Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was established with a vision to bring in “Cultural Nationalism,” in 1980. The BJP is a national party and is the most prominent member of Sangh Pariwar family. The history and spirit of BJP can be traced back to the Bharatiya Jan Sangh. Bharatiya Jan Sangh (BJS), predecessor party of BJP, was founded in 1952 which won 3 seats in the First Loksabha Election in India and continued as a political party for 24 years. Subsequently the BJS merged into the Janata Party in 1977 and formed a coalition government. BJP was formed after the fallout of Janta Party coalition government in 1979.
The man behind creating such a large party with once single objective was none other than the great visionary, scholar and leader Dr Syama Prasad Mookerji, drawing inspiration from Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya. Pandit ji was an insightful leader and guided the erstwhile BJS party from 1953 to 1968.
Taking its genes from RSS and the erstwhile Bharatiya Jan Sangh, BJP is dedicated to the country’s unity, integrity, its inherent uniqueness, social strength, individual character and cultural exclusivity that have been the characteristic of India.
The country has seen many invasions and oppressions from external forces. It has fearlessly resisted and fought against all odds, keeping its flag of essential civilization and cultural ethos afloat. History is the evidence to Indian spirit, to the patriotism of Chatrapati Shivaji, the legacy of Kakatiya, the heroism of Maharana Pratap, Lakshmi Bai, and of Guru Govind Singh.
The same spirit was carried forward by Swami Dayanand Saraswati and Swami Vivekanada in the recent past. Keeping alive the spirit, Lokmanya Tilak, Mahatma Gandhi, Sri Aurobindo, and others have made history by their simple yet powerful message of patriotism for the Mother Land.
With the principle of “Justice for all and appeasement of none” the Sangh(RSS), founded by Dr K B Hedgewar (Doctorji) in 1925 and strengthened after 1940 by M S Golwalkar (Guruji). It believes the Hindu identity and culture as the foundation of the county. To the Sangh, all Indians, irrespective of their religion, region, caste, and creed are equal.
<h3>Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya</h3>
Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya was the chief of Bharatiya Jana Sangh from 1953 to 1968. He was highly committed and had been the source of inspiration for BJP since its initiation.
Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya was born on 25 September 1916 in the region of Brij belonging to a village of Nagla Chandraban in Mathura. Deendayalji completed his intermediate with distinction in Pilani and later passed his B.A in first class from Sanatan Dharma College in 1937. In the same year he joined RSS on request of his friend, Shri. Balwant Mahashabde.
During a competitive examination held by the government, he appeared in dhoti and kurta, with a cap on his head, while others came in western suits and called him “Panditji” , which was used by many people with respect and love in the years followed. He topped the examination and later pursued his B.T. Upon successful completion of B.T he continued to actively take part in RSS activities and moved to Lakhimpur district in UP as an organizer. He became provincial organizer of RSS in UP in 1955.
Deendayalji started a publishing house ‘Rashtra Dharma Prakashan’ in Luknow and he started a monthly magazine ‘Rashtra Dharma’. Afterwards, he introduced weekly magazine ‘Panchjanya’ and daily magazine ‘Swadesh’.He was highly influential in hosting political convention in UP and beginning the state unit of the new party, Bharatiya Jana Sangh. He organized all India convention held for the first time on 21 October 1951. His organizing skills were excellent. He became the president of Jana sangh in 1968 and later moved to south with the message of Jana Sangh. Deendayalji met with sudden death on 11 Febraury 1968, the day which left all his followers and disciples sad.
<h3><strong>Founder of Bharatiya Jana Sangh</strong></h3>
<h3>Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee (1901-1953)</h3>
Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee was born on 6 July 1901. He graduated from Calcutta University and became the fellow of the senate in 1923. In 1924 he enrolled himself as an advocate in Calcutta High court. Later on he left for England in 1926 and was admitted as a barrister from Lincoln’s Inn in 1927.
Dr Mookerjee became the youngest Vice-Chancellor at the University of Calcutta and was in the position till 1938. During his term period he introduced many constructive reforms and actively took part in Asiatic Society and he was also a member of Court and the Council of the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore and chair person of Inter-University of Board.
Pandit Nehru admitted him as Industry and supply minister during the interim government. Bharatiya Jana Sangh was established by him on 21 October 1951. Later on he formed the NDA government as an alliance of 32 Lok Sabha MPs and 10 Rajya Sabha MPs.
Dr. Mookerjee worked hard for the cause of unifying Jammu and Kashmir with the remaining India. Bharatiya Jana Sangh, Ram Rajya Parishad and Hindu Mahasabha have initiated Satyagraha with intent to remove destructive provisions of the Article 370. Mookerjee visited Kashmir in 1953 and was arrested on 11 May 1953 for violating notorious Permit System. He passed away on 23 June 1953.
<h3>Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee</h3>
Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the eleventh Prime Minister of India from 16-31 May 1996 and he served again from 19 March 1998 to 13 May 2004. Born on 25 December 1924 in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, to Shri Krishna Bihari Vajpayee and Smt. Krishna Devi, Shri Vajpayee is a parliamentarian for over four decades. Shri Vajpayee, a leader of the center-right Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and is the only Prime Minister outside the Indian National Congress party to be serve for full term of five-years.
Vajpayee had entered politics in August 1942. In 1951, he was appointed to serve for Bharatiya Jana Sangh, a political party coupled with the RSS. His oratorical and organizational skills had made him the national president of the Jana Sangh in 1968. Vajpayee is the only parliamentarian elected from four diverse states including Gujarat, MP, UP and Delhi at different times.
Vajpayee was one of the founders of former Bharatiya Jana Sangh and after the collapse of Janata government he re-established the Jana Sangh as the Bharatiya Janata Party in 1980. Vajpayee was the first President of BJP party. Vajpayee is one among the few Indian Prime Ministers to leave a remarkable impact on society.
<h3>Shri Lal Krishna Advani</h3>
Lal Krishna Advani is an Indian politician and a senior leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Advani was born on 8 November 1927 in Karachi, to Kishanchand D Advani and Gyani Devi. Advani has worked as a volunteer of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, a right-wing Hindu nationalist organization. He became a member of Bharatiya Jana Sangh and after working for various positions in the Jana Sangh party, he became its President in 1973. He was also a member of Rajya Sabha from Gujarat from 1976 to 1982.
Advani is a prominent leader of the newly founded BJP and represented the party in the Rajya Sabha from Madhya Pradesh twice beginning in 1982. Advani undertook a “Rath Yatra,” or chariot journey, to mobilze karsevaks, or volunteers, to join upon the Babri Masjid to offer prayers. Advani is the most prominent leader in the BJP after Vajpayee.
<h3>Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi</h3>
Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi is an Indian politician and is a leading member of the Bharatiya Janata Party. He was the President of BJP between the period of 1991 & 1993. Presently he is the MP for Kanpur. Later in the NDA regime, he became the Union Human Resources Development minister of India. He is familiar for his vision on Indian socio-politics and for his association with the RSS.
Joshi was born in a Brahmin family on 5 January 1934, in Nainital, Uttarakhand. Joshi was elected as the General Secretary of the Janata Parliamentary Party when it came to power. As BJP’s General Secretary, he was in charge of Bengal, Bihar and North-Eastern States. Later, when BJP formed a government in India under Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Joshi served as the Human Resource Development Minister in the cabinet. As BJP candidate, he won the election to the 15th Lok Sabha from Varanasi and also served as the home minister for 13 days government in 1996.
In 2009, Dr.Joshi was selected as the Chairman of Manifesto Preparation Board of the BJP. He was rewarded as “Proud Past Alumni” of Allahabad University by Allahabad University Alumni Association.
<h3>Late Shri Kushabhau Thakre</h3>
Kushabhau Thakre was born at Dhar in Madhya Pradesh on 15 August 1922. He pursued his education in Dhar and Gwalior. He was admitted into RSS Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and advanced in Jana Sangh in 1942. Later on he joined Janata Party during the time the parties merged. He was imprisoned for 19 years along with opposition leaders during emergency in 1977–1979 and was elected to parliament through by elections from Madhya Pradesh in 1979.
Thakre was appointed as secretary of BJP in 1980, when the party was formed. He was elected as the president of Bharatiya Janata party on 14 April 1998. He came down from the position in August 2000 and died on 28 December 2003 at the age of 81.
Kushabhau Thakre was known for his leadership qualities and had the quality of inspiring people and building a team of highly committed workers. He encouraged others to act in forefront guiding them from backdrop.
<h3>Late Shri K. Jana Krishnamurthy</h3>
K. Jana Krishnamurthy is an Indian politician who was born on 24 May 1928, in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. In 2001, he rose to be the president of Bharatiya Janata Party.
Krishnamurthy is a former Union Law Minister and a member of Indian parliament. He was the second person from Tamil Nadu after Kamaraj to lead a national party in India. Being an active member of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Krishnamurthy was elected as the Bharatiya Jana Sangh’s General Secretary in Tamil Nadu.
He stood one among the founders of Bharathiya Janata Party (BJP) along with Lal Krishna Advani, Kushabhau Thakre, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, SS Bhandari and Jaganatha Rao Joshi. During the period of 1980 to 1990, he aided the BJP to expand in four Southern states which include Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Karnataka.
He was the member of Rajya Sabha from Gujarat state. He was also elected as the Petitions Committee’s chairman.
<h3>Shri Bangaru Laxman</h3>
Bangaru Laxman was a member of Bharatiya Janata Party and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). He was President of the party from 2000-2001 and served as a minister of state for railways in Indian Government from 1999 to 2000.
Laxman joined the politics at very early age. He was the first dalit to be elected as the president of BJP. He was the member of Legislative Council of Andhra Pradesh from 1980-85 and Rajya Sabha member on behalf of Gujarat from 1996 to 2002. He served as a state minister for Planning, Statistics and Program Implementation from October to November 1999 and as railway minister from November 1999- August 2000.
Bangaru Laxman joined RSS at a tender age of 12 years and later became the most active member of Jan Sangh Party in 1969. He served in the Electricity department in Andhra Pradesh’s government in 1958. Bangaru Lakshman passed away on 1 March 2014 in Hyderabad due to severe health problem.
<h3>Shri Rajnath Singh</h3>
Shri Rajnath Singh is a famous Indian politician who is presently working as the Union Minister of Home Affairs in the administration of Narendra Modi. He is also the President of the ruling party, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Earlier he was the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and Cabinet Minister during the period of Vajpayee Government.
He was born on 10 July 1951 and at the age of 24 he was appointed as the District President of the Jana Sangh. In 1977 he was selected as a Member of Legislative Assembly from the Mirzapur constituency. Under the first BJP government he became the Education Minister in the state of Uttar Pradesh in 1991. He was selected into the Rajya Sabha in 1994 and he became involved with the Advisory committee on Industry (1994–96), Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Agriculture, Business Advisory Committee, House Committee and the Committee on Human Resource Development. He became the President of the BJP’s Uttar Pradesh unit in on 25 March 1997 and in became the Union Cabinet Minister for Surface Transport in 1999. He became Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh in 2000 and performed many welfare activities for the people during his tenure period. After that he was re-elected as the BJP’s National President on 24 January 2013 and participated in 2014 Lok Sabha elections from Lucknow constituency and was elected as a Member of the Indian Parliament.
<h3>Shri Amit Shah</h3>
Amit Shah is the President of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), succeeding Rajnath Singh. He is a distinguished political leader in the party.
Shah is known for his organisational abilities and strategic planning within the party across the country. As an electoral incharge of BJP party from Uttar Pradesh, he turned fortunes of the party in the state with a spectacular result.
In the current elections, under the leadership of Shah, BJP and its ally won 73 out of 80 Lok Sabha seats in UP. The party’s vote share in the state has increased almost two and half times in less than two years.
Amit Shah was born on October 22, 1964 in a philanthropist family. At a tender age of 14, Shri Amit Shah joined the Rashtriya Syawamsevak Sangh (RSS) as a ‘Tarun Syawamsevak’.
In 1982, as a student of bio-chemistry, he was handed over the responsibility of the secretary of the students’ organisation ABVP in Ahmedabad. He later became the secretary of BJP Ahmedabad city unit.
For the first time, Shah was elected as an MLA in 1995, from Sarkhej assembly constituency. He was re-elected from the same constituency in 1998. He later shifted his constituency to Naranpura Assembly seat in 2012.
In 2000, the Ahmedabad District Co-Operative Bank Limited was in totters and declared a weak bank due to lack of leadership. It was then that Amit Shah was brought in as the chairman of the bank, within a year the Bank cleared its debts and fell in line of other profit-making banks, with declaration of 10% dividend.
In 1995, under the leadership of Keshubhai Patel, Shah became the youngest chairman of Gujarat State Financial Corporation (G.S.F.C.). From 2002, under the leadership of Narendra Modi, Shah held several portfolios in Gujarat, which includes transport, police, housing, border security, civil defense, gram rakshak dal, home guards, prison, prohibition, excise, law and justice, parliamentary affairs and the coveted home ministry.
Amit Shah executed his brief to perfection, eventually beating competition within the BJP to emerge as party president ahead of state elections in Haryana and Maharashtra this year and Jharkhand and J&K next year. Shah’s appointment reflects BJP’s urge to consolidate its electoral gains further and expand its national footprint.