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Bharatiya Jana Sangh
PresidentBharat Bhushan Pandey
FounderSyama Prasad Mukherjee
Founded21 October 1951; 72 years ago (21 October 1951)[1]
Dissolved23 June 1977; 46 years ago (23 June 1977)
Merged intoJanata Party (1977–1980)
Succeeded byBharatiya Janata Party (1980–present)
IdeologyHindu nationalism[2]
Integral humanism[4]
National conservatism[5]
Economic nationalism[6]
Political positionRight-wing[7]
Colours  Saffron
Election symbol
Diya, a traditional oil lamp, was the symbol of the party

The Akhil Bharatiya Jana Sangh (abbreviated as BJS or JS, short name: Jan Sangh,[9] was an Indian nationalist political party. This party was established on 21 October 1951 in Delhi, that existed from 1951 to 1977. Its three founding members were Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, Balraj Madhok and Deendayal Upadhyaya. Jan Sangh was the political arm of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a Hindu nationalist volunteer organisation.[10] In 1977, it merged with several other left, centre and right parties opposed to the Indian National Congress and formed the Janata Party.[11] In 1980, the members of erstwhile Jan Sangh quit the Janata party after the defeat in the 1980 general elections and formed the Bharatiya Janata Party, which is the direct political successor to the Jan Sangh.


Syama Prasad Mukherjee, founder of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh

Many members of the right-wing Hindu nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) began to contemplate the formation of a political party to continue their work, begun in the days of the British Raj, and take their ideology further. Around the same time, Syama Prasad Mukherjee left the Hindu Mahasabha political party that he had once led because of a disagreement with that party over permitting non-Hindu membership.[12][13][14] The BJS was subsequently started by Mukherjee on 21 October 1951[1] in Delhi, with the collaboration of the RSS, as a "nationalistic alternative" to the Congress Party.[15]

After the death of Mukherjee in 1953, RSS activists in the BJS edged out the career politicians and made it a political arm of the RSS and an integral part of the RSS family of organisations (Sangh Parivar).[16]

The strongest election performance of the BJS came in the 1967 Lok Sabha election in which it won 35 seats,[17][18] when the Congress majority was its thinnest ever.[19]


Main article: Hindutva

The BJS leadership strongly supported a strong policy against Pakistan and China, and were averse to the Communist idelogy and the Soviet Union. Many BJS leaders also initiated the drive to ban cow slaughter nationwide in the early 1960s.[20]

Chronological list of presidents

# Portrait Name Term
1 Syama Prasad Mukherjee 1951–52
2 Mauli Chandra Sharma 1954
3 Prem Nath Dogra 1955
4 Debaprasad Ghosh 1956–59
5 Pitamber Das 1960
6 Avasarala Rama Rao 1961
(4) Debaprasad Ghosh 1962
7 Raghu Vira 1963
(4) Debaprasad Ghosh 1964
8 Bachhraj Vyas 1965
9 Balraj Madhok 1966
10 Deendayal Upadhyaya 1967–68
11 Atal Bihari Vajpayee 1968–72
12 L. K. Advani 1973–77
See List of presidents of the Bharatiya Janata Party

In general elections

The Bharatiya Jana Sangh was created in 1951, and the first general election it contested was in 1951–52, in which it won only three Lok Sabha seats, in line with the four seats won by Hindu Mahasabha and three seats won by Ram Rajya Parishad. Shyama Prasad Mookerjee and Durga Charan Banerjee were elected from Bengal and Uma Shankar Trivedi from Rajasthan. All the like-minded parties formed a block in the Parliament, led by Shyama Prasad Mookerjee.[21][17]

Year General Election Seats Won Change in Seat % of votes Ref.
1951 1st Lok Sabha 3 3.06 [21][18]
1957 2nd Lok Sabha 4 Increase 1 5.93 [17][18]
1962 3rd Lok Sabha 14 Increase 10 6.44 [17][18]
1967 4th Lok Sabha 35 Increase 21 9.31 [17][18]
1971 5th Lok Sabha 22 Decrease 13 7.35 [22][18][23]


  1. ^ a b "Founding of Jan Sangh". Archived from the original on 25 January 2019. Retrieved 25 January 2019.
  2. ^ Graham, Bruce D. "The Jana Sangh as a Nationalist Rally". Hindu Nationalism and Indian Politics. Cambridge University Press. p. 94.
  3. ^ Thachil, Tariq (2014). Elite Parties, Poor Voters. Cambridge University Press. p. 42.
  4. ^ Kochanek, Stanley (2007). India: Government and Politics in a Developing Nation. Cengage Learning. p. 333.
  5. ^ Baxter, Craig (1969). The Jana Sangh: a biography of an Indian political party. University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 171.
  6. ^ Marty, Martin E. (1996). Fundamentalisms and the State. University of Chicago Press. p. 418.
  7. ^ Field, John Osgood. Electoral Politics in the Indian States. Manohar Book Service. p. 28.
  9. ^ Donald Anthony Low, ed. (1968), Soundings in Modern South Asian History, University of California Press
  10. ^ A. G. Noorani (2000). The RSS and the BJP: A Division of Labour. LeftWord Books. p. 20. ISBN 9788187496137.
  11. ^ "Syama Prasad Mookerjee: Lesser-known facts about the Bharatiya Jana Sangh founder". Firstpost. 23 June 2021. Retrieved 14 July 2021.
  12. ^ Urmila Sharma & SK Sharma 2001, p. 381.
  13. ^ Kedar Nath Kumar 1990, pp. 20–21.
  14. ^ Islam 2006b, p. 227.
  15. ^ Sharad Gupta; Sanjiv Sinha (18 January 2000). "Revive Jan Sangh – BJP hardlines". The Indian Express. Archived from the original on 12 October 2013. Retrieved 11 October 2013.
  16. ^ Kanungo, Pralaya (November 2006), "Myth of the Monolith: The RSS Wrestles to Discipline Its Political Progeny", Social Scientist, 34 (11/12): 51–69, JSTOR 27644183
  17. ^ a b c d e Archis Mohan (9 October 2014). "The roots of India's second republic". Business Standard. Retrieved 8 November 2014.
  18. ^ a b c d e f Andersen & Damle 1987, p. 165.
  19. ^ "General Election of India 1967, 4th Lok Sabha" (PDF). Election Commission of India. p. 5. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 July 2014. Retrieved 13 January 2010.
  20. ^ "Anti-cow slaughter mob storms Parliament | From the Archives (dated 8 November 1966)". The Hindu. 8 November 2016. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 26 January 2020. Thousands of rupees worth of damage to buildings and vehicles, both private and public, was caused by the mob which, in a violent and vociferous way, was demonstrating for the imposition of a ban on cow slaughter by Government. The parties who organised the demonstration, the number of participants in which was estimated between 3 lakhs and 7 lakhs, were the Jan Sangh, the Hindu Mahasabha, the Arya Samaj and the Sanatan Dharma Sabha
  21. ^ a b Nag 2014, chapter 1.
  22. ^ Nag 2014, chapter 4.
  23. ^ "Members : Lok Sabha". Parliament of India. Retrieved 2 August 2022.


Further reading