Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya was the leader of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh from 1953 to 1968. A profound philosopher, committed organization man and a leader who who maintained the highest standards of personal integrity and dignity in public life, he has remained a source of ideological guidance and moral inspiration for the BJP since its inception. His treatise Integral Humanism is a critique of both communism and capitalism. It provides a holistic alternative perspective for political action and statecraft consistent with the needs of the human race and the sustainability of our natural habitat.
Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya was born on September 25, 1916, in the sacred region of Brij – in the village of Nagla Chandraban in Mathura, in what is now Uttar Pradesh. 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. Deendayalji experienced tragedy in his early years, losing his brother to illness in 1934. He later went to high school in Sikar (now in Rajasthan) where he excelled. The then Maharaja of Sikar awarded Pandit Upadhyaya a gold medal, Rs. 250 for books and a monthly scholarship of Rs.10.
Deendayalji passed his Intermediate exams with distinction in Pilani and left for 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 the same year, he received his B.A. in the first division. Deendayalji then moved to Agra to pursue an 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’s, fell ill. She moved to Agra for treatment but unfortunately passed away. This left Deendayalji very depressed and was the second such tragedy he has experienced. He could not take the M.A. exams. His scholarships lapsed.
At the urging of his aunt he took a Government conducted competitive examination in dhoti and kurta, with a cap on his head. Other candidates wore western suits. In fun, they called him "Panditji" - an appellation millions were to use with respect and love in later years. As was his trademark, he topped this examination as well. He now moved to Prayag (Allahabad) to purse a B.T. and continue 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 organiser. In 1955, he became the provincial organiser of the RSS in UP.
Deendayalji established the publishing house Rashtra Dharma Prakashan in Lucknow and launched the monthly magazine 'Rashtra Dharma'. Later he launched the weekly 'Panchjanya' and still later the daily 'Swadesh'. In 1950, Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee resigned from Jawaharlal Nehru’s Cabinet and sought Shri. Guruji's help to enable idealistic young people to help shape an alternative political platform.
Deendayalji played a pivotal role here. On September 21, 1951, he was instrumental in hosting a political convention in UP and founding the state unit of the new party, the Bharatiya Jana Sangh. Dr. Mookerjee presided over the first all-India convention a month later, on October 21, 1951.
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 1968. On assuming tremendous responsibility Deendayalji went to the South with the message of Jana Sangh. On the dark night of February 11, 1968, Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya was pushed into the jaws of sudden death, however. To this day, his followers and disciples lament that tragedy in Mughalsarai railway station.
The BJP is the successor party of the BJS, which merged itself into the Janata Party in 1977. The BJP was formed as a separate party in 1980 after internal differences in the Janata Party resulted in the collapse of the Janata government in 1979.
On hearing of her son’s untimely death, Dr. Mookerjee's mother Jogmaya Debi exclaimed: "Proudly do I feel that the loss of my son is a loss to Mother India!"
This brave son of India was born on July 6, 1901, to an illustrious family. His father Sir Asutosh was widely known in Bengal as an educationist and public intellectual. Graduating from Calcutta University, Dr. Mookerjee became a fellow of the Senate in 1923. He enrolled as an advocate in Calcutta High Court in 1924 after his father's death. Subsequently he left for England in 1926, being called to the bar from Lincoln's Inn in 1927. At the age of 33, he became the world's youngest Vice-Chancellor at the Calcutta University and held the office till 1938. During his tenure, he introduced a number of constructive reforms and was active in the Asiatic Society as well as was a member of the Court and the Council of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and Chairman of the Inter-University of Board.
He was elected as member of the Legislative Council of Bengal as a Congress candidate, representing Calcutta University, but resigned when the Congress decided to boycott the legislature. Subsequently, he contested the election as an independent and got elected.
Pandit Nehru inducted him in the Interim Government as Minister for Industry and Supply. Following the Delhi Pact between Nehru and Liaquat Ali Khan, Prime Minister of Pakistan, Dr. Mookerjee resigned from the Cabinet on April 6, 1950. After consultation with Shri Golwalkar Guruji of the RSS, Dr. Mookerjee founded the Bharatiya Jana Sangh on October 21, 1951, in Delhi became its first President. In the 1951-52 election, the Bharatiya Jana Sangh won 3 seats in Parliament, one of them being that of Dr. Mookerjee. He then formed the National Democratic Party within the Parliament, as a coalition of 32 Lok Sabha MPs and 10 Rajya Sabha MPs.
Dr. Mookerjee was vociferous in the cause of the integration of Jammu and Kashmir with the rest of India. He termed the arrangement under Article 370 as Balkanisation of India. The Bharatiya Jana Sangh, along with the Hindu Mahasabha and the Ram Rajya Parishad, launched a satyagraha to have pernicious provisions related to Article 370 removed. Mookerjee went to visit Kashmir in 1953 and was arrested on May 11, 1953, while crossing into the state and breaching the infamous Permit System. He died while under arrest and held in difficult conditions, passing away on June 23, 1953.
A veteran politician, he was respected by his friends and foes alike for his knowledge and forthrightness. He outshone most Ministers in the cabinet with his erudition and learning. India lost a great son much too early.
-Pandit DeenDayal Upadhyaya
Sarve bhavantu sukhinah Sarve santu niramayah Sarve bhadrani pasyantu Ma kaschit dukha bhag bhavet! Om Shanti! Shanti! Shanti! May all live happily. May all enjoy good health. May all see auspiciousness. May none experience distress. May peace prevail everywhere!
This timeless motto of universal happiness and peace is the heritage of this ancient Indian civilization, which assumed the character of Bharatvarsha in Bharat Khand. Here, a nation, which Megasthanes noted “never invaded others and was never invaded,” existed long before the ideas of civilization evolved elsewhere.
This ageless nation is the embodiment of the eternal values enshrined in the concept of “Sanatana Dharma” which, according to Maharishi Aurobindo, is synonymous with Indian nationalism. The idea of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” – world as a family – is integral to the concept of Sanatana Dharma. This gigantic idea is an exclusively Indian contribution to world peace. This ancient nation evolved a world-view based on the motto “Loka samasta sukhina bhavantu” (Let the entire world be happy) thousands of years before any League of Nations or United Nations was thought of to avoid global strife. The Indian nation evolved this grand vision not by marching its armies and conquering the rest and offering peace; but by the inner-directed pursuit of universal values by the Rishis living in the forests and mountains of India.
The well-being of all, in short, is the Indian mission. It is not limited to the residents of Bharat or the adherents of any particular faith or creed. That is why Bharat received with open arms all faiths and people fleeing persecution-whether it was the Jews, Parsis, Muslims or Christians-and preserved and protected them long before any other civilization could think short of exterminating those who differed from the ruling faiths and people. Israeli society has openly acknowledged that out of over a hundred nations in which Jews sought refuge, only in Bharat they were received and treated well. It is because religion in ancient India meant faith in general and not any particular faith. It is this ancient Indian mind that formulated the Constitution of India, guaranteeing equal treatment to all faiths and their adherents and it is not the Constitution that shaped the Indian mind.
Diversity is an inseparable part of India’s past and present national tradition. The BJP not only respects but celebrates India’s regional, caste, credal, linguistic and ethnic diversity, which finds its true existence and expression only in our national unity. This rich tradition comprises not only the Vedas and Upanishads, Jainagamas and Tripitaka, Puranas and Guru Granth Sahib, the Dohas of Kabir, the various social reform movements, saints and seers, warriors and writers, sculptors and artists, but also the Indian traditions of the Muslims, Christians and Parsis.
The Bharatiya Janata Party is a proud inheritor of this tradition while all other political parties have branded everything associated with this great tradition as sectarian, unworthy of being followed. The post-Independence tendency to reject all ancient Indian wisdom in political life led to all pre-Independence values and symbols-be it the idea of spiritual nationalism expounded by Swami Vivekananda, or the concept of Ram Rajya articulated by Mahatma Gandhi, or the soul-stirring “Vande Mataram” song composed by Bankim Chandra-being discarded as unsecular and unacceptable. The BJP rejects this attitude and idea of disconnecting from the past. The past is inseverable from the present and the future. That is why Swami Vivekananda said, “It is out of the past that the future is moulded. It is the past that becomes the future”.
Hindutva or Cultural Nationalism presents the BJP’s conception of Indian nationhood, as explained in the following set of articles. It must be noted that Hindutva is a nationalist, and not a religious or theocratic, concept.