Syama Prasad Mookerjee, founder of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh died on this day in 1953. Born on 6 July, 1901, Mookerjee was the Minister for Industry and Supply in the cabinet of India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. However, he resigned in protest against the Nehru-Liaquat Pact.
The political leader, who is also considered to be the founder of the Bharatiya Janata Party, was also against a different flag for Jammu and Kashmir. Mookerjee worked for the Jammu and Kashmir issue and in 1953, he died there in detention after almost a month in police custody.
Here are some lesser-known facts about Syama Prasad Mookerjee
- His father Sir Ashutosh Mukherjee was a barrister, while his mother Jogmaya Devi was a scholar - Mookerjee started his higher education at Presidency College, Kolkata - The Jana Sangh founder studied law and also had an MA in Bengali, along with a degree in English - When he was 33 years old, he became the youngest person to become the Vice-Chancellor of Calcutta University - It was for the first time during his tenure that the Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore delivered the convocation address at the varsity - Mookerjee joined the Bengal Legislative Council in 1929, representing Calcutta University from the Indian National Congress. However, he resigned a year later - He was the President of the Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha and opposed the Quit India movement, writing letters to the British governor suggesting ways to stop it. The Mahasabha feared that the society's cultural integrity might be threatened by the movement - In 1946, Mookerjee demanded the partition of Bengal as he did not want the Hindu majority areas to be included in East Pakistan. He also wrote to Lord Mountbatten on this issue - He was also opposed to the idea of an independent and united Bengal. The idea of an independent Bengal was proposed by Subhas Chandra Bose's brother Sarat Bose and a Bengali Muslim politician Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy - He was a member of Nehru's cabinet, however he resigned in 1950 and a year later in 1951, he founded the Bharatiya Jana Sangh.