Sunday February 18, 2018

Bharat Ratna Madan Mohan Malviya: The man who gave India meaning of ‘Swadeshi’

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By Anurag Paul

The President’s Office announced the Bharat Ratna award to Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya (posthumously) on the eve of his 153rd birth anniversary. Today, the award was given to his family for Malviya’s outstanding work in education field and the country’s freedom struggle.

Pandit Malviya is the 12th person to be honoured the highest civilian honour posthumously. Earlier recipients of the award include former Prime Ministers Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Morarji Desai, Lal Bahadur Shastri, along with first Governor General of free India C. Rajagopalachari, and former Deputy Prime Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

Madan Mohan Malaviya or Mahamana Malaviya was born on December 25, 1861 in Allahabad, in a family of six brothers and two sisters. He was a ardent social reformer, and looked beyond the then prevalent caste barrier. Malaviya made massive efforts for the entry of Dalits into any Hindu temple.

As an important figure of the non-cooperation movement Malaviya protested against the Simon Commission. In an act of delicious irony, Malaviya, borrowing from the ‘Buy British’ movement in England, started the ‘Swadeshi movement against the British rule. He also wrote a detailed criticism of the Montagu-Chelmsford proposal for Indian constitutional reforms in 1918.

Malaviya was a long standing member of the Congress party. As a paternal figure to many of the second wave Congress leaders, he influenced, among others, Gandhi and Jawahar Lal Nehru. In his part Gandhi, who considered him as an elder brother, gave him the honorific title of ‘ Mahamana ’ or great soul.

A prolific journalist himself, he had been the chairman of the Hindustan Times from 1924 to 1946, and was instrumental in the launch of the newspapers Hindi edition. In his youth, he also founded the now defunct English language newspaper The Leader as well as the Hindi monthly called Maryada and the Hindi weekly titled Abhyudaya.

Being an ardent Hindu, he was also one of the founding members of the Gorakshak Mandal— intended to protect and preserve cows, which  Hindus consider holy. The mandal, along with similar organisations, were instrumental in making the prohibition of cow slaughter an article in the Directive Principles of State Policy.

Being very active in the field of Indian Politics, he remained Congress President for a record number of four times- in 1909 (Lahore), in 1918 (Delhi), in 1930 (Delhi) and in 1932 (Calcutta).

 

 

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An insight into the biggest political parties of India

The next state polls of 2018 will be an acid test for Rahul Gandhi to prove his mettle as a leader

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The recent clash of BJP and Congress have re-balanced the political scenario of India. Wikimedia Commons
The recent clash of BJP and Congress have re-balanced the political scenario of India. Wikimedia Commons

NEW DELHI: Indian being a political democratic country, houses a lot of political parties. Since independence, many new parties have emerged to take up the fight for various sections of the society. One of the examples of such a party is AAP (Aam Admi Party). AAP came up with strong political ethics to root out issues faced by a commons man but now the very existence of this party is in question due to poor performance and incompetence of some of its top leaders. But the most prominent of all of the political parties in India are BJP (Bharatiya Janta Party) and the Indian National Congress.

BJP encouraged the construction of the temple of God Rama at the site of the Babri Masjid. Wikimedia Commons
BJP encouraged the construction of the temple of God Rama at the site of the Babri Masjid. Wikimedia Commons

In 1980, BJP surfaced from a former party known as Bharatiya Jana Sangh which was founded by Syama Prasad Mookerjee. BJP’s agenda during the 1980s focused on the ‘Ram Janambhoomi movement’. The party encouraged the construction of the temple of God Rama at the site of the Babri Masjid. This issue gave the Hindu colour denomination to BJP and in 1996; it emerged as the largest party in the parliament. After being kept away from the power for long, Narendra Modi led the BJP to unprecedented heights in the last elections and the competition was put up by him was unmatchable.

On the other hand, Congress is a more matured political party of India. It got established in the year 1885. After the independence, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru became the leader of free India. Nehru was the front face of the political governance in India but after his assassination, his daughter Indira Gandhi took the charge and became the prime minister in 1966. Unfortunately, Indira Gandhi also got assassinated and her son, Rajiv Gandhi took up the reigns of the party. In the sequence of assassination, Rajiv Gandhi was the next target. Sonia Gandhi came to power in 1998 and she led the party from the front in 2004 elections. This resulted in the political rule of Congress under Manmohan Singh.

After the independence, Congress head Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru became the leader of free India. Wikimedia Commons
After the independence, Congress head Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru became the leader of free India. Wikimedia Commons

The recent Assembly election of Gujarat was a real eye-opener for many, as the people’s right to vote was seen quite considerably y exercised. The Congress resistance in the very own fortress of Narendra Modi was a heavy blow to the Modi wave that swept the country. Although, BJP had the last laugh in the election results but the close fight Syama Prasad Mookerjee from the Congress side was appreciable. The new trend seems to be rebalancing the political scenario in India. The tussle between the BJP and Congress will definitely go down in the history of Indian politics.

Nowadays, Twitter is another playground for political parties. The rule of social media platforms has pushed Indian leaders to communicate in the same manner. It’s vividly seen that people take up to twitter to express their views and differences. Rahul Gandhi vetted his displeasure over the performance of BJP in the latest series of attacks by Rahul against Prime Minister Modi.

Last month only, Rahul Gandhi was crowned as the party head. Therefore, the state polls of 2018 will be an acid test for Rahul to prove his mettle as a leader. It will be interesting to see the new strategies that will be deployed by Congress to take an edge over their arch rivals, BJP.