Today we will be remembering the Chief architect in Indian Independence Lala Lajpat Rai on his 156th birth anniversary. Lala Lajpat Rai was born on January 28, 1865, and played an important role in the Indian independence movement. He was an irreplaceable part of the Indian National Congress and served with his heart and soul in multiple political agitations against the Britishers.
Due to political agitation in Punjab, Lala Lajpat Rai was deported to Mandalay without even seeing a trial in 1907. However, he was allowed to come back to India the same day after the then Indian viceroy Lord Minto came to the conclusion that he was deported without enough evidence to be imprisoned.
In 1920, the freedom fighter was elected as the President of the Indian National Congress in Calcutta’s Special Session. But Lala Lajpat Rai is perhaps most known for leading a non-violent march against Simon Commission headed by Sir John Simon. Several Bollywood films such as Rang De Basanti, The Legend of Bhagat Singh depict the incident in great detail.
In the peaceful protest, the British police attacked the protesters and Lala Lajpat Rai succumbed to heavy injuries on the head. Unfortunately, he could not completely recover from the recoveries and died on November 17, 1928.
Let’s remember Lala Lajpat Rai on his birth anniversary by looking over 5 of the most interesting facts from the life of the Punjab Kesari
- Lala Lajpat Rai and his religious background
Lala Lajpat Rai was born in a scholarly family where his father was a great scholar of Urdu and Persian and his mother a strict religious woman who instilled the value of religion in Lala Lajpat Rai at an early age.
- A revolutionary with a spiritual side
When his family shifted back to Hissar, Lala Lajpat Rai set up the nationalistic Anglo-Vedic school. But that’s not all, not many people know that Lala Lajpat Rai also turned into a follower of Dayanand Saraswati, the great philosopher and founder of Arya Samaj. Later, Lala Lajpat Rai also became the founder and editor of founder-editor Arya Gazette.
- He was the chief architect of the Swadeshi movement
When we talk about Swadeshi Movement, our brains conjure up images of Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. But even before these individuals, Lala Lajpat Rai stressed on the importance of self-reliance in the 1900 session of the Indian National Congress.
He then later turned into one of the chief architects of the Swadeshi Movement with Mahatma Gandhi, Bipin Chandra Pal, Bal Gangadhar Tilak and more.
Today, the Narendra Modi-led government has come back to the fundamentals laid down by Lala Lajpat Rai and has instilled the vision of an “Atmanirbhar Bharat” in Indian citizens.
- Lala Lajpat Rai was Punjab National Bank’s first account holder
Yes! This is the same Punjab National Bank which is the banking partner of hundreds of thousands of Indians. Lala Lajpat Rai was always a proponent of a self-reliant India. So he, along with several other Swadeshi movement heroes, helped set up the Punjab National Bank. Interesting fact, he was the first account holder of the esteemed bank.
- He was titled ‘Punjab Kesari’ before the newspaper ‘Punjab Kesari’ came into existence
He actively took part in the non-cooperation movement which was originated to oppose the Rowlatt Act. Lala Lajpat Rai, being a fierce and courageous leader, openly opposed the new British legislation. Later due to his open and courageous act, he was given the title of ‘Punjab Kesari’ which roughly translates to ‘The lion of Punjab.’