History of BJP

AN INDIAN PERSPECTIVE:--Our own Indian history is replete with examples of legendary figures who mastered politics as a science, philosophy or an art. Lord Krishna, the Hindu God used politics candidly in Mahabharata. Chanakya, who was advisor to king Chandragupta Maurya is respected as the greatest politician.In today’s democratic India, it is not an exaggeration to say that this indeed may be described as the age of politics as its gates are open to everyone.

To begin at the grass roots, there is the party system which is indispensible to every form of democracy.In fact political parties have become omnipresent. Political parties plays vital role in democracy and can be considered as one of the most powerful and crucial institutions. Political parties provide the connection between politics and society.

The crucial role of political party is to pick up demands from the society, prioritize them and develop policies and programmes to get the demands fulfilled. The present Indian political party system happens to be a multi-party system. While there is dominance of only two parties amongst multitudes of political parties, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has emerged as one of the biggest party.

The BJP have their stronghold in the public because of their strong leaders and also because of the party ideologies. Since independence, India has been a secular state and has been protecting its minorities that comprises of only 20% out of 80% Hindus.

Till 1980s, India was ruled by Indian National Congress exclusively. In late 1980s, there was rise of BJP espousing the idea of India as a distinctly Hindu state and BJP became a real challenge to completely dominant Congress party. The ideology of the party depends on the prevalent political circumstances at the time of its formation and the agenda develops and shapes itself to adapt to the changing situations.In order to understand BJP’s position in Indian politics, a brief description of its genesis and main ideological basis is warranted.

The BJP preceded by Bharatiya Jan Sangh (BJS) which owes its evolution to Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). FORMATION OF RASHTRIYA SWAYAMSEVAK SANGH The RSS was founded by Dr Keshav Baliram Hegdewar in 1925. The Khilafat movement of 1920-22 was a turning point in the life of the country. When Khilafat issue emerged, the British Government refused temporal authority to the Pasha over lands that were not Turkish. Gandhi as usual resorted to non violence but Hegdewar viewed Gandhi as a somewhat soft leader who relied too much on his preachings on non-violence and civil disobedience. Hegdewar’s differed with Gandhi and this was the raison-de-etre for formation of new organisation.

The RSS, along with millions of people, did not approve of Gandhiji's Muslim appeasement policy - starting with support of the Khilafat movement - but it had great respect for the Mahatma. On Vijay dashmi day, in Nagpur, Hegdewar formed the RSS. He selected saffron coloured flag with picture of God Maruti and Ramdas Swami. The first participants were recruited from Bhramin caste and they had to attend akharas for physical training. Subsequently lathi (stick) as a weapon was introduced for Swamsevaks and later uniform too was made compulsory.

Thus RSS was made a Hindu paramilitary force. The genesis of the organization was due to the prevalent nationalist movement which was intensified after the partition of Bengal and repression by the British.The Indian intelligentsia was seen everywhere supporting the slogans of Swadeshi and Boycott. Hedgewar was of firm belief that the development of the RSS was needed as a necessary tool in building up the unity of the Hindu community. Thus RSS became the main promoter of Hindu Nationalism and embarked upon the task of nation building. The RSS was divided into small sects, called shakhas, which engage in martial arts studies. Most of the organizational work of the RSS was done through the coordination of shakhas or branches.

Till today, the shakhas conduct various activities for its volunteers which include physical fitness activities through yoga, exercises and games. It has other activities which emphasize on qualities like civic sense, social service, community living and patriotism. The volunteers are trained in first aid and in rescue and rehabilitation operations. The volunteers are also encouraged to get involved in the developmental activities of the village or locality.

The mission of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has been described as the revitalization of Indian value system based on universalism and peace and prosperity to all.VasudhaivaKutumbakam, the worldview that the whole world is one family, propounded by the ancient thinkers of India, is considered as the ultimate mission of the organization.The main aim of the RSS was to regain India’s self esteem and ancient glory.

The organization says that ‘it aspires to unite all Hindus and build a strong India, which could contribute to the welfare of the world’. Members of the RSS believed that rigorous self-discipline was necessary to overcome the traditional mildness of the Hindus, allowing them to gain strength over the British.In early 1930s RSS expanded massively under G.D.Savarkar, V.D.Savarkar, Laxmibai Kelkar.

After death of Hegdewar in 1940, Mahadev Sadashiv Golwalkar, a teacher from BHU became Sanghsanchalak of RSS and worked towards development of its ideologies and organisation.In the words of M S Golwalkar, "in order to be able to contribute our unique knowledge to mankind, in order to be able to live and strive for the unity and welfare of the world, we stand before the world as a self-confident, resurgent and mighty nation”.

The tragic assassination of Mahatma Gandhi on 30th January 1948 by revolutionary Maharashtrian youth, Nathuram Godse, made RSS unpopular. Hence, after assassination, the RSS was considered a threat to the nation and all its top leaders including Golwalkar and V.G.Deshpande were arrested and the organisation was banned. EMERGENCE OF THE BHARTIYA JANA SANGHThe Bharatiya Jana Sangh has its origins in the aftermath of the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi and the ban imposed on the RSS.

And in the very first General Elections, the BJS emerged as one of the four nationally recognised parties. Mookerjee was aided by pracharaks loaned to him by the then RSS Sarsanghchalak MS Golwalkar.After Mookerjee's untimely death in prison in 1953, during an agitation demanding the effective integration of Jammu and Kashmir into India, the entire burden of nurturing the organisation and building it up as a nation-wide movement fell on the young shoulders of Deendayal Upadhyaya. For 15 years, Upadhyaya remained its general secretary and built it up.


He raised a band of dedicated workers imbued with idealism and provided the entire ideological framework of the party. He groomed future political leaders like Atal Behari Vajpayee, Lal Krishna Advani and others.It must be noted that the vast majority of the party workers, including Upadhyaya himself were derived from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and brought with them the patriotic fervour and discipline. The growth of the Jana sangh in the electoral scenario is interesting and also shows its growth amongst the masses of the country. The party won just three Lok Sabha seats in the first general elections in 1952. Its tally gradually increased and by 1962 it had become one of the most effective opposition parties in India and seriously challenged the power of the Congress in various north Indian states.

Some of the key ideological points which formed the party’s planks were enforcing a uniform civil code for all Indians, banning of cow slaughter, abolishing the special statues accorded to Jammu and Kashmir and promoting usage of the Hindi language.After 1967, the party entered into a coalition with political organisations of similar ideologies and political positions and formed governments in various states such as Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and others. The NavNirman agitation in Gujarat and the JP agitation in Bihar led to the Emergency in 1975.
FORMATION OF BJP-REINCARNATION OF BJSThe RSS, the Jana Sangh and the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishadhad played a prominent role as the opposition during the pre-Emergency period. After the Emergency was lifted the Jana Sangh merged with other opposition parties to become a part of the Janata Party. The Janata Party won the elections in 1977.The Janata Party won with a huge majority in 1977 and formed the government with Morarji Desai as prime minister. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who had become the leader of the Jana Sangh after Upadhyaya's death in 1967, was appointed as the external affairs minister in the new government. However, internal dissensions and the issue of dual membership of the erstwhile members of the Jana Sangh with the RSS forced the break-up in 1980.


This led to the formation of the Bharatiya Janata Party in 1980. The party included the erstwhile members of the Jana Sangh and others who sympathized with them. The BJS due to inspiration from Jayaprakash Narayan’s movement and its participation in anti emergency movements merged into Janata party in 1977 to save the Indian democracy.After Morarji Desai’s government was toppled due to political ambition of Charan Singh, the Janata Party was fragmented and converted into the Bharatiya Lok Dal (BLD) and another group led by Jagjivan Ram. This led to walk out by the BJS constituents from the Janata party who decided to reconstitute itself into an independent all India party. Atal Bihari Vajpayee became first president of BJP. Vajpayee linked the emergence of BJP as the Jai Parkash’s vision of glorious India. The new party was interested to become a mass based organization and it also had the experience and knowledge of the members of the BJS. The BJP also had some of the people who did not have any past linkages with BJS like Ram Jethmalani, Sikander Bakht, Shanti Bhushan, Yashwant Sinha etc. Advani, Jethmalani, Bakht, Murlimanohar Joshi, S SBhandari Vijayaraje Scindhia were appointed as Vice Presidents and drafted the constitution of the party.

The BJP started to articulate five fold principles on which national consensus could be created. In addition to Gandhian socialism, the BJP adopted the ideologies of nationalism and national integration, democracy, positive secularism, and value based politics for its political activities.EVOLUTION:The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been regarded, both by its supporters and adversaries, as the most striking phenomenon in the Indian political scene over the last few years. The BJP had a steady growth in stature, parliamentary seats and rule in state governments. Over the next two decades, the BJP grew from a political party on the fringe to capture power at the centre. The parliamentary seats for the BJP increased from 2 in 1984 to 85 seats in 1989, 120 in 1991, 161 in 1996, 182 in 1998 and 183 in 1999.

The BJP experienced power in stints - for the first time in the 13 day government in 1996; later they were in power for 13 months (1997-98). Finally the party completed a full term of office as the head of the NDA coalition government from 1999 to 2004 when the BJP led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) was in power. He raised a band of dedicated workers imbued with idealism and provided the entire ideological framework of the party. He groomed future political leaders like Atal Behari Vajpayee, Lal Krishna Advani and others.It must be noted that the vast majority of the party workers, including Upadhyaya himself were derived from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and brought with them the patriotic fervour and discipline.

The growth of the Jana sangh in the electoral scenario is interesting and also shows its growth amongst the masses of the country. The party won just three Lok Sabha seats in the first general elections in 1952. Its tally gradually increased and by 1962 it had become one of the most effective opposition parties in India and seriously challenged the power of the Congress in various north Indian states. Some of the key ideological points which formed the party’s planks were enforcing a uniform civil code for all Indians, banning of cow slaughter, abolishing the special statues accorded to Jammu and Kashmir and promoting usage of the Hindi language.After 1967, the party entered into a coalition with political organisations of similar ideologies and political positions and formed governments in various states such as Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and others. The NavNirman agitation in Gujarat and the JP agitation in Bihar led to the Emergency in 1975.

FORMATION OF BJP-REINCARNATION OF BJSThe RSS, the Jana Sangh and the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishadhad played a prominent role as the opposition during the pre-Emergency period. After the Emergency was lifted the Jana Sangh merged with other opposition parties to become a part of the Janata Party. The Janata Party won the elections in 1977.The Janata Party won with a huge majority in 1977 and formed the government with Morarji Desai as prime minister. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who had become the leader of the Jana Sangh after Upadhyaya's death in 1967, was appointed as the external affairs minister in the new government. However, internal dissensions and the issue of dual membership of the erstwhile members of the Jana Sangh with the RSS forced the break-up in 1980.

This led to the formation of the Bharatiya Janata Party in 1980. The party included the erstwhile members of the Jana Sangh and others who sympathized with them. The BJS due to inspiration from Jayaprakash Narayan’s movement and its participation in anti emergency movements merged into Janata party in 1977 to save the Indian democracy.After Morarji Desai’s government was toppled due to political ambition of Charan Singh, the Janata Party was fragmented and converted into the Bharatiya Lok Dal (BLD) and another group led by Jagjivan Ram. This led to walk out by the BJS constituents from the Janata party who decided to reconstitute itself into an independent all India party. Atal Bihari Vajpayee became first president of BJP. Vajpayee linked the emergence of BJP as the Jai Parkash’s vision of glorious India. The new party was interested to become a mass based organization and it also had the experience and knowledge of the members of the BJS. The BJP also had some of the people who did not have any past linkages with BJS like Ram Jethmalani, Sikander Bakht, Shanti Bhushan, Yashwant Sinha etc. Advani, Jethmalani, Bakht, Murlimanohar Joshi, S SBhandari Vijayaraje Scindhia were appointed as Vice Presidents and drafted the constitution of the party.

The BJP started to articulate five fold principles on which national consensus could be created. In addition to Gandhian socialism, the BJP adopted the ideologies of nationalism and national integration, democracy, positive secularism, and value based politics for its political activities.EVOLUTION:The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been regarded, both by its supporters and adversaries, as the most striking phenomenon in the Indian political scene over the last few years. The BJP had a steady growth in stature, parliamentary seats and rule in state governments. Over the next two decades, the BJP grew from a political party on the fringe to capture power at the centre. The parliamentary seats for the BJP increased from 2 in 1984 to 85 seats in 1989, 120 in 1991, 161 in 1996, 182 in 1998 and 183 in 1999.

The BJP experienced power in stints - for the first time in the 13 day government in 1996; later they were in power for 13 months (1997-98). Finally the party completed a full term of office as the head of the NDA coalition government from 1999 to 2004 when the BJP led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) was in power. 


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