On His Birthday, 5 Unknown Facts About Lala Lajpat Rai
By Harshmeet Singh
Updated by Mahyah Binti Idris on 23rd January, 2022
One of the biggest figures of the India Independence movement, Lala Lajpat Rai was born on the 28th of January, 1865. In addition to being a revolutionary freedom warrior and one of the 'Lal Bal Pal' triad, his concept of nationalism and fervent patriotism gained him the titles of 'Punjab Kesari' and 'Lion of Punjab.' Rai was a veteran leader of the Indian Nationalist Movement, including the Indian National Congress, the Hindu Mahasabha, Hindu reform groups, and the Arya Samaj.
He was also the founding member of organizations like the Hisar Congress, the Hisar Arya Samaj, the Hisar Bar Council, and the National DAV managing Committee. He later became the chairman of the "Lakshmi Insurance Company," which was responsible for the commissioning of the Lakshmi Building in Karachi. He was instrumental in awakening the masses towards the goal of Swaraj. As the nation gets ready to celebrate his 157th birthday today, NewsGram brings forth five relatively lesser known facts about the leader fondly known as 'Punjab Kesari'.
1. Punjab National Bank
Lala Lajpat Rai had a big hand in the setting up of Punjab National Bank| Wikimedia Commons
Lala Lajpat Rai had a big hand in the setting up of Punjab National Bank, which is today's India's second largest Public Sector Bank. He was an integral part of the Bank's leadership in its first decade of operation.
2. The original brain behind 'Make In India'
The swadeshi movement was initiated by Rai. | File
It was Rai, who first designed the Swadeshi movement along with Gandhi, Tilak, Aurobindo Ghosh and Bipin Chandra Pal.
3. 'Punjab Kesari'
He was given the name 'Punjab Kesari' before the newspaper ever came into existence! | Wikimedia Commons
Though a number of people think that he was given the name 'Punjab Kesari' (the Lion of Punjab) inspired by the famous Punjabi newspaper, the fact is that he was given this name before the newspaper ever came into existence! This name was given after he played an instrumental role in the non-cooperation movement started to protest against the draconian Rowlatt Act.
4. Arya Samaj connection
Rai came out in strong support of the Arya Samaj movement in Punjab state. | Wikimedia Commons
5. "Every blow aimed at me is a nail in the coffin of British imperialism"
One of the most historic quotes during the Indian Independence movement was given by Rai. | Wikimedia Commons
One of the most historic quotes during the Indian Independence movement was given by Rai. Lala Lajpat Rai, along with Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya, led a non-violent procession against the Simon Commission. It was during this procession, that he became the target of a merciless lathi charge led by British police.
Despite being severely injured, he attended a meeting the same evening and said, "Every blow aimed at me is a nail in the coffin of British imperialism". He further added, "I do not know whether I shall remain, but you should never worry. My spirit after me will go on exhorting you to make more sacrifices for liberty."
(Keywords: Lala Rajpat Rai, freedom fight, arya samaj, independence movement, arya samaj, make in india, swaraj, hinduism)