The BJP and Congress Manifestos represent Two World Views

  • Using examples the article tell how the BJP and Congress manifestos reflect two views and thinking. It quotes Swami Vivekananda and Sri Aurobindo whose wisdom shows the way for Bharat.

A spiritually inclined, apolitical, professional and learned friend prepared an interesting table where she analysed the BJP and Congress Manifestos. A quick review indicated that they represented two different world views or models of development for Bharat.


The former manifesto is titled Constructive Development and the latter Destructive Development. The former includes Economic policy based on development through growth (physical, digital and social infrastructure), Targeted benefits aimed to stimulate growth and development for each Labarthi group based on occupation, gender, age, Very good track record in delivering to promises, Equal opportunities for people from all religions, Unify Hindu society through shared culture and identity and Long-term vision for Viksit Bharat.  


The latter includes Economic policy based on redistribution of existing wealth, Benefits in the form of free gifts & handouts based on religion and caste, Poor track record in delivering to promises, Reservations based on religion, Breakup Hindu society through caste-based divisions and No clear vision for the future.


This analysis of the two manifestos can be viewed in table below or click on PDF   To read table in Hindi click on PDF


She wanted me to write on these world views. Here is a summary - Viksit Bharat captures today’s thoughts and aspirations. Sadly, the Congress is stuck in old ways. The BJP is atleast trying to meet aspirations even though there is scope to do better. Read on.


Life is Expansion 

These words of Swami Vivekananda have stayed with me, “Life is expansion, and if you stand against it, you become decadent or die.” 1 Pg. 55


Here is a quote from Complete-Works/Lectures from Colombo to Almora/My Plan of Campaign, “They want to reform only in bits. I want root-and-branch reform. Where we differ is the method. Theirs is the method of destruction. I do not believe in reform; I believe in growth. Feed the national life with fuel it wants.”  


Viksit Bharat aims to make the pie or size of the economy bigger i.e. expansion. Conversely, the Congress speaks of squeezing more from the existing pie means making Indians fight for a large share of the pie.


The BJP spent money to build national infrastructure, homes and toilets that have long-term benefit. Conversely, the Congress believes in handouts. (BJP is not perfect)


As a finance trainee in Hindustan Levers we are taught to spend money in creating assets that generated long-term benefit, rather than fritter away money in revenue expenditure.


I wish people become independent of the government-self-sustaining, so they do not have to go to the government for hand-outs. Swami Vivekananda said, “The individuals are being raised, the nation and its institutions are bound to rise.” Complete Works Vol. 5 416.2  


So also for decades since Independence we have followed policy of free gifts based on religion and caste (BJP is not perfect). If economic backwardness were made the basis of hand-outs then at a deeper level we are treating all human beings at equal. 


In Sanatana Dharma (Advaita) we believe that the same divinity exists in all beings. Using religion and caste for hand-outs has divided and weakened society.

Collective Energy  

When I look back, the Congress has used Caste to divide and weaken Hindu society for e.g. the 1980s KHAM in Gujarat i.e. Kshatriyas, Harijan, Adivasi and Muslim. Their manifesto is no different. And I am not saying the BJP is perfect.


Viksit Bharat is about making the whole nation work towards a larger national goal. Approach is collaborative. Conversely, the Congress manifesto wishes to split the collective energy into smaller parts. Approach is competitive.


These free gifts and hand-outs represent an old way of working and have not brought gains for the sums spent. Should we think differently?


Swami Vivekananda said, “If you have known the old ways to be wrong, then why don’t you learn to live in a better way? By your e.g. ten other people will follow suit, and by theirs another fifty people will learn.” Complete-Works/Volume7/Conversations and Dialogues/From the Diary of Disciple/V


As a Chartered Accountant, I realize the importance of fiscal prudence and keeping the fiscal deficit within range. Memories of the 1991 Economic Crisis continue to haunt me so I dislike governments that talk about spending without  augmenting revenues.  According to the 2023 IMF Global Debt Monitor, “Global debt appears to have returned to its historical upward trend. Managing debt vulnerabilities should be key.”


The policy of redistribution of wealth might have worked well in the 1950s but today when society is creating an environment for individuals to grow and prosper, it is not the appropriate tool. Instead, create an eco-system and policies that allow individual entrepreneurs to blossom. That is what Start Up India is about. Read  Co-founder of Zerodha, Nithin Kamath’s story or Hear 22 minutes

Track record in delivering promises

Let me rephrase it as track record in building infrastructure projects.


In Mumbai, the Trans Harbour Link was conceived in the 1960s as a way to decongest Mumbai and develop the hinterland. The bridge, Atal Setu, was opened in early 2024. Ditto for Coastal Road that was conceived in the 1970s.

Atal Setu was conceived in the 1960s, opened in 2024. 

In 2013, I crossed the Brahmaputra River at Dibrugarh (Assam) because the Bogibeel bridge had not been completed for years. It was opened in 2018.

Incomplete Bogibeel bridge. 2013. 

Good ideas are valuable but Execution is equally important.


We underestimate the importance of DBT (direct benefit transfer) for the poor. Earlier bribes had to be paid to receive government hand-outs. Now the money comes directly into their bank accounts directly, without a bribe or effort. This is called leveraging technology and digital infrastructure.

Bharat wants as Aspirational Manifesto 

The Congress Manifesto gives us more of the same thing namely freebies, caste and religion based reservations, spending and spending without realizing that the aspirations of Bharatiyas have changed.


Today, we want our nation to develop, prosper, grow and find its rightful place in the world. We want India to realise potential.


We want an India that THINKS.


Maharshi Aurobindo said, “Our first necessity, if India is to survive and do her appointed work in the world, is that the youth of India should learn to think, - to think on all subjects, to think independently, fruitfully, going to the heart of things, not stopped by their surface, free of prejudgments, shearing sophism and prejudice.” India’s Rebirth

Chitrakoot Waterfalls, Bastar, called the Indian Niagara. 

We want every section of society to grow. We want an India that plays to win. We want an India that exports products globally.

Bajaj bikes are exported globally. 

We want Sanatan Dharam and Bharatiya Sanskriti to grow.


We want an India i.e. inspired by her past. Swami Vivekananda said, “So long as they forgot the past, the Hindu nation remained in a state of stupor and as soon as they have begun to look into their past, there is on every side a fresh manifestation of life. It is out of this past that the future has to be moulded.”


We want an India that does it duty to others meaning doing good to the world. It could take forms like export of vaccines, rice or onions.


We want an India that thinks beyond Delhi, Jaipur and Agra.

There is more to India than the Taj.  

Sri Aurobindo said in May 1909, “When it is said that India shall be great, it is the Sanatan Dharma that shall be great. When it is said that India shall expand and extend herself, it is the Sanatan Dharma that shall expand and extend itself over the world. It is for the Dharma and by the Dharma that India exists.” (India’s Rebirth)  


Lest we get swayed remember these words of Swami Vivekananda. “It is the calm, forgiving, equable, well-balanced mind that does the greatest amount of work.” CW Vol. II 293.2


Viksit Bharat captures these thoughts and aspirations. Sadly, the Congress is stuck in old ways. The BJP is moving in the right direction and atleast trying to meet aspirations even though there is scope to do better. 



1. Nationalist and Religious Lectures of Swami Vivekananda by Swami Tapasyananda


Also read

1. 75 reasons why I will remember Modi government

2. Ideas for Tourism Policy India

3. Cost of Free Food grains Scheme can be reduced

4. Congress Freebies Could Damage Hard Won Fiscal Success

5. Congress strategy is use caste to divide Hindu society

6. India’s Rebirth by Sri Aurobindo

7. IDEAS how India can realize potential

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