Deen Dayal Upadhyaya

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Childhood Brilliant Student Days Courageous, Service-Oriented and Honest Literally a Nomad RSS Contacts during Student Days As a Journalist Pioneer of Democracy His Literary Jansangh President End of an Era

Ideal Volunteer

"Those who realise and recognise their duties and responsibilities as a swayamsevak right from their student days and spend all their time and energies in organization work are a rare breed. Upadhyaya occupied a prominent place among such great souls. The RSS expects a Swayamsevak to inculcate all qualities, conserve them and work for the organizations, keep participating in the various RSS programmes in order of importance, carry out any other duties assigned to him in whichever field it be, Deendayal Upadhyaya was assigned to work in the political field. Some may have doubted his capabilities, but it can rightly be said that whatever position the Bharatiya Jan Sangh achieved was due to his dedicated efforts. There have been many vocal leaders in the Jan Sangh, many others worked very hard, but Upadhyaya was the one who laid the foundation stone of the party and worked for its attaining the dignity it achieved.

"He reached the topmost post. Although I did not want him to become President and he was also not willing. I had to convince him to accept the assignment during a critical period for a short while, maybe a year. That made him accept Presidentship of the party, otherwise he was averse to it. He did not seek any position, nor did I want him to accept it. But he was forced by me following the convention that a Swayamsevak has to follow the dictates of the party.

 "His Presidentship had a good effect on the public mind. Even his opponents feel that ultimately it was this party that was to hold the reins of power in the country. The first Jan Sangh President, Dr. Shyamaprasad Mukherjee, was the victim of a political murder. The party was fortunate to get Dr. Raghuvira as President after him. He was a very capable person. He could have made it possible for the Jan Sangh's voice to be heard abroad and it could become effective there. But he also left us. After him, we got a complete personage (Deendayalji) as the party President. He, too has left us.

"I had gone to Kashi to look at his dead body. I came here after putting his body in the flame. But I did not shed tears. I do not know what people would have thought about me. I am reminded of one of our ancient proverbs which says that a person is neither affected by joy nor sorrow. Maybe, by Gods' grace, I have become temperamentally like this." I have internalised all my sorrow. We should not think that another like him, who would be able to carry on his work with dedication, would not appear on the scene. It is a gigantic task. it is the task of an organisation. Many of our workers have the capability to take it up. No place remains vacant for long and I am hopeful that we will soon get a capable leader to take his place. I won't say anything more. Whatever I say will not suffice, we will have to bear this loss.

"I had to exercise a lot of self-discipline to speak thus far. It has resulted in physical fatigue and exhaustion I have witnessed the gory scene and I thought I would describe it to you.

All-round Competence

"Each one of us should strive towards improving our allround competence. It does not imply that I am asking everyone to move towards the political arena. We should surely not be inclined towards it. The person I have just mentioned had absolutely no political inclinations. He told me so many times during the last many years, 'To what trouble have you put me? Let me return to my original work as a pracharak.' I replied. 'Bhai, who else is there to be put to such trouble but you? 'One who is solely involved in organisational work can only jump into the cesspool of politics and clean it while remaining as untouched as a lotus amid all the muck. That is why I just said that I am not asking anyone to entertain any political inclinations."

Atal Behari Vajyapee's sentiments were expressed through the article, "We accept the challenge', thus:

Come, let us consider every drop of Panditji's blood as the holy mark on our foreheads and move towards the ideals he lived and worked for. We should take every spark from his funeral pyre to our hearts and work to our utmost like him. We should turn the bones of this Dadhichi into stones and hurl them on the enemies so that our sacred soil is free of all roadblocks.
  A small lamp has been extinguished,
  We'll have to fight darkness by lighting our lives,
The sun has set,
  We'll have to find our way in the light of the stars.
  ''Our friend companion and guide is gone. We'll have to cherish his sacred memory and move on to achieve our objectives.''

Dedicated Life

Panditji's life was a dedicated life. He has sacrificed every atom of his body and every moment of his life at the altar of nationalism. The entire country was home to him. He dreamed of only one thing and his life was a vow taken to fulfil it.

His Dream

Politics was a means, not the end, for him. It was a journey, not his destination. He wished to spiritualise politics. He was inspired by India's bright past and wanted to build a brighter future for the country. His beliefs were rooted in the timeless Indian existence, but he was not a fundamentalist. He had a dream of making India into a prosperous modern nation.

"He was a great thinker. He did not favour moving within the already-defined confined modes of thought. That is why he developed the Bharatiya Jan Sangh into an organisation that moved with a proud and dignified past and was prepared to face the challenges of the future. Whatever Jan Sangh is today is because of him.

This Wound will Always Be Raw

"He was never enamoured of any position. He was not a Member of Parliament, but he was the maker of Members of Parliament. Hc never wanted any office. It was with great difficulty that he was persuaded to become President of the party. He inspired us to move across the Vidhyachal to Kanyakumari to work for India's unity. We vowed to take the slogan of India's unity across the Himalayas. He had gone to the Calicut session. The session was a success under his Presidentship. People said the Jan Sangh had presented a historic spectacle of implementing its policies. People looked at him with hope and confidence. People here and abroad said that the Jan Sangh had taken a new form at Calicut. But the Jan Sangh did not take any new form; it was only the perspective of those who viewed it in a new light. Some of these eyes saw a vitiated Jan Sangh; they were jealous; and they nurtured violent thoughts. The spectacle unnerved them and today Pandit Deendayalji is no more with us. Nobody can say with certainty the circumstances under which he died. The person for whom his followers were prepared to sacrifice their lives was sniffed out of life in the darkness of the night, away from his followers. This wound will always remain raw and will continue hurting us.

Unfulfilled Dream

"The cause for which Panditji was born, lived and struggled, he sacrificed his life for that ideal. But his dream is still unfulfilled; his work is still incomplete.

Challenge Accepted

"The attack on his life is an attack on our nationalism. The wounds on his body are assaults on our democracy. We accept this challenge of anti-nationals and enemies of democracy''

(Excerpts from the book -" Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya" written by Dr. Mahesh Chandra Sharma)

Compiled by Amarjeet Singh, Research Associate & Programme Coordinator, Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation, 9, Ashok Road, New Delhi - 110001
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