On Friday, hundreds took to social media platforms to mark the birth anniversary of Bharatiya Jana Sangh leader, Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya. While many BJP leaders and Union Ministers paid homage to the leader, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also addressed BJP karyakartas via video-conferencing.
"The contribution of Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya ji to make India better as a country and society has inspired generations. The path he has shown to every BJP worker instils confidence in us," the Prime Minister was quoted as saying.
Having come into contact with the RSS ideology while in college, Upadhyaya began working full time for the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh in 1942. He became a lifelong pracharak of the RSS, and as many note, was an ideal swayamsevak. Alongiside, Upadhyaya ran several publications including the monthly Rashtra Dharma and later, the weekly Panchjanya and the daily Swadesh.
Upadhyaya was one of the founding members of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh. While it began as a political arm of sorts for the RSS, the party was the forerunner of the BJP that exists today. In the 1960s he had also unsuccessfully contested the by-poll for the Jaunpur Lok Sabha Seat.
Eventually, in December 1967, Upadhyaya was the elected president of the BJS. His tenure however was short, as he was passed away the next year in February. Having fallen from an express train, he was found dead near a traction pole - something that many believe was a murder by bandits, even as others suggest foul play.