Early Life

  • Deendayal Upadhyaya was born in 1916 in the village Chandrabhan, now called Deendayal Dham, near the Farah town in Mathura District, 26 km away from Mathura.
  • His father, Bhagwati Prasad, was an astrologer and his mother Rampyari was religious. When he was eight years old both of his parents died. His maternal uncle bought him up.


  • His education was under the guardianship of his maternal uncle and aunt. He went to high school in Pilani Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan where he matriculated.

    Deendayal Upadhyaya
    Deendayal Upadhyaya
  • Later Deendayal Upadhyaya did Intermediate at the Birla College in Pilani, the predecessor of the present Birla Institute of Technology and Science.
  • Deendayal Upadhyaya did his B.A. at the Sanatan Dharma College, Kanpur in 1939 and graduated in the first division.
  • He joined St. John’s College, Agra to pursue a master’s degree in English literature but could not complete his master’s degree.

Deendayal Upadhyaya Joined RSS

  • While Deendayal Upadhyaya was a student at Sanatan Dharma College, Kanpur in 1937, he came into contact with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) through his classmate Baluji Mahashabde.
  • Later he met the founder of the RSS, K. B. Hedgewar, who engaged with him in an intellectual discussion at one of the shakhas.
  • His maternal uncle persuaded him to appear for the Provincial Services Exam, where he got selected but declined to join the Services in order to work with Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh as it’s full-time worker, called Pracharak.
  • Deendayal Upadhyaya started full-time work in the RSS from 1942. Soon he had attended the 40-day summer vacation RSS camp at Nagpur where he underwent training in Sangh Education.
  • After completing second-year training in the RSS Education Wing, Upadhyaya became a lifelong pracharak of the RSS. He worked as the pracharak for the Lakhimpur district and, from 1955, as the joint prant pracharak (regional organiser) for Uttar Pradesh.
  • Upadhaya was regarded as an ideal swayamsevak of the RSS essentially because ‘his discourse reflected the pure thought-current of the Sangh’.

Rise within RSS

  • Soon Deendayal Upadhyaya started the monthly Rashtra Dharma from Lucknow in the 1940s. The publication was meant for spreading the ideology of Hindutva nationalism.
  • In 1951, when Syama Prasad Mookerjee founded the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, Deendayal was seconded to the party by the RSS, tasked with moulding it into a genuine member of the Sangh Parivar.
  • The leader of RSS appointed him as General Secretary of its Uttar Pradesh branch, and later the all-India General Secretary. For 15 years, he remained the outfit’s general secretary.
  • Soon he contested for Lok Sabha from Uttar Pradesh, but failed to attract significant political traction and did not get elected.

Philosophy and social thought

  • Upadhyaya conceived the political philosophy Integral Humanism.
  • His philosophy of Integral Humanism, synthesis of the material and the spiritual, the individual and the collective. He visualised for India a decentralised polity and self-reliant economy with the village as the base.
  • Deendayal Upadhyaya was convinced that India as an independent nation could not rely upon Western concepts like individualism, democracy, socialism, communism or capitalism and was of the view that the Indian polity after Independence has been raised upon these superficial Western foundations and not rooted in the traditions of India’s ancient culture.
  • He welcomed modern technology. He wanted technology that fulfill India’s requirements.


  • In December 1967, Member of Jan Sangh elected him as the president of the Jana Singh.
  • Later in the evening of 10 February 1968, at Lucknow he boarded the Sealdah Express for Patna.
  • Police found him murdered under mysterious circumstances on 11 February 1968.
  • His body was found near Mughalsarai railway station in Uttar Pradesh 10 minutes after the train arrived.
  • Later Government of India appointed Justice Y.V. Chandrachud of Bombay High Court to investigate death of Deen dayal upadhaya.

Justice Chandrachud reported his findings-

  • Thieves pushed Deendayal Upadhyaya out of the running train when he was standing near the door of the I Class compartment of the F.C.T. Bogie. Suddenly, he dashed against the traction pole and died an instantaneous death.
  • His injuries could not be caused outside the compartment. 
  • The murder was accompanied by an immediate theft, which shows that the two are part and parcel of the same transaction.
  • Finally, there is no proof to support the accusation that there was any politics in Shri Upadhyaya’s murder. Undoubtedly, he had political rivals but his death is the rash and extempore handiwork of mere thieves.


  • Since 2016 the BJP government under PM Modi named several public institutions after him. In Delhi, Government a renamed road/marg after Upadhaya.

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