28 January: Birth Anniversary of “Punjab Kesari- Lala Lajpat Rai”
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Today on 28 January, India celebrates Lala Lajpat Rai known as Punjab Kesari’s birth anniversary. Lala Lajpat rai was a freedom fighter who born on January 28, 1865, in Dhudike. Lala Lajpat Rai fought for political slavery as well as broke the chains of economic and educational slavery. Lala Ji was a writer, who wrote biographies of Shivaji, Shri Krishna and many great men in Hindi. He contributed a lot to the promotion of Hindi in the country and especially in Punjab. Along with Swami Dayanand Saraswati, made Arya Samaj popular in Punjab and helped in establishing Dayanand Anglo Vedic Schools with Lala Hansraj.
Lala Lajpat Rai’s Early Education
Lala Lajpat Rai passed the entrance exam in 1880 from Calcutta and Punjab University and came to Lahore to study further. He passed the FA exam in 1982 and during this time he came in contact with Arya Samaj and became its member.
Lawyer Lala Lajpat Rai
Lala Lajpat Rai also served as a Mukhtar. He remained in Hisar until 1892 as a successful lawyer. After which he came to Lahore and joined the political movement in addition to Arya Samaj. In 1988, he attended the Allahabad session of the Congress for the first time. Lala Lajpat Rai along with his colleagues Lokmanya Tilak and Vipinchandra Pal got into the Congress.
The non-cooperation movement under the leadership of Lala Ji was a complete success in Punjab, due to which Lala Lajpat Rai came to be called Lion of Punjab and Punjab Kesari. During the First World War (1914–18) Lala Lajpat Rai went to England as a member of a delegation and aroused strong public opinion for the independence of the country.
Opposing the Simon Commission, Lalaji gave the slogan of ‘Go back Britishers’ and strongly opposed the commission. When Simon Commission came to India on 3 February 1928, there was a fire in the entire country to protest against it. On 30 October 1928, Lala Ji was badly injured in a demonstration organized against the Simon Commission in Lahore. After fighting the wounds for 18 days, on 17 November 1928, the door of his life closed.
During his lifetime, he has written many books that include The Story of My Deportation (1908), Arya Samaj (1915), The United States of America: A Hindu’s Impression (1916), England’s Debt to India: A Historical Narrative of Britain’s Fiscal Policy in India (1917), and Unhappy India (1928).