Madan Mohan Malaviya was an Indian educational reformer who worked for the independence of India. He was born on 25th December 1861 in Prayagraj. He was also the co-founder of renowned Banaras Hindu University. His contribution to the Indian independence movement cannot be denied. Madan Mohan Malaviya was elected as the President of the Indian National Congress four times in a row. Moreover, he was also the founder of Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha. Malaviya was addressed by the title of Pandit and Mahamana by common people.
As a promoter of modern education, Malaviya wanted to spread quality education in India. As a result, he co-founded the Banaras Hindu University in 1916, which was created under the B.H.U. Act, 1915. After the foundation of this institution, he became the vice-chancellor of the university and served there from 1919 to 1938. Presently, the university provides education to over 40,000 students across various streams.
Madan Mohan Malaviya also founded other prestigious organizations like the Bharat Scouts and Guides. He was also the founder of an English newspaper, The Leader. The newspaper publication started in 1919 from Prayagraj. To provide accurate information to the common people, Malaviya was also associated with Hindustan Times from 1924 to 1946. His efforts helped in the launch of the Hindi edition of Hindustan Times named Hindustan Dainik. Madan Mohan Malaviya was posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratan award on 24th December 2014.
Early Life and Education
Madan Mohan Malaviya was born in a family of scholars. His ancestors were respected for their learning and knowledge of Hindu scriptures and Sanskrit. His father also had a deep knowledge of ancient Indian languages and used to recite Srimad Bhagavatam.
Malaviya started his early education at the age of five in a local school, Mahajani Pathsala. He left that school in a few years and completed his primary education at Hardeva’s Dharma Gyanopadesh Pathshala. After leaving his former school, Malaviya joined Allahabad Zila School where he developed an interest in poetry and different forms of literature. He used to write poems and essays under the pen name Makarand. His writings gained popularity and were published in various journals and magazines.
After completing his school education, Madan Mohan Malaviya joined the University of Calcutta for his undergraduate course. He completed B. A at Calcutta University with the help of a monthly scholarship provided by the principal of Harrison College. After completing the undergraduate program, Malaviya wanted to pursue a master’s program in Sanskrit. However, his family’s financial situation did not allow him to do so. As a result, he started his career as an assistant master at the Government High School in Allahabad.
Madan Mohan Malaviya started his political career in 1886 by addressing a meeting of the Indian National Congress held in Calcutta. After giving a few years to politics, Malaviya became one of the most powerful political leaders of his time. Owing to his strong leadership skills, Malaviya was selected Congress president on four occasions.
In December 1886, Malaviya attended the second session of the Indian National Congress in Calcutta under the leadership of Dadabhai Naoroji. He addressed the council and raised the issue of representation in Councils. Later, Madan Mohan Malaviya started practicing law; however, he renounced his practice of law in 1911 to serve society and make education affordable for everyone.
Malaviya founded many groups for the upliftment of society and the preservation of the environment. He formed Ganga Mahasabha to stop the damming of the Ganges. He forced the British Government to sign a pact with Ganga Mahasabha on the uninterrupted flow of Ganges in Haridwar and protect the rives from any future construction over its streams. In addition, he also played a crucial role in the removal of untouchability. He ensured that everyone gets entry into any temples without facing any casteism.
Madan Mohan Malaviya gave the national slogan ‘Satyameva Jayate’ when he was the President of the Indian National Congress. Many educational institutions are named after him. His birthday is celebrated as Mahamana Divas by Shrigoud Vidya Mandir, Indore. On 25th December 2008, the then President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam inaugurated the Malaviya Smriti Bhawan.
Madan Mohan Malaviya was an example of dedication and hard work. His dedication to the upliftment of certain sections of society and the conservation of the environment is commendable.
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