarthesis. I pray to Goddess Sharadamba to give you enough strength and vigour to take us and guide us in a genuine democracy.

    Thanking You
    Ram Prasad

  7. praveen shankar kapoor Says:

    Heartiest Congratulation on STHAPANA DIVAS to all.

    Further congratulations that almost 100 % blog replies APPEARING are lauding Advani ji’s contribution. This is a very “democratic sign.”

    Praveen Shankar Kapoor
    Delhi.

  8. GOPI DUTT Says:

    PRANAM,

    Sub: A plan to clean and stop pollution in Yamuna within 7 months.

    Sir, I have researched about the whole polluting issues for the past 7 years; have also noticed it in 22 different states. I have found the cause and the Solution of the problem. During my research I have met CM’s of different states and 162 MPs and have brought their attention to the issue. I have also met the religious heads of different religions and they have all agreed upon the solution I have now. According to the time limits and need of the hour. They have found my solution to be the best possible way as there is no other option that stops pollution in as soon as 7 months after being implemented. I have run the plan in small yet different places to check if what I had researched and concluded can be done practically. Thankfully, it was successful everywhere it was implemented.

    I need your support in the cause and hope you will contribute.

    Thanking you.
    Gopi Dutt Akash
    9818592979

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