SPECIAL DESK: The name of Lala Lajpat Rai, the leader of India’s freedom movement, brings about the enthusiasm and inspiration in the countrymen. Due to the strong love and respect they had for their country, religion and culture they could dedicate themselves to the nation and give their lives. His sacrifice and patriotism was unique and incomparable in giving independence to India.
Lala Lajpat Rai, one of the chief revolutionaries fighting against the British rule, died on the same day in 1928. Lala Ji was also famous as the name of Punjab Kesari. Lala Lajpat Rai impressed many revolutionaries, one of them was Bhagat Singh. He died on 17 November 1928 after being severely injured in lathi-charge during the demonstration against Simon Commission in 1928.
Life of Lala Lajpat Rai
Lala Lajpat Rai was born on 28 January 1865 in Firozpur, Punjab. His father Munshi Radha Krishna Azad was a great scholar of Persian and Urdu. His mother Gulab Devi was a woman of religious temperament. In 1884 his father was transferred to Rohtak and he also came to live with the father. He married to Radha Devi in 1877.
His father was a teacher at the State Higher Secondary School, Rewari. From there he got primary education. In 1880, he joined Law College, Lahore for his studies of law. In 1886, his family came to Hisar, where he practiced law. During the annual session of the National Congress of 1888 and 1889, he participated as a representative. In 1892, he moved to Lahore to advocate in high court.
Here he came in contact with Arya Samaj and became his member. On October 30, 1883, when Swami Dayanand was died in Ajmer, a condolence hall was organized on 9th November, 1883 to Lahore Arya samaj. At the end of this meeting, it was decided that a college should be established in memory of Swami Ji, in which students should be proficient in Vedic literature, culture and higher education in Hindi as well as in English and Western knowledge.
When this teaching was established in 1886, Lala Lajpat Rai along with other leaders of the Arya Samaj also made significant contribution in its operation and he became a great column of DAV College, Lahore in the long run.
In 1885, he passed the Advocacy Examination from Government College and started his advocacy in Hisar. In addition to advocacy, Lalaji collected funds for Dayanand College, participated in Arya Samaj’s work and Congress activities. He was elected Member and Secretary of Hisar Municipality.
Lala Lajpat Rai was one of the three prominent leaders of the Indian National Congress. Lal-Baal-Pal was a part of this trio Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Bipin Chandra Pal were two other members of this trio. He formed the fierce group in the Indian National Congress to oppose the soft group (which was earlier led by Gopal Krishna Gokhale).
Lalaji also participated in the movement against the partition of Bengal. Together with Surendra Nath Banerjee, Bipin Chandra Pal and Arvind Ghosh, he united people in Bengal and other parts of the country for a strong campaign of Swadeshi.
When Lala ji was arrested
On 3 May 1907 he was arrested for creating unrest in Rawalpindi and after 6 months in Mandalay jail, he was released on 11 November 1907.
Lala ji went to Britain in 1914
The freedom struggle took a revolutionary look. Lala ji wanted that the real situation of India should be promoted in other countries, so he went to Britain in 1914. At the same time, World War II broke out, due to which he could not return to India and after that he went to the United Nations to support India.
Ban on books written by Lala ji before publishing
Literature is an important dimension in their multi-activities. He was a capable creator of Urdu and English. He founded the Indian Home League of America and wrote a book called “Young India”. Through the book, he made serious allegations about British rule in India and therefore it was restricted before it was published in Britain and India. He returned to India only after the war ended in 1920.
In the area of advocacy
Lala Lajpat Rai had started advocating itself as a Mukhtar (short lawyer) in his native place Jagrao; He remained as a successful lawyer till 1892 and came to Lahore this year. Since then, Lahore has become the center of public activities. Lala ji contributed to the implementation of social interest schemes, including his peers, but when he came to Lahore, he joined the political movement in addition to Arya Samaj.
In 1888, he first attended the Allahabad convention of Congress, which was presided by Mr. George Yule. In 1906, he went to England with Pandit Gopalakrishna Gokhale as a member of a Congress delegation. From here he went to America. He traveled overseas several times and staying there, introduced the people of India with the reality of India’s political situation before western countries and gave them information about freedom movement.
Lala Lajpatrai joined with her colleagues – Lokmanya Tilak and Vipin Chandra Pal, to enter fierce thoughts in the Congress. From its establishment in 1885, for nearly twenty years the Congress had kept the character of a Raj Bhawan institution. He gave his first own stunning speech from the stage of Congress, in which the identity of the country was revealed.
In 1907, when there was a consciousness about the rights of the farmers of Punjab, the government was angry and Sardar Ajit Singh (the uncle of Shaheed Bhagat Singh) was ousted and exiled from the country. Both patriotic leaders were jailbird in neighboring Burma’s Mandalay town. But the government had to withdraw its order after strongly opposing this suppressive work by the countrymen. Lala ji again came home and the countrymen welcomed him with heart. The story of Lala Ji’s political life is very exciting, it also gives Indians the motivation for self-sacrifice and great sacrifice.
Public Service Functions
Lala Ji was not only a political leader and a worker. He also read the truth about the public service. In1896 and 1899 (it is called the famine of Chhappan in Rajasthan, because it was Bikram’s year 1956) there was a severe famine in northern India, Lala ji helped the famine victims with the help of his partner Lala Hansraj. The orphaned children who were ready to adopt by Christian pastors, Lala ji save them from the clutches of those missionaries, who had the intention to change their religion, and send them to the Aryan orphans of Firozpur and Agra. In 1905 a severe earthquake struck Kangra (Himachal Pradesh). At that time Lala ji joined the service and provided relief to the earthquake-victims with DAV College Lahore students.
In 1907-08, there was severe famine in Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and United Provinces (present Uttar Pradesh) and Lalaji had to come forward to help the victims. Again in the political movement of the 1907, at the famous Congress convention of Surat, Lala Lajpat Rai had started the ideology of the fierce group in politics by his colleagues and was successful in assuring the people that only by passing the proposal, Freedom is not available.
We have seen that in view of the public sentiment, the British had to cancel their exile. They came home and got involved in the fight for independence. During World War I (1914-18), he again went to England as a member of a delegation and raised strong public opinion for the country’s independence. From there, he went to America while traveling to Japan, and keep strongly the path of India’s independence before independence-loving Americans. Here, the Indian Home Rule League was established and some books were written. When he returned to India on February 20, 1920, Jalianwala Bagh incident happened in Amritsar and the entire nation was burning in the flames of incitement and agitation. Meanwhile Mahatma Gandhi started the no co-operation movement, Lala ji got involved in this struggle with full readiness.
In 1920, he became president of the special session of the Congress held in Calcutta. In those days boycott of government educational institutions, the discontinuation of foreign textiles, boycott of courts, movement against alcohol, propagation of charkha and khadi were taken by the Congress in the hands, which led to the emergence of a new consciousness in the public. At the same time, Lala ji was punished for imprisonment, but due to poor health he was released soon.
In 1924 Lalaji joined the Swarajya Party under the Congress and was elected a member of the Central Parliament House (Statutory Assembly). When some difference become on certain political issues with Motilal Nehru, he formed the Nationalist Party and re-assembled in the assembly.
Lala ji, like other thoughtful leaders, used to experience displeasure with the policy of Muslim appeasement of the Congress, so with the help of Swami Shraddhananda and Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya, he carried forward the work of Hindu Mahasabha.
In 1925, he was also made president of the Calcutta session of the Hindu Mahasabha. It is known that in those days, the Hindu Mahasabha had no clear political program and he was interested only in social programs such as Hindu organization, remove untouchability and purification. That is why he had little resistance from the Congress. Though narrowly, many political workers were also angry with Lalaji’s interest in the Hindu Mahasabha, but they never cared for it and they were engaged in their duties. In 1928 when Simon commission appointed by the British came to India, the leaders of the country decided to abdicate it.
When the Commission reached Lahore on October 30, 1928, the government imposed Section 144 imposed in the view of public anger. Under the leadership of Lala ji, thousands of people of the city reached the railway station to show the black flag to the members of the commission and the sky echo with the slogan ‘Simon go back’.
On this, the police got the order of lathi charge. At the same time, British Sergeant Sonders attacked Lala ji’s chest with a stick which caused him severe injuries. While addressing the masses gathered in a huge gathering of the same evening in Lahore, Lala ji roaring : “Every injury of the sticks lying on my body will work to shroud of the English Empire”. Lala ji, who was hurt by this lathi charge, after eighteen days passes away on 17th November, 1928.