National

Nation Remembers ‘Sher-E-Punjab’ Lala Lajpat Rai On His Birth Anniversary

PRERNA YADAV | 0
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| January 28 , 2019 , 14:18 IST

Popularly known by the twin monikers of "Sher-e-Punjab" and "Punjab Kesari", Lala Lajpat Rai was born on January 28, 1865, in Jagraon town in Ludhiana. He was the eldest son of Munshi Radha Kishan Azad and Gulab Devi.

He was one of the legendary Lal-Bal-Pal trio. The year 1905 was important for the emergence of new leadership in the Indian National Congress of the trio.

Rai also worked as a social reformer and fought against the evils of untouchability. Along with Chittaranjan Pal and Bal Gangadhar Tilak, he was one of the earliest proponents of the Swadeshi in India.

In 1928, the British government set up the Commission, headed by Sir John Simon, to report on the political situation in India. The Indian political parties boycotted the Commission, because it did not include a single Indian in its membership, and it met with country-wide protests. When the Commission visited Lahore on 30 October 1928, Lajpat Rai led a non-violent march in protest against it.

The protest was with the words "Simon go back" and black flags. The superintendent of police, James A. Scott, ordered the police to lathi (baton) charge the protesters and personally assaulted Rai.

Despite being extremely injured, Rai subsequently addressed the crowd and said, "I declare that the blows struck at me today will be the last nails in the coffin of British rule in India.

Lala Lajpat Rai died on November 17, 1928, due to his serious injuries.

In late 19th and early 20th century, Lala Lajpat Rai himself was the founder of many organizations, including Arya Gazette are Lahore, Hisar congress, Hisar Arya Samaj, Hisar Bar Council, national DAV managing Committee. Lala Lajpat Rai was also head of the "Lakshmi Insurance Company," and commissioned the Lakshmi Building in Karachi, which still bears a plaque in remembrance of him.

Lakshmi Insurance Company was merged with Life Insurance Corporation of India when en masse nationalization of Life Insurance business happened during 1956.

In 1927, Lajpat Rai established a trust in her memory to build and run a tuberculosis hospital for women, reportedly at the location where his mother, Gulab Devi, had died of tuberculosis in Lahore. Now the Gulab Devi Memorial hospital is one of the biggest hospitals of present Pakistan which services over 2000 patients at a time as in patients.