Shyama Prasad Mukherjee

डॉ. श्यामा प्रसाद मुखर्जी

Shyama Prasad Mukherjee is an example of great leadership and political milestone. He was the independent India’s first Minister of Industry and Supply and founder of Bharatiya Jana Sangh. Shyama Prasad was a qualified barrister and was passionate about education.

Shyama Prasad Mukherjee was born in a Bengali family on July 6 in 1901. His father Ashutosh Mukherjee was a judge of the Calcutta High Court. He started his initial education in Bhawanipur’s Mitra Institution in 1906. He passed his matriculation exam and was admitted to Presidency College. He stood seventeenth in the Inter-Arts Examination in 1916 and graduated in English, securing the first position in first class in 1921. He lost his father in 1924, the same year he enrolled as an advocate in Calcutta High Court.

At the age of 33, Shyama Prasad Mukherjee became the youngest vice-chancellor of Calcutta University in 1934. During Mukherjee’s term as Vice-Chancellor, Rabindranath Tagore delivered the university convocation address in Bengali for the first time, and the Indian vernacular was introduced as a subject for the highest examination.

He would have preferred to spend a lifetime in the hallowed portal of goddess Saraswati. However, the perilous political situation in undivided Bengal in the late 1930s compelled him to pursue active politics. Over the ensuing 14 years, he came to occupy an important place in national politics, wrote the Vice-President of India M Venkaiah Naidu in The Pioneer.

Mukherjee demanded the partition of Bengal in 1946 to prevent the inclusion of its Hindu-majority areas in a Muslim-dominated East Pakistan. A meeting held by the Mahasabha on April 15, 1947, in Tarakeshwar, authorised him to take steps for ensuring partition of Bengal. In May 1947, Shyama Prasad Mukherjee wrote a letter to Lord Mountbatten telling him that Bengal must be partitioned even if India was not. He also opposed a failed bid for a united but independent Bengal made in 1947 by Sarat Bose, the brother of Subhas Chandra Bose, and Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, a Bengali Muslim politician. It was a great move of Shyama Prasadji because of his anticipation, lives of many bangali Hindus were saved and Bengal became a inseparable part of our India.

After he left the Indian National Congress due to difference of opinion with the then-Prime Minister Dr Jawaharlal Nehru on Jammu and Kashmir issues, he co- founded Janata Party in the year 1977-1979, which later on became the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Shyama Prasad Mukherjee founded Bharatiya Jana Sangh that later became the BJP. The political Right has been opposing Article 370 since the Jan Sangh days. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, who was known to be a harsh critic of the Congress party in independent India, was against Article 370 and had expressed his displeasure at special status for J&K.

Shyama Prasad Mukherjee questioned why Jammu and Kashmir was kept out of the President’s jurisdiction and why the Congress agreed to a need for special permit to enter J&K. He also questioned why J&K has a ‘sadar-e-riyasat’ instead of governors and a prime minister instead of chief ministers like other states.

After J&K’s merger into Indian Union was passed, a slogan was coined, “Ek desh mein do Vidhan, do Pradhan aur do Nishan nahi chalenge

India had been at war with Pakistan over Jammu and Kashmir and while there was a ceasefire, the conditions were still “unusual and abnormal. Part of the erstwhile state’s territory was still in the hands of “rebels and enemies.

One could not enter Jammu and Kashmir without an official permit. In order to protest and build national awareness for J&K’s complete integration, Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, along with Atal Bihari Vajpayee, travelled across the country and entered J&K on 11 May, 1953, without any permit.

Mukherjee was arrested there by the J&K Police. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee died after 40 days of being arrested by the Jammu and Kashmir State police for entering the state without permit. He passed away in jail under mysterious circumstances.

With Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s announcement in Parliament to revoke Article 370 that gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has finally realised the dream of its founder Shyama Prasad Mukherjee. By scrapping Article 370, BJP has fulfilled its founder’s dreams.