‘No one understood our issues, our hypocrisy like Premchand’


|Politicians & Literature|

Rajnath Singh | 61 | Uttar Pradesh

Rajnath Singh
Rajnath Singh Photo: Shailendra Pandey

DEENDAYAL UPADHYAYA HAS been a major part of who I’m. His 12 volumes on philosophy and integral humanism — the synthesis of the individual and the collective — have formed the crux of my political career, and as it happens, is also the guiding philosophy of the BJP. If there was one person who could think of a decentralised polity and self-reliant economy with the village as its base, it was him. He advocated modern technology in his books, but wanted it to be adapted to suit the nature of Indian requirements.

Another book that really enlightened me was Durga Das’ India: From Nehru to Curzon and After, which had an insightful foreword by former president Dr Zakir Husain. The book chronicles the historical panorama of India and the freedom movement. No politician in India should miss this book for its historical and political significance.

Then there is also the monumental work of Samuel Huntington, Clash of Civilisations, which dealt with cultural conflicts after World War II and predicted today’s extremities of religious and cultural strife.

And then there are the geniuses like Mahashweta Devi and Ramdhari Singh Dinkar, who were synonymous with my days as a youth BJP worker from Uttar Pradesh. Munshi Premchand’s epics Gaban and Godaan captured the angst of the Indian society, especially those in small towns and villages. These books helped me understand the psyche of rural India, especially when I was the chief minister of UP. No one understood our issues, our poverty, our culture, our hypocrisy as well as Premchand did. He should be made compulsory reading for students and politicians alike.


  1. As much as I love Premchand, I can’t help but laugh at the irony of a man of as ‘sterling’ a character as Rajnath Singh espousing the cause of one of India’s finest. Premchand would have had a hearty laugh at the hypocrisy of it all, and perhaps used it as material for yet another masterpiece, had the great man been alive.

  2. True an RSS protege cannot love both Premchand and its divisive agenda. His heart lies with the regressive agenda the saffron brigade stands for. This is proved by his love for the ‘monumental work’ of Samuel Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations which tries to give ideological fillip to the fascist agenda by interpreting and pitting one religion against another.

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