Thursday, January 28, 2010
Lala Lajpat Rai was born on 28 Jan 1865 at a village in Faridkot district of Punjab.
While studying at Government College in Lahore, Lajpat Rai came in contact with the socio-religious movement Arya Samaj. With the inspiration of Lala Saidas he became a member of Arya Samaj. The great Arya Missionaries like Lala Hans Raj and Pt Gurudath Vidyarthi were his class mates in this college time. He took a leading role in the establishment of Dayananda Anglo-Vedic College in Lahore (DAV College). He along with his college students actively participated in the relief works conducted by Arya Samaj in 1899 famine in Northern India. He got admitted the orphan children of famine affected areas to ‘Arya Anadhalay’ of Firozpur. The Christian missionaries were ready to take them to their orphanage and later do conversion. Lala Lajpat Rai’s missionary action helped these children to remain in Vedic Religion. He participated in the 1905 earth quake evacuation mission in Kangda and led the Arya Samaj volunteers for doing relief works in 1909 famine at Orissa and Madhya Pradesh also. He took active part in the movement against the British Rule. The Lal-Bal-Pal (Lala Lajpat Rai, Bala Gangadhar Tilak and Bipin Chandra Pal) group were very famous in our freedom struggle. In May 1907, the British Govt deported Lajpat Rai to Mandalay, Burma (Myanmar), without trial. But he could return in November as the authorities could not prove any evidence against him. The vibrant nationalist members in Congress Party wished that Lajpat Rai get elected as President in the Surat Session of Indian National Congress held at 1907. But due to the pressure from British loyalists in the Congress Party, he was not succeeded.
After returning from his foreign visits in 1920 he supported the Non Cooperation Movement launched by Mahatma Gandhi. He was elected as the President of Calcutta Session of Congress in 1920. He formed the Swaraj Party in 1924 and become a member of Central Legislative Assembly. Like Swamy Shradhanand and Pt Madan Mohan Malavya, he was also not happy with the minority appeasement policy of Congress Party. So he associated with the activities of Hindu Mahasabha. He was the Sabhapathi of Calcutta session of Hindu Maha Sabha in 1925. In 1928, the British Govt send the Simon Commission to analyse the political situation in India. Congress has given a call for boycotting Simon Commission. There were wide protests against the Commission in through out India wherever they visited. 30 October 1928, the Commission visited Lahore. Lala Lajpat Rai led the protest march in Lahore and was severely injured in police Lathi Charge. This great leader known as Lion of Punjab succumbed to the injury and died on 17 November 1928 at Lahore.
Lajpat Rai is the author of many books apart from his Auto Biography. The Story of My Deportation (1908), Arya Samaj (1915), The United States of America: A Hindu’s Impression (1916), Unhappy India (1928), Chhathrapathi Shivaji, Munivar Gurudath Vidyarthi, Yugapravarthak Swamy Dayanand etc.
Let us pay homage to this great leader on his 145th Birth day.
Om Krinvantho Vishwamaryam!