Nehru’s theories no longer relevant, says BJP gen

Even as the political war of words over Jawaharlal Nehru’s legacy continues, a senior BJP leader on Saturday said Nehru’s theories are no longer relevant for India.

BJP general secretary P Muralidhar Rao said that dismantling of the Planning Commission, which was based on Nehruvian socialism, is an indication that his theories have become outdated while Deen Dayal Upadhyay, the Jana Sangh ideologue who had argued against the Five Year Plans, is more relevant today.

“The Planning Commission was based on socialist theory, which has failed everywhere in the world. When PM Narendra Modi announced dismantling of the Planning Commission, there was no protest. It is a clear indication that leaders like Deen Dayal Upadhyay who judged this country correctly is in the mainstream, not Nehru,” Rao said. He was speaking at the launch of the new edition of The Two Plans: Promises, Performance, Prospects by Deen Dayal Upadhyay.

Upadhyay, a prominent Jan Sangh leader, was a vehement critic of the plan panel and the Five Year Plans, which according to him, were conceptualised by people who were ignorant of India’s culture and traditions.

Rao said even Nehruvian secularism, which is irreligious, has been rejected by many. “In today’s world, his secularism is not accepted, the definition of secularism has changed and it will be on the basis of Indianness,” he argued. “Nehru will be remembered only for his contribution to the democratic traditions and its institutions.”

Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman was expected to release the book, but she could not come due to official engagements. Her message was read out at the function.

The arguments put forward by Rao were a clear indication that the economic policy of the BJP-led government could be influenced by Upadhyay’s works. Sources said the RSS has demanded that Upadhyay’s theories should be the basis for the new body that would replace the plan panel. Ashwani Mahajan, co-convenor of Swadeshi Jagaran Manch, the economic wing of the RSS, said the government should not rush to constitute a body to replace plan panel. “One has to debate on the new structure. There has to be a broad consensus. Since Upadhyayji’s thinking has been proved right even today, that should be incorporated,” he said.