Our Ideologue


Dr. Shyama Prasad Mookerjee

Dr. Shyamaprasad Mookerjee
1901- July 6. Born at 77 Russa Road(presently Asutosh Mookerjee Road, Kolkata) to Sir Asutosh Mookerjee and Lady Mookerjee
1906- 23rd July. Joined Mitra Institution, Bhawanipore Branch, in class II
1917- Passed Matriculation Examination from Mitra Institution with Merit scholarship of Rs. 10/- per month
1919- Passed Intermediate Examination in Arts in first division from Presidency College, Calcutta
1921- Passed B.A., First Class First in English Honours,Presidency College, Calcutta
1922- April 16. Married Smt. Sudha Debi, daughter of Dr. Benimadhav Chakravarty
1923- Passed M.A., First Class First in Bengali Language and Literature from Calcutta University.
Syamaprasad,though a brilliant student of English language and literature,had to take up his M.A degree in Bengali at the insistance of his father Sir Asutosh Mookerjee,who had been struggling to give Indian vernaculars including Bengali,their rightful place in the University curricula, for which there was no respectful place in the University campus. To set an example himself, Sir Asutosh did not hesitate to allow his son, a brilliant student in English, to opt for mother-tongue in place of English; for the M.A degree.It is an unique example of ‘‘Õ±Âó¿ò Õ±ä¿õþ ñ÷Ç ÂóËõþËõþ ¿úà±ûþ¼’’
1924 Death of father Sir Asutosh Mookerjee on 25 May at Patna, Bihar. It was a bolt from the blue. It was sudden,unexpected and untimely too. Syamaprasad expressed his shock and feelings in the following words. “My life changed its course on 25th May,1924.All the mirth and joy disappeared from my life. A new chapter had began and it continues to this day.”
Life started as an educationist:
Syamaprasad was elected Fellow of the Calcutta University at the age of 23. He was apointed member of the Syndicate of the Calcutta University,in the place fallen vacant due to the death of Sir Asutosh. And very soon it became apparant that the mantle of his illustrious father had fallen upon his broad soulders in educational sphere. He made the University his own,even as his distinguished father had done before him,serving it with single minded devotion for more than two decades in various capacities and making unparalled contributions to the cause of advancement of learning- its declared motto.
1926- Left for England to study for the Bar; joined Lincoln’s Inn. Represented Calcutta University at the Conference of Universities of the British Empire.
1927- Called to the Bar. Syamaprasad joined the legal profession in his early manhood, first as a Vakil and then as a member of the English Bar, but fortunately for the country as a whole, he did not take his career at the Calcutta High Court very seriously.
1929- Syamaprasad started his political career in a small way in 1929, when he entered the Bengal Legislative Council as a Congress candidate representing Calcutta University.
1930- Resigned from the Council when the Congress decided to boycott the Legislatures. Re-elected to the Council as an independent candidate; since then he was never dependent on anybody in any field in his life.
1933- Death of his wife Sudha Devi- leaving four minor children- two sons and two daughters. His sister-in-law Tara Debi,wife of Justice Ramaprasad Mookerjee,took the children in her arms and brought them up along with her own children.
1934- Vice Chancellor, University of Calcutta, for two successive terms- 1934-38. President, Post- graduate Councils in Arts and Science for successive years. Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Member and then Chairman, Inter-University Board.
During the four years of his service as the Vice-Chancellor, Syamaprasad did not spare time,energy, health,convenience or anything worth having in life; where they stood in the way of the performance of what he considered his duty and this he did against the advice of his doc- tors. He initiated certain new departments and courses and developed and improved existing ones. His activities as Vice-Chancellor may be summed up as hereunder:-
(I) without any encouragement from the Government of the day he put into effect a scheme for agricultural education and introduced the diploma course in Argiculture. He was deeply interested in women’s education and implemented noteworthy scheme with the endowment of late Viharilal Mitra.
(II) the organisation of the Teacher’s Training Department and the introduction of short term training courses including a vacation course to provide trained teachers for our schools; the establishment of Chinese and Tibetan studies; the foundation of the Asutosh Museum of Indian Art and Fine Arts Gallery; the work of archaeological excavtaions undertaken by the University; the establishment of the Appointment and Information Board: the construction of the new Central Library Hall with research and reading room facilities on modern lines; the
introduction of Hindi in the B.A course and of Honours courses in Bengali,Hindi and Urdu as second languages– these were some of his achievements.
(III) at his instance,a Bengali Paribhasa of scientific terms was prepared and published and a special scheme for training students for public services examination was put through.
(IV) a special series of Bengali publications in different branches of knowledge was undertaken.The series was intended for the benefit of students and general readers. Bengali spellings were standardised on his initiative.
(V) the college code was formulated for the first time during his Vice-Chancellorship and the new Matriculation Regulations were framed and the age restriction of students was abolished.
(VI) the systems of compartmental examinations and concessions to failed students for appear- ing at examinations without getting themselves admitted into colleges, were introduced during the tenure of his office.
(VII) the question of giving military training to students engaged his serious attention and in spite of discouraging factors, he succeeded in initiating military training course in our scheme of studies. This was no mean achievement in the days when he was Vice-Chancellor.
(VIII)the welfare of the younger generation and of the country at large was the ideal he set before himself and with single-minded devotion he laboured hard to attain it. To this end he took step to improve and expand the Student’s Welfare Department for the promotion of the physical health of our pupils and abolished hostels reserved for students coming from the so called backward class providing accommodation for them in the general hostels and messes attached to colleges. Primarily intended to create the spirit of brotherhood among them. Syamaprasad saw the special reduced seat-rents were charged from them.
(IX) it was during his Vice-Chancellorship that the University Foundation Day (i.e. January 24) was celebrated every year. Students of different colleges attended the ceremony with banners and badges and teachers of colleges and schools also attended it. This was an attempt at bringing teachers and students into closer personal relationship.
(X) during his time, a scheme was initiated in the Applied Chemistry department for imparting training in large-scale production of certain industiral goods.
(XI) invited Rabindranath Tagore to give Convocation Address in Bengali in 1937, for the first time.
1935 Member of the Court and Council of the Indian Institute of Science,Bangalore.Took active interest in its development and smooth running of the Institute.
Delivered Convocation Address of the Bombay University.
1937 Elected to the Bengal Legislative Assembly under the reformed constitution from the University constituency. Began to take active interest in Bengal politics.
In active politics: Joined Hindu Mahasabha
Syamaprasad gradually drifted into the fold of the Hindu Mahasabha,which he galvanised into new life as an instrument for the service of the country in general and the Hindus in particular.
1938 D.Litt (Honoris Causa) conferred by the Calcutta University and LL.D(Honoris Causa) by the Benares Hindu University.
Nominated to the Committee of Intellectual Co-operations of the League of Nation as India’s representative.
1939- Took a prominent part in the 21st session of the All-India Hindu Mahasabha at Calcutta under the presidentship of V.D Savarkar.
1940- Working President of All-India Hindu Mahasabha, 1940-44, also President of the Hindu Mahasabha,Bengal.Syamaprasad’s association with the Hindu Mahasabha was the outcome of his strong reaction to the communal politics of the Muslim League and the anti-national and disrup- tive forces let loose by it.
With the fall of the Muslim League government in Bengal in 1941, Syamaprasad joined hands with Mr. Fazlul Haq and formed the Progressive Coolition Government with Mr.Haq as the Prime Minister, with the object of fighting the communal menace then stalking the lated,propagated by the Muslim League. It was the first and last Hindu-Muslim joint ministry in Bengal, and his earnest effort to get Bengal rid of communal administration peursued by the Muslim League Ministry.
Syamaprasad joined the misnisty as Finance Minister, Bengal, and served theProgressive Coalition Ministry from 11.12.41 to 20.11.42
Entry into all India political scene
Bhagalpur session of the Hindu Mahasabha was banned by the then Government of Bihar. Dr. Mookerjee,as President,proceeded to Bhagalpur to defy the ban, was arrested and detained under the Defence of India Rules and later released.
Took part in Cripps Mission deliberations. First amongest the political parties to reject Cripps offer which gave support to Muslim League’s demand for partition of India on communal basis.
1942- Syamaprasad resigned from the Ministry of Bengal as a protest against the Governor’s policy of repression in Midnapore and elsewhere in connection with August,1942 movement.
Wrote to Lord Linlithgo, the then Viceroy,outlining tentative proposals for an Indo-British settlement and attempted to interview Mahatma Gandhi in jail but was refused permission.
In the service of the distressed & destitultes
Bengal Famine of 1943:50 lakhs people died of hunger.
1943- Organised large scale relief work during the famine of Bengal.Presided over the Amritsar session of the All-India Hindu Mahasabha.
President of the Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal from 1943 to1945.
1944- Founded an English daily,”Nationalist.” Presided over the Bilaspur session of the All-India Hindu Mahasabha. Met Mr.M.A Jinnah to find out a solution of Hindu-Muslim problems but in vain. Jinnah’s one point programme was division of India and creation of Pakistan which Syamaprasad opposed tooth and nail.
1945- Played an important part in guiding the students when they clashed with the Government in Calcutta during observance of the I.N.A day on 23rd November. A serious crisis averted. Taken seriously ill soon after.
1946- Elected to the Bengal Legislative Assembly from the University cpnstituency.
Journey to Delhi
Took part in the Cabinet Mission deliberations. Elected a member of the Constituent Assembly from Bengal.
On the failure of the Cabinet Mission to solve the problem relating to transfer of power to Indian leaders, the Muslim League under the instruction of Jinnah and guidance of Mr. H.S.Suhrawardy, launched “direct action” against the Hindus in Calcutta on 16th August,1946.Rampant looting, killing & aron went on for 4 days, Syamaprasad stood firmly behind the people during the great Calcutta killing raping and widespread communal riots organised by the Moslem League in Nookhali district under the leadershp of Suhrawardy. Formed the Hindusthan National Guard to save the affected people during the communal disturbances.
Al though he was an ardent believer in the integrity of the country that he loved so much, when he found that the division of India had become imminent and the emergence of Pakistan inevitable,he joined with similarl-minded leaders in demanding division of Bengal on the same analogy of division of India. Thus a portion of Bengal,now named as West Bengal, was saved from the clutches of the Muslim League, and remained with Indian Union.
Organised a movement which led to the retention of pohtion of Bengal in the Indian Union.
In nation building job.
1947- Joined the Cabinet of the National Government formed by Pt.Nehru and took over the portfolio of Industries and Supplies.
Framed first Industrial policy of the new Government of India after independence.He proved to be an able administrator and according to many,there is at least some justification for the view that he was primarily responsible for the adoption by India Government of the policy of mixed economy in the industrial field.
1948- President of the Reception Committee of Nikhil Bharat Banga Sahitya Sammelan, held in New Delhi in 1948
President of the Mahabodhi Society of India
1949 As the President of the Mahabodhi Society of India he received at Calcutta the relics of Sariputta & Moggalana disciples of lord Buddha
1950- Resignation in protest of Inaction
In the beginning of 1950 there were general MASSACRE of Hindus in erstwhile East pakistan (now Bangladesh). More than 50 lakhs of Hindus left their herth and home and came over India for ever. Syamaprasad urged strong action against Pakistan, but Prime Minister J.L Nehru signed a pact with Mr. Liaqut Ali Khan,–Pakistan’s Prime Minister.
1950- On 8th April,he resigned from the Central Cabinet as a protest against the Nehru-Liaquat Ali pact.Devoted himself whole-heartedly to the cause of the refugees and made extensive tours for relief and rehabilitation of the refugees.
Syamaprasad was not made of the staff that would agree to compromise with one’s convictions for love of self-interest or power. He was not the sort to succumb to the lure of office. He had, therefore, no hesitation in resigning from the Cabinet when he found himself unable to subscribe to the policy, which resulted in the Nehru-Liaquat Ali Agreement in connection with the Hindu genocide of 1950 in East Pakistan.
Founded Bharatiya Janasangha: later re-named Bharatiya Janata Party(B.J.P)
1951- Organised a new political party called Peoples’s Party.
Founded an English weekly “The People”
In October in Delhi an All India political party “The Bharatiya Jana Sangha” was formed under his Presidentship which drew adherents from all parts of the country.
Delivered the Convocation Address at the Golden Jubilee Celebration of Sri Aurovinda Memo rial Convention held in Pondicherry on 24-25 April,1951.
Dr. Mookerjee was a democrat and fighter for individual liberty and freedom of expression and movement to the core of his heart
Vehemently opposed in Parliament the Indian Constitution amending Bill restricting fundamental rights: particularly detention without trial. Historic Speech in Parliament,on Security Act.
1952- Elected to the First Loksabha: Face to Face with Nehru
Bharatiya Jana Sangha- as an infant party of 6 months old fought the first General Election under the leadership of Dr. Mukherjee. He was elected to the Parliament in the General Election from South Calcutta Constituency defeating booth the Congress and the Communist candidates. Pressed firmly and vehemently in and outside the Parliament for a strong policy towards Pakistan. He formed National Democratic block in the Parliament including some opposition members and became the leader of the opposition block in the Lok Sabha.
Presided over the 1st Annual Conference of Bharatiya Jana Sangha at Kanpur.
Although he was fully absorbed in political activities,his connection with literary,social and religious organisations and associations did not cease.
He presided over the Nikhil Bharat Banga Sahitya Sammelan at Cuttack.
In November joined the celebrations of Sanchi where the relics of Sariputta and Moggalana, disciples of Budha,were finally reposed.
Visited Burma, Cambodia and other Buddhist countries of South East Asia as the President of Mahabodhi Society of India.
1953- Shed Life for Kashmir:End of the journey
1953- Frequent clashe with the Government for lending his support to the movement of the Praja Parishad in Jammu for full integration of the State of Jammu and Kashmir with the Indian Union. Arrested in Delhi in March for alleged violation of a ban on procession in Chandni Chowk and detained. but released by the orders of the Supreme Court on a Habeas Corpus petition.
Gave a clarion call to the nation to observe” Kashmir Day” on the 5th May in support of the movement of the Praja Parishad.
Left Delhi on the 8th May on way to Kashmir.
Entered Kashmir on the 11th May and was arrested and put under detention at Srinagar along with Guru Dutt Vaid and Tekchand Sharma.
Attacked with “dry pleurisy and coronary troubles” on the 19th June.
Fell seriously ill on the 22nd June and at 12 noon admitted to a Nursing Home.
Passed away on the 23rd June,at 2.30 A.M while under detention.
Syamaprasad will be regarded as having died a martyr’s death in Kashmir. It is a grim tragedy that a great patriot of his stature should have died a premature death while in detention without trial; none of his near and dear one being present at the time of his death.
Syamaprasad will be regarded as having died a martyr’s death in Kashmir. It is a grim tragedy that a great patriot of his stature should have died a premature death while in detention without trial-none of his near and dear ones being present beiside him at the home of his death.
Symaprased , in order to foil the evil design of Sheikh Abdulla the self proclaimed Premir of Jammu and Kashmir,not only gave up his precious life for the sake of the country but forced the Government of India to accept that there must be “One Nation,One Nishan One Bidhan and One Pradhan in India.

Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya

Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya was born on Monday September 25, 1916, (Ashwin Krishna Trayodashi, Samvat 1973) in the sacred region of Brij in the village of Nagla Chandraban in Mathura District. His full name was Deendayal Upadhyaya, but he was called Deena by the family. His mother Shrimati Rampyari was a religious-minded lady and his father, Shri Bhagwati Prasad, was Assistant Station Master at Jalesar. His great-grandfather, Pandit Hariram Upadhyaya was a well known astrologer. An astrologer who studied his horoscope predicted that the boy would become a great scholar and thinker, a selfless worker, and a leading politician – but that he would not marry. After his birth, two years later, his mother Shrimati Rampyari gave birth to her second son, Shivdayal. He lost his father Shri Bhagwati Prasad when he was less than three years old and his mother before he was eight. Two years after his mother, Shrimati Rampyari’s death, her father Shri Chunnilal, who was bringing up her two sons to his village Gud Ki Mandhai, near Fatehpur Sikri in Agra District, as a legacy of his dead daughter, also passed away in September 1926. Deendayalji was in his tenth year at that time. He was thus bereft the love and affection of both his parents and his maternal grandfather. He started living with his maternal uncle. Deendayal’s aunt was sensitive to the feelings of two brothers; she brought them up like her own children. She became a surrogate mother to the orphans. The ten year old Deendayalji became a guardian for his younger brother at that tender age; he looked after him and took care of all his needs. When he was in the ninth class and in his eighteenth year, his younger brother Shivdayal contracted smallpox. Deendayalji tried his best to save Shivdayal’s life by providing him all manner of treatment available at that time, but Shivdayal also died on Nov. 18, 1934. Deendayalji was thus left all alone in this world. He later went to high school in Sikar. Maharaja of Sikar gave Pandit ji a gold medal, Rs. 250 for books and a monthly scholarship of Rs.10. Pandit ji passed his Intermediate exams with distinction in Pilani and left to Kanpur to pursue his B.A. and joined the Sanatan Dharma College. At the instance of his friend Shri. Balwant Mahashabde, he joined the RSS in 1937. In 1937 he received his B.A. in the first division. Pandit ji moved to Agra to pursue M.A.  Here he joined forces with Shri Nanaji Deshmukh and Shri Bhau Jugade for RSS activities. Around this time Rama Devi, a cousin of Deendayalji fell ill and she moved to Agra for treatment. She passed away. Deendayalji was very depressed and could not take the M.A. exams. His scholarships, received earlier from Maharajaj of Sikar and Shri. Birla were discontinued.  At the instance of his aunt he took a Government conducted competitive examination in dhoti and kurta with a cap on his head, while other candidates wore western suits. The candidates in fun called him “Panditji” – an appellation millions were to use with respect and love in later years. Again at this exam he topped the list of selectees. Armed with his Uncle’s permission he moved to Prayag to pursue B.T. and at Prayag he continued his RSS activites. After completion of his B.T., he worked full-time for the RSS and moved to Lakhimpur District in UP as an organizer and in 1955 became the Provincial Organizer of the RSS in UP.  He established the publishing house ‘Rashtra Dharma Prakashan’ in Lucknow and launched the monthly magazine ‘Rashtra Dharma’ to propound the principles he held sacred. Later he launched the weekly ‘Panchjanya’ and still later the daily ‘Swadesh’. In 1950, Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee, then Minister at the Center, opposed the Nehru-Liaquat pact and resigned his Cabinet post and joined the opposition to build a common front of democratic forces. Dr.Mookerjee sought Shri. Guruji’s help in organizing dedicated young men to pursue the work at the political level.
Pandit Deendayalji convened on September 21, 1951 a political convention of UP and founded the state unit of the new party, Bharatiya Jana Sangh. Pandit Deendayalji was the moving spirit and Dr. Mookerjee presided over the first all-India convention held on October 21, 1951.
Pandit Deendayalji’s organizing skills were unmatched. Finally came the red letter day in the annals of the Jana Sangh when this utterly unassuming leader of the party was raised to the high position of President in the year 1968. On assuming this tremendous responsibility Deendayalji went to the South with the message of Jana Sangh. The following rousing call he gave to the thousands of delegates in the Calicut session, still rings in their ears:’
We are pledged to the service not of any particular community or section but of the entire nation. Every countryman is blood of our blood and flesh of our flesh. We shall not rest till we are able to give to every one of them a sense of pride that they are able to give to every one of them a sense of pride that they are children of Bharatmata. We shall make Mother India Sujala, Suphala (overflowing with water and laden with fruits) in the real sense of these words. As Dashapraharana Dharini Durga (Goddess Durga with her 10 weapons) she would be able to vanquish evil; as Lakshmi she would be able to disburse prosperity all over and as Saraswati she would dispel the gloom of ignorance and spread the radiance of knowledge all around her. With faith in ultimate victory, let us dedicate ourselves to this task.’
On the dark night of February 11, 1968, Deendayalji was fiendishly pushed into the jaws of sudden death and was found dead on at Mugal Sarai Railway yard. 

Deendayal Upadhyaya was General Secretary of the Bhartiya Jan Sangh from its first Kanpur session in Dec. 1951 to its 14th Cabinet session in Dec. 1967. The Jan Sangh sessions, movements, plenary thinking and resolutions, all bore an imprint of his personality. His spells of stay in all parts of the country made him easily accessible to the party cadres. The General Secretary’s report at every session was not a mere formal presentation of data, but was an enthusiastic and spirited call for further momentum to the party. The General Secretary’s reports are a frank assessment of the journey 
and progress of the party. They are not merely documents listing its achievements but also a diary of national events. His reports on the 1952, 1957 and 1967 general elections in the country are high-order researches, befitting the research carried out at a university. In these documents he has assessed the political situation, the manifestoes of various political parties, his comments on the various incidents, complete graphs, tables and diagrams in a well-ordered fashion. These documents can prove to be of immense help for any historian. These documents are also guiding lights for political workers.
The years 1952 to 1957 were not only the nascent period of this new political party, but were also the years of survival for Bharatiya Jan Sangh; these were the years when unlimited energies were required to shape its policies and programmes. The untimely demise of Dr Mukherjee, the issue of Bharatiya Jan Sangh’s merger with Hindu Mahasabha and Ram Rajya Parishad, the lack of a leader of national stature in the party, leadership of highly inexperienced youth at the national and state levels, etc., were subjects that made people apprehensive of Jan Sangh’s existence.
“There was a general belief in political circles that the Bharatiya Jan Sangh will not continue after the death of its founder, Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee. We have spent the last five years fighting this apprehension. The results of the second general elections have proved that the Bharatiya Jan Sangh has not only survived, but is progressing as well. We could not have been true to our leader if this had not happened.”
During these initial five years, despite being busy with the first general elections and organizing a mass movement in Kashmir, Upadhyaya and his associates were able to provide a framework of the Bharatiya Jan Sangh. By 1957, the Jan Sangh had 243 regional and 889 local committees, and its membership rose to 74,863. The first general elections in 1952 were not particularly encouraging. Only Dr. Mukherjee and two of his friends were elected to Lok Sabha. The organisation was not very helpful in this, but the Jan Sangh, on the basis of its scoring 3.06% of the votes; was recognised as a national political party. In his address at the January 1954 session in Mumbai encouraging the party workers to have faith in the party and be enthusiastic. Upadhyaya said: ”Adult franchise is a big step towards educating the electorate politically. We will have to educate the public appropriately for the success of democracy. Our attitude has been vitiated as a result of over a thousand years of slavery… Narrow-mindedness and blind tradition have harmed our progress. Discrimination on the basis of caste and untouchability have shaken the foundations of our society. English education has given us wrong values of life. There is lack of discipline and self-restraint. We no longer believe in the dignity of labour. We must establish the right values for educating our countrymen. We must make them aware of the oneness of this country, spread from Kashmir to Kanyakumari…Awareness is the guarantee of a nation’s bright future….There is lack of wealth everywhere but this cannot be met from outside. We must assimilate all our resources, save and spend less. We must concentrate on our ultimate objective and move ahead with self-confidence and dedications.”
Instead of showing his co-workers and volunteers a short cut to win elections, Upadhyaya inspired them to move on to the long path of basic principles. Instead of asking them to work enthusiastically for short-term gain, he asked them to work with devotion and dedication.
The concept of a cultural nation that the Jan Sangh had propounded resulted in the setting up of a number of cultural centres in the first year of its inception. Chiefs of local municipal bodies were elected. Upadhyaya’s initial area of work was Uttar Pradesh. He particularly inspired and enthused the workers there. In his address, he said: “By God’s grace, the Jan Sangh representatives have been elected in Ayodhya, Mathura, Vrindavan, Gokul, Haridwar, Rishikesh and other pilgrim centres. Without tomtomming the slogan of non-violence, the Jan Sangh chief succeeded in banning not only cow slaughter but slaughter of all animals at Mathura. “Although the state government has announced putting roadblocks in our path, the people at large have given the Jan Sangh’s elected representatives an opportunity to serve them. They will firmly move on this path of service to the people, failing which they will quit and join the people in their tight for civic rights.”
Many local units were successful in Uttar Pradesh. In particular, out of the 970 contestants, 581 were successful there. The Jan Sangh workers had just entered politics, they also had to work as an opposition. The opposition has its own duty to perform, the chief being to tight for peoples’ rights with the government. Communists exercised influence over the opposition at that time. Upadhyaya did not like their attitude, nor did he favour their methodology. 
Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya was active in India’s political life from 1937 to 1968. He came into contact with the RSS in 1937 and discharged his responsibilities as a volunteer for five years. In 1942, he became a life volunteer and till 1951, he was active in Uttar Pradesh as a committed RSS worker. He exhibited his potential for organizational and literary capabilities during these nine years.
For 16 years (1951 to 1967), he was General Secretary of the Bharatiya Jan Sangh. He emerged as an allround national leader but when this seasoned leader emerged as President of his party, destiny took him away from us in a mysterious and gory end. He was the Jan Sangh President for only 43 days from December 29, 1967 to February 10, 1968.
Around 3.45 a.m. on Feb. 11, 1968, the leverman at the Mughalsarai station informed the Assistant Station Master that about 150 yards from the station, towards the south of the railway line, a dead body was lying near the electric pole No.1276. The police was alerted and the Assistant Station Master sent a memo to the police on which was written: “Almost dead.” The doctor examined the body in the morning and declared it dead. When the dead body was brought to the station, a curious crowd gathered there. Till now, the dead body was unclaimed. Then one person in the crowd shouted, “This is the Bharatiya Jan Sangh President, Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya!” The news spread like wildfire and the nation was plunged in grief.
The budget session of Parliament starts in February. The Bharatiya Jan Sangh meeting was scheduled to be held in Delhi on February l 1, 1968 and its new President was to participate in it. Upadhyaya was in Lucknow on 10th February. In the morning, the organizational Secretary Ashwini Kumar telephoned Upadhyaya. He said that since the budget session was likely to be prolonged, he should be present at the Jan Sangh Working Committee meeting at Patna on the 11th. After talking it over with the newly-elected General Secretary Sundersingh Bhandari, Upadhyaya fixed up his programme for going to Patna.
Upadhyaya travelled by third class when he was General Secretary of the Bharatiya Jan Sangh and he used to travel by passenger train instead of express train. It gave him an opportunity to read and write, as also the chance to meet the Jan Sangh workers at small stations. It was decided that, as Jan Sangh President, he should now travel first class. A first class ticket was accordingly purchased for Pathankot-Sealdah Express for him. The train left Lucknow at 7.00 a.m. His books and bedding were placed in the compartment. The then U.P. Deputy Chief Minister, Ramprakash Gupta, and former Jan Sangh President, Peetambar Das came to see him off. He folded his hands in farewell to everyone at the station. At midnight Jaunpur Ruler’s personal secretary Kanhaiya Lalji Pandit came to see him at Jaunpur station. He handed over a letter from the Ruler to Upadhyaya. The train left Jaunpur at 12.1 2 a.m. and reached Mughalsarai. Sealdah-Pathankot Express did not travel straight to Patna. It reached Platform No. l at 2. 1 5 a.m. and the bogey in which Deendayal Upadhyaya was travelling was disengaged from the train and was joined to the Delhi-Howrah Express after shunting. It left Mughalsarai around 2.50 a.m. It reached Patna in the morning, but Upadhyaya was not there.
Meanwhile, the dead body had been identified at the Mughalsarai station. Golwalkar and other prominent people had been informed. The parliamentary committee was in session at Delhi. It was adjourned and all the leaders reached Varanasi and his body was brought to Delhi. Upadhyaya used to stay at parliamentarian Atal Behari vajpayee’s residence at 30, Rajendra Prasad Marg. His lifeless body was brought there. People from all over India reached Delhi. Guruji Golwalkar was already in Varanasi because of his intimate relations with Upadhyaya. Guruji was not only the Sarsanghachalak of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh but a great soul. Deendayal was his follower but the two had a two-bodies-one-soul association. Generally unperturbed, when Guruji approached Upadhyaya’s dead body, his eyes filled with tears and he could only say in a choked voice, “Oh what has happened to him!”
Deendayal’s body was carried to the plane and Guruji climbed up the stairs. He placed both his hands on Upadhyaya’s face and brought them up to his eyes. He repeated this thrice and said in grief, “Many people run families, they can imagine the loss. Since I do not run a family, my sorrow in hundred fold. I won’t say anything about our personal relations. A11 that I can say is that God has taken away Deendayal from us. I read an old saying in English which said, “Those whom the gods love, die young.”
Delhi was plunged in grief. All offices and shops were closed and people thronged towards Rajendra Prasad Marg. The police and the volunteers found it difficult to control the surging crowds carrying wreaths, and flowers. Everyone was stunned. Who was the murderer that had so cruelly taken the life of sagelike Upadhyaya, who did not have a single enemy in the world? There was no answer; everyone was grieving.
On the morning of February 12, India’s President, Dr. Zakir Hussain, came to offer his homage. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Morarji Desai laid wreaths on the dead body. Leaders, social workers, cultural figures. etc., all lined up to pay their tributes. Delhi was there in large numbers to express its sorrow.
Around l p.m., Upadhyaya’s mortal remains were placed on a carriage to prepare for the final journey. Four mounted policemen were marching in front. They were followed by senior Jan Sangh leaders on foot. On both sides were lined up thousands of people showering flowers on the carriage. The rear was brought up by women chanting mantras. The carriage winded its way through the streets of Delhi and reached the Nigambodh Ghat around 6 p.m. The last tributes were paid around 6.45 p.m. and it was around 7.06 p.m. that Deendayal’s maternal cousin Prabhudayal Shukla lit the holy pyre and Deendayal’s body became one with the elements.
His death was as shocking as it was mysterious. The mystery remains unsolved to this day. Who knows whether it would be solved ever? Everyone was stunned by his untimely demise. Words cannot describe the shock experienced by his admirers and followers. It would be better to quote verbatim from what Guruji Golwalkar, who was his guide and mentor, and Atal Behari Vajpayee, who was his successor, said. Guruji said:
“The heart is filled with sorrow. One wonders how all this could have occurred; this is a matter of investigation. Whatever the truth, the Sangh has lost a dedicated worker. He was at the zenith of his career and held potential for doing much more in later life. But now all possibilities are lost. I met him a couple of days ago. I asked him, ‘What is your next programme? Where do we meet next? He said he was leaving for Patna and he would see me after a few days in Kanpur. But the accident occurred even before he could reach Patna. “Those who realise and recognise their duties and responsibilities as a swayamsevak right from their student days and spend all their time and energies in organization work are a rare breed. Upadhyaya occupied a prominent place among such great souls. The RSS expects a Swayamsevak to inculcate all qualities, conserve them and work for the organizations, keep participating in the various RSS programmes in order of importance, carry out any other duties assigned to him in whichever field it be, Deendayal Upadhyaya was assigned to work in the political field. Some may have doubted his capabilities, but it can rightly be said that whatever position the Bharatiya Jan Sangh achieved was due to his dedicated efforts. There have been many vocal leaders in the Jan Sangh, many others worked very hard, but Upadhyaya was the one who laid the foundation stone of the party and worked for its attaining the dignity it achieved.
“He reached the topmost post. Although I did not want him to become President and he was also not willing. I had to convince him to accept the assignment during a critical period for a short while, maybe a year. That made him accept Presidentship of the party, otherwise he was averse to it. He did not seek any position, nor did I want him to accept it. But he was forced by me following the convention that a Swayamsevak has to follow the dictates of the party.
“His Presidentship had a good effect on the public mind. Even his opponents feel that ultimately it was this party that was to hold the reins of power in the country. The first Jan Sangh President, Dr. Shyamaprasad Mukherjee, was the victim of a political murder. The party was fortunate to get Dr. Raghuvira as President after him. He was a very capable person. He could have made it possible for the Jan Sangh’s voice to be heard abroad and it could become effective there. But he also left us. After him, we got a complete personage (Deendayalji) as the party President. He, too has left us.
“I had gone to Kashi to look at his dead body. I came here after putting his body in the flame. But I did not shed tears. I do not know what people would have thought about me. I am reminded of one of our ancient proverbs which says that a person is neither affected by joy nor sorrow. Maybe, by Gods’ grace, I have become temperamentally like this.” I have internalised all my sorrow. We should not think that another like him, who would be able to carry on his work with dedication, would not appear on the scene. It is a gigantic task. it is the task of an organisation. Many of our workers have the capability to take it up. No place remains vacant for long and I am hopeful that we will soon get a capable leader to take his place. I won’t say anything more. Whatever I say will not suffice, we will have to bear this loss.
“I had to exercise a lot of self-discipline to speak thus far. It has resulted in physical fatigue and exhaustion I have witnessed the gory scene and I thought I would describe it to you.
Atal Behari Vajyapee’s sentiments were expressed through the article, “We accept the challenge’, thus:
Come, let us consider every drop of Panditji’s blood as the holy mark on our foreheads and move towards the ideals he lived and worked for. We should take every spark from his funeral pyre to our hearts and work to our utmost like him. We should turn the bones of this Dadhichi into stones and hurl them on the enemies so that our sacred soil is free of all roadblocks.