Deendayal Upadhyaya (Hindi: पण्डित दीनदयाल उपाध्याय) (September 25, 1916 - February 11, 1968)

Bangalore Feb-11, 2013: Nation remembers a great social thinker, philosopher, Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya on his 45th year of Martyrdom.  He was a revered icon of Integral Humanism, he was an ideologue and a guiding force for an alternative model of governance and politics. His life and message, are given  below.

Deendayal Upadhyaya (Hindi: पण्डित दीनदयाल उपाध्याय) (September 25, 1916 - February 11, 1968)
Deendayal Upadhyaya (Hindi: पण्डित दीनदयाल उपाध्याय) (September 25, 1916 – February 11, 1968)

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.

He was born in the village of nagla chandrabhan in mathura district of Uttar pradesh. His father Bhagwati Prasad was a well known astrologer and his mother Shrimati Rampyari, who was a religious-minded lady. He lost his father when he was less than three years old and his mother before he was eight. He was then brought up by his maternal uncle. His parents belonged to the village Nagla Chandrabhan, Near Farah, Mathura district in Uttar Pradesh. Although, He lost his parents during his early childhood, he continued his studies as a shining student. 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 Rs.10 and Rs.250 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 became 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, Agrafor pursuing his master’s degree in English Literature. In the first year, he obtained first division marks, but he could not appear in the final year exam on account of his cousin’s illness.His maternal uncle persuaded him to sit for the Provincial Services Exam, which he passed and he was selected after interview. But he was not interested in administrative service. But he didn’t join Provincial services as he was fascinated by the idea of working with the common people. Deendayalji, therefore, left for Prayag to do his 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.

While he was a student at Sanatan Dharma College, Kanpur in 1937, came into contact with Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) through his classmate Baluji Mahashabde. He met the RSS founder, Dr. Hedgewar there. 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.when he passed his B.T. from Prayag. But he did not 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, but he stood 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 were 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.

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 we 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 our independence has been raised upon these superficial Western foundations and not rooted in the timeless traditions of our 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.

Panditji’s Quotes:

  • “It is essential that we think about ‘Our National Identity’ without which there is no meaning of ‘Independance”.
  • “The basic cause of the problems facing Bharat is the neglect of Its ‘National Identity”.
  • “Opportunism has shaken the confidence of People in Poltics”.
  • “Opportunists with no principles rein in politics of our country”
  • “We had taken pride in resisting Things-British while They (Britishers) ruled us, but strangely enough, now that the Britishers have left, Westernisation has become synonymous with Progress.”
  • “Western Science and the Western Ways of life are two different things. Whereas Western Science is Universal and must be absorbed by us if we wish to go forward, the same is not true about the Western Ways of life and values.”
  • “In the past 1000 years whatever we assimilated-whether it was forced on us or we took with willingness-cannot be discarded now.”
  • “The principles of Marx have changed both with the changing times as well as with varying conditions to the extent that parrot-like repetition of Marxism for solving problems facing our country would amount to a reactionary attitude rather than a scientific & pragmatic one.”
  • “Human Knowledge is common property.”
  • “Independance can be meaningful only if it becomes instrument for expression of our Culture.”
  • “Both from the national as well as human stand point, it has become essential that we think of the principles of Bhartiya Culture.”
  • “The fundamental characteristic of Bhartiya Culture is that it looks upon life as an integrated whole.”
  • “There is diversity and plurality in life but we have always attempted to discover the unity behind them.”
  • “Hegel put forward the principles of thesis, anti-thesis and synthesis; Karl Marx used this principle as a basis and presented his analysis of history and economics; Darwin considered the principle of survival of the fittest as the sole basis of life; but we in this country saw the basic unity of all life.”
  • “The Unit of Seed finds expression in various forms-The Roots, The Trunk, The Branches, The Leaves, The Flowers and The Fruit. All these have different forms, colours and properties. Still we recognise their relation of unity with each other through seed.”
  • “Unity in diversity and the expression of unity in various forms has remained the thought of Bhartiya Culture.”
  • “Conflict is not a sign of culture of Nature rather it is a symptom of their degradation.”
  • “Human nature has both tendencies–Anger & Greed on the one hand and Love & Sacrifice on the other.”
  • “The principles of Ethics are not framed by any one, these are rather discovered.”
  • “In Bharat the Principles of Ethics are termed as Dharma–The Laws of Life.”
  • “When nature is channeled according to the principles of Dharma, we have culture & civilisation.”
  • “The English word Religion is not the correct word for Dharma.”
  • “Here in Bharat, we have placed before ourselves the ideal of the four fold responsibilities of catering to the needs of Body, Mind, Intellect and Soul with a view to achieve the integrated progress of Man.”
  • “The longings for Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha (the four kind of human effort) are inborn in man and satisfaction of these in an integrated way is the essence of Bhartiya Culture.”
  • “When State acquires all powers, both political and economic; the result is a decline of Dharma.”
  • “A Nation is a group of persons who live with ‘A Goal’, ‘An Ideal’, ‘A Mission’ and look upon a particular piece of land as the Motherland. If either of the two–The Ideal and The Motherland–is missing, then there is no nation.”
  • “Religion means a creed or a sect and it does not mean Dharma.”
  • “Dharma is very wide concept which concerns all aspects of life sustaining the society.”
  • “The fundamental principles of Dharma are eternal and universal. However, their implementation may differ according to time, place and circumstances.”
  • “The nearest equivalent English term for Dharma can be ‘Innate Law’, though even that does not express the full meaning of Dharma. Since Dharma is supreme, our Ideal of the State has been ‘Dharma Rajya’.”
  • “Strength lies not in unrestrained behaviour but in well regulated action.”
  • “The Muslims are the flesh of our flesh and blood of our blood”

Deendayal Upadhyaya was fond dead in the early hours of February 11, 1968, while traveling in a train.

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