Deendayal Upadhyaya (25 September 1916 – 11 February 1968) was an Indian politician and thinker of right-wing Hindutva ideology espoused by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), and leader of the political party Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS), the forerunner of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
|10th President of Bharatiya Jana Sangh|
|Preceded by||Balraj Madhok|
|Succeeded by||Atal Bihari Vajpayee|
|Born||25 September 1916|
Nagla Chandraban, Mathura, United Provinces, British India
(present-day Deendayal Dham, Mathura district, Uttar Pradesh, India)
|Died||11 February 1968 (aged 51)|
Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Nagar, Uttar Pradesh, India
|Political party||Bharatiya Jana Sangh|
|Alma mater||Sanatan Dharma College, Kanpur|
|Known for||Integral Humanism|
Upadhyaya started the monthly publication Rashtra Dharma in the 1940s, while involved with the RSS, to spread Hindutva ideology. He was briefly president of the BJS from December 1967 into 1968. He contested the Lok Sabha election in 1963 and lost. He died under mysterious circumstances near Mughalsarai Junction railway station in February 1968 . After 50 years of his death, that railway station was renamed after him as "Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Junction" by the government in 2018.
Early life and educationEdit
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Upadhyaya was born in 1916 in the village of Nagla Chandraban, now called Deendayal Dham, near the town of Farah in Mathura District, 26 km (16 mi) from Mathura. His father, Bhagwati Prasad Upadhyaya, was an astrologer and his mother, Rampyari Upadhyaya, was a homemaker and observant Hindu. Both his parents died when he was eight years old and he was brought up by his maternal uncle. His education, under the guardianship of his maternal uncle and aunt, saw him attend high school in Sikar. The Maharaja of Sikar gave him a Gold medal, Rs 250 to buy books and a monthly scholarship of Rs 10. and did his Intermediate in Pilani, Rajasthan. He took a BA degree at the Sanatan Dharma College, Kanpur. In 1939 he moved over to Agra and joined St. John's College, Agra to pursue a master's degree in English literature but could not continue his studies. The reason was a cousin of his Ramadevi passed away. He became depressed and lost interest and did not take up his MA exams. His scholarship from the Maharaja of Sikar and from Shri Birla were discontinued as well.
Upadhyaya had come into contact with the RSS through a classmate, Baluji Mahashabde, while studying at Sanatan Dharma College in 1937. He met the founder of the RSS, K. B. Hedgewar, who engaged with him in an intellectual discussion at one of the shakhas. Sunder Singh Bhandari was also one of his classmates at Kanpur. He started full-time work in the RSS from 1942. He had attended the 40-day summer vacation RSS camp at Nagpur where he underwent training in Sangh Education. After completing second-year training in the RSS Education Wing, Upadhyaya became a lifelong pracharak of the RSS. He worked as the pracharak for the Lakhimpur district and, from 1955, as the joint Prant Pracharak (regional organiser) for Uttar Pradesh. He was regarded as an ideal swayamsevak of the RSS essentially because ‘his discourse reflected the pure thought-current of the Sangh’.
In 1951, when Syama Prasad Mookerjee founded the BJS, Deendayal was seconded to the party by the RSS, tasked with moulding it into a genuine member of the Sangh Parivar. He was appointed as General Secretary of its Uttar Pradesh branch, and later the all-India general secretary. For 15 years, he remained the outfit's general secretary. He also contested by-poll for the Lok Sabha seat of Jaunpur from Uttar Pradesh in 1963 bi election when Jansangh MP Bramh Jeet Singh died, but failed to attract significant political traction and did not get elected.
In the 1967 general elections, the Jana Sangh got 35 seats and became the 3rd largest party in the Lok Sabha. The Jan Sangh also went onto be a part of the Samyukta Vidhayak Dal, an experiment of having non-Congress opposition parties as a coalition to form governments in multiple states This brought the right and the left of the Indian political spectrum on one single platform. He became president of the Jana Sangh in December 1967 in the Calicut session of the party. His presidential speech in that session focused on multiple aspects right from the formation of coalition government to language. No major events happened in the party during his tenure as the president that ended in 2 months in February 1968 due to his untimely death.
Upadhyaya edited Panchjanya (weekly) and Swadesh (daily) from Lucknow. In Hindi, he wrote a drama on Chandragupta Maurya, and later wrote a biography of Shankaracharya. He translated a Marathi biography of Hedgewar.
Integral humanism was a set of concepts drafted by Upadhyaya as political program and adopted in 1965 as the official doctrine of the Jan Sangh. Upadhyaya borrowed the Gandhian principles such as sarvodaya (progress of all), swadeshi (Indianisation), and Gram Swaraj (village self-rule) and these principles were appropriated selectively to give more importance to cultural-national values. These values were based on an individual's undisputed subservience to the nation as a corporate entity.
Golwalkar believed in the concept of Organicism, from which the Integral Humanism was not very different. In Integral Humanism, Golwalkar's thoughts were supplemented by appropriating major Gandhian principles and presented a version of Hindu Nationalism. The objective of this version was to develop the image of Jan Sangh as a pro-developmental and spiritual image that favours equality in society. The creation and adoption of these concepts helped to suit the major discourses in the Indian political arena of the 1960s and 1970s. This highlighted efforts to portray the Jan Sangh and Hindu nationalist movement as a high-profile right fringe of the Indian political mainstream.
Upadhyaya considered that it was of utmost importance for India to develop an indigenous economic model with a human being at center stage. This approach made this concept different from Socialism and Capitalism. Integral Humanism was adopted as Jan Sangh's political doctrine and its new openness to other opposition forces made it possible for the Hindu nationalist movement to have an alliance in the early 1970s with the prominent Gandhian Sarvodaya movement going on under the leadership of J. P. Narayan. This was considered to be the first major public breakthrough for the Hindu nationalist movement.
In December 1967, Upadhyaya was elected president of the BJS. In the evening of 10 February 1968, at Lucknow he boarded the Sealdah Express for Patna. The train reached Mughalsarai at about 2:10 am but Upadhyaya was not on it. His body was found near Mughalsarai Junction railway station in Uttar Pradesh 10 minutes after the train arrived, lying near a traction pole 748 feet from the end of the platform where the train halted. He was clutching a five-rupee note in his hand. He was last seen alive at Jaunpur after midnight.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) investigation team found that Upadhyaya had been pushed out of the coach by robbers just before the train entered Mughalsarai station; a passenger travelling in the adjoining cabin of the same coach had seen a man (later identified as Bharat Lal) enter Upadhyaya's cabin at Mughalsarai and walk off with his file and bedding. The CBI later arrested Bharat Lal and his associate Ram Awadh , charging them with murder and theft. They confessed to pushing Updadhyaya out of the train after he caught them stealing his bag and threatened to report them to the police. However, the two accused were acquitted of the murder charges for lack of evidence. Bharat Lal alone was convicted of the theft of the belongings and he appealed to the Allahabad High Court. The sessions judge had remarked in his judgment that "the offence of murder not having been proved against the accused, the problem of truth about the murder still remains".
Over 70 MPs demanded a commission of inquiry. The Government of India agreed to this and appointed Justice Y.V. Chandrachud of Bombay High Court as the sole member of the commission. Chandrachud reported in his findings that Upadhyaya was standing near a carriage door and pushed out of the running train, dying instantly by hitting a traction pole. He said that the death and theft constituted a single incident in law and that "I can say with a certain amount of confidence that nothing has come before me can support the accusation that there was any politics in Shri Upadhyaya's murder. Undoubtedly, he had political rivals but his death is the rash and extempore handiwork of mere thieves." The CBI, he said, had conducted the investigation with care and objectivity.
In 2017, Upadhyaya's niece and several politicians demanded a fresh probe in his murder.
According to his supporters, he worked to decolonise Indian political thought, and even a veteran Congressman of Uttar Pradesh, Sampoornanand, wrote in the preface of Upadhyaya's Political Dairy, describing him as "one of the most notable political leaders of our time” . Another move considered important in the 1960s anti-Congress campaign, involved Deen dayal getting together with Ram Manohar Lohia to issue a Lohia-Deendayal joint statement in May 1964 envisioning a framework for common program..
Since 2016 the BJP government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi named several public institutions after him. In Delhi, a road/marg has been named after Upadhyaya. In August 2017, the BJP state government in UP proposed renaming of Mughalsarai station in honour of Upadhyaya as his dead body was found near it. Opposition parties protested this move in the Parliament of India. The Samajwadi Party protested with a statement that the station was being renamed after someone "who had made "no contribution to the freedom struggle". The Deen Dayal Research Institute deals with queries on Upadhyaya and his works.
On 16 February 2020 in Varanasi, Narendra Modi opened the Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Memorial Centre and unveiled a 63-foot statue of Upadhyaya, his tallest statue in the country.
- Commemorative Stamps issued in the memory of Pt. Deendayal Upadhyay
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Deendayal Upadhyaya.|
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Deendayal Upadhyaya|
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