A Dream Come True and Social Service of Pt. Madan Mohan

The Biography of Famous Personalities of India will tell you about the controversies, the dark sides of a person that you may have never heard of.

A Dream Come True and Social Service of Pt. Madan Mohan

Banaras Hindu University : A Dream Come True

Even when Malaviya was at school, he had begun to dream of a day when young men and women of India would not be compelled to travel to foreign lands in pursuit of higher education.
A Dream Come True and Social Service of Pt. Madan Mohan 1
Later, when he was a college student at Allahabad, he noticed that a number of young Indians, who went abroad for higher studies, returned home with distorted versions and attitudes towards their own country and culture. In the then prevailing situation, Malaviya realised that the solution lay in creating a University in which a right approach towards Indian cultural values and life-behaviour could be taught to the young people in India. When the Allahabad University was brought into being in 1887. Malaviya reviewed his original idea of a University at Allahabad and finally decided to have it at Banaras.

Malaviya first propounded the idea of a Hindu University at a meeting held at the Mint House, Banaras, presided over by the Maharaja of Banaras, early in the year 1904. The idea was enthusiastically received.

Emboldened with initial success, Malaviya immediately gave up his legal practice in November 1905 in order to concentrate on the new project. The proposal of a Hindu University was duly approved by the Indian National Congress at its annual session held at Banaras in December, 1905.

Malaviya issued the first prospectus of the University to the public. He proposed a Hindu University which would provide teaching of Sanskrit studies, scientific, technical and agricultural studies and Fine Arts. Malaviya’s scheme of a Hindu University, when first introduced, received mixed reaction.

With the announcement of the partition of Bengal in 1905, further progress in the establishment of a Hindu University was hampered for some time. The Banaras Hindu University scheme, which had been kept in abeyance, was revived by Malaviya later again.

Since 1911, after renouncing his legal practice, Malaviya started devoting his full time and energy to the task of enlisting support and co-operation of his countrymen for the establishment of a Hindu University at Banaras. Annie Besant had attained world-wide reputation as a great seat of learning. She wanted to raise her college to the status of a teaching University. When finding that her own scheme was almost the same in outline and content as that visualised by Malaviya, she announced her decision to join hands with Malaviya for the establishment of a Hindu University.

In 1911, the Maharaja of Darbhanga also agreed to merge his scheme with that of the Hindu University sponsored by Malaviya. Annie Besant remained abroad for about six months. During her absence a pressure was brought on Malaviya by the orthodox section of the Hindu Community to disassociate himself from her scheme.

During Annie Besant’s absence abroad Malaviya got a chance to revise his earlier scheme of the Hindu University and prepared a more detailed plan of the proposed University. He convinced people that it would produce engineers and scientists who would establish factories and revive national industries. He appealed for donations of any size from one lakh down to ten rupees.

The Maharaja of Darbhanga, as a token of love for the new scheme donated a sum of five lakhs rupees and joined the Malaviya delegation for raising funds. Malaviya went to Banaras from Meerut to meet Annie Besant who was back in India by then. She then declared that the three schemes for the Hindu University were now merged into one.

This decision was passed on to the Government of India through Butler. Annie Besant approached Butler for the amalgamation of the Central Hindu College with the Hindu University. The office of the Hindu University Society was opened at 4, Couper Road, Allahabad on New Year’s Day in 1912.

A deputation of 32 persons led by Malaviya started from Allahabad for Delhi in Older to call on Butler. The deputation met Butler on December 4, 1911. The members of the deputation made use of their stay in Delhi during the Delhi Darbar to meet the ruling princes and other high dignitaries and succeeded in collecting about five lakh rupees including two lakhs from the Maharaja of Alwar.

On return from Delhi after meeting Butler in December, 1911 the Malaviya’s delegation set out for the last leg of the tour for collection of the funds during the years 1912-1913. There was, however, nothing to worry about as the results of the collection campaign at the end of March 1913 showed that rupees eighty lacs had been promised and ? 21,37,536 actually collected.

The Banaras Hindu University Bill was passed by the Imperial Legislative Council on October 1, 1915, and received the Governor General’s assent on October 18, 1915. The Banaras Hindu University was thus legally established and all preparations for laying of the foundation stone were started in right earnest.

On the appointed day (February 4, 1916) the Viceroy, Lord Hardinge, arrived and was received, among others, by the Lieut. Governor, Maharaja of Banaras and Malaviya. The foundation laying ceremony was attended by 7000 invitees among whom were twelve ruling princes, four Provincial Governors and a number of other distinguished guests. Malaviya who, like Lord Hardinge, also had fever the previous night, attended the function and looked more happy at its success than on any other occasion.

Provision of buildings for the University’s work involved lot of problems such as acquisition of land and clearance of habitations on it, preparation of a master plan, allocating plots for different buildings, determining the alignment of roads, the designs and quality of buildings, providing funds for paying compensation to owners whose land was acquired, meeting the cost of erecting buildings and constructing roads and providing equipment for libraries and laboratories etc.

All this was done by Malaviya on a grand and ambitious scale. Malaviya did whatever he could for the resettlement of the dispossessed on alternative sites. They were allowed to carry on cultivation of their acquired land, so long as it was not needed for laying out of a play ground or construction of a building.

The Banaras Hindu University started functioning since 1917, Malaviya held the post of Vice-Chancellor for an unbroken period of twenty years. He remained the Vice Chancellor from November 1919 to September 1939. He could not carry on heavy responsibility because of his failing health. Ultimately, he decided to step down. The University Court accepted his resignation and formally elected Dr. S. Radhakrishnan to step into his shoes and appointed Madan life Rector.

Despite not keeping well he would help and inspire students to the utmost. He would regularly attend the Sunday’s Gita Discourse. But he’d be unhappy to find students uninterested in it. He’d frequently visit Shivaji Hall (university gymnasium) and he happy to see well-built youths and bless them. Maintaining body and physical culture would be his particular subject to speak about.

He’d inspire students for physical culture. He had great love for students. Affection was his life force. More than lofty buildings and natural beauty of the campus, hustle bustle of students would please him most. They alone were source of hope and contentment amid his physical suffering and worries.

During his regime as Vice-Chancellor, he symbolised the Banaras Hindu University. Malaviya defended the policy of inviting the best professors and administrators to the University and regarded Government support not only essential but considered it in the best interests of the University.

It is abundantly clear that the Banaras Hindu University was mainly the hardwork of Madan Mohan Malaviya. It became a national institution and soon earned the distinction of being called a people’s University. It also assumed the form of a cultural university where religion was taught in the nature of moral precepts and principles which helped students to become true Hindus and ideal citizens of the country, fit enough to sacrifice their lives for the freedom of their country.

The Banaras Hindus University is the living picture of Malaviya’s philosophy of education. The dedication with which he founded the University proves his exemplary capability to achieve his objective. Right from the beginning he had the vision of a great fully-developed University. The University is the symbol of his ambition. What is remarkable is his unique synthesis of tradition and modernity in his educational system.

He gave equal importance to both. From every point of view it was progressive and modem. That is why after Independence the University is more than that by any other institution in the country. Advanced science education was available here right from the beginning. It has truly produced thousands of engineers and scientists as envisioned by Malaviya.

Social Service

Malaviya encouraged his son Ramakant to start the Yatri Sevadalin 1912, which later became ‘Deen RakshakSamiti’ in 1914, and thereafter became ‘Prayag Seva Samiti’ under the chairmanship of Malaviya in 1915. By 1918, it took the form of an Akhil Bharatiya Seva Samiti with centers at many places and a broad based objective of service to the needy during Kumbh Mela, floods, earthquakes, other natural calamities.

In 1918, a sub unit modelled like the ‘Boy Scouts’ was started under the Akhil Bharatiya Seva Samiti. The main difference was that a patriotic leader was its Chief Scout and ‘Vande Mataram ’ was sung instead of the British National Anthem. During the dreaded plague, he struggled hard to hospitalize the sick, rehabilitate others into safer areas, arrange for mass feeding and shelter for the poor and needy.

This occasion brought out the best of the human kindness in him, a quality which could be seen in his concern for the downtrodden. Malaviya gave mantra diksha to the untouchables in Calcutta in 1928, much before the Harijan movement started by Gandhiji in 1933. He worked for the emancipation of women. He was the President of the Conference in Bombay in 1932 for the removal of untouchability.