Deendayal Upadhyay: A Stoic Leader Who Was Murdered in His Prime
Deendayal Upadhyay was a leader who understood the common man’s needs.
Deendayal Upadhyay was a leader who understood the common man’s needs. (Photo Courtesy: bjp.org, altered by The Quint)

Deendayal Upadhyay: A Stoic Leader Who Was Murdered in His Prime

(This article was first published on 11 February 2016. It has been reposted from The Quint’s archives to mark the death anniversary of Deendayal Upadhyay.)

Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay was found murdered on this day exactly 51 years ago. India lost a profound philosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, journalist and an eminent political activist.

Upadhyay was travelling on the Pathankot-Sealdah express, from Lucknow to Patna. He was found dead beside the railway tracks near Mughalsarai Station on 11 February 1968.
Upadhyay was travelling on the Pathankot-Sealdah express, from Lucknow to Patna. He was found dead beside the railway tracks near Mughalsarai Station on 11 February 1968.
(Photo Courtesy: bjp.org)

A Childhood Which Wasn’t a Bed of Roses

Born on 25 September 1916, in a small village called Nangla Chandrabhan in Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh, Deendayal led a life fraught with ups and downs. He was orphaned very early in life. His maternal family brought him up. Changing schools and towns as per the transfers of his uncle’s posting (in the Indian Railways) was a routine for Deendayal.

Upadhyay abhorred the caste-system and insisted that his election campaign for the Jaunpur by-election in 1963 be run without a mention of his Brahmin lineage.
Upadhyay abhorred the caste-system and insisted that his election campaign for the Jaunpur by-election in 1963 be run without a mention of his Brahmin lineage.
(Photo Courtesy: bjp.org)

A Political Life Dedicated to Service

A scholar who impressed the Maharaja of Sikar and industrialist Ghanshyamdas Birla to award him a scholarship, Deendayal had a promising future. But after joining the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), he chose to channelise his energies to help build a better society instead. Sent to help Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee to build the Jana Sangh (BJP’s precursor), he rose to be a prominent leader with the highest standards of integrity.

Deendayal’s colleagues and friends were impressed by his strong, moral beliefs about politics. He is seen here with former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Deendayal’s colleagues and friends were impressed by his strong, moral beliefs about politics. He is seen here with former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
(Photo Courtesy: bjp.org)

His Philosophy of Ekatma Manav-Vaad

His treatise on ‘Integral Humanism’ is a critique of both communism and capitalism. It advocates a holistic alternative perspective for political action and state policies, consistent with the laws of creation and the universal needs of the human race.

Deendayal was modest, affable and approachable. He is seen here, interacting with journalists.
Deendayal was modest, affable and approachable. He is seen here, interacting with journalists.
(Photo Courtesy: bjp.org)

His Mysterious Death

At a time when he brought leaders from different political walks together – joining hands with Ram Manohar Lohia, Acharya Kripalani, etc. to challenge the Congress party’s monopoly at the Centre – his death stunned the nation. This chief of the Jana Sangha was found dead, clutching a five rupee note, lying unidentified on the railway tracks near Mughalsarai station. What exactly happened to him on that fateful day has remained an unsolved mystery.

Some even call Deendayal a saint among politicians, and a man ahead of his times.
Some even call Deendayal a saint among politicians, and a man ahead of his times.
(Photo Courtesy: bjp.org)

After Deendayal Upadhyay’s death, the nation lost a leader who would have changed the course and nature of politics in India.

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