Lala Lajpat Rai Biography

Lajpat Rai was born on 28 January 1865 in a Hindu Aggarwal family, as a son of Urdu and Persian government school teacher Munshi Radha Krishan Agrawal and his wife Gulab Devi Agrawal, in Dhudike (now in Moga district, Punjab).

In 1877, his parents married him to Radha Devi Agrawal. He had two sons, Amrit Rai Agrawal and Pyarelal Agrawal, and a daughter, Parvati Agrawal.

Lala Lajpat Rai Education

He had his initial education in Government Higher Secondary School, Rewari in Haryana. Government posted him there as an Urdu teacher.

In 1880, Lajpat Rai joined Government College at Lahore to study Law, where he came in contact with patriots and future freedom fighters, such as Lala Hans Raj and Pandit Guru Dutt.

Lala Lajpat Rai images

Lala Lajpat Rai
Images of Lala Lajpat Rai

Lala Lajpat Rai contribution

In 1914, he quit law practice to dedicate himself to the freedom of India and went to Britain in 1914 and then to the United States in 1917.

In October 1917, he founded the Indian Home Rule League of America in New York. He controversially demanded “a clear partition of India into a Muslim India and Hindu State India” in The Tribune on 14 December 1923.

After joining the Indian National Congress and taking part in political agitation in Punjab. The British government  deported Lala Lajpat Rai to Mandalay, Burma (now Myanmar), without trial in May 1907.

In November, Lord Minto, decided that there was insufficient evidence to hold him for subversion.

The Lion of Punjab is a colloquial title, that most commonly refers to the Indian independence activist, Lala Lajpat Rai.

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.

People elected him President of the Indian National Congress in 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.

Lala Lajpat Rai achievements

In late 19th and early 20th century Lala Lajpat Rai himself was founder of many organisations, including Arya Gazaette are Lahore, Hisar congress, Hisar Arya Samaj, Hisar Bar Council, national DAV managing Committee.

Lala Lajpat Rai was also head of the “Lakshmi Insurance Company,” and commissioned the Lakshmi Building in Karachi, which still bears a plaque in remembrance of him.

Lakhsmi Insurance Company was merged with Life Insurance Corporation of India when en masse nationalisation of Life Insurance business happened during 1956.

In 1927, Lajpat Rai established a trust in her memory to build and run a tuberculosis hospital for women, reportedly at the location where his mother, Gulab Devi, had died of tuberculosis in Lahore.

This became known as the Gulab Devi Chest Hospital and opened on 17 July 1934. Now the Gulab Devi Memorial hospital is one of the biggest hospital of present Pakistan which services over 2000 patients at a time as in patients.

Lala Lajpat Rai Slogan

On 30 October 1928, Lajpat Rai led non-violent march in protest against Simon Commission. The protest was with the words “Simon go back” and black flags.

The superintendent of police, James A. Scott, ordered the police to lathi (baton) charge the protesters and personally assaulted Rai.

Rai inspite of being injured subsequently addressed the crowd. He said, “I declare that the blows struck at me today will be the last nails in the coffin of British rule in India.

Lala Lajpat Rai death

When the Simon Commission visited Lahore on 30 October 1928, Lajpat Rai led non-violent march in protest against it. The protest was with the words “Simon go back” and black flags.

The superintendent of police, James A. Scott, ordered the police to lathi (baton) charge the protesters and personally assaulted Rai. He did not fully recover from his injuries and died on 17 November 1928 of a heart attack.

Doctors thought that Scott’s blows had hastened his death. However, when the matter was raised in the British Parliament, the British Government denied any role in Rai’s death.

Although Bhagat Singh did not witness the event, he vowed to take revenge as it was a murder of a very tall leader in the freedom movement.

He joined other revolutionaries, Shivaram Rajguru, Sukhdev Thapar and Chandrashekhar Azad, in a plot to kill Scott to send a message to British Raj.

Lala Lajpat Rai books

He wrote the following books
The Story of My Deportation, 1908
Arya Samaj, 1915
The United States of America: A Hindu’s Impression, 1916
Unhappy India, 1928
England’s Debt to India, 1917

Lala Lajpat Rai quotes

“The shots that hit me are the last nails to the coffin of british rule in India.”

“If I had the power to influence Indian journals, I would have the following headlines printed in bold letters on the first page: Milk for the infants , Food for the adults and Education for all.”

“The Government which attacks its own innocent subjects has no claim to be called a civilised government. Bear in mind, such a government does not survive long. I declare that the blows struck at me will be the last nails in the coffin of the British rule in India.”

“Since the cruel killing of cows and other animal have commenced, I have anxiety for the future generation.”

“I do honestly and sincerely believe in the necessity or desirability of Hindu-Muslim unity. I am also fully prepared to trust the Muslim leaders. But what about the injunctions of the Koran and Hadis? The leaders cannot over-ride them. Are we then doomed? I hope not. I hope your learned mind and wise head will find some way out of this difficulty.”

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