Punjab Kesri Lala Lajpat Rai

Lala Lajpat Rai was among the foremost leaders of the freedom movement of India. On 28 January,1865, Lala Lajpat Rai was born in Dhudike, of Punjab and was the son of Gulab Devi and Munshi Radha Kishan Azad. He became popular by the name of Punjab Kesari, which meant the Lion of Punjab.

In the year 1880, Lala Lajpat Rai took admission in the Government College at Lahore and there he met two patriots namely, Lala Hans Raj and Pandit Guru Dutt and they soon became good friends and together joined the Arya Samaj. In the year 1985, he got his Law degree and started practicing as a Lawyer in Hissar. During this time he actively took part in the activities of Arya Samaj and also participated in various workings of the Congress. He was also elected as a member of the Hissar municipality and later as secretary. In 1892, he shifted to Lahore and since then he actively took part in the freedom movement of India. He was among the few Hindu Leaders of India’s freedom struggled against British rule and was also a hardcore nationalist. He, along with Bal Gnagadhar Tilak and Bipin Chandra Pal, formed the revolutionary wing of the Indian National Congress.

In 1895 he assisted in foundation of the Punjab National Bank, indicating his concern for self-help and enterprise. He initiated the Hindu Orphan Relief Movement in 1897. In the year 1900, he emphasized on the importance of beneficial, nation-building activity and programs for self-sufficiency. He also took active participation in the fight against partition of Bengal and together with his comrades, he stirred up Bengal and the nation as a whole in a spirited movement of Swadeshi. He was arrested on May 3, 1907 for creating uproar in Rawalpindi and was imprisoned in Mandalay jail and on November 11, 1907, he was released.

In the year 1917, he founded the Home Rule League of America in New York with the perspective that it was important for the interest of the nation to organize propaganda in foreign countries to elucidate India’s position as the freedom struggle had taken a rebellious form and he left for his mission, where he wrote the book “Young India” and returned back to India in 1920. After he returned, he came to know about the Jalianwala Bagh Massacre and protested against it and he too was extremely disappointed by the withdrawal of the Non-Cooperation movement by Mahatma Gandhi. He separated himself from Gandhiji and formed the Congress Independence Party, which had a pro-Hindu tilt.

In the year 1928, when the Simon Commission arrived India, he was among the foremost protestors of Commission and took out a massive procession. However, the procession has faced lathicharge by the police and he was also not spared from it and he suffered from serious injuries and finally succumbed death and this created a huge turmoil among the revolutionaries of India like Bhagat Singh, Chadrasekhar Azad, Rajgur, etc. for whom he was the mentor.

Lala Lajpat Rai was also a renowned writer along with being a great freedom fighter and wrote several books. Some of the books written by him are History of the Arya Samaj, Swaraj and social change, The United States of America: A Hindu’s impressions and a study, England’s Debt to India: India, The Problems of National Education in India, etc.

He was a great freedom fighter and a writer , his contribution towards the nation is incomparable. His love for the nation, dedication, courage and leadership qualities made him a true leader and as Indians, we should remember him for his contribution towards the freedom of India.

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