Bharatiya Jana Sangh was a political party in India founded in 1951. It was a right-wing party and is considered the predecessor of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The party was founded by Syama Prasad Mukherjee, a prominent leader and former member of the Indian National Congress.
The party was based on the ideology of Hindutva, which espoused a strong Hindu identity and the promotion of Hindu culture and traditions. The party believed in the unity of India and opposed the idea of partition on religious lines.
Formation and Ideology
The Bharatiya Jana Sangh was formed in 1951 in response to what its founders saw as the failure of the Indian National Congress to address the needs of the Hindu community.
The party’s ideology was based on the principles of Hindutva, which sought to promote Hindu culture and traditions and create a strong sense of Hindu identity.
The party believed in the unity of India and opposed the idea of partition on religious lines. It also advocated for the abolition of the caste system and the establishment of a uniform civil code for all Indians.
Leadership and Members
The Bharatiya Jana Sangh was led by Syama Prasad Mukherjee until his death in 1953. After his death, the party was led by Deendayal Upadhyaya, a prominent leader who played a key role in shaping the party’s ideology and principles.
The party had a strong base among the Hindu community, particularly in the northern and western regions of India. Its members were drawn from various sections of society, including business people, professionals, and students.
Political Successes and Failures
The Bharatiya Jana Sangh contested several elections in India, both at the national and state levels. The party’s first major success came in 1967 when it won a significant number of seats in the state assembly elections in North India.
The party’s electoral success continued in the 1970s when it emerged as the principal opposition party in several states. However, at the national level, the party faced stiff competition from the Indian National Congress, which had a much broader base of support.
The Bharatiya Jana Sangh’s failure to expand its support base beyond the Hindu community was one of the main reasons for its inability to challenge the Indian National Congress at the national level.
In addition, the party was seen as a regional party that was primarily focused on the interests of the northern and western regions of India.
Merger with Janata Party and Legacy
In 1977, the Bharatiya Jana Sangh merged with several other parties to form the Janata Party. The Janata Party went on to win the general elections that year and formed the government at the national level.
After the Janata Party’s collapse, the Bharatiya Jana Sangh was re-established as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 1980. The BJP is currently the ruling party in India, and its ideology is still based on the principles of Hindutva and the promotion of Hindu culture and traditions.
In conclusion, the Bharatiya Jana Sangh was an important political party in India that played a significant role in shaping the country’s political landscape.
Although the party failed to expand its support base beyond the Hindu community, its ideology and principles continue to influence Indian politics to this day through its successor, the Bharatiya Janata Party.