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IN MEMORY OF BALRAJ MADHOK
The former president of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh was a torch-bearer for India’s nationalist forces. He led the ban on cow slaughter, highlighted the Ram temple cause and demanded the full integration of Jammu & Kashmir into India.
With the passing of Balraj Madhok, former president of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, on May 2, India lost a formidable intellectual, a bold and fearless leader, a great organiser and a freedom-fighter. Madhok had many firsts to his credit during his long and eventful career. That his funeral was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, senior BJP leader LK Advani, and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, shows that Madhok was a highly respected leader of the BJP.
Almost half a century ago, I was introduced to Madhok by Deendayal Upadhyay, in Patna, in 1966. As a young lad, I was deeply impressed with Madhok’s intellectual prowess and his views on nationalism and social integration.
Madhok was close to Dalit icon BR Ambedkar and met him regularly even in the Dalit icon’s last days at 26 Alipur Road, Delhi. Ambedkar was impressed with Madhok’s views on Indian culture, his plan to make Sanskrit the link language of the country, and give a just and fair deal to the socially downtrodden people.
Arguably, Madhok was the first to demand a ban on cow-slaughter in India. It was in the 1960s that he raised this issue forcefully. He travelled across the country to create public opinion in favour of banning cow slaughter.
He was of the opinion that the followers of Dharma (Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists) consider the cow to be sacred. In light of this, he said India must ban cow slaughter.
In 1968, Madhok also became the first leader to demand that the Ram temple in Ayodhya be handed over to the Hindus, and in return, Hindus should build a big mosque adjacent to the Ram temple.
He made this particular demand when he was a Lok Sabha member from South Delhi constituency. He was first elected to the Lok Sabha in 1957 from the New Delhi seat as a Jana Sangh candidate. That was also the time when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was elected to the Lok Sabha for the first time from Balrampur.
With Syama Prasad Mookerjee, Madhok authored the constitution of the Jana Sangh. On October 21, 1951, the Jana Sangh was formed at Raghumal Arya Kanya School at Raja Bazar, close to Connaught Place in New Delhi. While Mookerjee was elected as president, Madhok was elected as national secretary of the party. At its first session, the party decided that would ensure that cow-slaughter was banned in India.
Madhok was a votary of a ‘Hindu Rashtra’. He was instrumental in bringing LK Advani to the Jana Sangh fold. At that time, Upadhyay was looking for a young person who could write good English, translate Press statements, resolutions and other party material. Madhok introduced Advani to the Jana Sangh stalwart. And the rest, as they say, is history.
The Kashmir issue too was close to Madhok’s heart. While studying at Lahore, Madhok, in 1938, joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, which he found to be close to the Arya Samaj’s way of thinking. He became a pracharak for the RSS in 1942 and was sent to Jammu & Kashmir to establish the outfit in that State. Madhok stayed in Jammu for two years, building up the RSS network.
He moved to Srinagar in 1944 as a history lecturer at DAV College and continued to build the RSS network there. When Hindu refugees started arriving in Srinagar after partition, they also joined the RSS branches.
Mehr Chand Mahajan, the Prime Minister of Kashmir from October 15, 1947, was the chairman of the managing society of DAV College. According to Madhok, he had gathered advance intelligence of the invasion by Pakistani raiders and passed it on to the authorities. Madhok mobilised RSS volunteers to defend Srinagar at the request of the Maharaja on October 23, 1947.
Madhok also demanded the complete unification of Jammu & Kashmir with India, in opposition to the loose autonomy negotiated between Sheikh Abdullah and Jawaharlal Nehru (later manifested in Article 370). Madhok was externed from Jammu & Kashmir by Abdullah as a result of his political stance. Madhok moved to Delhi in 1948 and started teaching at a college, which was established for the education of refugees from West Punjab. Later, he was a lecturer of history at the DAV College in Delhi, affiliated to Delhi University. In 1951, Madhok launched the student union of the Sangh parivar which later came to be known as the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad.
During the 2014 Lok Sabha poll, Madhok spoke to Narendra Modi who was then campaigning for the top job, and told him, “You will be the Prime Minister of India and BJP will get full majority”. His last words to Modi were, “Dateh raho (keep at it)”. India’s nationalist forces will always remember Madhok with a deep sense of gratitude.
(The writer is a Rajya Sabha MP, 11 May 2016, The Pioneer ).
A sincere reading of the aforesaid obituary must take you to the feet of the departed leader with a high reverence who was only an embodiment of Hindutva in all respect.
But, unfortunately, this legendary Hindutva icon was turned as victim of Sangha Parivar Politics in its ulterior motives, many veteran Hindutvawadis say.
He was the first man who questioned the mysterious death of Pandit Deendayal Upadhayay on 11th February 1968 while he was travelling from Lucknow to Patna. Madhok believed an invisible hand of a close aide behind the assassination of Pt. Upadhayay. This put an unbearable situation for the newly elected Jana Sangha president Atal Bihari Vajpayee and his mother organisation RSS. As a result, Modhok was put into a process of censorship for which he was restricted in Sangha activities gradually.
After emergency and out-coming from Janta Dal experiment, when Bharatiya Janata Paraty was formed in 1980, Balraj Madhok warned Sangha Parivar not to adopt “Gandhian Socialism” as a guiding principle of BJP along with “Integral Humanism”. But, nobody heard him and someway Modhok was expelled from the Sangha circle.
Disgusted with various psedo-secular agenda of BJP, Madhok tried to revive Jana sangha in 1984, but it was not a success for Him. But, Sangha and BJP were less bothered to retain the Hindutva stalwart in their fold. Never He was offered with any posts in any Govt committees connected with different academic, social or developmental bodies in NDA ruling. Madhok was a MP from Delhi in 1957 and had his vast knowledge in parliamentary affairs. But, his name was never been suggested/proposed as a RS member in Indian parliament.
Even he had to face some challenging phase of economic crisis in the period of nineties when his facilities as EX MP was about to curtailed for some unknown reasons.
RK Sinha, writer of this article “IN MEMORY OF BALRAJ MADHOK” and a sitting MP of Rajya Sabha rightly says, “With the passing of Balraj Madhok, former president of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, on May 2, India lost a formidable intellectual, a bold and fearless leader, a great organiser and a freedom-fighter.”
In my words, He was the embodiment of Patriotism and Hindutva. But, what can we do for the removal of our ‘sins’ accrued through various injustice to Him?
There is a way.
Sri RK Sinha may keep my request by starting a “Prof Balraj Madhok Foundation for National Affairs”. This foundation may help a resurgence of Hindutva values to rebuild this Mighty Nation in a holistic approach by preserving and propagating the thinking of Balraj Madhok, now scattered in his various books and writings.
~ Upananda Brahmachari (firstname.lastname@example.org)