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Previous Manifestos

Chapter 1

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Our Vision, Our Will, Our Way

Sarve bhavantu sukhinah
Sarve santu niramayah
Sarve bhadrani pasyantu
Ma kaschit dukha bhag bhavet!
Om Shanti! Shanti! Shanti!
May all live happily.
May all enjoy good health.
May all see auspiciousness.
May none experience distress.
May peace prevail everywhere!

THIS timeless motto of universal happiness and peace is the heritage of this ancient Indian civilization, which assumed the character of Bharatvarsha in Bharat Khand. Here, a nation, which Megasthanes noted "never invaded others and was never invaded," existed long before the ideas of civilization evolved elsewhere.

This ageless nation is the embodiment of the eternal values enshrined in the concept of "Sanatana Dharma" which, according to Maharishi Aurobindo, is synonymous with Indian nationalism. The idea of "Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam" - world as a family - is integral to the concept of Sanatana Dharma. This gigantic idea is an exclusively Indian contribution to world peace. This ancient nation evolved a world-view based on the motto "Loka samasta sukhina bhavantu" (Let the entire world be happy) thousands of years before any League of Nations or United Nations was thought of to avoid global strife. The Indian nation evolved this grand vision not by marching its armies and conquering the rest and offering peace; but by the inner-directed pursuit of universal values by the Rishis living in the forests and mountains of India.

The well-being of all, in short, is the Indian mission. It is not limited to the residents of Bharat or the adherents of any particular faith or creed. That is why Bharat received with open arms all faiths and people fleeing persecution-whether it was the Jews, Parsis, Muslims or Christians-and preserved and protected them long before any other civilization could think short of exterminating those who differed from the ruling faiths and people. Israeli society has openly acknowledged that out of over a hundred nations in which Jews sought refuge, only in Bharat they were received and treated well. It is because religion in ancient India meant faith in general and not any particular faith. It is this ancient Indian mind that formulated the Constitution of India, guaranteeing equal treatment to all faiths and their adherents and it is not the Constitution that shaped the Indian mind.

Diversity is an inseparable part of India's past and present national tradition. The BJP not only respects but celebrates India's regional, caste, credal, linguistic and ethnic diversity, which finds its true existence and expression only in our national unity. This rich tradition comprises not only the Vedas and Upanishads, Jainagamas and Tripitaka, Puranas and Guru Granth Sahib, the Dohas of Kabir, the various social reform movements, saints and seers, warriors and writers, sculptors and artists, but also the Indian traditions of the Muslims, Christians and Parsis.

The Bharatiya Janata Party is a proud inheritor of this tradition while all other political parties have branded everything associated with this great tradition as sectarian, unworthy of being followed. The post-Independence tendency to reject all ancient Indian wisdom in political life led to all pre-Independence values and symbols-be it the idea of spiritual nationalism expounded by Swami Vivekananda, or the concept of Ram Rajya articulated by Mahatma Gandhi, or the soul-stirring "Vande Mataram" song composed by Bankim Chandra-being discarded as unsecular and unacceptable. The BJP rejects this attitude and idea of disconnecting from the past. The past is inseverable from the present and the future. That is why Swami Vivekananda said, "It is out of the past that the future is moulded. It is the past that becomes the future".

BJP's Vision: An Inheritance From India's Freedom Movement

THE BJP shares, embodies and energizes the vision of every patriotic Indian to see our beloved country emerge as a strong, prosperous and confident nation, occupying her rightful place in the international community. It is a vision to see our sacred Motherland freed from the scourge of bhookh (hunger), berozgari (unemployment), bhay (fear) and bhrashtachar (corruption). Lastly, it is a vision to see India, the world's oldest cradle of civilization, transform itself yet again into a benign global power, contributing her material, intellectual, cultural and spiritual energies to change the paradigm at the global level to save the world from the gathering civilizational crisis. As Arnold Toynbee said, "The Western beginning must have an Indian ending if the world is to be saved from destruction."

It was this very same vision which inspired millions upon millions of freedom-loving Indians of all castes, communities and regions to give their all for the liberation of Mother India from the yoke of British colonial rule. It was a vision which all the stalwarts of our freedom movement, belonging to different ideological and political backgrounds, said in their own separate yet complementary ways. Mahatma Gandhi coined a uniquely Indian idiom--"Ram Rajya"--for this common national vision, emphasizing, as a cautionary direction to future rulers of India that, "There can be no Ram Rajya in the present state of inequalities in which a few roll in riches and the masses do not get even enough to eat."

The Context and the Issue in the 12th Lok Sabha Poll

THE general elections to the 12th Lok Sabha is the inevitable result of the instability forced on the country by the Congress and the United Front. The two formed a negative and opportunist combination to thwart the mandate of the people in the 11th Lok Sabha poll and allowed the rejected Congress party to do back-seat driving. The negative combination was a symbol of instability from day one and was, for most part of its existence, in intensive care. It collapsed, as it had to and demonstrated how the mischief played on the people of India after the 11th Lok Sabha poll recoiled on the mischief-makers themselves. This has made stability the principal issue in the coming election in a manner it has never been in our history.

Also, the election to the 12th Lok Sabha is not only a vote on the despicable record of malgovernance of the two United Front regimes spawned by the hung 11th Lok Sabha. Rather, as the last parliamentary poll in this century and as one taking place in the Swarna Jayanti year of India's Freedom, it is a vote on nearly five decades of misrule by the Congress and its clones.

The BJP and its allies have entered the electoral fray with the supreme confidence of winning a clear mandate from the people of India to rule for the next five years. This mandate will be a vote not only against the rank instability of the two United Front Governments, but also against the static, anti-people, anti-development "stability" of the previous Congress Governments. At the same time, it will be a positive vote for the BJP's solemn pledge to provide a dynamic, pro-people, pro-development, anti-status quoist stability under the able Prime Ministership of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee: Ability, Integrity and Universal Acceptability

THE positive vote for the BJP is grounded in our philosophy, our policies, our programmatic commitments, the performance of our State Governments and, of course, the unimpeachable personal qualities of our top leadership. In Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the people see a leader who combines ability with integrity, charisma with character and experience with universal acceptability. He is not a person who claims leadership by birth in, or relationship with, any dynasty. He is a leader by virtue of his long and dedicated service of the nation and its people in and out of Parliament.

Under Shri Vajpayee's leadership, the BJP and its allies, if elected to power, will marshal the requisite will to chart the way towards the fulfillment of the unfinished agenda of transition from Swaraj to Su-raj.

This Election Manifesto outlines how the BJP will effect change with continuity. It asserts the principles and beliefs that will serve as the beacon and an internal watchdog for the BJP in governance. The five-fold concept of "Shuchita" (probity in public life), "Suraksha" (security), "Swadeshi" (economic nationalism), "Samajik Samarasata" (social harmony) and Hindutva (cultural nationalism) will constitute the core content and ideological pillars of the BJP. These principles will be manifest in our commitment to national security, good governance, national unity and integration, democracy, genuine secularism, eradication of mass poverty, opportunity for economic advancement for all, social justice, gender justice, harmonious Centre-State relations, probity in public life, revival of institutions, politics of consensus and cooperation as against confrontation and, last but not the least, raising India's prestige, profile and power in the international arena.

These commitments will guide the BJP in its endeavor to provide
a Stable Government under an Able Prime Minister.

In Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the people see a leader who combines ability with integrity, charisma with character and experience with universal acceptability. He is not a person who claims leadership by birth in, or relationship with, any dynasty. He is a leader by virtue of his long and dedicated service of the nation