Deen Dayal Upadhyaya

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Deendayalji was a nomad in the true sense of the term. He lived in his father’s house till the age of two-and-a-half; he was forced to leave his paternal home owing to family squabbles and live with his maternal grandfather, never returning to his paternal home. He lived with his maternal Pt. Deendayal Upadhyayagrandfather Chunnilal at Dhankiya, who was constantly in mourning because of the untimely demise of his two sons, Natthilal and Harinarayan and later his son-in-law, Bhagwati Prasad. Chunnilal retired from service and returned to his village, Gud Ki Mandhai. Deendayalji also came with him to Gud Ki Mandhai from Dhankiya. He was nine and still there were no arrangements to give him proper schooling. He, then, came to live with his maternal uncle, Radharaman, who was Assistant Station Master at Gangapur. He lived there for four years. There were no schools in Gangapur for further studies. Therefore, Deendayalji was admitted to a school at Kota on June 12, 1929. He lived in a self-supporting House there for three years. Thereafter, he had to come to Rajgarh in Alwar district. Radharaman's cousin Narayan Shukla was Station Master there, and Deendayalji lived with him for two years. Narayan Shukla was transferred to Sikar in 1934. Deendayalji lived with him for a year and matriculated from that place. He then went to Pilani for intermediate for two years in 1936. The same year, he left for Kanpur to pursue his graduation. After another two years, he went to Agra for his post-graduation. He lived in a rented house at Raja Mandi. When he was twenty-two, Deendayalji left Agra to complete his B.Ed. at Prayag in 1941. He was twenty-five at that time. Simultaneously, he entered public life arid became an eternal nomad.

By the time he was twenty-five, Deendayalji Upadhyaya had stayed at least at 11 places in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan for short periods of time. The homestead, its conveniences and comforts generally generate a feeling of stability in most people. Deendayalji's childhood and youth did not give him this opportunity or temptation to be permanently attached to one place. When he entered public life, the nomadic existence that he had become accustomed to, certainly helped him in identifying with the homeless and the under-privileged. New places, new people andhis attempts to become one with them were gifts he acquired from his early childhood days.

(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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