Nanaji Deshmukh has been credited with three prominent moves that he made during his days as a protege of Balasaheb Deoras – He carried forward the vision of starting Saraswati Shishu Mandirs a kindergarten effort to inculcate in children the right attitudes to Indian society. Nanaji Deshmukh was also part of the JP movt against Indira Gandhi . It was Deoras’ idea that RSS be involved with JP movement to present itself as an organisation that was concrete,down to earth as also being sensitive to the common man’s day to day issues.Third, if Deoras was building a vision of model villages with many more facilities like health hygiene sanitation medical facilities than those existed before it was Nanaji Deshmukh who was executing his ideas into action. In UP the model of rural development in Gangetic Alluvial planes of Gonda was the brainchild of Nana Deshmukh .It was the setting up of the Deendayal Research Institute in 1972 that realised the vision of Nanaji Deshmukh who worked on the idea of integral humanism. The idea was to strengthen tribal villages with academic, intellectual and vocational training .But his socio economic upliftment model could not be used by the Parivar to a popular level thereby giving a setback to the grassroots project that rural India so badly needed in face of rapid industralisation that led to overlooking the villages of Bharat. However if there is one political work that Nanaji Deshmukh will be remembered for is his work in Lucknow to resolve the Shia -Sunni skirmishes that would routinely take place. As a full time RSS Pracharak he would stand between warring factions and broker peace.
However in 2019 the Bharat Ratna to Nanaji Deshmukh can certainly be questioned as to why the mentor Balasaheb Deoras was not recognised for his secular ideas and work for the nation ? Or for that matter why was Dr Hegdewar not considered for his alternate vision to Gandhian idea of India ? These founders laid a foundation of a vision that challenged the Gandhi- Nehru model of secularism and industrial growth . If the present polity’s eyes are cast on UP as also on invoking the peace initiatives carried out by Deshmukh then today the electoral math and caste combination has overtaken the differences between Shia-Sunnis. If politics of appeasement is what leads to conferring the Ratnas then why has Netaji Subash Chandra Bose not been facilitated with one ? PM Modi has time and again reminded this country of Subhash Babu’s contribution in the war on Independence. Or for that matter Sardar Vallabhai Patel who just remains a statue in Gujarat ? Or for that matter Mahatma Gandhi the great son of the soil ? These moves could have been tactical as also appropriated the BJP with political goodwill that it needs ahead of 2019 and removed the wind out of the sails of opposition parties who are presently on an upward trend. However in conferring an award to Pranab Mukherjee and Nanaji Deshmukh BJP govt has fallen short of reaching many Bharats that it needs to ahead of 2019.
**Bhagyashree Pande is Sr Journalist & political commentator lives in Mumbai