Deendayal Upadhyaya

RSS thinker and co-founder of the political party Bharatiya Jana Sangh

Deendayal Upadhyaya (September 25, 1916 - February 11, 1968), along with Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee, was an important leader of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, now the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Quotes edit

  • A monotonous life, lived without any purpose or direction, is not worth much. To achieve anything big in life, you should be prepared to risk your all and take a leap of faith for whatever they believed in.
    • 'Dao lagaao zindagi pe’ (put a stake on your life), Deendayalji’s article, quoted in L.K. Advani, My Country My Life (2008)
  • God has blessed our family with some means. Can we not offer at least one of our members for the service of the nation? Having provided me with education, moral instruction and all sorts of qualifications, can you not turn me over to the Samaj (society), to which we owe so much? This will hardly be any kind of sacrifice, it will rather be an investment. It is like providing the farm of the Samaj with manure. We are nowadays interested only in reaping the harvest and have forgotten to provide the field with manure. There is thus the danger of our land becoming barren and unproductive. Can we not forgo a few worthless ambitions for the protection and benefit of a Samaj and a faith, for which Rama suffered exile, Krishna bore innumerable hardships, Rana Pratap wandered about from forest to forest, Shivaji staked his all, and Guru Govind Singh allowed his little sons to be buried alive?
    • Letter to his uncle in 1942, quoted in L.K. Advani, My Country My Life (2008)
  • It is an irony of the country’s political situation that while untouchability in the social field is considered to be evil, it is sometimes extolled as a virtue in the political field. If a party does not wish to practise untouchability towards its rivals in the political establishment, it is supposed to be doing something wrong. We, in the Jana Sangh, certainly do not agree with the communists’ strategy, tactics and their political culture. But that does not justify an attitude of untouchability towards them. If they are willing to work with us on the basis of issues, or as part of a government committed to an agreed programme, I see nothing wrong in it…. These (SVD) governments are a step towards ending political untouchability. The spirit of accommodation shown by all parties, despite their sharp differences, is a good omen for democracy.’
    • Deendayalji’s speech at the Calicut session of the Jana Sangh, 1967., quoted in L.K. Advani, My Country My Life (2008)
  • Large-scale riots in East Pakistan have compelled over two lakh Hindus and other minorities to come over to India. Indians naturally feel incensed by the happenings in East Bengal. To bring the situation under control and to prescribe the right remedy for the situation it is essential that the malady be properly diagnosed. And even in this state of mental agony, the basic values of our national life must never be forgotten. It is our firm conviction that guaranteeing the protection of the life and property of Hindus and other minorities in Pakistan is the responsibility of the Government of India. To take a nice legalistic view about the matter that Hindus in Pakistan are Pakistani nationals would be dangerous and can only result in killings and reprisals in the two countries, in greater or lesser measure. When the Government of India fails to fulfill this obligation towards the minorities in Pakistan, the people understandably become indignant. Our appeal to the people is that this indignation should be directed against the Government and should in no case be given vent to against the Indian Muslims. If the latter thing happens, it only provides the Government with a cloak to cover its own inertia and failure, and an opportunity to malign the people and repress them. So far as the Indian Muslims are concerned, it is our definite view that, like all other citizens, their life and property must be protected in all circumstances. No incident and no logic can justify any compromise with truth in this regard. A state, which cannot guarantee the right of living to its citizens, and citizens who cannot assure safety of their neighbours, would belong to the barbaric age. Freedom and security to every citizen irrespective of his faith has indeed been India’s sacred tradition. We would like to reassure every Indian Muslim in this regard and would wish this message to reach every Hindu home that it is their civic and national duty to ensure the fulfillment of this assurance.
    • Joint statement for the Indo-Pak confederation that D Upadhyaya signed, on 12 April 1964, with Dr Lohia, quoted in L.K. Advani, My Country My Life (2008)
  • ‘With the support of Universal knowledge and our heritage, we shall create a Bharat which will excel all its past glories, and will enable every citizen in its fold to steadily progress in the development of his manifold latent possibilities and to achieve through a sense of unity with the entire creation, a state even higher than that of a complete human being; to become Narayan from nar (man). This is the external divine form of our culture. This is our message to humanity at a cross roads. May God give us strength to succeed in this mission.’
    • Deendayal Upadhyaya , Integral Humanism, quoted in L.K. Advani, My Country My Life (2008)
  • Politics is ultimately subservient to the interests of the nation. If we give up all thoughts of a nation’s basic identity, history, culture and traditions, of what use is that politics ?”
    • Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya, Quoted from Talreja, K. M. (2000). Holy Vedas and holy Bible: A comparative study. New Delhi: Rashtriya Chetana Sangathan.
  • Dharma is the repository of the nation’s soul. If Dharma is destroyed, the Nation perishes. Any one who abandons Dharma, betrays the nation…… Since Dharma is supreme, our ideal of the State has been Dharma Rajya…… What constitutes the good of the people, Dharma alone can decide. Therefore a democratic government Jana Rajya must also be rooted in Dharma i.e. a Dharma Rajya... Since in the West injustice and atrocities were perpetrated, bitter conflicts and battles were fought in the name of religion, all these were en bloc listed on the debit side of Dharma also. We feel that in the name of Dharma also battles were fought. However battles of religion and battles of Dharma are two different things. Religion means a creed or a sect, it does not mean Dharma. Dharma is very wide concept. It is concerned with all aspects of life. It sustains the society. Even further, it sustains the whole world. That which sustains is Dharma.”
    • Quoted from Talreja, K. M. (2000). Holy Vedas and holy Bible: A comparative study. New Delhi: Rashtriya Chetana Sangathan.
  • Muslim goondas may, at a single stroke, besmirch the honour and reputation of the highest citizens. ... Our sisters and daughters are carried away be the Muslims, they are victims of assaults by British soldiers in broad daylight.
    • Organiser, 14 Apr 1968 p9, Quoted in Jaffrelot, C. Hindu Nationalist movement in India.
  • We have grown over-dependent upon foreign aid in everything from thinking, management, capital, methods of production, technology, etc., to even the standards and forms of consumption. This is not the road to progress and development. We will forget our individuality and become virtual slaves once again.
    • —Deendayal Upadhyaya, thinker and forerunner of the Bharatiya Janata Party quoted from Malhotra, R. (2021). Artificial intelligence and the future of power: 5 battlegrounds. New Delhi : Rupa, 2021.
  • It will not be wise, however, to engage in a blind rat-race of consumption and production as if man is created for the sole purpose of consumption.
    • —Deendayal Upadhyaya, thinker and forerunner of the Bharatiya Janata Party quoted from Malhotra, R. (2021). Artificial intelligence and the future of power: 5 battlegrounds. New Delhi : Rupa, 2021.

Quotes about Upadhyaya edit

  • As I have expressed earlier, two people—Rajpal Puri and Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya—exerted the deepest influence on my public life.
    • L.K. Advani, quoted in L.K. Advani, My Country My Life (2008)
  • If I could get two or three more Deendayals, I will change the entire political map of India.’
    • Dr Prasad Mookerjee, quoted in L.K. Advani, My Country My Life (2008)
  • India after Independence has produced few leaders who were also political philosophers. Deendayalji was one of the few, and the finest.
    • L.K. Advani, quoted in L.K. Advani, My Country My Life (2008)
  • It is not unheard of that when one political party replaces another, pages will be torn out of the old social studies textbooks if there is not enough time to replace the textbooks published under the previous political party's influence. This happened to an English language Reader in the Indian state of Rajasthan written in 1998 when there was a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in charge of the state. The Course Reader for Class Twelve, with English essays included the writings of Mahatma Gandhi, R.S. Sharma, Jawaharlal Nehru, and controversially one by Deendayal Upadhyaya, chapter four. Democracy and Political Parties, beginning on page twenty-nine. Deendayal is held in high esteem by the BJP because he was instrumental in fouirdlng the party that led to the growth of the BJP. He was murdered mysteriously, but is considered an intellectual of the Sangh Parivar. When the Congress won back control of the state government in Rajasthan, they continued to use the same English reader the following year, but the essay by Deendayal was torn out and the title crossed out of the table of contents. The next essay My Life and Mission by Swami Vivekananda began at the bottom of the last page of the grammar and writing exercises following the Deendayal essay and the remaining questions were marked through several times with a blue pen. The Deendayal essay discussed the democratic process and was not about any particular political party. Though his essay was truly nonpartisan, his name was not wanted in a textbook published under the Congress party. When the Congress returned to power in that state they simply sliced out that chapter thereby using up the remaining textbooks before republishing them a practical, if political, solution.
    • Y Rosser Indoctrinating Minds: Politics of Education in Bangladesh. 2004 page25ff

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