Pt Deen Dayal Upadhyaya: Life, Works, Contribution

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pt deen dayal upadhyaya

Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya (1916-1968) was an Indian politician, philosopher, and journalist who played a significant role in forming the ideology of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS), the forerunner of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He is best known for his articulation of the philosophy of Integral Humanism, which continues to influence Indian political discourse today. This article explores the life and contribution of Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya along with details about his ideology.

Early Life and Education

  • Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya was born on 25th September 1916 in the sacred Brij region of Mathura district, Uttar Pradesh. His mother’s name was Shrimati Rampyari and his father’s was Shri Bhagwati Prasad. Upadhyaya faced a challenging childhood, losing both his parents at a young age.
  • He was left with a younger brother and stayed with his maternal uncle in Agra. Thereafter, he continued his schooling in various places such as Agra, Gangapur, Kota, Rajgarh, Sikar and Pilani.
  • He completed high school in Sikar and was awarded a gold medal, Rs 250 towards his books and a monthly scholarship of Rs 10 by Maharaj Kalyan Singh, the Maharaja of Sikar.
  • Again, he went on to complete his Intermediate in Pilani and topped the board examination with distinction, earning him meritorious titles and scholarships from Ghan Shayam Das ji Birla.
  • After completing his graduation in B.A. in English Literature from Santaram Dharma College, he embarked on to pursue an MA from Agra. Simultaneously joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in 1937 under the instance of his friend Balwant Mahashabde.
  • Joined the hands of Shri Nanaji Deshmukh and Shri Bhau Jugade in all the activities of RSS. But was not able to appear for his M.A. finals as his cousin Rama Devi fell ill and died while he was taking care of her treatment. 
  • All his scholarships were discontinued later.
  • Later, he also attempted a civil service examination in Dhoti and Kurta while all others were in Western outfits mocking him, but he topped the examination and left for Prayag to pursue B.T. Even from Prayag, he was in touch with RSS activities. 
  • After completing his B.T., he joined RSS full-time.

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Journey from RSS to Politics  

  • Upadhyaya became a lifelong pracharak (propagator) of the RSS and actively participated in the organisation’s activities from Lakhimpur, UP.
  • In 1955, he became the Provincial Organizer of the RSS in UP.
  • In 1950, when Dr, Shayama Prasad Mukherjee, the then central minister, opposed the Nehru-Liaquat pact and resigned from his cabinet position. 
  • Mukherjee joined hands with the opposition to put up a strong opposition against the INC and thus sought, Sri Guruji’s help from RSS to suggest to him some names of young and dedicated people. By now, PT Deendayal was famous because of his staunch ideologies that matched the principles that RSS stands for.
  • On September 21, 1951, Upadhyaya convened the political convention of UP and laid the foundation of the state unit of Bharatiya Jana Sangh. Dr. Mukherjee also presided over the first All-India Convention which was held on 21st October, 1951.
  • He entered the political domain via RSS and became the General Secretary for 15 years of the Bharatiya Jan Sangh from 1951 to 1967.
  • In 1968, he became the president of the Jana Sangh and gave his philosophy of integral humanism, which is also a combination of Gandhian philosophy and his ideals.
Credit – India

Work and Contribution

  • Pt Deen Dayal Upadhyaya established a publishing house in Lucknow named “ Rashtra Dharma Prakashan” and through the house launched a monthly magazine Rashtra Dharma”, later, he also launched Panchajanya and Swadesh.
  • He was a prolific writer and editor, contributing to various publications. He worked as a journalist in the “Rashtra Dharma” daily,  was an editor at “Panchjanya”, and wrote some columns for the weekly like “The Organiser” and “Political Dairy”.
  • His mantra while pursuing journalism was “Don’t distort the news”
  • He authored several books, including “Integral Humanism, “Ekatmamanav-vad, “Rajarshi Chandragupta,” and “Jagatguru Shankaracharya,” which expounded his philosophical and political views.

Integral Humanism

  • His philosophy is the official philosophy of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
  • Upadhyaya’s central contribution lies in his development of Integral Humanism, a holistic philosophy that emphasizes the inherent dignity and worth of every individual.
  • This philosophy stands in contrast to Western models of individualism and materialism, advocating for a society based on social harmony, cultural rootedness and economic self-reliance.
  • Key tenets of Integral Humanism include:
    • Dharmarajya: A just and righteous state based on Dharma (duty) and ethical principles.
    • Sarvodaya: Upliftment of all, ensuring everyone’s well-being and prosperity.
    • Antyodaya: Uplifting the most disadvantaged sections of society first.
    • Swadeshi: Self-reliance and economic independence through local production and consumption.
    • Samanvaya: Synthesis and integration, seeking common ground and fostering unity in diversity.

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  • Upadhyaya’s untimely death on 11 February 1968, left a void in Indian politics, but his ideas continue to inspire generations.
  • Integral Humanism forms the core ideology of the BJP and has influenced various government policies and initiatives.
  • Upadhyaya is remembered for his intellectual depth, commitment to social justice, and his vision of a strong, prosperous, and united India.

Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya’s life and work offer valuable lessons for contemporary India. His emphasis on individual dignity, social harmony, and economic self-reliance continues to resonate in a world grappling with complex challenges. His death anniversary is observed as Smarpan Diwas on 11th February.

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