- Integral humanism
Integral humanism is the
political philosophypractised by the Bharatiya Janata Partyand the former Bharatiya Jana Sanghof India. It was first propounded by Deendayal Upadhyaya. It is espoused by most Hindutvaorganizations. [ [http://www.bjp.org BJP.org] ]
Concept, in the 1960s
In their book , authors
Walter K. Andersenand Shridhar D. Damlesuggest that integral humanism as a concept was forged in the early 1960s, when the Jana Sanghhad electoral understandings with other parties and the leadership of the party "was under some pressure to formulate a set of principles that would distinguish the Jana Sanghfrom other political parties."
Andersen and Damle argue that the
Jana Sangh's senior party leaders met in the late 1950s, with the goal of considering an ideological statement. But, finally, as it emerged, the party remained without such a statement until Deendayal Upadhyayaset out his own views on Integral Humanism.
"Pre-occupation with materialism"
Upadhyaya has argued that Western political philosophies are not acceptable as a blueprint for society because of their "preoccupation" with
materialism, and their overall over-looking of the social well-being of the individual. He saw both capitalism and socialism as essentially flawed – stimulating as they do greed, class antagonisms, exploitation and social anarchy.
His proposal was an "integral" approach that attempts to create a harmonious society. This could be done, he argued, by satisfying the needs of the body (hunger, shelter), the mind (traditions), intelligence (reforms), and the soul (common aspirations of a people that shape their unique culture).
Upadhyaya said that each nation creates institutions to satisfy needs, and these must be reshaped so that the group solidarity could be sustained and maintained under changing circumstances. He argues that
Indian tradition builds on the social nature of people and obliges them to create institutions meant to enhance social solidarity. Advaita vedanta, or the principle of recognising ourselves in all life, is seen as the philosophic underpinning of this view.
Pledge for party members
According to the membership form of the
Bharatiya Janata Party(2003-2008), anyone seeking primary membership of the party has to pledge that he or she "believe in Integral Humanism which is the basic philosophy of the Bharatiya Janata Party, apart from also pledging commitment to nationalism, national integration, democracy, Gandhian Socialism, positive secularism, value-based politics, among other issues.
Changes, during the BJP era
Around 1980, the then newly-formed
Bharatiya Janata Partyadopted Gandhian Socialismrather than the Deendayal Upadhyaya-crafted principles of Integral Humanism, as the party's statement of first principles. But the BJP gave a honoured place to Upadhyaya's ideological statement as well.
At its July 1985 national executive session however, Integral Humanism once again replaced
Gandhian Socialismas the Bharatiya Janata Party's philosophy. But the BJP's economic policy remained the same substantially.
Jacques Maritain, the French Catholic philosopher and author of over 60 books, has also advocated what he called "Integral Humanism". He argued that secularforms of humanismwere inevitably anti-human in that they refused to recognize the whole person. Once the spiritual dimension of humannature is rejected, Maritain has argued that we no longer have an integral, but merely partial, humanism, one which rejects a fundamental aspect of the human person. Accordingly, in Integral Humanism he explores the prospects for a new Christendom, rooted in his philosophical pluralism, in order to find ways Christianitycould inform political discourse and policy in a pluralistic age. In this account he develops a theory of cooperation, to show how people of different intellectual positions can nevertheless cooperate to achieve common practical aims. Maritain's political theory was extremely influential, and was a primary source behind the Christian Democraticmovement.
* [http://www.bjp.org/history/human.htm Integral Humanism By Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya]
* [http://www.hindubooks.org/dynamic/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=68 Integral Humanism]
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