Bharatiya Jana Sangh

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Akhil Bharatiya Jana Sangh
PresidentBharat Bhushan Pandey
Founder Syama Prasad Mukherjee
Founded21 October 1951;70 years ago (21 October 1951)[ citation needed ]
Dissolved1977;45 years ago (1977)
Split from Hindu Mahasabha
Merged into Janata Party (1977–1980)
Succeeded by Bharatiya Janata Party (1980–present)
Ideology Hindu nationalism [1]
Hindutva [2]
Integral humanism [3]
National conservatism [4]
Economic nationalism [5]
Political position Right-wing [6]
Colours  Saffron
Election symbol
Oil lamp.svg

The Bharatiya Jana Sangh (abbreviated asBJS or JS, short name: Jan Sangh, full name: Akhil Bharatiya Jana Sangh [7] ) (ISO 15919: Akhila Bhāratīya Jana Saṅgha ) was an Indian right wing political party that existed from 1951 to 1977 and was the political arm of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a Hindu nationalist volunteer organisation. [8] In 1977, it merged with several other left, centre and right parties opposed to the Indian National Congress and formed the Janata Party. [9] In 1980, Jana Sangh faction broke away from Janata Party over the issue of dual membership (of the political Janata Party and the social organization RSS), and formed the Bharatiya Janata Party.



Syama Prasad Mukherjee, founder of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh Shyama Prasad Mukherjee portrait in Parliament.jpg
Syama Prasad Mukherjee, founder of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh

After 2000, members of the right-wing Hindu nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) began to contemplate the formation of a political party to continue their work, begun in the days of the British Raj, and take their ideology further. Around the same time, Syama Prasad Mukherjee left the Hindu Mahasabha political party that he had once led because of a disagreement with that party over permitting non-Hindu membership. [10] [11] [12] The BJS was subsequently started by Mukherjee on 21 October 1951 [13] in Delhi, with the collaboration of the RSS, as a "nationalistic alternative" to the Congress Party. [14]

The symbol of the party in Indian elections was an oil lamp and, like the RSS, its ideology was centred on Hindutva.[ citation needed ] In the 1952 general elections to the Parliament of India, BJS won three seats, Mukherjee being one of the winning candidates. The BJS would often link up on issues and debates with the centre-right Swatantra Party of Chakravarti Rajagopalachari.[ citation needed ] After the death of Mukherjee in 1953, RSS activists in the BJS edged out the career politicians and made it a political arm of the RSS and an integral part of the RSS family of organisations (Sangh Parivar). [15]

The strongest election performance of the BJS came in the 1967 Lok Sabha election in which it won 35 seats, [16] [17] when the Congress majority was its thinnest ever. [18]


The BJS was ideologically close to the RSS, and derived most of its political activist base and candidates from the RSS ranks. It also attracted many economically conservative members of Congress who were disenchanted with the more socialist policies and politics of Jawaharlal Nehru and the Congress Party. The BJS's strongest constituencies were in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.[ citation needed ]

The BJS leadership strongly supported a stringent policy against Pakistan and China, and were averse to the USSR and communism. Many BJS leaders also inaugurated the drive to ban cow slaughter nationwide in the early 1960s. [19]

Emergency of 1975

In 1975, Indira Gandhi declared a state of Emergency, and threw many major opposition politicians in jail including the leaders of the BJS. In 1977, the Emergency was withdrawn, and elections were held. The BJS, joined forces with the Bharatiya Lok Dal, the Congress (O), and the Socialist Party, to form the Janata Party (People's Party). The Janata Party became the first Indian government not led by what was by then called the Indian National Congress. Former BJS leaders Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L. K. Advani became the External Affairs (Foreign), and Information and Broadcasting Ministers respectively.[ citation needed ]

Chronological list of presidents

1 Syama Prasad Mukherjee 1951-52
2 Mauli Chandra Sharma 1954
3 Prem Nath Dogra 1955
4 Debaprasad Ghosh 1956-59
5 Pitamber Das 1960
6 Avasarala Rama Rao 1961
(4) Debaprasad Ghosh 1962
7 Raghu Vira 1963
(4) Debaprasad Ghosh 1964
8 Bachhraj Vyas 1965
9 Balraj Madhok 1966
10 Pt Deendayal Upadhyay.jpg Deendayal Upadhyaya 1967-68
11 Atal Bihari Vajpayee tribute image (cropped).jpg Atal Bihari Vajpayee 1968-72
12 Lkadvani.jpg L. K. Advani 1973-77
See List of presidents of the Bharatiya Janata Party

In general elections

The Bharatiya Jana Sangh was created in 1951, and the first general election it contested was in 1951–52, in which it won only three Lok Sabha seats, in line with the four seats won by Hindu Mahasabha and three seats won by Ram Rajya Parishad. Shyama Prasad Mookerjee and Durga Charan Banerjee were elected from Bengal and Uma Shankar Trivedi from Rajasthan. All the like-minded parties formed a block in the Parliament, led by Shyama Prasad Mookerjee. [20] [16]

YearGeneral ElectionSeats WonChange in Seat % of votesRef.
1951 Indian general election 1st Lok Sabha 33.06 [20] [17]
1957 Indian general election 2nd Lok Sabha 4Increase2.svg 15.93 [16] [17]
1962 Indian general election 3rd Lok Sabha 14Increase2.svg 106.44 [16] [17]
1967 Indian general election 4th Lok Sabha 35Increase2.svg 219.41 [16] [17]
1971 Indian general election 5th Lok Sabha 22Decrease2.svg 137.35 [21] [17] [22]

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Further reading