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Antyodaya Diwas 2021: 10 interesting facts about BJP's key ideologue Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya

Shikha Goyal

Antyodaya Diwas 2021: It is celebrated on September 25 to mark the birth anniversary of BJP key ideologue Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya. He was a humanist, journalist, philosopher, economist, and political activist. On his birth anniversary, let us have a look at some interesting facts about him.

Key Facts about Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya

1. On 25 September, 1916, he was born in the village Chandrabhan, now known as Deendayal Dham, near the Farah town in Mathura District. His father's name was Bhagwati Prasad and he was an astrologer. The mother's name was Rampyari. When he was eight years old, his both parents died and he was brought up by his maternal uncle. 

2. Under the guardianship of his maternal uncle and aunt he did his education and went to high school in Rajasthan where he completed matriculation. He did his intermediate from Birla College in Pilani, B. A from Sanatan Dharma College, Kanpur in 1939. To pursue a master's degree in English literature he joined St.John's College, Agra but was not able to complete it. He joined Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) as its full-time worker known as Pracharak.

3. From 1942, he started full-time work in the RSS and became a lifelong Pracharak. There, he met the founder of the party, KB Hedgewar, and underwent a 40-day camp in Sangh Education and a second-year training in the RSS Education Wing. 

4. In the 1940s he started the monthly Rashtriya Dharma from Lucknow for spreading the ideology of Hindutva nationalism. Later, he also started Panchjanya and daily Swadesh. 

5. He became the first General Secretary of the Uttar Pradesh branch of the Bharatiya Jan Sangh when it was founded in 1951. Thereafter, he was appointed its All-India General Secretary. For 15 years, he remained the outfit’s general secretary.

6. Apart from all his organisational capabilities he was also known for his philosophical and literary works. He developed the concept of 'Integral Humanism' which advocated the holistic development of the mind, body, intellect, and soul, of every individual.

7. He was convinced that as an independent nation, India could not rely upon Western concepts including individualism, democracy, socialism, communism, or capitalism.

8. He always focuses that the Indian intellect was getting suffocated by Western theories. He welcomed modern technology but as per the Indian requirements. He always believed in Swaraj that is self-governance.

9. He was elected the president of the Jana Sangh in December 1967. On 11 February 1968, he was murdered under mysterious circumstances while travelling. His body was found near the Mughalsarai railway station in Uttar Pradesh.

10. Some of his literary works include the play "Chandragupta Maurya" and a translation of a biography of Dr. K.B. Hedgewar, which was originally written in Marathi. He also composed a biography of Adi Shankara (Shankaracharya), the 9th-century Hindu reformer.

His legacy is very much alive in India today in the form of the ideology of the Bharatiya Janata Party which emerged from the Bharatiya Jana Sangh. 

11. Several institutions in recognition of his leadership have been named after him like the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya hospital in West Delhi; the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya University, in Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh; and the Pandit Deen Dayal Petroleum University, in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.

Some of his thoughts are:

"Western Science and 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."

"Here in Bharat, we have placed before ourselves the ideal of the fourfold responsibilities of catering to the needs of Body, Mind, Intellect, and Soul with a view to achieve the integrated progress of Man."

No doubt, he dedicated his life to social causes and the Bharatiya Jana Sangh Party. He never married but several young party workers looked at him as an inspirational father figure during his lifetime.

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