LALA LAJPAT RAI -Indian Freedom Fighters Biography

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LALA LAJPAT RAI -Indian Freedom Fighters Biography

LALA LAJPAT RAI -Indian Freedom Fighters Biography

Lala Lajpat Rai was born in 1865 into an Aggarwal family. His birth took place at his maternal grand-parents' home in a village called Dhudike in Ferozpur District while his mother was visiting there. His father, Munshi Radha Krishna, a pious and learned man, was at the time receiving education at Normal School, Delhi after serving as a teacher for three years. Lalaji's mother, Gulab Devi, a strict religious lady, inculcated in her children strong morals values.

Lalaji received his education until his Entrance Examination in places where his father was posted as teacher. Lalaji joined the Government College at Lahore in 1880 to study Law. While in college he came in contact with patriots and future freedom fighters like Lala Hans Raj and Pandit Guru Dutt. The three became fast friends and joined the Arya Samaj founded by Swami Dayanand. Lalaji passed his Mukhtarship (junior pleader) examination and started his legal practice in J agraon. He passed his Vakilship Examination in Second Division from Government College in 1885. He started his practice in Rohtak but moved it to Hissar where some of his friends were also practicing the Law.

Lalaji's early legal practice at Hissar was very successful. Besides practicing, Lalaji collected funds for the Dayanand College, attended Arya Samaj functions and participated in Congress activities. He was elected to the Hissar municipality as a member and later as secretary. Lalaji shifted to Lahore in 1892.

He was an advocate of self- reliance and refused to take Government aid for the D.A.V College. Lalaji also became the General Secretary of the first Hindu orphanage established at Ferozepur by the Atya Samaj.

Lalaji dove headlong in the struggle against partition of Bengal. Along with Surendra Nath Banerjee, Bipin Chandra Pal and Aurobindo Ghosh, he galvanized Bengal and the nation in a vigorous campaign of swadeshi.

Lalaji was arrested on May 3,1907 for creating' turmoil' in Rawalpindi. The Government was informed that Lalaji was responsible for the unrest in Rawalpindi and was arrested.

Lalaji believed that it was important for the national cause to organize propaganda in foreign countries to explain India's position because the freedom struggle had taken a militant turn. He left for Britain in April 1914 for this purpose. Lalaji wrote numerous articles and delivered many speeches. A couple of months later, World War I broke out between England and Germany and Lalaji was not allowed to return to India. Lalaji immediately made plans to go to U.S.A. to galvanize more political support for India's cause. He founded the Indian Home League Society of America and wrote a book called 'Young India'. Lalaji was able to return to India only after the war was over in February 1920.

On his return, the Congress invited him to preside over the special session in Calcutta in 1920. Lalaji supported the non- cooperation movement, which was being launched in response to the Rawlett Act, in principle. Lalaji was arrested on December 3,1921 in Lahore for his activities related to the non-cooperation movement and was imprisoned for a year and a half.

Gandhiji ended the non-cooperation "movement when riots broke out at Bardoli. Lalaji diverted his attention again to social and educational projects. He started the Lok Sewak Society, whose member toured from place to place and started new schools for the depressed classes. He donated a lakh of rupees toward the construction of the Gulab Devi Memorial Hospital in memory of his deceased mother.

Lalaji was disgusted at the arrogance of the British for sending the Simon Commission comprised of Britishers only. On February 16, 1927, Lalaji moved a resolution in the Central Legislative Assembly, refusing cooperation with the Simon Commission. The Government imposed section 144 to restrain people from protesting against the commission. Lalaji joined a demonstration against the Simon Commission. The police lathi- charged the assembled. While Lalaji tried his level best to keep the demonstration peaceful, the police targeted him and wounded him on his chest. The people were enraged at this insult and held a meeting the same evening. Lalaji, though in intense pain, gave a speech and declared”.. every blow aimed at me is a nail in the coffin of British Imperialism .... "

 

He recovered from the wounds left by the British but he remained emotionally scarred at the brutality of the' civilized' British. Why had he been specifically targeted by the British? Why had they lathi- charged against a peaceful gathering. These thoughts racked his spirit till the very end. Lalaji died on November 17, 1928 of heart failure. 



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