Atal ji of Bihar was Kailashpati Mishra

Whenever the name of Kailashpati Mishra comes to mind, the chest expands. The way Atal ji occupied a high position in the non-Congress politics of India in the 60s and 70s, if anyone got the same position along with Karpoori Thakur in the non-Congress politics of Bihar, it was Kailashpati Mishra. I remember, Atal ji used to say, “The significance of the formation of Jan Sangh-BJP is when an army of people chanting Bharat Mata ki Jai is raised in every part of the country.” Similarly, Kailashpati Mishra had said in the campaign of Jan Sangh, “Our objective is not only to win the elections, but our objective is to take the lamp (symbol of Jan Sangh) to every home, so that the future generations of the country become familiar with the spirit of cultural nationalism.” Take steps towards self-reliant India.” Today, when under the leadership of Narendra Modi we are seeing India catching up with the world, I am deeply reminded of Kailashpati.

The tree of Jan Sangh-BJP planted by this Lal of Bihar in Bihar and watered with his blood and sweat has become a banyan tree today. The movement and campaign launched by Buxar-born Kailashpati Mishra in his youth is a source of inspiration for the youth even today. He joined the Quit India Movement of 1942 as a student and was arrested. But he refused to kneel against barbarity and injustice. One thing that the new generation should learn from Kailashpati, who was one of the founding members of BJP in Bihar, is that despite working hard day and night to build the organization, he never aspired to climb to the pinnacle of power. He fulfilled the responsibility given by the party very well. Despite being in politics, he lived Sangh life and followed purity throughout his life. Kept the cord of communication connected with the public and common workers. By establishing contacts in every village, he experienced the sufferings of the villagers and made continuous efforts to remove them. When the leader gives the message through his actions that I will also reach my destination after suffering like the common people, then the worker also gives his all. When Congress imposed emergency in the country, the leaders of Jan Sangh under the leadership of Loknayak Jayaprakash Narayan forgot their own existence and merged themselves into the Janata Party.

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Kailashpati had then become the Finance Minister in the government of Karpoori Thakur of Bihar. He took Bihar out of the darkness of injustice, insecurity and inconvenience and gave concrete shape to many schemes for the welfare of villages, poor and farmers. Kailashpati contested the 1971 Lok Sabha elections from Patna on Jan Sangh ticket, but lost. In the year 1977, he won Bihar Assembly elections from Bikram seat. His aim was one – to make Bihar Sujalam Suphalam. Therefore, he continued to serve disinterestedly even while holding the post. When BJP was established in 1980, he became the first president of Bihar unit of BJP. He also served as the National Vice President of BJP from 1995 to 2003. In the year 2003, he was appointed the Governor of Gujarat, he was also the acting Governor of Rajasthan.

Mishra never compromised on his principles. He was a man of amazing talent. He first nurtured Jan Sangh and then BJP and took the party to great heights. It is indicative of his dedication that he was made the state president of BJP thrice. It is the result of his penance that BJP flourished in entire Bihar. The central government under the leadership of Narendra Modi issued a postal stamp in his honor in 2016. Be it the agenda of poor welfare or the ritual of realizing the concept of Antyodaya, the sage-like Kailashpati Mishra remained dedicated to it throughout his life. If we are able to fulfill his dream of making Bihar a strong and fear-free Bihar, for which he had performed penance, we will be able to pay our respects to him, then we will consider life blessed.

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(These are the personal views of the author)

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