I keep travelling to various states for organization related work but this time, my visit to Chhattisgarh was particularly important. I visited the state on 12th December, to inaugurated a library cum reading room dedicated to Nanaji Deshmukh besides attending to usual organization related matters. This is the first of the series of libraries and reading rooms that will be built in Bharatiya Janata Party’s State and District offices. The Chhattisgarh library will provide the template for other such centres across the country. The first centre has been named after Nanaji Deshmukh since we are celebrating RSS ideologue and renowned social activist’s birth centenary this year. The library, equipped with modern day technology, was built in a short period of two months, and has 10,255 books across various categories. It houses documents related to the BJP, rare manuscripts, copy of the Constitution, books on history and several other subjects. The wifi-enabled library has ample space, where people can study for hours at length. I have no doubt that this library will prove to be a model for other states to follow.
Such libraries are now being built in all States and District centres of the party. Earlier this year on 5th February, I got an opportunity to inaugurate the central library situated at the party’s national headquarters. This well organized and well stocked library was built after many months of tireless work. When we started building this centre, we wanted it to be useful, informative and serve a wide range of readers including party karyakarta, journalists, researchers, university students and just about anyone. We worked towards this objective. Modern technology and latest equipments have been deployed to manage the library at the national headquarters. We have also created a digital library, and it can be accessed at www.bjplibrary.org. Currently, we have 3,620 books in the e-library and this is first such attempt by any political party in the world. This e-library is also linked to various social media platforms for wider dissemination. We are also working to link the central library, situated at the national headquarter, with libraries across various States, so that we have a vast network at our disposal. This will create huge wealth of knowledge for the party in the years ahead.
Someone may question the need for a library and reading facilities in a political party’s office? Offices of political parties are meant for formulating strategies, keeping a close tab on political rumblings or meeting the media. I must mention here that both in pre and post Independence era, there has been a healthy and rich tradition of ‘thinking’ politicians in India. From Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Mahatama Gandhi, Veer Savarkar, Ram Manohar Lohia, Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay and Atal Bihari Vajpayee to current Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a number of politicians have been writers, thinkers, poets or ideologues. This is the key reason why India still has trust and belief in the democratic values and systems. If we want to maintain this tradition in the current era across our States, it is necessary that well read and educated people join politics and politicians continue to read and write. If we have to achieve this goal, it is imperative that political parties have a tradition of libraries, which become centers of learning and put political karyakarta on the path of self education. I am confident that we will be able to usher in a positive change in the political character of the country with these libraries.
As far as BJP is concerned, the party was born with its core rooted in an alternate ideology. The foundation of BJP’s political ideology is based on the principles of thoughts, reflection, and analysis. We are an ideology based party and believe in politics that is based on values, morals and principles. Hence, it is critical that our karyakarta remain committed to the party’s ideology and principles and relentlessly work towards achieving the same. I hope these modern day centres of reading and learning will provide guidance and help to our party karyakarta across the nation. These libraries will make our karyakarta more aware, sharpen their intellect and make their thought process more mature.
I appeal to all party karyakarta to visit these libraries and inculcate a habit of reading regularly to enhance their knowledge, build strong reasoning and thought process, and debate and discuss. One who goes regularly to these libraries and reads will move ahead in life. We must strive to read one to two books every month and pen our thoughts and understanding of what we have read. If party karyakarta can also donate their books to such libraries, it will add to our efforts. These steps will encourage a culture of reading in our party. We must not forget that the “Gangotri” to alter the country’s political culture is hidden in these libraries.