Lala Lajpat Rai Birth Anniversary: 28th January, The Untold Story of Lala Lajpat Rai

Lala Lajpat Rai Birthday: Lala Lajpat Rai, born on 28th January 1865 in Dhudike, India, was a prominent Indian writer and politician known for his strong advocacy of militant anti-British nationalism. He played a crucial role in the Indian National Congress and became a leader of the Hindu supremacy movement. Through his writings and political activism, Lajpat Rai left an indelible mark on the struggle for Indian independence.

Early Life and Education of Lala Lajpat Rai

Lajpat Rai’s journey began in Dhudike, where he was born into a family of Agrawal Jains. His father, Munshi Radha Krishna, was a respected Urdu and Persian government teacher. Lajpat Rai received his initial education at the Government Higher Secondary School in Rewari, Punjab province. In 1880, he joined the prestigious Government College in Lahore to study law, where he came into contact with future freedom fighters and patriots.

Influence of Arya Samaj and Political Awakening

During his time in Lahore, Lajpat Rai was strongly influenced by the Hindu reformist movement led by Swami Dayanand Saraswati. He became a member of the Arya Samaj Lahore and played a pivotal role in establishing the nationalistic Dayananda Anglo-Vedic School. Lajpat Rai’s association with the Arya Samaj further fueled his passion for political activism and his commitment to challenging British rule in India.

Political Career and Deportation

Lajpat Rai’s political career took off when he joined the Indian National Congress and actively participated in political agitation in Punjab. However, his fervent anti-British stance led to his deportation to Mandalay, Burma in May 1907, without trial.

The viceroy, Lord Minto, later allowed him to return to India due to insufficient evidence to hold him for subversion. Despite his popularity, Lajpat Rai faced opposition within the Congress Party, and his bid for the presidency during the Surat session in December 1907 was unsuccessful.

The United States Sojourn and Return to India

During World War I, Lajpat Rai lived in the United States, where he founded the Indian Home Rule League of America in 1917. He used his time abroad to raise awareness about the Indian independence movement and garner support for the cause.

In early 1920, Lajpat Rai returned to India and played a pivotal role in launching Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi’s noncooperation movement during a special session of the Congress Party. He was imprisoned from 1921 to 1923 but was elected to the legislative assembly upon his release.

Contributions to Indian Nationalism

Lajpat Rai’s contributions to Indian nationalism were multifaceted. He was not only an influential politician but also a prolific writer. His writings, such as “The Story of My Deportation,” “Arya Samaj,” “The United States of America: A Hindu’s Impression,” “England’s Debt to India,” and “Unhappy India,” shed light on the plight of the Indian people under British rule. Through his literary works, Lajpat Rai aimed to inspire and mobilize Indians to fight for their rights and freedom.

Protests Against British Rule

In 1928, the British government established the Simon Commission to propose constitutional reforms in India. Lajpat Rai vehemently opposed the Commission as it lacked Indian representation. When the Commission visited Lahore on October 30, 1928, Lajpat Rai led a non-violent protest march and coined the iconic slogan “Simon Go Back!”

The peaceful demonstration turned violent when the police, under the orders of Superintendent James A. Scott, lathi-charged the protesters. Lajpat Rai sustained severe injuries during the assault, which ultimately led to his untimely demise on November 17, 1928.

Legacy and Commemoration

Lajpat Rai’s legacy as a nationalist and freedom fighter lives on. Numerous monuments, institutes, and roads across India bear his name as a tribute to his contributions. His statue, originally erected in Lahore, was later moved to Shimla after the partition of India. In Mumbai, the Lala Lajpat Rai College of Commerce and Economics stands as a testament to his vision and dedication.

Other notable commemorations include the Lala Lajpat Rai Memorial Medical College in Meerut and the Lala Lajpat Rai University of Veterinary & Animal Sciences in Hisar.

In Popular Culture

Lajpat Rai’s life and contributions have also found representation in popular culture. In the 1929 Indian silent film “Punjab Kesari,” directed by Homi Master, his story was brought to the silver screen. Additionally, the 2022 released movies “RRR” and “Dasvi” both reference Lajpat Rai and his significant role in the Indian independence movement, showcasing his enduring influence on Indian cinema.

Lala Lajpat Rai’s unwavering commitment to Indian nationalism and his fearless opposition to British rule made him a revered figure in the fight for independence. His writings, political activism, and sacrifices left an indelible mark on the history of India. Lajpat Rai’s legacy continues to inspire generations, reminding us of the importance of freedom, justice, and the relentless pursuit of a better future for all.

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FAQs

Who was Lala Lajpat Rai?

Lala Lajpat Rai, also known as Punjab Kesari, was a prominent Indian freedom fighter and a leader in the Indian independence movement.

What were Lala Lajpat Rai’s contributions to the Indian independence movement?

Lala Lajpat Rai was actively involved in various movements against British rule in India, including the Non-Cooperation Movement and the Civil Disobedience Movement. He also played a crucial role in organizing protests and advocating for the rights of Indian farmers and workers.

What were the major events in Lala Lajpat Rai’s life?

Lala Lajpat Rai was involved in various significant events, including leading the protest against the Simon Commission and being injured during a lathi charge by the police, which ultimately led to his death.

When Lala Lajpat Rai was born

Lala Lajpat Rai was born on 28th January 1865 in Dhudike

When Lala Lajpat Rai was died

Lala Lajpat Rai was died November 17, 1928

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