Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya
Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya was born on December 25th, 1861 in Allahabad, Gujarat. He was from a humble brahmin family. His parents were Pandit Baijnath and Moona Devi. He started his schooling at Hardeva’s Gyanopadesh Pathsala where he completed his primary education and later joined Vidha Vardini Sabha.
Afterward, he joined Allahabad Zila Vidyalaya (Allahabad district school) where he started as a poet. He wrote under the pen name of ‘makarand’, his poems got printed in many journals and magazines. He matriculated from Muir Central College in 1879. Muir Central College is now known as Allahabad University. He completed his B.A. from Calcutta University. He wanted to pursue further studies in Sanskrit Literature but his family conditions didn’t allow him to do so.
In July 1884, he got appointed for the post of Assistant Master in a Government High School in Allahabad. In December 1886, Malviya attended the 2nd Indian National Congress session in Calcutta under chairmanship of Dadabhai Naoroji where he spoke on the issues of representation in Council. His address impressed Dadabhai Naoroji, and Raja Rampal Singh which provided him with the opportunity that later he worked under Raja Rampal Singh’s newspaper as an editor.
In July 1887, he left his school job and joined as the editor of “The Nationalist Weekly”, he remained there for two and a half years, and after that left for Allahabad to go for an L.L.B. degree. He was offered co-editorship of “The Indian Opinion”, an English newspaper. After finishing his law degree in 1891, he started practicing law at Allahabad district court and in December 1893, he moved to Allahabad High Court.
From 1909 to 1918, Malviya handled the President Chair in the Indian National Congress. He was against separate electorates for the Muslims. In 1916, in Lucknow pact, Mahatma Gandhi gave him the title “Mahamana”. He renounced his law practice in 1911 to serve in the cause of social justice and education. Malviya practiced ‘Sanyas’ tradition but during the “Chauri Chaura” incident, he appeared before the court under an acquitted 156 freedom fighters.
He remained a member of the Imperial Legislative Council from 1912 and even when in 1919 it was converted to the Central Legislative Assembly he remained its member as well, till 1926. Malviya was a major figure in the Non-cooperation movement. But, he opposed the participation of Congress in “Khilafat Movement”. In 1928, he joined the protest against “Simon Commission” which had been set up by the British to consider India’s future. Malviya was a delegate at the Second Round Table Conference in 1931.
On 25th April 1932, along with 450 other Congress volunteers in Delhi, Malviya was arrested during the campaign of “Civil Disobedience Movement”. After the arrest of Sarojini Naidu, Malviya was appointed as the president of congress in 1932. At the calcutta session in 1933, he was again selected as the president of congress. He was the only leader appointed as the president of congress for four terms at that time.
On September 25, 1932, he signed the “Poona Pact” with Dr. B.R. Ambedkar in which he represented the Hindus. The agreement gave reserved seats for depressed classes as it discarded the idea of forming separate electorate for them. Due to the pact, the depressed class received 148 seats in the legislature, instead of the 71 as allocated in the Communal Award proposal of the British Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald.
After the pact, the Communal Award was modified to include the terms as per the pacts. The text uses the term “Depressed Classes” to denote Untouchables among Hindus who were later called Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes under India Act 1935 and the later Indian Constitution of 1950. In protest against the idea of separate electorates for minorities, Malviya along with Madhav Shrihari Aney left Congress and started the Congress Nationalist Party.
In 1934 General Elections, the party won 12 seats.
Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya started his journalistic career in 1887 as the editor of a Hindi Daily ‘Hindostan’. Malviya was selected by Raja Rampal Singh because he was pleased by his speech in 2nd session of congress on the topic of organization management. He became the Editor of the “Indian Opinion” in 1889.
Malviya started his own Hindi weekly “Abhyudaya” in 1907. He used to write under the pen name ‘Makarand’ and his poems were published in “Harischandra Chandrika”. He also published articles on religious subjects in “Hindi Pradeepa”. The Allahabad conference of congress was called by him in 1908 to condemn the press and newspaper act introduced in British India.
He then realized the need for an English Newspaper to make the campaign effective throughout the country. An English daily “The Leader” in 1909 was published with the help of Motilal Nehru, where Malviya was assigned as an Editor under the duration of 1909 to 1911 and President under 1911 to 1919.
Malviya started the Hindi paper `Maryada’ in 1910. Malviya along with the help of national leaders Lala Lajpat Rai and M.R. Jayakar and industrialist Ghanshyam Das Birla acquired “The Hindustan Times” and saved it from crumble. Malviya was the Chairman of Hindustan Times from 1924 to 1946. In 1934 a hindi edition named ‘Hindustan’ was published. The paper is now owned by the Birla family. Sanatana dharma, a religious paper was published by Malviya from BHU.
After completing his L.L.B. in 1981, he practiced in Allahabad district court and later on moved to the Allahabad high court. He was regarded as one of the best lawyers in Allahabad high court. In 1911, he gave up his practice of law to serve the nation broadly. It was the peak time of his career. Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru mentions of him as – ”a brilliant Civil Lawyer” and Sir Mirza Ismail said – ”I have heard a great lawyer saying that if Mr. Malviya had so willed it, he would have been an ornament to the legal profession.”
He once again knocked the doors of the courts as a lawyer to save the convicted in chauri chaura incident, as a result of which Mahatma Gandhi called off the then launched Non-Cooperation movement. The sessions court had sent to gallows, 177 people for the attack. Malviya defended them in the Allahabad High Court and got 155 people saved. During these arguments, the then Chief Justice Honorable, Sir Grimwood Mears bowed thrice to Malviya as a mark of great appreciation for the sheer brilliance of his arguments.
BANARAS HINDU UNIVERSITY
In April 1911, Annie Besant met Malviya and they decided to work for a common Hindu University in Varanasi. According to the “B.H.U. Act 1915”, the Banaras Hindu University was found in 1916. In 1939, he left the Vice-Chancellorship of BHU which was succeeded by S. Radhakrishnan, who later became the President of India.
To oppose the damming of Ganges, Malviya founded Ganga Mahasabha.He forced the British government to sign an agreement with Ganga Mahasabha on the uninterrupted flow of Ganges in Haridwar and protect Ganges for future obstructions. It was known as Aviral Ganga samjhauta.
Malviya played a significant part in the removal of Untouchability and in giving directions to the “Harijan Movement”. In 1933, he joined under the establishment of Harijan Sevak Sangh. Malviya asserted – if you admit internal purity of the human soul, you or your religion could never get impured or defiled in any way by touch or association with any man.
To solve the problem of untouchability, Malviya followed a Hindu method, of giving Mantradiksha to untouchables. He said, “Mantras would be a certain means of their upliftment socially, politically and spiritually.” He worked for the eradication of caste barriers in temples and other social platforms. Malviya made efforts for the betterment of so-called untouchables in every corner of Hindu society.
In March 1936, Hindu Dalit (Harijan) leader P. N. Rajbhoj along with a group of 200 Dalit people demanded entry at the Kalaram Temple on a Rath Yatra day. Malviya in the presence of priests of Kalaram Temple gave Diksha to the assembled people and gave them entry into the temple. The Dalit members also participated in the Rath Yatra of Kalaram Temple. In 1901, Malviya established a boys’ hostel named Hindu Hostel (Hindu Boarding House) in Allahabad.
Though, Scouting in India was officially founded in British India in 1909 at the Bishop Cotton’s Boys School in Bangalore but scouting for native Indians was started by Justice Vivian Bose, Malviya, Hridayanath Kunzru, Girija Shankar Bajpai, Annie Besant, and George Arundale. Malviya became its first Chief Scout. In 1913, he also started a scouting inspired organization called All India Seva Samiti.
Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya on a 2011 stamp of India, The slogan “Satyameva Jayate” (Truth alone will triumph) is also a legacy given to the nation by Pandit Malviya as the President of the Indian National Congress in its session of 1918 at Delhi by saying that this slogan from the Mundakopanishad should be the slogan for the nation. He started the tradition of Aarti at Har ki Pauri, Haridwar to the sacred Ganga river which is performed till date.
The Malviya Dwipa, a small island across the ghat, is named after him and carries his bust. The Indian Post issued stamps in his honor on 1961 and 2011 to celebrate his respective 100th and 150th birth anniversaries.
Malviya Nagar in Allahabad, Lucknow, Delhi, Dehradun, Bhopal, Durg and Jaipur are named after him. A square in the main city at Jabalpur is named after him and is called Malviya chowk. Malviya National Institute of Technology (MNIT) at Jaipur is named after him, as is Madan Mohan Malviya University of Technology in Gorakhpur, UP.
The Hostels of IIT Kharagpur, IIT Roorkee Saharanpur Campus, and BITS Pilani, and Hyderabad campuses are also named Malviya Bhawan after him. In memory of him, Shrigoud Vidya Mandir, Indore repeatedly celebrates his birth anniversary as Mahamana Divas on every 25th December. They have also declared a fellowship program for poor Sanatan Vipra boys on this day.
Mahamana’s life-size portrait was unveiled in the Central Hall of India’s Parliament by the then President of India Dr. Rajendra Prasad, and his life-size statue was unveiled in 1961 by the then President of India Dr. S. Radhakrishnan in front of the BHU main gate on the occasion of his birth centenary. In front of the Main Gate, leading to the Assembly Hall and outside the porch, there exists a bust of Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya which was inaugurated by the former Lt. Governor of Delhi, Dr. A.N. Jha on 25 December 1971.
On 25th December 2008 i.e. on his birth anniversary, the national memorial of Mahamana Madan Mohan Malaviya, “Malaviya Smriti Bhawan” was inaugurated by the then President of India A P J Abdul Kalam at 53, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Marg, in Delhi.
2011 was celebrated as his 150th birth centenary by the Government of India under the Chairmanship of India’s prime minister Dr. Manmohan Singh who announced the establishment of a Centre for Malviya Studies at the Banaras Hindu University in addition to scholarships and education-related awards in his memory, and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi released a biography of Madan Mohan Malaviya.
On 24th December 2014, Madan Mohan Malaviya was honored with Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honor. Mahamana Express train (between Delhi and Varanasi) has been flagged off by Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi on 22 January 2016. The train is named after Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya and is equipped with modern facilities such as bio-toilets in every coach and air-conditioned compartments.