Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya (25 September 1916 – 11 February 1968)
Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya (1916 – 1968) was an eminent political personality and a profound philosopher. He was an organizer par excellence and a prominent leader of Jan Sangh who maintained the highest standards of personal integrity. Pandit Deendayal has been the source of ideological guidance and moral inspiration for the BJP since its inception. His treatise on ‘Integral Humanism’, is a critique of both communism and capitalism, advocating a holistic alternative perspective for political action and statecraft consistent with the laws of creation and the universal needs of the human race.
Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya was born on Monday September 25, 1916, (Ashwin Krishna Trayodashi, Samvat 1973) in the sacred region of Brij in the village of Nagla Chandraban in Mathura District. His full name was Deendayal Upadhyaya, but he was called Deena by the family. His mother Shrimati Rampyari was a religious-minded lady and his father, Shri Bhagwati Prasad, was Assistant Station Master at Jalesar. He lost his father when he was less than three years old and his mother before he was eight. He brought up by his maternal uncle after the demise of both his parents. He later went to high school in Sikar. The Maharaja of Sikar awarded Panditji a gold medal, Rs. 250 for books and a monthly scholarship of Rs.10, honouring his academic brilliance.
Panditji passed his Intermediate exams with distinction in Pilani and left to 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 1937 he also cleared his B.A. in the first division.
Panditji moved to Agra to pursue M.A. Here he joined forces with Shri Nanaji Deshmukh and Shri Bhau Jugade for RSS activities. Subsequently he moved to Prayag to pursue B.T. and at Prayag he continued 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 organizer and in 1955 became the Provincial Organizer of the RSS in UP.
He established the publishing house ‘Rashtra Dharma Prakashan’ in Lucknow and launched the monthly magazine ‘Rashtra Dharma’ to propound the principles he held sacred. Later he launched the weekly ‘Panchjanya’ and the daily ‘Swadesh’.
In 1950, Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee, then Minister at the Center, opposed the Nehru-Liaquat pact and resigned his Cabinet post and joined the opposition to build a common front of democratic forces. Pandit Deendayalji organised a political convention in UP in 1951 and founded the state unit of the new party, Bharatiya Jana Sangh. Pandit Deendayalji was the moving spirit and Dr. Mookerjee presided over the first all-India convention held on October 21, 1951. In 1968 Pandit ji assumed the post of President in the Jana Sangh.
Pt. Upadhyaya is well known for his idea as Integral Humanism – a concept which is deeply embedded in Indian Psyche. The philosophy of Integral Humanism advocates the simultaneous and integrated programming of the body, mind, intellect and soul of every human being. His philosophy of Integral Humanism, is a synthesis of the material and the spiritual & the individual and the collective. 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.
In Hindi, Panditji wrote 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.
Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya passed away on the night of February 11, 1968.