SYAMA PRASAD MOOKERJEE (1901-1953)
FOUNDER OF THE BHARATIYA JANA SANGH
The BJP is the successor party of the BJS, which merged itself into the Janata Party in 1977. The BJP was formed as a separate party in 1980 after internal differences in the Janata Party resulted in the collapse of it’s government in 1979.
A BRIEF LIFE-SKETCH
Dr. Mookerjee’s mother Jogmaya Debi exclaimed, on hearing of her son’s death.
“Proudly do I feel that the loss of my son is a loss to Mother India !”
Born on 6th July 1901 in a famous family. His father Sir Asutosh was widely known in Bengal. Graduated from Calcutta University he became a fellow of the Senate in 1923. He enrolled as an advocate in Calcutta High Court in 1924 after his father’s death. Subsequently he left for England in 1926 to study in Lincoln’s Inn and became a barrister in 1927. At the age of 33, he became the world’s youngest Vice-Chancellor of the Calcutta University and held the office till 1938. During his tenure, he introduced a number of constructive reforms and was active in Asiatic Society of Calcutta as well as was a member of the Court and the Council of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and Chairman of the Inter-University of Board.
He was elected as member of the Legislative Council of Bengal as a Congress candidate representing Calcutta University but resigned next year when Congress decided to boycott the legislature. Subsequently, he contested the election as an independent and got elected.
He became the opposition leader when Krishak Praja Party – Muslim League coalition was in power 1937-41 and joined the Progressive Coalition Ministry headed by Fazlul Haq as a Finance Minister and within less than an year resigned. He emerged as a spokesman for Hindus and shortly joined Hindu Mahasabha and in 1944, he became the President.
After the assassination of Gandhiji, he wanted the Hindu Mahasabha not to be restricted to Hindus alone or work as apolitical body for the service of masses and broke away from it on this issue on November 23, 1948.
Pandit Nehru inducted him in the Interim Central Government as a Minister for Industry and supply. On issue of Delhi pact with Likayat Ali Khan, Mookerjee resigned from the Cabinet on 6th April 1950. After consultation with Shri Golwalkar Guruji of RSS Shri Mookerjee founded Bharatiya Jana Sangh on 21st Oct. 1951 at Delhi and he became the first President of it. In 1952 elections, Bharatiya Jana Sangh won 3 seats in Parliament one of them being that of Shri Mookerjee. He had formed National Democratic Party within the Parliament which consisted 32 members of MPs and 10 of Members of Rajya Sabha which however was not recognised by the speaker as an opposition party.
To voice his opposition he turned outside Parliament and on Kashmir he termed the arrangement under Article 370 as Balkanisation of India and three nation theory of Shaikh Abdullah. Bharatiya Jana Sangh along with Hindu Mahasabha and Ram Rajya Parishad launched a massive Satyagraha to get removed the pernicious provisions. Mookerjee went to visit Kashmir in 1953 and was arrested on 11th May while crossing border. He died as detenu on June 23, 1953.
A veteran politician, he was respected by his friends and foes alike for his knowledge and forthrightness. He outshined all other Ministers in the cabinet except perhaps Pandit Nehru by his erudition and culture. India lost a great son at a very early stage of Independence.
PANDIT DEENDAYAL UPADHYAYA (1916-1968)
Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya was the leader of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh from 1953 to 1968. A profound philosopher, organiser par excellence and a leader who maintained the highest standards of personal integrity, he has been the source of ideological guidance and moral inspiration for the BJP since its inception. His treatise Integral Humanism, which is a critique of both communism and capitalism, provides a holistic alternative perspective for political action and statecraft consistent with the laws of Creation and the universal needs of the human race.
A SHORT BIOGRAPHY
Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya was born on Monday September 25, 1916, in the sacred region of Brij in the village of Nagla Chandraban in Mathura District . His father was a well known astrologer. An astrologer who studied his horoscope predicted that the boy would become a great scholar and thinker, a selfless worker, and a leading politician – but that he would not marry. While at Bhatpur tragedy struck the family, he lost his brother to illness in 1934. He later went to high school in Sikar. Maharaja of Sikar gave Pandit Upadhyaya a gold medal, Rs. 250 for books and a monthly scholarship of Rs.10.
Pandit Upadhyaya passed his Intermediate exams with distinction in Pilani and left to Kanpur to pursue his B.A. and joined the Sanatan Dharma college. At the instance of his friend Shri. Balwant Mahashabde, he joined the RSS in 1937. In 1937 he received his B.A. in the first division. Pandit Upadhyaya moved to Agra to pursue M.A.
Here he joined forces with Shri. Nanaji Deshmukh and Shri. Bhau Jugade for RSS activities. Around this time Rama Devi, a cousin of Deendayalji fell ill and she moved to Agra for treatment. She passed away. Deendayalji was very depressed and could not take the M.A. exams. His scholarships, received earlier from Maharajaj of Sikar and Shri. Birla were discontinued.
At the instance of his aunt he took a Government conducted competitive examination in dhoti and kurta with a cap on his head, while other candidates wore western suits. The candidates in fun called him “Panditji” – an appellation millions were to use with respect and love in later years. Again at this exam he topped the list of selectees. Armed with his Uncle’s permission he moved to Prayag to pursue B.T. and at Prayag he continued his RSS activites. After completion of his B.T., he worked full-time for the RSS and moved to Lakhimpur District in UP as an organizer and in 1955 became the Provincial Organizer of the RSS in UP.
He established the publishing house ‘Rashtra Dharma Prakashan’ in Lucknow and launched the monthly magazine ‘Rashtra Dharma’ to propound the principles he held sacred. Later he launched the weekly ‘Panchjanya’ and still later the daily ‘Swadesh’. In 1950, Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee, then Minister at the Center, opposed the Nehru-Liaquat pact and resigned his Cabinet post and joined the opposition to build a common front of democratic forces. Dr.Mookerjee sought Shri. Guruji’s help in organizing dedicated young men to pursue the work at the political level.
Pandit Deendayalji convened on September 21, 1951 a political convention of UP and founded the state unit of the new party, Bharatiya Jana Sangh. Pandit. Deendayalji was the moving spirit and Dr. Mookerjee presided over the first all-India convention held on October 21, 1951.
Pandit Deendayalji’s organizing skills were unmatched. Finally came the red letter day in the annals of the Jana Sangh when this utterly unassuming leader of the party was raised to the high position of President in the year 1968. On assuming this tremendous responsibility Deendayalji went to the South with the message of Jana Sangh. On the dark night of February 11, 1968, Deendayal Upadhyaya was fiendishly pushed into the jaws of sudden death.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee:
Shri Vajpayee was Prime Minister of India from May 16-31, 1996, and then again from March 19, 1998 to May 13, 2004. With his swearing-in as Prime Minister after the parliamentary election of October 1999, he became the first and only person since Jawaharlal Nehru to occupy the office of the Prime Minister of India through three successive Lok Sabhas. Shri Vajpayee was the first Prime Minister since Smt. Indira Gandhi to lead his party to victory in successive elections.
Born on December 25, 1924, in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh to Shri Krishna Bihari Vajpayee and Smt. Krishna Devi, Shri Vajpayee brings with him a long parliamentary experience spanning over four decades. He has been a Member of Parliament since 1957. He was elected to the 5th, 6th and 7th Lok Sabha and again to the 10th, 11th 12th and 13th Lok Sabha and to Rajya Sabha in 1962 and 1986. In 2004, he was to Parliament from Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh for the fifth time consecutively. He is the only parliamentarian elected from four different States at different times – UP, Gujarat, MP and Delhi. His legacy as Prime Minister is a rich one that is remembered and cherished even a decade after his term ended. It included the Pokhran nuclear tests, astute and wise economic policies that laid the foundations of the longest period of sustained growth in independent Indian history, massive infrastructure projects such as those related to development of national highways and the Golden Quadrilateral. Few Indian Prime Ministers have left such a dramatic impact on society.