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.

Death:

  • 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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