Lala Lajpat Rai was born on 1865 in Dhudike, Punjab British India & died on 1928 in Lahore, British India (Now Pakistan), was an Indian nationalist leader and was well known for his many publications regarding national problems.
Lala Lajpat Rai was born in the Ferozepore district of the Punjab to a respectable Hindu family. He studied law in Lahore and in 2 years passed the first examination, which qualified him to practice. While a student, he became active in the nationalist and revivalist Arya Samaj Society of Swami Dayananda. Rai joined the Samaj in 1882 and soon emerged as a prominent leader in its “Progressive,” or “College,” wing. He also taught at the Anglo-Vedic College, run by the Samaj; his fiery nationalism was largely the product of this involvement.
In 1886 Rai moved to Hissar, where he practiced law, led the Arya movement, and was elected to the Municipal Committee (of the local government). In 1888 and 1889 he was a delegate to the annual sessions of the National Congress. He moved to Lahore to practice before the High Court in 1892.
Lala Lajpat Rai was one of those outstanding personalities whose struggle to bring freedom to India is a permanent source of inspiration for years to come. Popularly called as the Lion of Punjab, he led a battle against the British Rule who invaded the country and had established their never ending regime.
His father, Munshi Radha Krishan was a great Scholar of Persian and Urdu. Lalaji’s mother, Gulab Devi, was a great source of inspiration. Lalaji was brought up in a family background that allowed freedom of having different faiths and beliefs.
Since childhood he had a desire to serve his country and its people, and therefore took a pledge to free it from foreign rule.
His activities were multifarious. He was an ardent social reformer. He founded the Indian Home Rule League of America in October 1917, in New York and, a year later, he also set up, with himself as Director, the “Indian Information Bureau” in New York to serve as a Publicity Organisation for India. Lala Lajpat Rai returned to India on Feb.20, 1920 as a great hero.
He plunged into Gandhi’s non-cooperation movement, which in Punjab, under Lajpat Rai’s leadership spread like wildfire in the province, and he soon came to be known as “The Lion of Punjab”. He traveled far and wide in India and his eloquence brought hundreds to the congress fold.
Lalaji injected new life in his countrymen. Lalaji’s pen and tongue were equally forceful. They swayed those they aimed to reach. He was a crusader, who knew no fear and championed every worthy cause with all the passion of his soul. He took great interest in India’s economic regeneration.
His love for service was insatiable. He founded educational institutions. He befriended the suppressed classes. In the political field he was indispensable. He was fearless in the expression of his views.
Lala Lajpat Rai’s supreme sacrifice came when he led a procession in Lahore on Oct.30, 1928 to boycott the Simon Commission. The procession was sought to be broken up by the police and Lajpat Rai received lathi blows on his chest. As a result, he passed away on November 17, 1928.
Lala Lajpat Rai’s death brought to a close a long career of distinguished public service. Among the numerous tributes one came from Mahatma Gandhi. Writing in Young India, he aptly said, “Men like Lalaji cannot die so long as the sun shines in the Indian sky.” Lajpat Rai left a rich legacy for his countrymen. A band of philanthropists joined hands and ventured in the field of education with the sole objective of providing educational facilities to the students of south Mumbai. A Trust was formed and named after Lala Lajpat Rai, the great freedom fighter, social reformer and an educationist.
The Trust was established to promote educational institutions dear to Lalaji’s heart.
The Trust as well as the Institutions maintained by the Punjabis, are a homage to Maharashtra, where they settled and prospered.