Lala Lajpat Rai Jayanti

Context:

  • The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has paid tributes to Lala Lajpat Rai on his Jayanti. 

 

About:

  • Lala Lajpat Rai(28 January 1865 — 17 November 1928) was an Indian author, revolutionary, and politician.
  • He played a pivotal role in the Indian Independence movement.
  • He was popularly known as Punjab Kesari. He was one of the three members of the Lal Bal Pal
  • He was also associated with activities of Punjab National Bankand Lakshmi Insurance Company in their early stages in 1894.
  • He died a few weeks after sustaining severe injuries during a baton chargeby police when he led a peaceful protest march against the all-British Simon Commission, a commission constituted by the United Kingdom for Indian constitutional reform.

 

Politics:

  • After joining the Indian National Congressand taking part in political agitation in Punjab, Lala Lajpat Rai was deported to Mandalay, but there was insufficient evidence to hold him for subversion.
  • Lajpat Rai’s supporters attempted to secure his election to the presidency of the party session at Surat in December 1907, but he did not succeed.
  • Graduates of the National College, which he founded inside the Bradlaugh Hallat Lahore as an alternative to British-style institutions, included Bhagat Singh. 
  • He was elected President of the Indian National Congressin the Calcutta Special Session of 1920. 
  • In 1921, he founded Servants of the People Society, a non-profit welfare organisation, in Lahore, which shifted its base to Delhi after partition, and has branches in many parts of India. 
  • According to him, Hindu society needs to fight its own battle with caste system, position of women and untouchability. 
  • Vedas were an important part of Hindu religion but the lower caste were not allowed to read them.
  • Lala Lajpat Rai approved that the lower caste should be allowed to read them and recite the mantras. He believed that everyone should be allowed to read and learn from the Vedas.
Simon Commission:
  • In 1928, the United Kingdom set up the Simon Commission, headed by Sir John Simonto report on the political situation in India.
  • The commission was boycotted by Indian political parties because it did not include any Indian members, and it was met with country-wide protests. 
  • When the Commission visited Lahore on 30 October 1928, Lajpat Rai led a non-violent march in protest against it and gave a slogan “Simon Go Back”.
  • The protesters chanted the slogan and carried black flags.
  • The police superintendent in Lahore, James A. Scott, ordered the police to lathicharge the protesters and personally assaulted 
  • Despite being severely injured, Rai subsequently addressed the crowd and said “I declare that the blows struck at me today will be the last nails in the coffin of British rule in India”.

Source: THE HINDU.

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