A tribute to the man whose supreme sacrifice prevented India from losing Kashmir

By Sanchit on Wednesday, January 26, 2011

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Syama Prasad MookerjeeIntroduction-

Syama Prasad Mookerjee [July 6, 1901 - June 23, 1953) was a nationalist political leader of India, and is considered the godfather of modern Hindutva and Hindu Nationalism. Mookerjee founded the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, the first Hindu nationalist political party of its kind, and was also the leader of the Hindu Mahasabha and closely associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

Relevance to Kashmir-

Syama Prasad Mookerjee opposed the Indian National Congress's decision to grant Kashmir a special status with its own flag and Prime Minister. According to Congress's decision, no one, including the President of India could enter into Kashmir without the permission of Kashmir's Prime Minister. In opposition to this decision, he once said "Ek desh mein do Vidhan, do Pradhan and Do Nishan nahi challenge" (A single country can't have two constitutions, two prime ministers, and two National Emblems).

Mookerjee went to visit Kashmir in 1953, and observed a hunger strike to protest the law that prohibited Indian citizens from settling in a state within their own country and mandated that they carry ID cards. He was arrested on May 11 while crossing border into Kashmir. Although the ID card rule was revoked owing to his efforts, he died in detention on June 23, 1953 under mysterious circumstances.


Shyama Prasad was arrested on entering Kashmir on May 11, 1953. Thereafter, he was jailed in a dilapidated house. Shyama Prasad had suffered from dry pleurisy and coronary troubles, and was taken to hospital one and a half months after his arrest due to complications arising from the same. He was administered penicillin despite having informed the doctor-in-charge of his allergy to penicillin, and he died on May 23, 1953.

His death in custody raised wide suspicion across the country and demands for independent enquiry were raised, including earnest requests from his mother, Jogmaya Devi, to Jawaharlal Nehru. Nehru declared that he had enquired from a number of persons who were privy to the facts and, according to him, there was no mystery behind Mookerjee's death. Jogmaya Devi did not accept Nehru's reply and requested the setting up of an impartial enquiry. Nehru however ignored the letter and no enquiry commission was set up. Mookerjee's death therefore remains a matter of some controversy.

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A tribute to Shyama Prasad Mookerjee