Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya (September 25, 1916 – February 11, 1968) was an Indian philosopher, economist,sociologist, historian, journalist, and political activist. He was one of the most important leaders of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, the forerunner of the present day Bharatiya Janata Party. A revered icon of Integral Humanism, he was an ideologue and a guiding force for a alternative model of governance and politics.
He was born in the village of nagla chandrabhan in mathura district of Uttar pradesh . He lost his father Bhagwati Prasad when he was less than three years old and his mother before he was eight. He was then brought up by his maternal uncle. His parents belonged to the village Nagla Chandrabhan, Near Farah, Mathura district in Uttar Pradesh. Although, He lost his parents during his early childhood, he continued his studies as a shining student. He obtained gold medals both at the Matriculation Board Exam in 1935 and Intermediate Board Exam in 1937 from GD Birla atPilani. He completed his intermediate at the Birla College in Pilani which later became the prestigious Birla Institute of Technology and Science. Later, he did his B.A. and B.T. from Kanpur University. He even qualified the Civil Service Exam; but he didn’t join civil services as he was fascinated by the idea of working with the common people.
While he was a student at Sanatan Dharma College, Kanpur, in 1937 he joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). He dedicated himself to full-time work in the RSS from 1942. Deendayal Upadhyaya was a man of soaring idealism and had a tremendous capacity for organisation. He started a monthly Rashtra Dharma, a weekly Panchjanya and a daily Swadesh.
In 1951, when Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee founded the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, Deendayal became the first general secretary of its Uttar Pradesh branch. Next, he was chosen as all-India general secretary. The acumen and meticulousness shown by Deendayal deeply impressed Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee and elicited his famous remark:
After Dr Mookerjee’s death in 1953, the entire burden of nurturing the orphaned organisation and building it up as a nation-wide movement fell on the young shoulders of Deendayal. For 15 years, he remained the outfit’s general secretary and built it up, brick by brick. He raised a band of dedicated workers imbued with idealism and provided the entire ideological framework of the outfit. He also contended for lok sabha from Uttar Pradesh, but failed.
Upadhyaya conceived the political philosophy Integral Humanism – the guiding philosophy of the Bharatiya Janata Party. The philosophy of Integral Humanism advocate the simultaneous and integrated program of the body, mind and intellect and soul of each human being. His philosophy of Integral Humanism, which is a synthesis of the material and the spiritual, the individual and the collective, bears eloquent testimony to this. 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.
Deendayal Upadhyay was convinced that we as an independent nation cannot rely upon Western concepts like individualism, democracy, socialism,communism, capitalism etc. and he was of the view that the Indian polity after our independence has been raised upon these superficial Western foundations and not rooted in the timeless traditions of our ancient culture. He was of the view that the Indian intellect was getting suffocated by Western theories and ideologies and consequently there was a big roadblock on the growth and expansion of original Bharatiya thought. He said that there was an urgent public need for a fresh breeze.
He welcomed modern technology but wanted it to be adapted to suit Indian requirements. Deendayal believed in a constructive approach. He exhorted his followers to co-operate with the government when it was right and fearlessly oppose when it erred. He placed nation’s interest above everything else. He died in unexpected circumstances and was found dead on 11 February 1968 at Mughal Sarai Railway yard. The following rousing call he gave to the thousands of delegates in the Calicut session, still rings in their ears:
Pandit Upadhyaya edited Panchjanya (Weekly) and Swadesh (Daily) from Lucknow. In Hindi, he has written 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.
Quotes which Inspires:
- . “It is essential that we think about ‘Our National Identity’ without which there is no meaning of ‘Independance”.
- “The basic cause of the problems facing Bharat is the neglect of Its ‘National Identity”.
- “Opportunism has shaken the confidence of People in Poltics”.
- “Opportunists with no principles rein in politics of our country”
- “We had taken pride in resisting Things-British while They (Britishers) ruled us, but strangely enough, now that the Britishers have left, Westernisation has become synonymous with Progress.”
- “Western Science and the Western Ways of life are two different things. Whereas Western Science is Universal and must be absorbed by us if we wish to go forward, the same is not true about the Western Ways of life and values.”
- “In the past 1000 years whatever we assimilated-whether it was forced on us or we took with willingness-cannot be discarded now.”
- “The principles of Marx have changed both with the changing times as well as with varying conditions to the extent that parrot-like repetition of Marxism for solving problems facing our country would amount to a reactionary attitude rather than a scientific & pragmatic one.”
- “Human Knowledge is common property.”
- “Independance can be meaningful only if it becomes instrument for expression of our Culture.”
- “Both from the national as well as human stand point, it has become essential that we think of the principles of Bhartiya Culture.”
- “The fundamental characteristic of Bhartiya Culture is that it looks upon life as an integrated whole.”
- “There is diversity and plurality in life but we have always attempted to discover the unity behind them.”
- “Hegel put forward the principles of thesis, anti-thesis and synthesis; Karl Marx used this principle as a basis and presented his analysis of history and economics; Darwin considered the principle of survival of the fittest as the sole basis of life; but we in this country saw the basic unity of all life.”
- “The Unit of Seed finds expression in various forms-The Roots, The Trunk, The Branches, The Leaves, The Flowers and The Fruit. All these have different forms, colours and properties. Still we recognise their relation of unity with each other through seed.”
- “Unity in diversity and the expression of unity in various forms has remained the thought of Bhartiya Culture.”
- “Conflict is not a sign of culture of Nature rather it is a symptom of their degradation.”
- “Human nature has both tendencies–Anger & Greed on the one hand and Love & Sacrifice on the other.”
- “The principles of Ethics are not framed by any one, these are rather discovered.”
- “In Bharat the Principles of Ethics are termed as Dharma–The Laws of Life.”
- “When nature is channeled according to the principles of Dharma, we have culture & civilisation.”
- “The English word Religion is not the correct word for Dharma.”
- “Here in Bharat, we have placed before ourselves the ideal of the four fold responsibilities of catering to the needs of Body, Mind, Intellect and Soul with a view to achieve the integrated progress of Man.”
- “The longings for Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha (the four kind of human effort) are inborn in man and satisfaction of these in an integrated way is the essence of Bhartiya Culture.”
- “When State acquires all powers, both political and economic; the result is a decline of Dharma.”
- “A Nation is a group of persons who live with ‘A Goal’, ‘An Ideal’, ‘A Mission’ and look upon a particular piece of land as the Motherland. If either of the two–The Ideal and The Motherland–is missing, then there is no nation.”
- “Religion means a creed or a sect and it does not mean Dharma.”
- “Dharma is very wide concept which concerns all aspects of life sustaining the society.”
- “The fundamental principles of Dharma are eternal and universal. However, their implementation may differ according to time, place and circumstances.”
- “The nearest equivalent English term for Dharma can be ‘Innate Law’, though even that does not express the full meaning of Dharma. Since Dharma is supreme, our Ideal of the State has been ‘Dharma Rajya’.”
- “Strength lies not in unrestrained behaviour but in well regulated action.”
- “The Muslims are the flesh of our flesh and blood of our blood”