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Remembering Deendayal Upadhyaya on His 104th Birth Anniversary

Deendayal Upadhyaya.

Deendayal Upadhyaya.

The current ruling dispensation in India has named various schemes after Deendayal Upadhyaya. Today is his 104th birth anniversary.

Deendayal Upadhyaya was born on September 25, 1916 in a village near the Farah town in Mathura district, Upadhyaya’s childhood was replete with struggles. His father passed away when he wasn’t even three and lost his mother before eight years of age. Upadhyaya also lost his younger brother at a young age.

He was a veteran politician and a social thinker. The current ruling dispensation in India has named various schemes after him. Today is Upadhyay’s 104th birth anniversary.

The seasoned leader attended high school in Sikar. He was good at studies. Once he received gold medal, Rs 250 for books and a monthly scholarship of Rs 10 from Maharaja of Sikar. He completed his intermediate with distinction in Pilani. He pursued B.A. from Kanpur and graduated from the college in 1937. After that, he went on to pursue M.A.

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Upadhyaya, during his college days, met the founder of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Keshav BaliramHedgewar. He also attended the 40-day summer vacation RSS camp at Nagpur. After completing his second-year training in the RSS Education Wing, he became a lifelong pracharak of the Sangh.

He took a plunge into active politics through RSS and took over as the general secretary of the Bharatiya Jan Sangh, which was founded by Shyama Prasad Mukherjee in 1951. He went on to become the president of the party.

The veteran leader also donned the hat of a journalist. He created buzz in 1940s when he started the publication of Rashtradharm from Lucknow. It was aimed at propagating the ideology of nationalism. Later, he also started writing a column in the Organiser. The column would publish with the name Political Diary. Upadhyaya was also behind starting the weekly Panchjanya and the daily Swadesh.

Although he supported the idea of democracy, he believed that universal adult franchise should come after proper education. The reason behind this thought was India’s long years of slavery.

Upadhyaya bid adieu to this world on February 11, 1968. However, a mystery still surrounds his death. It is said that he was allegedly murdered while travelling in a train to Patna.

first published:September 25, 2020, 11:07 IST