From a small village named Dhudike in Punjab’s Ferozepur district on January 28 in 1865, Lala Lajpat Rai went on to become one of the greatest freedom fighters of India. A man of integrity, clear vision, firm determination, Raihad paved the way for India’s independence by putting up a tough fight against the British rule.
His endeavours and struggles in the freedom movement not only helped us earn independence but left an indelible mark in the pages of history by being an embodiment of patriotism. “Defeat and failure are sometimes necessary steps of victory” – was one of his many highly motivating slogans.
At 16 years of age, he had joined the Indian National Congress and within 4 years in 1885, he founded the Dayanand Anglo-Vedic School in Lahore by the age of 20. He was an ardent follower of Dayanand Saraswati. He had travelled to US in 1907 and noted sociological similarities on color-caste, between US and India. The United States of America, his travelogue documents his knowledge gained during the travel.
Rai was a prominent, leading freedom fighter who had led a silent protest march against the Simon Commission in 1928. He was violently beaten up by the police during the event. Such was his passion, grit and indomitable spirit that even after being assaulted, he had declared “…the blows struck at me today will be last nails in the coffin of British rule”.
The Rai University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences in Hisar, Haryana, has been named after him. Rai had started practicing law in 1886. He was a noted author of books including, England’s Debt to India, History of the Arya Samaj, The Story of my Deportation, and Swaraj and Social Change.
In 2016, to honour Rai’s 150th birth anniversary, the Indian culture ministry had issued commemorative coin of Rs 150 and circulation coin of Rs 10. Earlier, a postage stamp was issued to pay tribute to Rai. Rai had founded Punjab National Bank and Laxmi Insurance company in 1894.