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Lala Lajpat Rai: Interesting Facts About This Fiery Indian Nationalist

Lala Lajpat Rai, a haloed revolutionary who held Arya Samaj beliefs close to his heart, was born on 28 January 1865 into an Agrawal Jain family as the eldest son of six children to Munshi Radha Krishna, and Gulab Devi Agarwal at Dhudike in the Moga district, Punjab. An avid believer and supporter of anti-British nationalism, he led the Hindu supremacy movement against the British. He was eulogised as 'Punjab Kesari' for his aggressive approach against the British and his undying contributions towards the Indian independence. He succumbed to grievous lathi Charge injuries inflicted on his by the British during a silent March that he held to oppose the Simon commission. His death was later avenged by Bhagat Singh, one more patriot who contributed phenomenally to the freedom movement. Here are some hair-raising facts about him that will make you ponder about his principles and personality.

1. Lala Lajpat Rai founded the Punjab National Bank
2. He also helped Mahatma Hansraj establish the nationalistic Dayanand Anglo-Vedic (DAV) School, Lahore. Lala Lajpat Rai reformed a couple of Indian policies
3. Lala Lajpat Rai, joined hands with Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Bipin Chandra Pal and formed a triumvirate that was popularly known as Lal-Bal_Pal to fight for the independence and uphold the swadeshi movement.
4. Haryana's Rai University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences in Hisar, is named in honour of Lala Lajpat Rai
5. Odisha honoured him by declaring the day of his death as Martyrs' Day.
6. Rai also wrote books which were titled - The Story of My Deportation, United States of America: A Hindu's Impression, England's Debt to India
7. He was popularly known as the Punjab Kesari.
8. While he was studying Law, he came under the influence of Arya Samaj and later became founder editor of Arya Gazette.
9. He was a practicing lawyer in Hissar and contributed to this society in his own significant way.
10. He quit practising law in 1914 and dedicated himself to the Indian Independence Struggle movement.
11. Lala Lajpat Rai was residing in United States during the first World War, where he spearheaded the Indian Home Rule League of America
12. In 1928, he introduced the legislative assembly resolution for the boycott of the British Simon Commission on constitutional reform
13. In 1920, he was elected the President of the Indian National Congress.
14. In 1921, he founded Servants of the People Society, that was dedicated to training national missionaries to serve the country.
15. In 1929, a silent film titled Punjab Kesari was made by Homi Master, an Indian director. There was also a documentary made in his name by the Government of India
16. In 1928, he led a non-violent march protesting against the Simon Commission when he found out that it had no Indian representation. He was brutally lathi-charged and injured. But calmly he answered "I declare that the blows struck at me today will be the last nails in the coffin of British rule in India." But he succumbed to injuries on November 17, 1928.

Story first published: Friday, January 20, 2023, 17:24 [IST]
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