Days after the Centre gave its nod for Mughalsarai railway station to be renamed after Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, a “non-governmental organisation” which has several senior BJP leaders as its patrons has sent copies of a ‘comic book’ based on the late Jan Sangh leader, his ideology and association with the RSS, for distribution among school students.
The Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Seva Pratisthan has sent 100 copies of the 12-page ‘comic book’ to its units in 57 UP districts, as well as to other states including Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan etc., said the organisation’s national president Arun Mishra. They will be distributed among children in government and private schools for free.
In the ‘comic book’, a Class V student, on his first day of school after summer vacations, is depicted asking his teacher, “Guru ji suna hai ki ab hamare Mughalsarai railway station ka naam badalne wala hai?” (I have heard that Mughalsarai railway station is set to be renamed?) The teacher, surprised, asks, “Yeh tumhe kaise pata chala beta?” (How did you come to know of this?)
The student replies, “Guru ji, hamne garmi ki chuttiyon me akhbaar me yeh padha tha ki hamare vartman Mukhyamantri Shree Yogi ji Mughalsarai railway station ka naam badal kar Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyayji ke naam par naya naam rakhne wale hain.” (During our summer vacations, we had read in the newspapers that our CM Yogi Adityanath is going to rename Mughalsarai railway station after Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya)
In the book, Upadhyaya is referred to as an “Indian thinker, economist, historian, journalist” and who had played an “important” role in the foundation of the RSS and Bharatiya Jana Sangh (Bharatiya Janata Party at present). The book also says that Upadhyaya had passed the civil services examination, but left his job to pursue social service, then came in contact with RSS founder Dr Hedgewar and dedicated his life to the organisation. The last part in the book claims Upadhyaya was found dead at Mughalsarai station in 1968, and that his death is still a “mystery”.
“Students of a young age do not read bulky books. To present information about the life of Upadhyaya ji and his ideology of ‘Ekatm Manavaad’ in an attractive manner, this comic magazine has been published for young students. Deputy CM Dinesh Sharma released this magazine on August 5,” said Mishra, who has served as state general secretary of BJP publication’s cell for 3 years in the past.
He added that while the magazine has been printed in Hindi, it will soon be released in 14 other Indian languages and English.
The Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Seva Pratisthan, which claims BJP patriarch Atal Bihari Vajpayee was its first patron when it was founded in 1996 by then party MLC Shiv Kumar Asthana, has its headquarters in Lucknow, and senior BJP leaders like Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Kalraj Mishra, Deputy CM Dinesh Sharma, UP Assembly speaker Hridya Narayan Dixit and RSS All India ‘Baudhik Pramukh’ Swant Ranjan as its present patrons.
District units of the Pratisthan have been directed to organise programmes for school students as well, said Mishra. He added that if the response from students is satisfactory, another comic magazine on Shyama Prasad Mukherjee (another BJP ideologue) will be published.