Lala Lajpat Rai


    In News

    • Recently, the Prime Minister recalled Lala Lajpat Rai’s bravery and dedication in the freedom struggle on his birth anniversary (28 January).

    About Lala Lajpat Rai

    • Born: 
      • Born in 1865.
      • In a small village named Dhudike in Punjab’s Ferozepur district.
    • Also known by:
      • Punjab Kesari and Lion of Punjab
    • Influenced by: 
      • The teachings of Swami Dayananda Saraswati had maximum impact on Rai.
      • Later he even joined Arya Samaj in Lahore.
    • Belief: 
      • He believed that the ideals in Hinduism combined with nationalism will lead to the establishment of a secular state.
    • Worked for:
      • He was a fervent nationalist who also worked for social reforms and wrote regularly, inspiring revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh.
      • He fought against untouchability.
    • Lal-Bal-Pal: 
      • Along with Bipin Chandra Pal and Bal Gangadhar Tilak, he formed the Lal-Bal-Pal trio of extremist leaders.
    • Political actions:
      • He joined the Indian National Congress (INC) and participated in many political agitations in Punjab.
      • Opposed the Partition of Bengal and played an important role in the Swadeshi Movement. Lal-Bal-Pal fervently advocated the use of Swadeshi goods and mass agitation in the aftermath of the controversial Partition of Bengal in 1905 by Lord Curzon.
      • He supported the non-cooperation movement of Gandhi at the Nagpur session of the Congress in 1920.
      • He protested against the Rowlatt Act and the Jallianwala Bagh massacre that followed.
      • He was elected deputy leader of the Central Legislative Assembly in 1926.
      • In 1928, he moved a resolution in the assembly refusing cooperation with the Simon Commission since the Commission had no Indian members.
    • Social:
      • He founded the Hindu Relief movement in 1897 to provide help to the famine-stricken people and thus prevent them from falling into the clutches of the missionaries.
      • The Servants of People Society was founded by him in 1921.
    • Miscellaneous: 
      • He founded the Home Rule League of America in 1917 in New York. In the USA, he worked to get moral support for the Indian independence movement from the international community.
      • He was also elected President of the All India Trade Union Congress.
      • He helped in the establishment of the Punjab National Bank in 1894.
      • In 1885, he established the Dayanand Anglo-Vedic School in Lahore and remained a committed educationist throughout his life.
    • Literary Works:
      • Young India, 
      • England’s Debt to India, 
      • Evolution of Japan, 
      • India’s Will to Freedom, 
      • Message of the Bhagavad Gita, 
      • Political Future of India, 
      • Problem of National Education in India, 
      • The Depressed Glasses, and 
      • the travelogue ‘United States of America’.
    • Death:
      • In 1928, he was leading a silent protest against the Simon Commission in Lahore when he was brutally lathi-charged by Superintendent of Police, James Scott. He died of injuries sustained a few weeks later.

    Sources: TH + PIB