Popularly known as Punjab Kesari and ‘Lion of Punjab’, the great freedom fighter of India, Lala Lajpat Rai was born on 28th January 1865. Lala Lajpat Rai is a very well-know martyr of India who devoted his life for the independence of his motherland. The birthday of this great personality is celebrated as Lala Lajpat Rai Jayanti every year on 28th January with great admiration and enthusiasm.
Lalaji was born in a village named Dhudike in Ferozepur District of Punjab and was brought up in a very liberal environment with freedom of having different faiths and beliefs. He joined the Lahore Government College for studying law where he came in contact with Swami Dayanand and Bal Gangadhar Tilak. After clearing his Law exams, he started practicing law in Hissar in 1886.Beside practicing law; he started attending the meetings of the Congress Party and soon became an active worker.
During his stay in USA and England, he witnessed labour movement very closely. This movement inspired him a lot. The dictatorial way of British Government against the rising support for independence movement motivated Lalaji to create awareness for national pride and self-respect among people and very soon with huge popularity, Lalaji emerged as the acknowledged leader of this new nationalist lobby.
In the Calcutta Special Session of 1920, he was voted President of the Congress party. With the support of Bipin Chandra Pal and Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Lala Lajpat Rai formed extreme nationalist section in Congress. This trio was also known as Lal-Bal-Pal.
He was a great believer of Hinduism and Hindu ideology of peace and humanity. He believed that a non secular nation can be formed when nationalist ideas are also combined with Hinduism.
He went to jail many times protesting against suppressive policies of British government.
In 1928, The British government made a commission to observe and report political developments in India; Sir John Simon was the chief of this commission. The fact that this Commission had not a single Indian member, deeply angered Indians and Indian nationalist parties objected this commission with nationwide protests.
When the Commission visited Lahore on 30 October 1928, Lalaji led a procession against the Simon Commission and gave the slogan “Simon go back”. Even though the protest was non-violent, British government ordered a brutal lathi charge. Lalaji got very badly injured in this cruel lathi charge, and died three weeks later.
Lala Lajpat Rai was a great supporter of quality education in India. This is why a trust called Lala Lajpat Rai trust has been formed for quality education in India. Lala Lajpat Rai was very popular among nationalist youth because he had exceptional leadership qualities. He was not only a great speaker but also a remarkable writer. He wrote many journals related to Aarya samaj in Aarya Gazette. His essays implanted zeal and enthusiasm for freedom among youth.
Lala Lajpat Rai Jayanti is always seen in association with the youth of India as he aroused a strong sense of patriotism among them. Several nationalistic and patriotic events are organized across the country. In schools and colleges, various speeches and lectures on patriotism are held. Children take part in plays and dramas narrating his contribution to Indian independence movement.
There is no denying that this brave Lion of Punjab has acquired a special position in the group of India’s best leaders and freedom fighters and he will always live in the hearts of young Indians.