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definition - lala lajpat rai

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Lala Lajpat Rai

Lala Lajpat Rai
Born 28 January 1865
Dhudike, Punjab, British India (now India)
Died 17 November 1928 (age 63)
Lahore, British India (now Pakistan)
Organization Indian National Congress, Arya Samaj
Political movement Indian Independence movement
Religion Hinduism

Lala Lajpat Rai (28 January 1865 – 17 November 1928) was an Indian author and politician who is chiefly remembered as a leader in the Indian fight for independence from the British Raj. He was popularly known as Punjab Kesari (Punjabi:The Lion of Punjab) or Sher-e-Punjab (Urdu:The Lion of Punjab) meaning the same and was part of the Lal Bal Pal trio.[1][2] He was also associated with activities of Punjab National Bank and Lakshmi Insurance Company in their early stages. He sustained serious injuries by the police when leading a non-violent protest against the Simon Commission and died less than three weeks later. His death anniversary (November 17) is one of several days celebrated as Martyrs' Day in India.[3][4]


  Early life

Lala Lajpat Rai was born in an Agarwal family in Dhudike (now in Moga district, Punjab) on 28 January 1865.[5][6][7] His grandfather was a Svetambara Jain while his father had great respect for Islam, and he even fasted and prayed like Muslims, but did not embrace Islam largely due to his family's attachment to the Hindu faith.[8] Rai had his initial education in Government Higher Secondary School, Rewari (now in Haryana, previously in Punjab), in the late 1870s and early 1880s, where his father, Radha Krishan, was an Urdu teacher. Rai was influenced by Hinduism and Manusmriti and created a career of reforming Indian policy through politics and writing.[9] (When studying law in Lahore, he continued to practice Hinduism. He became a large believer in the idea that Hinduism, above nationality, was the pivotal point upon which an Indian lifestyle must be based.) Hinduism, he believed, led to practices of peace to humanity, and the idea that when nationalist ideas were added to this peaceful belief system, a non-secular nation could be formed. His involvement with Hindu Mahasabha leaders gathered criticism from the Bharat Sabha as the Mahasabhas were non-secular, which did not conform with the system laid out by the Indian National Congress.[10] This focus on Hindu practices in the subcontinent would ultimately lead him to the continuation of peaceful movements to create successful demonstrations for Indian independence. He was a devotee of Arya Samaj and was editor of Arya Gazette, which he setup during his student time.[11] He founded the National College, inside the Bradlaugh Hall in Lahore to impart quality education to the Indians, who did not want to join British institutions.[12][13] Graduates of the National College included Bhagat Singh. He was elected President of the Congress party in the Calcutta Special Session of 1920.[14]

  Travels to America

Rai traveled to the US in 1907, and then returned during World War I. He toured Sikh communities along the US West Coast; visited Tuskegee University in Alabama; and met with workers in the Philippines. His travelogue, The United States of America (1916), details these travels and features extensive quotations from leading African American intellectuals, including W.E.B. DuBois and Fredrick Douglass. The book also argues for the notion of “color-caste,” suggesting a sociological similarities between race in the US and caste in India. The term comes from sociological work done at Columbia University during the 1910s.

During World War I, Lajpat Rai lived in the United States, but he returned to India in 1919 and in the following year led the special session of the Congress Party that launched the noncooperation movement. Imprisoned from 1921 to 1923, he was elected to the legislative assembly on his release. [15]

  Commission protests

On 30 October 1928, Lajpat Rai led a silent non-violent procession with Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya to protest against the Simon Commission at Lahore, but the police responded with a violent lathi charge. During this procession, Rai became the target of the lathi charge (a form of crowd control in which the police use heavy staves or 'lathis' in Hindi) led by British police.

Lala Lajpat Rai was beaten with lathis at the chest. He was grievously injured and later succumbed to his injuries.[15] Bhagat Singh, who was an eyewitness to this event, claimed that it was this act that caused him to 'vow to take revenge' against the culprits of this violence.[16]

  Inspiration and memorial

The Lala Lajpat Rai Trust was formed in 1959 on the eve of his Centenary Birth Celebration, to promote education. The trust was founded by a group of Punjabi philanthropists (including R.P Gupta and B.M Grover) who have settled and prospered in the Indian State of Maharashtra.

A state university was created in memory of Lala Lajpat Rai at Hisar, a prominent city in Haryana, where Lala Ji also practised and was married. The university is named as Lala Lajpat Rai University of Veterinary & Animal Sciences, Hisar and has started functioning from 1 December, 2010. The university has started celebrating 28 January as an Annual Memorial Day from 2012 as per wishes of its founder Vice-chancellor, Dr Hardeep Kumar. A statue of Lajpat Rai stands at the central square in Shimla, India (having been originally erected in Lahore and moved to Shimla in 1948). Lajpat Nagar and Lajpat Nagar Central Market in New Delhi, Lajpat Rai Market in Chandani Chowk, Delhi; Lala Lajpat Rai Hall of Residence at Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) in Kanpur and Kharagpur; as well as the Lala Lajpat Rai Institute of Engineering and Technology(LLRIET), Moga, are named in his honor. Also many institutes, Schools and Library in his hometown of Jagraon, district Ludhiana are named after him. The bus terminus in Jagraon, Punjab, India is named after Lala Lajpat Rai. Lala Lajpat Rai Hospital, Kanpur is also named in his honor.

Lala Lajpat Rai Institute of Management is also one of the famous B-schools in Mumbai.

  Gulab Devi Chest Hospital

Lala Lajpat Rai's mother, Gulab Devi, died of TB in Lahore. In order to perpetuate her memory, Lala Lajpat Rai established a Trust in 1927 to build and run a TB Hospital for women reportedly at the spot where she had breathed her last.[17]

The Trust purchased 40 acres of land in April 1930 from the then Government which gave a free grant of an additional 10 acres on Ferozepur Road (the road is now called Sharah-e- Roomi). Construction work was started in 1931 and completed in 1934 when the Hospital gates were opened to TB patients.

A marble plaque bears witness to the opening of the Hospital on 17 July 1934 by Mahatma Gandhi. On the migration of trustees to India in 1947, the Government invited Begum Raana Liaquat Ali Khan, Syed Maratab Ali, Professor Dr.Amiruddin and some other notables and philanthropists to become acting Trustees of the Hospital in July 1948.They constituted a Managing Committee with Begum Raana in the Chair, for running the Gulab Devi Chest Hospital.

  See also


  External links


  1. ^ "Lala Lajpat Rai". Government of India. http://rrtd.gov.in/biolalalajpat.html. Retrieved 2011-10-13. 
  2. ^ Smt. Ashalatha A., Sri. Pradeep Koropath, Smt. Saritha Nambarathil (2009). "Chapter 6 - Indian National Movement". Social Science: Standard VIII Part 1. State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT). pp. 72. https://www.itschool.gov.in/pdf/Std_VIII/Social%20Science/SS_VIII_Engpart1.pdf. Retrieved 2011-10-13. 
  3. ^ "Death anniversary of Lala Lajpat Rai" (pdf). Government of Orissa. http://orissa.gov.in/portal/LIWPL/event_archive/Events_Archives/116Lala_Lajpat_Rai.pdf. Retrieved 2011-10-13. 
  4. ^ Brahamdutt, Chandramani (2009). Kranti Ki Lapten. Hindi Book Centre. 
  5. ^ Kathryn Tidrick (2006) Gandhi: a political and spiritual life I.B.Tauris ISBN 978-1-84511-166-3 pp. 113-114
  6. ^ Kenneth W. Jones (1976) Arya dharm: Hindu consciousness in 19th-century Punjab University of California Press ISBN 978-0-520-02920-0 p.52
  7. ^ Purushottam Nagar (1977) Lala Lajpat Rai: the man and his ideas Manohar Book Service p.161
  8. ^ "Lala Lajpat Rai". http://www.congresssandesh.com/AICC/history/presidents/lala_lajpat_rai.htm. Retrieved 2011-10-13. 
  9. ^ Lala Lajpat Rai. Encyclopædia Britannica. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/328063/Lala-Lajpat-Rai
  10. ^ S. K. Mittal and Irfan Habib. “Towards Independence and Socialist Republic: Naujawan Bharat Sabha”. Social Scientist Vol. 8 2, 1979.
  11. ^ "Lala Lajpat Rai". http://www.aryasamaj.com/enews/2010/feb/5.htm. Retrieved 2012-05-04. 
  12. ^ "Bradlaugh Hall’s demise". Pakistan Today. Sunday, 17 Apr 2011. http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2011/04/bradlaugh-halls-demise/. Retrieved 2011-10-15. 
  13. ^ Fayyaz, Maira (Friday, November 12, 2010). "Bradlaugh Hall lying in shambles". Daily Times. http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010%5C11%5C12%5Cstory_12-11-2010_pg13_8. Retrieved 2011-10-15. 
  14. ^ "Lala Lajpat Rai". http://www.congresssandesh.com/AICC/history/presidents/lala_lajpat_rai.htm. Retrieved 2011-10-13. 
  15. ^ a b Raghunath Rai. History. VK Publications. p. 187. ISBN 81-87139-69-2. 
  16. ^ Ali, Mahir (26 September 2007). "Requiem for a freedom fighter". Dawn (Dawn (newspaper)). http://archives.dawn.com/2007/09/26/ed.htm#4. Retrieved 2011-10-11. 
  17. ^ "Gulab Devi Chest Hospital". http://www.gulabdevi.org/brief_history.html. Retrieved 2011-10-13. 



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