Deendayal Upadhyaya

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Deendayal Upadhyaya
Deendayal Upadhyaya 1978 stamp of India.jpg
Deendayal Upadhyaya on a 1978 stamp of India
President of Bharatiya Jana Sangh
In office
Preceded by Balraj Madhok
Succeeded by Atal Bihari Vajpayee
Personal details
Born(1916-09-25)25 September 1916
Nagla Chandraban, Mathura District, United Provinces, British Indian Empire
(present-day Deendayal Dham, Mathura district, Uttar Pradesh, India)
Died11 February 1968(1968-02-11) (aged 51)
Mughalsarai, Uttar Pradesh, India
Nationality Indian
Political party Bharatiya Jana Sangh
Alma mater Sanatan Dharma College, Kanpur

Deendayal Upadhyaya (25 September 1916 – 11 February 1968) was an Indian RSS thinker and former leader of the political party Bharatiya Jana Sangh, the forerunner of Bharatiya Janata Party. He became president of the Jana Sangh in December 1967. He contested the Lok Sabha election and lost. He was killed in a train theft incident and was found dead on 11 February 1968 on a railway track near Mughalsarai Junction railway station. [1]

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh Hindu nationalist organisation in India

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, abbreviated as RSS, is an Indian right-wing, Hindu nationalist, paramilitary volunteer organisation that is widely regarded as the parent organisation of the ruling party of India, the Bharatiya Janata Party. The RSS is the progenitor and leader of a large body of organisations called the Sangh Parivar, which pervade all facets of the Indian society. Founded on 27 September 1925, the RSS is the world's largest voluntary organisation.

Bharatiya Jana Sangh Former Indian political party

The Bharatiya Jana Sangh 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. In 1977, it merged with several other left, centre and right parties opposed to the Indian National Congress and formed the Janata Party. After the Janata Party split in 1980, the former Jan Sangh was recreated as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is currently India's largest political party by primary membership and representation in the Lok Sabha.

Bharatiya Janata Party Major right-wing political party in India

The Bharatiya Janata Party is one of the two major political parties in India, along with the Indian National Congress. As of 2018, it is the country's largest political party in terms of representation in the national parliament and state assemblies, and it is the world's largest party in terms of primary membership. BJP is a right-wing party, and its policy has historically reflected Hindu nationalist positions. It has close ideological and organisational links to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).


Early life and education

He was born in 1916 in the village of Nagla Chandraban, now called Deendayal Dham, near the town of Farah in Mathura District, 26  km away from Mathura. His father, Bhagwati Prasad Upadhyaya, was an astrologer and his mother Rampyari Upadhyaya was a homemaker and religious Hindu. Both his parents died when he was eight years old and he was brought up by his maternal uncle. [2] His education was under the guardianship of his maternal uncle and aunt. He went to high school in Sikar. He did his Intermediate in Pilani, Rajasthan. [3] [ better source needed ] He did his B. A. at the Sanatan Dharma College, Kanpur in 1939. He joined St. John's College, Agra to pursue a master's degree in English literature but dropped out. He then joined Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh as its full-time worker, called Pracharak. [4]

Farah, India Town in Uttar Pradesh, India

Farah is a town and a nagar panchayat in Mathura district in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India.

Sikar City in Rajasthan, India

Sikar is a city located midway between Agra and Bikaner on the National Highway 52 in the state of Rajasthan in India. It is the administrative headquarters of the Sikar District. Sikar is a historical city and contains many old havelis. It is located 114 km from Jaipur, 320 km from Jodhpur 215 km from Bikaner, and 280 km from Delhi.

The Higher Secondary Certificate, also known as HSC or Intermediate or +2 examination, is a public examination taken by students of Intermediate college in Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and in the states of Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Telangana, Punjab, Maharashtra, West Bengal and Goa in India. In India the examination structure differs from board to board. But in most of the boards, they are subjective examinations. HSC is an equivalent to GCE A Level in England and 3rd and 4th year of high Schools in United States

RSS and Jana Sangh

While he was a student at Sanatan Dharma College, Kanpur in 1937, he came into contact with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) through his classmate Baluji Mahashabde. He met the founder of the RSS, K. B. Hedgewar, who engaged with him in an intellectual discussion at one of the shakhas. Sunder Singh Bhandari was also one of his classmates at Kanpur. He started full-time work in the RSS from 1942. He had attended the 40-day summer vacation RSS camp at Nagpur where he underwent training in Sangh Education. After completing second-year training in the RSS Education Wing, Upadhyaya became a lifelong pracharak of the RSS. He worked as the Pracharak for the Lakhimpur district and, from 1955, as the joint Prant Pracharak (regional organizer) for Uttar Pradesh. He was regarded as an ideal swayamsevak of the RSS essentially because ‘his discourse reflected the pure thought-current of the Sangh’. [5]

Kanpur Metropolis in Uttar Pradesh, India

Kanpur( pronunciation ; formerlyCawnpore) is a large city in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. The city is famous for its leather and textile industries. It is the 11th most populous urban agglomeration in India and largest urban agglomeration in Uttar Pradesh. Kanpur was an important British garrison town until 1947 when India gained independence. Kanpur the administrative headquarter of Kanpur (Urban) district and Kanpur division.

K. B. Hedgewar Founding leader of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh

Keshav Baliram Hedgewar, also known as "Doctorji" within his organisation, was the founding Sarsanghachalak of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Hedgewar founded the RSS in Nagpur in 1925, with the intention of promoting the concept of a united India rooted in Hinduism ideology.

Sunder Singh Bhandari was a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh pracharak and politician belonging to the Bharatiya Jana Sangh and Bharatiya Janata Party.

He started the monthly Rashtra Dharma from Lucknow in the 1940s. The publication was meant for spreading the ideology of Hindutva nationalism. He did not have his name printed as editor in any of its issues. Later he started the weekly Panchjanya and the daily Swadesh. [6]

Hindutva ("Hinduness") is the predominant form of Hindu nationalism in India. The term was popularised by Vinayak Damodar Savarkar in 1923. It is championed by the Hindu nationalist volunteer organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Hindu Sena. The Hindutva movement has been described as "almost fascist in the classical sense", adhering to a disputed concept of homogenised majority and cultural hegemony. Some dispute the fascist label, and suggest Hindutva has been a form of "conservatism" or "ethnic absolutism".

In 1951, when Syama Prasad Mookerjee founded the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, Deendayal was seconded to the party by the RSS, tasked with molding it into a genuine member of the Sangh Parivar. He was appointed as General Secretary of its Uttar Pradesh branch, and later the all-India General Secretary. For 15 years, he remained the outfit's general secretary. He also contested for Lok Sabha from Uttar Pradesh, but failed to attract significant political traction and did not get elected.

The Sangh Parivar refers to the family of Hindu nationalist organisations spawned by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and remain affiliated to it. These include the political party Bharatiya Janata Party, religious organisation Vishva Hindu Parishad, students union Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, and the worker's union Bharatiya Kishan Sangh. It is also often taken to include allied organisations such as the Shiv Sena, which share the ideology of the RSS. The Sangh Parivar represents the Hindu nationalist movement of India.

Lok Sabha Lower house of the Parliament of India

The Lok Sabha or House of the People is the lower house of India's bicameral Parliament, with the upper house being the Rajya Sabha. Members of the Lok Sabha are elected by adult universal suffrage and a first-past-the-post system to represent their respective constituencies, and they hold their seats for five years or until the body is dissolved by the President on the advice of the council of ministers. The house meets in the Lok Sabha Chambers of the Sansad Bhavan in New Delhi.

Uttar Pradesh State in India

Uttar Pradesh is a state in northern India. With roughly 200 million inhabitants, it is the most populous state in India as well as the most populous country subdivision in the world. It was created on 1 April 1937 as the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh during British rule, and was renamed Uttar Pradesh in 1950. The state is divided into 18 divisions and 75 districts with the capital being Lucknow. The main ethnic group is the Hindavi people, forming the demographic plurality. On 9 November 2000, a new state, Uttarakhand, was carved out from the state's Himalayan hill region. The two major rivers of the state, the Ganga and Yamuna, join at Allahabad (Prayagraj) and then flow as the Ganga further east. Hindi is the most widely spoken language and is also the official language of the state.

Upadhyaya edited Panchjanya (weekly) and Swadesh (daily) from Lucknow. In Hindi, he wrote a drama on Chandragupta Maurya, and later wrote a biography of Shankaracharya. He translated a Marathi biography of Hedgewar.

Lucknow Metropolis in Uttar Pradesh, India

Lucknow is the capital city of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, and is also the administrative headquarters of the eponymous district and division. It is the eleventh most populous city and the twelfth most populous urban agglomeration of India. Lucknow has always been known as a multicultural city that flourished as a North Indian cultural and artistic hub, and the seat of power of Nawabs in the 18th and 19th centuries. It continues to be an important centre of governance, administration, education, commerce, aerospace, finance, pharmaceuticals, technology, design, culture, tourism, music and poetry.

Chandragupta Maurya Maurya emperor

Chandragupta Maurya was the founder of the Maurya Empire in ancient India. He built one of the largest-ever empires on the Indian subcontinent and then, according to Jain sources, he renounced it all and became a monk. Historical Jain texts claim Chandragupta followed Jainism by first renouncing his wealth and power, going away with Jaina monks, and performing a ritual of peacefully welcoming death by fasting. Chandragupta's life and accomplishments are described in ancient Hindu, Buddhist, and Greek texts, but the details vary significantly from those in the Jain texts. Megasthenes served as a Greek ambassador in his court for four years.

Shankaracharya title of heads of monasteries

Shankaracharya (शङ्कराचार्य) is a commonly used title of heads of monasteries called mathas in the Advaita Vedanta tradition. The title derives from Adi Shankara, teachers from the successive line of teachers dating back to his him are known as Shankaracharyas.


Integral Humanism was a set of concepts drafted by Upadhyaya as political program and adopted in 1965 as the official doctrine of the Jan Sangh. [7] Upadhyaya borrowed the Gandhian principles such as sarvodaya (progress of all), swadeshi (Indianisation), and Gram Swaraj (village self-rule) and these principles were appropriated selectively to give more importance to cultural-national values. These values were based on an individual's undisputed subservience to the nation as a corporate entity.

Golwalkar believed in the concept of Organicism, from which the Integral Humanism was not very different. In Integral Humanism, Golwalkar's thoughts were supplemented by appropriating major Gandhian principles and presented a version of Hindu Nationalism. The objective of this version was to develop the image of Jan Sangh as a pro-developmental and spiritual image that favors equality in society. The creation and adoption of these concepts helped to suit the major discourses in the Indian political arena of the 1960s and 1970s. This highlighted efforts to portray the Jan Sangh and Hindu nationalist movement as a high profile right fringe of the Indian political mainstream.

Upadhyaya considered that it was of utmost importance for India to develop an indigenous economic model with a human being at center stage. This approach made this concept different from Socialism and Capitalism. Integral Humanism was adopted as Jan Sangh's political doctrine and its new openness to other opposition forces made it possible for the Hindu nationalist movement to have an alliance in the early 1970s with the prominent Gandhian Sarvodaya movement going on under the leadership of J. P. Narayan. This was considered as the first major public breakthrough for the Hindu nationalist movement. [8]


In December 1967, Upadhyaya was elected president of the Jana Sangh. In the evening of 10 February 1968, at Lucknow he boarded the Sealdah Express for Patna. The train reached Mughalsarai at about 2:10 am but Upadhyaya was not found on the train. [1] He was murdered under mysterious circumstances on 11 February 1968 while traveling. His body was found near Mughalsarai railway station in Uttar Pradesh [9] [10] [11] 10 minutes after the train arrived. His body was lying near a traction pole 748 feet from the end of the platform of Mughalsarai station where the train halted. He was clutching a five-rupee note in his hand. He was last seen alive at Jaunpur after midnight. [1]

The CBI investigation team claimed that Upadhyay had been pushed out of the coach by robbers just before the train entered the Mughalsarai station. [12] A passenger named M.P. Singh traveling in the adjoining cabin of the same coach had seen a man (later identified as Bharat Lal) enter Upadhyaya's cabin at Mughalsarai and walk off with his file and bedding. [1] CBI later arrested Bharat Lal and his associate Ram Awadh in the case and charged them with murder and theft. As per CBI, they confessed to pushing Updadhyay out of the train after he caught them stealing his bag. Upadhyaya had threatened to report them to the police. However, the two accused were acquitted of the murder charges for lack of evidence. [12] Bharat Lal alone was convicted of the theft of the belongings of the deceased. He appealed to the Allahabad High Court. The sessions judge had remarked in his judgment that "the offence of murder not having been proved against the accused, the problem of truth about the murder still remains". [1]

Over 70 MPs demanded a commission of inquiry to uncover the truth. The Government of India agreed to this promptly and appointed Justice Y.V. Chandrachud of Bombay High Court as the sole member of the commission. [1] Justice Chandrachud reported his findings "That Shri Upadhyaya was pushed out of the running train when he was standing near the door of the I Class compartment of the F.C.T. Bogie"; that he dashed against the traction pole and "died an instantaneous death"; and the injuries on his body were caused in a single transaction and were such as could not have been caused inside the compartment. Justice also held that the murder "was accompanied by an immediate theft, which shows that the two are part and parcel of the same transaction." Finally, the judge observed: "I can say with a certain amount of confidence that nothing that has come before me can support the accusation that there was any politics in Shri Upadhyaya’s murder. Undoubtedly, he had political rivals but his death is the rash and extempore handiwork of mere thieves." The CBI he said had conducted the investigation with care and objectivity. [1]

In 2017, Upadhyay's niece and several politicians have demanded a fresh probe in his murder. [13]


Bust of Deendayal Upadhyaya Deendayal Upadhyaya bust.jpg
Bust of Deendayal Upadhyaya

Since 2016 the BJP government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi named several public institutions after him. [14] [15] In Delhi, a road/marg has been named after Upadhyaya.

In August 2017, the BJP state government in UP proposed renaming of Mughalsarai station in honour of Upadhyaya as his dead body was found near it. [14] Opposition parties protested this move in the Parliament of India. The Samajwadi Party protested with a statement that the station was being renamed after someone "who had made “no contribution to the freedom struggle". [16]

The Deen Dayal Research Institute deals with queries on Upadhyaya and his works. [17]

See also

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