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What is ‘Antyodaya’ — Deen Dayal Upadhyay’s concept and guiding principle of BJP

BJP and RSS icon Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay’s proposed concept of “Antyodaya” is now guiding principle of the BJP-ruled states in the country.

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BJP icon Late Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay. (Source: bjp.org)

BJP and RSS icon Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay’s proposed concept of “Antyodaya” has become the guiding principle of the BJP-ruled states in the country. This was reflected when the chief ministers and deputy chief ministers of the BJP-ruled states participated in a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday. Other senior BJP leaders who attended the meeting were BJP chief Amit Shah, Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj, Venkaiah Naidu, Nitin Gadkari and party general secretary (organisation) Ramlal.

Literally, ‘Antyodaya’ means the “rise of the last person” and it was one of the concepts emphasised by Upadhyay, who was also one of the founding leaders of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh — the forerunner of the BJP.  “The measurement of economic plans and economic growth cannot be done with those who have risen above on the economic ladder but of those who are at the bottom,” Upadhyay is quoted as saying on BJP’s official website.

The philosophy of ‘Antyodaya’ is not something new coined by Upadhyay for it existed as an integral part of broader concepts like ‘Sarvodaya’ — or, “the rise of all”. However, Upadhyaya stressed on ‘Antyodaya’ to rid the nation of extreme poverty. It also formed a part of Upadhya’s core philosophy of “Integral Humanism”– that viewed the man distinctly from the popular ones propagated in his time by capitalism and communism.

“Both these systems, capitalist as well as Communist, have failed to take account of the Integral Man, his true and complete personality and his aspirations…We want neither capitalism nor socialism. We aim at the progress and happiness of “Man”, the Integral Man. The protagonists of the two systems fight with ‘Man’ on the state. Both of them do not understand man, nor do they care for his interests,” Upadhyay had said in a speech in 1965.

Regarding poverty, Upadhyay was of the view that the state should assure a minimum standard of living to all individuals. “An assurance of minimum standard of living to every individual and preparedness for the defence of the nation.”

In the last three years, ‘Antyodaya’ has been one of the guiding principles of the BJP government at the Centre and states. On Sunday, even as the meeting was on, two CMs — Yogi Adityanath of Uttar Pradesh and Vasundhara Raje of Rajasthan — took to Twitter to share a glimpse of what they were deliberating on in the several-hour-long meeting.

“Bharatiya Janata Party ke mukhyamantri parishad ki baithak mein bhag liya. Lakshya Antyodaya, Praan Antyodaya, Path Antyodaya (Participated in BJP’s CM council. Aim Antyodaya. Resolve Antyodaya. Path Antyodaya),” said the identical tweets posted by Yogi and Raje. Jharkhand CM Raghubar Das also tweeted that the leaders “discussed the aim, resolve and path of antyodaya.” Similarly, Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan said he informed the meeting about the efforts made by his government for ‘Antyodaya.’

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