Lala Lajpat Rai: The Lion of Punjab
- 28 Jan 2023
Lala Lajpat Rai, also known as the "Lion of Punjab," was a prominent leader of the Indian independence movement during the British Raj. He was a political activist, lawyer, and writer who fought for the rights of Indians and worked tirelessly to end British rule in India.
Early Life and Education
Lala Lajpat Rai was born on January 28, 1865, in Dhudike, Punjab, India. He was the eldest son of Munshi Radha Kishan Azad and Gulab Devi. He received his early education at the Government High School in Hissar, where he excelled academically and was known for his intelligence and leadership skills.
After completing his education, Lajpat Rai decided to become a lawyer, and in 1886, he passed the law exam and began practicing in Hissar. He quickly gained a reputation as a skilled lawyer, and soon became one of the most respected legal minds in the region.
In addition to his law practice, Lajpat Rai was deeply involved in the Indian independence movement. He was a member of the Indian National Congress, and was one of the leaders of the "Lal-Bal-Pal" trio, along with Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Bipin Chandra Pal. During the Lahore Session of the Congress in 1893, Rai met Bal Gangadhar Tilak, another nationalist, and the two became lifelong associates. Rai, Tilak, and Bipin Chandra 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.
Lajpat Rai's political activism focused on the rights of Indians and the need for Indian independence from British rule. He was a strong advocate for the rights of farmers and workers and fought tirelessly to improve their living conditions. He also worked to improve the education system in India and was a vocal critic of the British government's policies towards India. In 1885, Rai established the Dayanand Anglo-Vedic School in Lahore and remained a committed educationist throughout his life.
In 1907, Lajpat Rai was arrested and exiled to Mandalay, in present-day Myanmar, for his political activism. He spent a year in exile, during which time he wrote a book, "The History of the Indian National Movement," which detailed the history of the Indian independence movement and the struggles of the Indian people.
Return to India
In 1908, Lajpat Rai returned to India and resumed his political activism. He continued to be a vocal critic of the British government's policies towards India and was a strong advocate for Indian independence.
In 1913, Rai set out for a lecture tour to Japan, England, and the United States, but was forced to stay put abroad after World War I broke and remained overseas until 1920. During his travels, he met many diaspora communities and founded the Indian Home Rule League of America in New York City in 1917.
In 1919, Lajpat Rai was again arrested and imprisoned for his political activism. He was released from prison in 1920, and soon after, he was elected as the President of the Indian National Congress during its Special Session in Kolkata in 1920, which saw the launch of Mahatma Gandhi’s Non-cooperation Movement. He was subsequently imprisoned from 1921 and 1923.
Key Achievements of Lala Lajpat Rai
- Lala Lajpat Rai was a prominent leader in the Indian Independence Movement during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He played a significant role in the Indian National Congress, the Hindu Mahasabha and the Arya Samaj. He was also a writer and a journalist, and his works include "The Story of My Deportation" and "Unhappy India".
- One of Lajpat Rai's key achievements was his role in the Non-Cooperation Movement of 1920-22. This movement, led by Mahatma Gandhi, aimed to resist British rule in India through non-violent means. Lajpat Rai was a strong supporter of this movement, and he played a crucial role in organizing it in the Punjab region. He also helped to establish the Indian National College in Lahore, which provided education to young Indians and helped to promote nationalist ideas.
- Another important achievement of Lajpat Rai was his work to promote the rights of farmers and workers in India. He was a strong advocate for the rights of the rural poor, and he worked to improve the living conditions of farmers and rural labourers. He also supported the rights of industrial workers, and he helped to establish trade unions and labour organizations in the Punjab region.
- Lajpat Rai was also an important figure in the Hindu nationalist movement in India. He was a member of the Hindu Mahasabha, and he worked to promote Hindu identity and culture in India. He also advocated for the rights of the Hindu community and sought to protect it from discrimination.
- Lajpat Rai was also an advocate of education and women's rights. He was the founder of the Dayanand Anglo-Vedic (DAV) College Trust and Management Society, which established a number of schools and colleges in India. He also supported the education of women and worked to promote the rights of women in India.
- Lajpat Rai's contribution to Indian freedom struggle is not limited to above mentioned points, He was also active in promoting the idea of swadeshi, boycotting foreign goods, and encouraging the use of indigenous products. He was also actively involved in the Indian National Congress and was a member of its Working Committee.
In 1928, Lajpat Rai was leading a peaceful protest against the Simon Commission, a British government commission that was tasked with reviewing the political situation in India. The protest turned violent, and Lajpat Rai was severely beaten by British police. He died from his injuries on November 17, 1928.
Lala Lajpat Rai's death was a turning point in the Indian independence movement, and his sacrifice for the cause of Indian freedom is still remembered today. He is remembered as a hero of the Indian people and a symbol of resistance against British rule.
Lajpat Rai's political activism and leadership were instrumental in the Indian independence movement, and his legacy continues to inspire Indians to this day. He was a strong advocate for the rights of farmers and workers, and fought tirelessly to improve their living conditions. He also worked to improve the education system in India, and was a vocal critic of the British government's policies towards India. His contributions to the Indian independence movement have been recognized by many, and he is remembered as a true patriot who sacrificed his life for the freedom of his country.
Lala Lajpat Rai, the Lion of Punjab, was a true leader who dedicated his life to the cause of Indian freedom. He was a political activist, lawyer, and writer who fought for the rights of Indians and worked tirelessly to end British rule in India. His legacy continues to inspire Indians to this day, and he will always be remembered as a hero of the Indian people.
Lajpat Rai's death was a tragic loss for the Indian independence movement, but his sacrifice has not been in vain. His legacy lives on through the countless people who continue to fight for the rights of the Indian people and for Indian independence. Lala Lajpat Rai will always be remembered as a true leader and a symbol of resistance against British rule.
In the end, Lajpat Rai's words still ring true, "The nation is greater than the individual. Service of the nation is the supreme duty of the individual." He will always be remembered as a true patriot who sacrificed his life for the freedom of his country.
After pursuing Master's in Political Science from Indraprastha College for Women, Delhi University, she engrossed herself in Content Writing. Apart from being honest and a kind person, she is a good learner with the motto of "Live and let live".Blogs Home