Last nails in the coffin of British rule’: Remembering Lala Lajpat Rai on his death anniversary

3 min read

News:Recently,November 17 was observed as the death anniversary of Lala Lajpat Rai,the firebrand Indian nationalist leader affectionately called ‘Punjab Kesari’.

Facts:

About Lala Lajpat Rai:

  • Lala Lajpat Rai was born at Dhudike near Ludhiana in Punjab in 1865.He studied law at the Government College, Lahore.
  • Early in life,he became a follower of Dayanand Saraswati,the founder of the Arya Samaj and went on to become one of the society’s leaders.
  • In 1885, he established the Dayanand Anglo-Vedic School in Lahore and remained a committed educationist throughout his life.He also helped in the founding of the Punjab National Bank.
  • In 1881,he joined the Indian National Congress.Further,Rai, Tilak and Bipin Chandra Pal (called Lal-Bal-Pal) advocated the use of Swadeshi goods and mass agitation in the aftermath of the controversial Partition of Bengal in 1905 by Lord Curzon.
  • In 1917,he founded the Indian Home Rule League of America in New York City.
  • In 1920,he was elected President of the Indian National Congress during its Special Session in Kolkata which saw the launch of Mahatma Gandhi’s Non-cooperation Movement.
  • In 1928, he opposed the Simon Commission,a British-appointed group of lawmakers arrived in India to study the implementation of the Government of India Act, 1919 (the Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms).
  • He was severely lathi-charged during a protest against Simon Commission in Lahore on October 30,1928.He died a few days later.
  • He also wrote extensively in English and Urdu.His important works include (a)‘The Arya Samaj’ (b)‘Young India’ (c)‘England’s Debt to India’, (d)‘Evolution of Japan’ (e)‘India’s Will to Freedom’ (f)‘Message of the Bhagwat Gita’ (g)‘Political Future of India’ (h)‘Problem of National Education in India’ (I)‘The Depressed Glasses’ and the (j)travelogue ‘United States of America’.