Bharat Ratna: All you should know about Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya

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Late freedom fighter and social reformer Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya has been chosen for the prestigious Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour, posthumously, a day before his 153rd birth anniversary, Dec 25.

Apart from being the president of the Indian National Congress, the Allahabad-born visionary was one of the first members of right-wing Hindu Mahasabha.

Who is Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya?
Here are a few things about the visionary leader:
  • Born in an educated orthodox Hindu family at Prayag (Allahabad) in 1861. 
  • Malviya started his career as a teacher in Allahabad District School but continued to pursue his education.
  • He was also addressed as 'Mahamana', a title conferred to him by Mahatma Gandhi.

President of INC:

  • Immediately after his first moving speech at the second session of Indian National Congress held in Calcutta in 1886, he was catapulted into the political arena.
  • He served as Congress President for four times- in 1909 (Lahore), in 1918(Delhi), in 1930 (Delhi) and in 1932 (Calcutta).
  • He went on to serve Congress for almost 50 years.

Participation in the freedom struggle:

  • In the freedom struggle, Malaviya was midway between the Liberals and the Nationalists, the Moderates and the Extremists, as the followers of Gokhale and Tilak were respectively called.
  • In 1930, when Mahatma Gandhi launched the Salt Satyagraha and the Civil Disobedience Movement, he participated in it and courted arrest.
  • Mahatama Gandhi considered him as an elder brother and would call Him "Maker of Modem India".
  • About him Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of Independent India, said, "He was a great soul, one of those who laid foundation of Modern Indian Nationalism".

Founder of BHU:

  • Besides being a freedom fighter and politician, Pt Malaviya was also an eminent educationist.
  • He is remembered as the founder of Benaras Hindu University (BHU), the largest residential university in Asia and one of the largest in the world, at Varanasi, in 1916.
  • He served as the Vice Chancellor (VC) of the BHU in between 1919-1938.
  • He was one of the founders of 'Boy Scouts' in India.

Founder or editor of various news papers:

  • Like his peers in the INC, Pt Malaviya had also founded a highly influential English-daily, The Leader published from Allahabad in 1909, to strengthen the freedom struggle.
  • He was also the chairman of popular English-newspaper, Hindustan Times from 1924 to 1946.
  • It was his efforts that led to the launch of its Hindi edition in 1936.
  • He maintained his old association with Sanatan Dharma Sabha whose office was at his residence from where came out the weekly Sanatan Dharma, after freedom from active politics and university administration.


  • He passed a year before the country achieved independence in Aug 15, 1947.
  • At the time of his death, Dr Rajendra Prasad, the first President of the Republic of India, wrote: "A great soul has left us. His name and work would inspire future generation and give - message that for a determined person nothing is impossible. His service to nation is beyond words. The vacuum created by his death can't be filled. He was a real patriot".

Bharat Ratna: 

  • He will be 43rd person to receive country's highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna. Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee will also get the honour along with him. 
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