Nanaji Deshmukh Age, Death, Wife, Family, Biography & More
Bio/Wiki Real NameChandikadas Amritrao Deshmukh Nickname(s)Nanaji, Nana Bhai Profession(s)Activist, Politician Famous For• Working in the fields of health, education, and rural development • Being posthumously awarded the highest civilian honour of India, the Bharat Ratna Politics Political PartyBharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS)
Some Lesser Known Facts About Nanaji Deshmukh
He was born into a poor family. Despite the lack of money, he had a great desire to study and to fulfil his desire, he became a vegetable vendor to raise money for his studies.
In childhood, he was greatly inspired by the theories of Bal Gangadhar Tilak (an Indian Independence Activist and Nationalist).
Although he was born in Bombay Presidency (Now, Maharashtra), he spent most of the time in North India, especially, in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh.
He received his education in Rajasthan. He was so brilliant at studies that Raoraja of Sikar gave him a scholarship.
In school days in 1928, he joined the ‘Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’ (RSS).
His family had close ties with Dr. Keshav Baliram Hedgewar (Founder of the RSS) who was a regular visitor to Nanaji’s family. It was Keshav Baliram Hedgewar who encouraged Nanaji to join RSS.
Dr Keshav Baliram Hedgewar inspired Nanaji to join RSS
Seeing his devotion, second Chief of the RSS, M. S. Golwalkar, sent him to Gorakhpur as a Pracharak (Full-time functionary).
M. S. Golwalkar made Nanaji a full-time functionary
After the death of Dr. Keshav Baliram Hedgewar, many youngsters were inspired by him to join the RSS. In Agra, he met Deen Dayal Upadhyaya (Political Leader) for the first time.
In 1947, the RSS launched two journals; ‘Rashtradharma’ and ‘Panchjanya.’ Atal Bihari Vajpayee was assigned the responsibility as an editor of these journals. Nanaji and Deen Dayal Upadhyaya were made the managing directors.
Nanaji Deshmukh with Atal Bihari Vajpayee
He always emphasized education and due to his hard work, India’s first ‘Saraswati Shishu Mandir’ (School) was opened in Gorakhpur in 1950.
Saraswati Sishu Mandir Schools were founded by Nanaji Deshmukh
He had a good relationship with Chaudhary Charan Singh (Former Prime Minister of India) and Ram Manohar Lohia (Activist). Due to this, Bharatiya Jana Sangh made an alliance with United Legislature Party, which formed the first non-Congress government in Uttar Pradesh in 1967.
In 1969, he established the Deendayal Research Institute and served it after his retirement from active politics.
Nanaji Deshmukh founded the Deendayal Research Institute
In 1977, when Morarji Desai became the Prime Minister, Nanaji was offered a cabinet portfolio of Industry. However, Nanaji rejected it.
Nanaji Deshmukh (in red circle) with Morarji Desai
He has worked against Poverty and supported the minimum needs programs. Apart from it, he also laid emphasis on agriculture, rural health, rural education, etc.
Nanaji carried out many reconstructing programs in the villages of both Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
He did a lot to improve the condition of agriculture especially in Beed (Maharashtra) and Gonda (U.P.). His motto was- “Har hath ko denge kaam, har khet ko denge paanee.”
His favourite destination was Chitrakoot, which is situated on the border of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. In his old age, he settled here and lived here until death.
He became dejected when he saw the pathetic condition of Chitrakoot, the ‘karmabhoomi’ (work place) of Lord Rama. Once, he was sitting on the bank of Mandakini River, he resolved to change the condition of Chitrakoot in his entire life.
He laid the foundation and served as the chancellor of Chitrakoot Gramodaya Vishwavidyalaya in Chitrakoot, which is considered India’s first rural University. Later, the university was renamed as Mahatma Gandhi Gramodaya Vishwavidyalaya.
Main Facade of the University founded by Nanaji Deshmukh
Former President of India, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, had praised Nanaji for his services in the society.
Nanaji Deshmukh with APJ Abdul Kalam
Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has spoken about Nanaji many times and praised his pioneering works in the field of rural development.
Early photo of Nanaji Deshmukh and Narendra Modi
To spread the Indian Culture, he also travelled many countries; the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, Cuba, Canada, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, and Kenya (Africa).
In 2010, Nanaji passed away in Chitrakoot Gramoday Vishwavidyalaya. He refused to be taken to Delhi for treatment.
Narendra Modi paying tribute to Nanaji Deshmukh on his Jayanti
In 2017, the Government of India issued the postal stamps of Nanaji Deshmukh in his honour.
Postal Stamp of Nanaji Deshmukh