War of the statues: Who were Lenin, Periyar and SP Mukherjee?

After Lenin's statue bulldozed in Tripura, Periyar's statue stoned in Vellore and SP Mukherjee's statue vandalised in Kolkata. Photograph:( WION Web Team )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Mar 07, 2018, 11.36 AM (IST)

A day after a statue of EV Ramasamy 'Periyar’ was vandalised in Tamil Nadu and a few days after a statue of Lenin was bulldozed in Tripura, comes the news that a bust of Bharatiya Jana Sangh founder Shyama Prasad Mukherjee’s has been vandalised in Kolkata’s Kalighat. 

Here have a look at who these people are: 

Vladimir Lenin

Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, a Russian communist revolutionary better known by the name Lenin, was the head of government of Soviet Russia from 1917 to 1924 and of the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1924. 

Lenin spent years leading up to the 1917 revolution in exile.

Russia, he presided over, was reeling from the bloody civil war, which followed the Russian Revolution.

Famine and poverty shaped much of society. In 1921, Lenin now faced the same kind of peasant uprising which marked his rise to power. Widespread strikes in cities and in rural sections of the country broke out, threatening the stability of Lenin's government.

To ease the tension, Lenin introduced the New Economic Policy, which allowed workers to sell their grain on the open market.

On March 10, 1923, he dealt with a severe stroke which snatched his ability to speak and, hence, terminated much of his political career.

Nearly 10 months later, on January 21, 1924, another stroke hit him, and he passed away that evening in the village now known as Gorki Leninskiye.

A controversial and highly political individual, Lenin is viewed by supporters as a champion of socialism and the working class, while critics on both the left and right emphasize his role as founder and leader of an authoritarian regime responsible for political repression and killing of the Czar family and  his political opponents


Periyar EV Ramaswamy 

Erode Venkata Ramasamy, commonly known as Periyar, was a social activist, and politician. He belonged to the Balijas social group from Andhra Pradesh.

Periyar joined the Indian National Congress in 1919 but resigned in 1925 when he felt that the party was only serving the interests of the Brahmins.

He propagated the principles of rationalism, self-respect, women's rights and eradication of caste and demanded separate country for Dravidians(South Indians).

Periyar is one of the key players for bringing cast based seat allocation in education and employment.

On 27 June 1970, he was awarded by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which was presented to him by the Union Education Minister, Triguna Sen in Madras.

In his last meeting at Thiagaraya Nagar, Chennai on 19 December 1973, Periyar declared a call for action to gain social equality and a dignified way of life.

On 24 December 1973, Periyar died at the age of 94.

Syama Prasad Mukherjee

Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, an Indian politician, barrister, and academician, served as the Minister for Industry and Supply in PM Jawaharlal Nehru's cabinet.

Mukherjee quit the Indian National Congress and founded the Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS), a predecessor to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), in 1951.

The BJS was created with the objective of nation-building and "nationalizing" all non-Hindus by "inculcating Bharatiya Culture" in them.

He was strongly opposed to Article 370 (an article that gives autonomous status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir) seeing as a threat to the unity of the country and fought against it inside and outside the parliament with one of the goals of Bharatiya Jana Sangh being an abrogation of the article. 

He once said "Ek desh mein do Vidhan, do Pradhan aur Do Nishan nahi chalenge"

Bharatiya Jana Sangh along with Hindu Mahasabha and Jammu Praja Parishad launched a massive Satyagraha to get the provisions of article 370 removed.

Mukherjee was arrested upon entering Kashmir on 11 May 1953. 

He died in 1953 under mysterious circumstances.