Pt. Deendayal Upadhyaya’s assassination: The unsolved mystery

Pt. Deendayal Upadhyaya’s assassination: The unsolved mystery

Mumbai, February 11: Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya (1916 – 1968) was an eminent political personality and a profound philosopher. However, his assassination never became a discussion point for the media largely dominated by leftists and funded by Congress. It is still unclear why even the successive governments were reluctant to demystify the mystery.

11 February” is that black day in India’s political history and the history of humanity, which saw a most modest, simpler than simplest, a great organiser, a man with integrity and a visionary crafter of political ideology Pt. Deendayal Upadhyaya brutally assassinated in the yard of Mughalsarai station in 1968.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already initiated “Deendayal Upadhyaya Shramev Jayate” programme in the remembrance of the great visionary and ideologue who envisaged the welfare of all. Integral Humanism originally propounded by Pt. Deendayal Upadhyaya in 1965 continues to be only documented political philosophy of the BJP with Prime Minister Narendra Modi recalling its importance in guiding the BJP over the decades.

“Remembering Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya on his Punya Tithi. His ideals of Antyodaya and Integral Humanism remain a guiding force for us”, the Prime Minister said.


An organizer par excellence and a prominent leader of Jan Sangh who maintained the highest standards of personal integrity, Deendayal has been the source of ideological guidance and moral inspiration for the Jan Sangh and later to the BJP since its inception.

Deendayal’s assassination: The unsolved mystery

The untimely demise of Dr Mukherjee brought the lack of a leader of national stature in the Jan sangh. Leadership of highly inexperienced youth at the national and state levels made people apprehensive of Jan Sangh’s existence.

Still, Jan Sangh was marching ahead winning public trust with all patriotic India centric and welfare-oriented policies. The days were such that the Congress party led by Indira Gandhi with her dictatorial style of functioning and the social life was all swept by communist organisations who were ready to take bloody path to achieve their aims.

Deendayal Upadhyaya was General Secretary of the Bharatiya Jan Sangh from its first Kanpur session in December 1951 to its 14th Cabinet session in December 1967. The Jan Sangh sessions, movements, plenary thinking and resolutions, all contain an imprint of his personality.

His rigorous tours in all parts of the country made him easily accessible to the party cadres. The General Secretary’s report at every session was not a mere formal presentation of data, but was an enthusiastic and spirited call for further momentum to the party.

The years 1952 to 1957 were not only the emerging period of Jan Sangh as a new political party, but were also the years of survival.

Dr. Mahesh Chandra Sharma, an astute commentator of Deendayal’s political ideology says, “In such absolutely opposite political scenario, many local units were successful in Uttar Pradesh. In particular, out of the 970 contestants, 581 were successful there. The Jan Sangh workers had just entered politics; they also had to work as an opposition. The opposition has its own duty to perform, the chief being to tight for peoples’ rights with the government. Communists exercised influence over the opposition at that time. Upadhyaya did not like their attitude, nor did he favour their methodology.”

… On 11 February 1968

Upadhyaya travelled by third class when he was General Secretary of the Bharatiya Jan Sangh and he used to travel by passenger train instead of express train. It gave him an opportunity to read and write, as the chance to meet the Jan Sangh workers at small stations.

Around 3.45 a.m. on February 11, 1968, the lever-man at the Mughalsarai station informed the Assistant Station Master that about 150 yards from the station, towards the south of the railway line, a body was lying near the electric pole No. 1276. The police was alerted and the Assistant Station Master sent a memo to the police on which was written: “Almost dead.”

The doctor examined the body in the morning and declared it dead. When the unclaimed body was brought to the station, a curious crowd gathered there. Suddenly one person in the crowd shouted, “This is the Bharatiya Jan Sangh President, Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya!”
The news spread plunging the nation and the Jan Singh workers in inconsolable grief.

Adjourning all party meetings, all the leaders reached Varanasi and his body was brought to Delhi. Upadhyaya used to stay at Atal Behari vajpayee’s residence at 30, Rajendra Prasad Marg. His lifeless body was brought there. People from all over India reached Delhi.

Then RSS SarSanghachalak M. S. Golwalkar was already in Varanasi because of his close relations with Upadhyaya. Deendayal was like his disciple. When Guruji approached Upadhyaya’s dead body, his eyes filled with tears and he could only say in a choked voice, “Oh what has happened to him!”

Why Deendayal ji’s murder is unsolved?
A commission was appointed to probe the murder and concluded that he had been pushed out of the compartment by unidentified thieves, struck his head against a traction pole and died. It was murder, but was it assassination? A currency note was found in the hand of Sri Upadhyaya which led to the conjecture that he might have tried to get down from the running train and died of trauma.

Advani writes: “Till date, his murder has remained an unsolved mystery, although outwardly it appeared to have been a case of ordinary crime. The government accepted the demand of a group of MPs belonging to different political parties for a judicial enquiry, which was headed by Justice YV Chandrachud. The report he submitted, in which he said that he found no political angle to the murder and that it was a case of ordinary crime, satisfied no one.”

Nanaji Deshmukh punched holes in the Chandrachud commission’s findings. “Even the Sessions Judge of Varanasi disbelieved the CBI story that two petty thieves had murdered Punditji,” he wrote. The commission’s report did not explain why Upadhyaya was standing near the door of the bogie, or why he was clutching a Rs 5 note in his hand. Nor did it deal with the presence of a stranger in the bogie, which railway staff had testified to. The theft motive, too, was dubious because his suitcase and watch – the only items of value he was carrying – were untouched. The timing of the death, too, remains a mystery, with the state CID and CBI giving separate versions. The commission itself acknowledges that the symmetrical, neat manner in which the body was found did not argue death from a single impact with the traction pole.

So far, no political murder mystery is solved in free India.

Even Jan Sangh’s first president Shyama Prasad’s death shrouded in mystery that is not yet solved; Shastri’s death also remained unresolved.

Political angle maybe most likely, as Upadhyaya’s assassination has happened in the days when the Bharatiya Jan Sangh was gaining public trust projecting Indian ethos. This posed a serious political challenge to already established Congress and Communists.

(Inputs from

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