Deendayal Upadhyaya

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Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya
Deendayal Upadhyay
President of Bharatiya Jana Sangh
Personal details
Born (1916-09-25)25 September 1916
Nagla Chandrabhan (Mathura) in Uttar Pradesh, India
Died 11 February 1968(1968-02-11) (aged 51)
Mughalsarai, Uttar Pradesh, India
Political party Bharatiya Jana Sangh
Religion Hinduism

Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya (September 25, 1916 - February 11, 1968) was an Indian philosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, journalist, and political activist. He was one of the most important leaders of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, the forerunner of the present day Bharatiya Janata Party. A revered icon of Integral Humanism, he was an ideologue and a guiding force for an alternative model of governance and politics.[citation needed]

Early Life and Education[edit]

He was born in the village Chandrabhan now is deendayal dham, Farah of Mathura District, India. Place is 26 km from the district headquarters. His father, Bhagwati Prasad, was a well known astrologer and his mother Shrimati Rampyari was a religious-minded lady. His father died when he was less than three years old, and his mother before he was eight. He was then brought up by his maternal uncle. Having lost both parents in early childhood whose nurturing love and care was felt throughout his life, he excelled academically under the guardianship of his maternal uncle and aunt. He later went to high school in Sikar. It was from Sikar that he matriculated. He stood first in the board exam and the then ruler, Maharaja Kalyan Singh of Sikar, presented him with a gold medal, a monthly scholarship of 10 rupees and an additional 250 rupees towards his books, as recognition of his merit. Intermediate Board Exam in 1937 from GD Birla at Pilani. He completed his intermediate at the Birla College in Pilani which later would become the prestigious Birla Institute of Technology and Science. He graduated in first division from Sanatan Dharma College, Kanpur in 1939 and joined St. John's College, Agra to pursue a master's degree in English literature. In the first year, he obtained first division marks, but was unable to appear for the final year exam on account of a cousin's illness. His maternal uncle persuaded him to sit for the Provincial Services Exam, which he passed and he was selected after an interview. He chose not to join the Provincial services, as he was fascinated with the idea of working with the common man. Upadhyay, therefore, left for Prayag to pursue a B.T. His love for studies increased manifold after he entered public service. His special areas of interest were sociology and philosophy, seeds of which were sown during his student days.

RSS and Jana Sangh[edit]

While he was a student at Sanatan College, Kanpur in 1937, he came into contact with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) through his classmate Baluji Mahashabde. It was there that he would meet the founder of the RSS, Dr. Hedgewar. Hedgewar used to stay with Babasaheb Apte and Dadarao Parmarth in the hostel. Dr. Hedgewar invited him for an intellectual discussion at one of the shakhas. Sunder Singh Bhandari was also one of his classmates at Kanpur. This gave a fillip to his public life. He dedicated himself to full-time work in the RSS from 1942. Though having earned his B.T. from Prayag, he decided not to enter a job. He had attended the 40-day summer vacation RSS camp at Nagpur where he underwent training in Sangh Education. Deendayal, however, could not withstand the physical rigour of the training, though standing out in its educational segment. After completing his education and second-year training in the RSS Education Wing, Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya became a lifelong pracharak of the RSS.

Deendayal Upadhyaya was a man of soaring idealism and had a tremendous capacity for organisation and reflected different aspects of a social thinker, economist, educationalist, politician, writer, journalist, speaker, organizer etc. He started a monthly Rashtra Dharma from Lucknow in 1940s. The publication was meant for spreading the ideology of nationalism. Though he did not have his name printed as editor in any of the issues of this publication but there was hardly any issue which did not have his long lasting impression due to his thought provoking writings.Later he started a weekly Panchjanya and a daily Swadesh.

In 1951, when Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee founded the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, Deendayal became the first general secretary of its Uttar Pradesh branch. Next, he was chosen as all-India general secretary. The acumen and meticulousness shown by Deendayal deeply impressed Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee and elicited his famous remark:

If I had two Deendayals, I could transform the political face of India.

After Dr. Mookerjee's death in 1953, the entire burden of nurturing the orphaned organisation and building it up as a nation-wide movement fell on the young shoulders of Deendayal. For 15 years, he remained the outfit's general secretary and built it up, brick by brick. He raised a band of dedicated workers imbued with idealism and provided the entire ideological framework of the outfit. He also contested for lok sabha from Uttar Pradesh, but failed.

Philosophy and Social Thought[edit]

Upadhyaya conceived the political philosophy Integral Humanism - the guiding philosophy of the Bharatiya Janata Party. The philosophy of Integral Humanism advocate the simultaneous and integrated program of the body, mind and intellect and soul of each human being. His philosophy of Integral Humanism, which is a synthesis of the material and the spiritual, the individual and the collective, bears eloquent testimony to this. In the field of politics and economics, he was pragmatic and down to earth. He visualized for India a decentralized polity and self-reliant economy with the village as the base.

Deendayal Upadhyay was convinced that India as an independent nation cannot rely upon Western concepts like individualism, democracy, socialism, communism, capitalism etc. and he was of the view that the Indian polity after independence has been raised upon these superficial Western foundations and not rooted in the timeless traditions of India's ancient culture. He was of the view that the Indian intellect was getting suffocated by Western theories and ideologies and consequently there was a big roadblock on the growth and expansion of original Bharatiya thought. He said that there was an urgent public need for a fresh breeze.

He welcomed modern technology but wanted it to be adapted to suit Indian requirements. Deendayal believed in a constructive approach. He exhorted his followers to co-operate with the government when it was right and fearlessly oppose when it erred. He placed nation's interest above everything else. He died in unexpected circumstances and was found dead on 11 February 1968 at Mughal Sarai Railway yard. 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 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.

Pandit Upadhyaya edited Panchjanya (Weekly) and Swadesh (Daily) from Lucknow. In Hindi, he has written a drama Chandragupta Maurya, and later wrote a biography of Shankaracharya. He translated a Marathi biography of Dr. K.B. Hedgewar, the founder of RSS.


Several institutions are named after him:


He was assassinated on 11th Feb 1968 at Mughalsarai in UP, while traveling in a train.[4]