Lala Lajpat Rai’s father Munshi Radha Krishna Azad was a teacher of Urdu. Lala Lajpat Rai was rich in versatility since childhood. In 1880, he passed the entrance examination of Calcutta and Punjab University in the same year. In 1882, he passed the FA examination. After this, he started practicing with an advocacy degree. During this time he came in contact with Arya Samaj and became its member. Lala Lajpat Rai had a prominent position in this since the founding of the Congress in 1885.
Lajpat Rai laid the foundation of Punjab National Bank
He played a big role in establishing Arya Samaj in Punjab by joining with Swami Dayanand Saraswati. Lala ji was also a banker. He gave the country the first indigenous bank. In Punjab, Lala Lajpat Rai laid the foundation of Swadeshi Bank before the name of Punjab National Bank. As an educationist, he also spread Dayanand Anglo Vedic schools. Today, Lala Lajpat Rai was the biggest reason for the existence of schools which we see in the name of DAV across the country.Read this too – When the idea of Pakistan was first revealed, who was behind it?
Lalaji was one of the leading leaders of the country who came out fearlessly against the British Raj and spread the spirit of nationalism among the countrymen. At that time, the Indian National Congress avoided any direct confrontation with the government on any issue. Lala Lajpat Rai along with Maharashtra’s Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Bengal’s Bipin Chandra Pal registered a presence of ‘Garam Dal’ within the Congress. All three were known as Lal-Bal-Pal’s Trinity at that time.
Opposition to the Simon Commission
Lala Lajpat Rai was also sent to Burma’s prison due to opposition from the British Raj. After coming from jail, he went to America, came back from there and became part of Gandhiji’s first major campaign in India i.e. Non-cooperation movement.
Lalaji’s voice against the British Raj was considered a stone streak in Punjab. Seeing his influence in Punjab, people used to call him Punjab Kesari i.e. Lion of Punjab. In the year 1928, the British Raj created the Simon Commission to bring legal reforms in India. There was not a single Indian member in this commission. When this commission set foot on Indian soil in Bombay, slogans of ‘Simon Go Back’ were raised in protest against it.
Lala Lajpat Rai raised the flag of its protest in Punjab. When this commission reached Lahore, this black flag was shown under the leadership of Lala ji. Baokhalai British police lathi-charged the peaceful crowd. Lala Lajpat Rai was seriously injured in this lathi-talk. Even in the injured condition Lala Lajpat Rai had said that every stick on his body would prove to be the last nail in the coffin of the British Raj. Lala Lajpat Rai passed away on 17 November 1928 after being in an injured condition for 18 days.
Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev avenged his death
After the demise of Lala Lajpat Rai, a wave of mourning ran throughout the country. In the hot weather, resentment began to spread against the British Raj. The great revolutionaries Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru shot British police officer Sanders on 17 December 1928 to avenge the death of Lala ji.
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Later Bhagat Singh and his associates were arrested and also hanged. The death of these three revolutionaries made millions of people from all over the country stand against the British government and created a movement which was beyond the capacity of the British government to suppress.
Lala Lajpat Rai was busy in trying to make Indian nationalism strong against the British government throughout his life, his death further strengthened this movement. India attained independence 20 years after the death of Lala Lajpat Rai.