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100th Birth Anniversary of Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhaya

The 100th Birth Anniversary of Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhaya was celebrated on 25 September 2017. The basic tenets of the philosophy and work of Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya for 'Antodaya'- which in the current context means poverty alleviation and 'íntegrating humanism'. These are being realised by focusing on the efforts to empower the poor through various welfare schemes launched by the government to eliminate poverty with particular emphasis in the change in approach from giving out assistance to empowering people economically. Poverty elimination is included as one of the SDGs at India's initiatives. The selected quotes titled 'Integral Humanism' makes interesting insightful reading.

Biography of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya

Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya was born on September 25, 1916, in the village of Dhankia in Rajasthan. He lost his father, Bhagwati Prasad, when he was less than three years old and his mother before he was eight. He was then brought up by his maternal uncle. Deendayal was outstanding in his studies and stood first in examinations. He won a number of prizes and scholarships. While he was a student at Sanatan Dharma College, Kanpur he joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (R.S.S.). Although he qualified as a teacher, he did not take to teaching profession. Instead, he dedicated himself to full-time work in RSS from 1942.

Deendayal Upadhyaya was a man of soaring idealism and had a tremendous capacity for organization. He started a monthly magazine “Rashtra Dharma”, a weekly ‘Panchajanya’, and a daily ‘Swadesh’. In 1951, when Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee founded the Bhartiya Jana Sangh, Deendayal became the first General Secretary of its U.P. branch. He was also chosen as All India General Secretary. The acumen and meticulousness shown by Deendayal deeply impressed Dr. Mookerjee and elicited his famous remarks “If I had two Dendayals, I could transform the political face of India”. After Dr. Mookerjee’s death in 1953, the entire burden of nurturing the orphaned organization and building it up as a nation-wide movement fell on the young shoulders of Deendayal. For 15 long years he remained the party’s General Secretary and built it up, brick by brick. He raised a band of dedicated workers imbued with idealism and provided the entire ideological framework of the party. The final triumph of his statesmanship and vision was the historic session of the Party in 1967.

Deendayal was a deep and original thinker. His philosophy of Integral Humanism, which is a synthesis of the material and the spiritual, the individual and the collective, bears eloquent testimony to this. In the field of politics and economics, he was pragmatic and down to earth. He visualized for India a decentralized polity and self-reliant economy with the village as the base. He welcomed modern technology but wanted it to be adapted to suit Indian requirements. Deendayal believed in a constructive approach. He exhorted his followers to co-operate with the Government when it was right and fearlessly oppose when it erred. He placed the nation’s interests above everything else. The rousing call he gave to the thousands of delegates in the Calicut session, still rings in their ears “We are pledged to the service not of any particular community or section but of the entire nation. Every countryman is blood of our blood and flesh of our flesh. We shall not rest till we are able to give to everyone a sense of pride that they are children of Bharatmata. We shall make Mother India sujala, suphala (overflowing with water and laden with fruits) in the real sense of these words and strive to dispel the gloom of ignorance and spread the radiance of knowledge all around her. With faith in ultimate victory, let us dedicate ourselves to this task”.

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