In news : Prime Minister paid tribute to Lal Lajapat rai on his 156th birth anniversary
A brief note on Lala Lajpat Rai
- Born on January, 28 1865, Lala Lajpat Rai was popularly known as ‘Punjab Kesari’.
- He was a great freedom fighter, historian, eminent editor, social and religious reformer, and powerful orator.
- Lala Lajpat Rai along with Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Bipin Chandra Pal formed the trinity of militant leaders ‘Lal-Bal-Pal’.
- He was also associated with activities of Punjab National Bank and Lakshmi Insurance Company in their early stages in 1894.
- While studying law at the Government College in Lahore, he was influenced by the Hindu reformist movement of Swami Dayanand Saraswati, became a member of existing Arya Samaj Lahore (founded 1877) and founder editor of Lahore-based Arya Gazette
- He also helped to establish the nationalistic Dayananda Anglo-Vedic School and became a follower of Dayananda Sarasvati, the founder of the Arya Samaj (“Society of Aryans”).
- In 1914, he quit law practice to dedicate himself to the freedom of India and went to Britain in 1914 and then to the United States in 1917.
His role in freedom struggle
- He actively campaigned for Swadeshi and propagated the message of self-reliance in India and abroad.
- After joining the Congress Party and taking part in political agitation in the Punjab, Lajpat Rai was deported to Mandalay, Burma (now Myanmar), without trial, in May 1907
- During World War I, Lajpat Rai lived in the United States, where he founded the Indian Home Rule League of America (1917) in New York City.
- He returned to India in early 1920, and later that year he led a special session of the Congress Party that launched Mahatma Gandhi’s Non-cooperation movement.
- He also founded the ‘Servants of the People Society’ at Lahore in 1921, which did remarkable work in various fields.
- He was elected as the President of the Indian National Congress in 1920.
- Lala Lajpat Rai died while leading a demonstration against the Simon Commission in Lahore (now in Pakistan) on November 17, 1928.
His literary works
Lajpat Rai’s most important writings include
- The Story of My Deportation (1908)
- Arya Samaj (1915)
- The United States of America: A Hindu’s Impression (1916)
- England’s Debt to India: A Historical Narrative of Britain’s Fiscal Policy in India (1917), and
- Unhappy India (1928).