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Lala Lajpat Rai Death Anniversary: The life of Lala Lajpat Rai, one of the heroes of the Indian freedom struggle and the famous leader of the Lal, Bal, Pal trio, remains a source of inspiration for the younger generation even today.  He not only led during the freedom struggle but also succeeded in establishing the ideal which is imagined in an ideal statesman through his life examples. 

Biography of Lala Lajpat Rai 

Lala Lajpat Rai was born on January 28, 1865 in Moga, Punjab in an ordinary family.  His father Lala Radhakrishna was a teacher.  It also affected Lajpat Rai.  From his early days, he was a brilliant student and after completing his schooling, he turned to law.  He became an excellent lawyer and also practiced for some time, but soon his mind got tired of this work.  Anger arose in his mind towards the judicial system of the British.  He left that system and turned to banking. 

Banker, insurance worker and leader of party 

He innovated banking to run his livelihood.  Banks were not very popular in India till that time, but they took it as a challenge and established Punjab National Bank and Lakshmi Insurance Company.  On the other hand, he continued to oppose the British through Congress.  Due to his boldness and hot nature, he was awarded the title of Punjab Kesari.  He was one of the first leaders after Bal Gangadhar Tilak, who demanded Poorna Swaraj.  He emerged as the most popular leader in Punjab. 

Arya Samaj and DAV

Lala Lajpat Rai Death Anniversary: Along with being a fierce fighter of freedom, Lala ji was also inclined towards the rapidly spreading Arya Samaj movement in India.  As a result, he soon took up the task of taking forward this movement along with Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati.  Arya Samaj used to attack the evils and religious superstitions spread in Indian Hindu society and called for a return to the Vedas.  Lala ji dared to stand against the popular public at that time.  This is a matter of the time when Arya Samajis were considered anti-religious, but Lala ji did not care at all.  Soon Arya Samaj became popular in Punjab due to his efforts. 

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He did another and more important work in the field of Indian education.  Till now only traditional education was dominant in India.  In which the medium of instruction was Sanskrit and Urdu.  Most of the people were deprived of the education which was based on the European style or the English system.  Arya Samaj started Dayanand Anglo-Vedic schools in this direction, Lala ji made every effort to spread and propagate it.  Later on Punjab became known for its excellent DAV Schools.  The contribution of Lala Lajpat Rai was unforgettable in this. 

His second important achievement in the field of education was the DAV College of Lahore.  He transformed this college into the best education center of India then.  This college proved to be a boon for the youth who had defied the colleges run by the British during the non-cooperation movement.  DAV College made arrangements for the education of most of them. 

Lala Lajpat Rai Death Anniversary: Congress and Lajpat Rai 

Joining the Indian National Congress was the most important event in Lala’s life.  In 1888, the annual session of Congress was held in Allahabad and this was the first time when Lala Lajpat Rai got the opportunity to join this organization.  In his early days, he started making a mark in the Congress as an enthusiastic worker.  Gradually he was accepted as the universal representative of the Punjab province of the Congress.  In 1906, the Congress made him a member of the delegation that went with Gopalkrishna.  This became a sign of his growing stature in the organization.  Due to his views in the Congress, the uproar started.  He was the third leader, apart from Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Bipinchandra Pal, who wanted to raise the Congress from the role of a British institution. 

Mandalay Jail Tour 

Due to the opposition of the British government in the Congress, he started to stand in the eyes of the British government.  The British wanted him to be separated from the Congress, but given his stature and popularity, this was not easy to do.  In 1907, under the leadership of Lala Lajpat Rai, the farmers started a movement against the British government.  The British government was looking for such an opportunity and they not only arrested Lalaji, but imprisoned him in Mandalay Jail in Burma, expelling him, but the government’s bet backfired and people came out on the streets.  Under pressure, the British government had to withdraw the decision and Lala ji once again came back among his people. 

Separation from Congress and Home Rule League 

Lala Lajpat Rai Death Anniversary: By 1907, a section of the Congress was starting to completely disagree with Lala ji’s views.  Lala ji was considered to be a part of the extremist party, which wanted to take full swaraj by fighting the British government.  This Poorna Swaraj was strengthened by the American freedom struggle and the First World War and Lala ji emerged as the main speaker of Home Rule in India along with Annie Besant.  The Jallian Wala Bagh incident filled them with more discontent against the British government. 

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In the meantime, Mahatma Gandhi had emerged in the Congress and Gandhi had been established on the international stage.  He actively participated in the non-cooperation movement launched by Gandhi in 1920.  He was arrested, but was released after his health deteriorated.  Meanwhile, his relations with the Congress continued to deteriorate and in 1924 he left the Congress and joined the Swaraj Party and was elected a member of the Central Assembly.  Here too soon his mind got upset and he formed the Nationalist Party and once again became a part of the assembly. 

Simon Go Back and Tragic Death (Lala Lajpat Rai Death truth) – 

India’s freedom struggle: A major incident happened at that time, when the decision to oppose the Simon Commission, which came to talk to Indians, was taken by Gandhi.  Wherever the Simon Commission went, the slogans of Simon Go Back were raised.  When the commission reached Lahore on 30 October 1928, a group led by Lala Lajpat Rai was peacefully registering its protest by raising slogans of Simon Go Back.  Then the British police lathi-charged him and a young British officer hit Lalaji on the head.  Lala ji’s statement was – every stick lying on my body will act as a nail in the coffin of the British Empire. 

Credit: Drishti IAS

The head injury killed Lala Lajpat Rai.  The whole country was infuriated by his death.  As a result of this anger, Bhagat Singh, Shivram Rajguru and Sukhdev Thapar killed the British police officer Saunders and hanged from the noose.  Lala Lajpat Rai was one of those fighters of the Indian freedom struggle who gave everything to the country.  His life is a saga of many hardships and struggles, which the generations to come will continue to tell and listen to for ages.


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