In the phase of political transition, Congress influence was on a decline. Due to leadership of Pt Deendayal Upadhyaya, Jan Sangh was the emerging force. The nation suddenly lost this dynamic leader
Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay was a remarkable and great personality. It could be more realised after losing him. He was just 52 when we lost him. Though age has no direct correlation with the greatness as there are many personalities in the history he made their mark in a short span of life. Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay was one among them. Everyone, irrespective of his follower or not, knows that he was murdered. The conspirators tried their best to prove this murder as a minor accident but they failed miserably. The bigger truth is who the conspirators were behind this is still a murder mystery. Governments came and went at the centre, but nobody could solve this.
The whole story about murder of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay would shake up anybody. He was travelling from Lucknow to Patna by Railway. He was murdered in the railway yard of Mugalsarai station and his body was found on the platform. If a trespasser would not have identified the dead person as Deendayalji, conspirators would have been successful in declaring it as an unclaimed dead body. Rest of the course can be left to just imagination.
The moment Dendayalji’s dead body was identified, whole nation was stand still. The date was February 11, 1968. The budget session of the parliament was to start on the same day. The leaders of Bihar State Jan Sangh unit were surprised that he was not arrived by the expected train. He was supposed to reach there at 7.00 am by Pathankot-Siyaldah Express. He was the President of Bharatiya Jan Sangh. It was time of political transition. Political domination of Congress was on decline. There were alternative coalition governments of Samyukta Vidhayak Dal as many as eight states. Jan Sangh was a leading force in that. The main reason behind this was the leadership of Pandit Deendayal Upahyay. What was the motive behind his murder still remains an elusive question. It is beyond doubt that the murder of Deendayalji had derailed the progress of Jan Sangh.
Within few hours of his murder, the news spread across the country. All prominent leaders reached there. Meanwhile, the Jan Sangh workers from Mugalsarai and Varanasi did the required arrangements. District administration also came into action. Important leaders of Jan Sangh, including Atal Behari Vajpayee flew by special plane. Similarly, the then Deputy Chief Minister Ram Prakash Gupta and Minister Ganga Bhakt Singh also reached there. The post-mortem of Deendayalji’s dead body was halted till Sri Gurui, the then Sarsanghachalak of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, did not arrive.
It was a coincident that he was there in Prayag, just few hours away. Along with him, other colleagues of Pt Deendayal Upadhyaya such as Bhaurao Deoras, Professor Rajendra Sinhji and Prabhudatta Brahmachari also reached there. At the same time, Thakur Prasad, Ramdeo Mahato, Vijay Kumar Mitra, Kailashpati Mishra and Ashwani Kumar also arrived from Patna. It was a rending scene when Sri Guruji reached there. Seeing Pt Deendayalji in such a state he remained unperturbed and stayed away from all others in silence. His mid was full of sorrow. Next day he said, “I did not shed tears. It was very difficult to control my mind.”
After post-mortem, the mortal remains of Deendayalji were brought to Delhi by a special flight. At around 1 am, his body was taken from Palam airport to 30, Rajendra Prasad Road, which was Atal Behari Vajapayee’s residence and where Panditji also use to stay. Next day, Morarji Desai, the then Deputy Prime Minister Morarji Desai was the first one to pay the tribute, followed by President Dr Zakir Hussain, Primie Minister Indira Gandhi, Lok Sabha Speaker Neelam Snajeev Reddy, Vice President V V Giri. Many Union minsters like Fakruddin Ali Ahmad, Acharya J B Kriplani, Humayun Kabir, former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Bakshi Gulam Mohammad, Chaudhari Charan Singh, Jayprakash Narayan and his wife Prabhawati Devi, Sardar Swarn Singh also paid their floral tributes. Thousands of people queued up for their turn to catch a last sight of their beloved leader.
The funeral procession started the same afternoon amidst the chanting of May the name of martyr Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya be immortal and Bharat Mata Ki Jay. Thousands of people were participated in the procession with uncontrollable grief. The funeral procession From Rajendra Prasad Road to the crematorium on the banks of Yamuna was on for around five hours, via Janpath, Connaught Place Circle, Minto Bridge, Ajmeri Gate, Chandni Chawk, and historical Sheeshganj Gurudwara. People were standing on the road sides. Flowers were showered. Markets were closed still people were on roads. Besides Sangh and Jan Sangh leaders, many Members of Parliament and leaders from other states were present at the Nigam Bodh Ghat.
In the evening around, quarter past six, mortal remains of Deendayalji were placed on the funeral pyre. People started paying tribute to him. It was started with the then Sarkaryavah of the RSS Balasaheb Deoras. Many prominent leaders express their condolences towards the departed soul. After all the formalities, Panditji maternal cousin Prabhu Dayal Shukla performed last rites of him. The pain of untimely demise of the leader was expressed by many in various ways. After a week his ashes were immersed at Prayag, where hundreds of leaders along with Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Sundar Singh Bhandari were present.
Jan Sangh categorically said that his death was not due to some accident but it is a clear incident of murder. Atal Bihari Vajpayee as apt in his tribute when he said who thinks that snatching Upadhyayji from us would halt the progress of Jan Sangh do not understand us, they do understand the mettle and character of his followers. The then General Secretary of Jan Sangh, Sundar Singh Bhandari expressed similar sentiments in different words. He said that we would not allow extremists to be successful.
Rambahadur Rai (The write is a senior journalist and editor of monthly ‘Yathavat’)