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Those whom the Gods love...

After fighting a heroic battle for life, Pramod Mahajan died tragically young on Wednesday, May 3.

On the stage of Indian politics -- once dominated by ageing politicians -- there have been other dynamic politicians whose lives were cut short in their prime.

rediff.com remembers some leaders who died young.

Deendayal Upadhyay

Born: September 25, 1916
Died: February 11, 1968
Age: 52

Deendayal Upadhyay, president of the Bharatiya Jan Sangh (the Bharatiya Janata Party's parent), died in unexpected circumstances and the mystery surrounding his death has never been explained.

On February 11, 1968, he was found dead in a train compartment at the Mugalsarai railway yard in Uttar Pradesh.

Upadhyay qualified for the civil services but did not join the bureaucracy as he wanted to serve the people.

He joined the Rashtriya Swyamsevak Sangh in 1937 as a pracharak, was deputed to the Jan Sangh in 1952 and became party president in 1967.

A few months later, he was dead.

His philosophy of integral humanism continues to guide the BJP, to whose cadres he remains a revered icon.

Photo courtesy: BJP

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