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.
Lala Lajapat Rai’s Marriage, Career and As Social Worker
Lala Lajpat Rai was married to Radha Devi in 1877 who came from an Aggarwal family of Hissar. He had two sons, Amrit Rai, Pyare Lai, and one daughter, Parvati. Radha Devi survived him by four years.
Lalaji was not much interested in his family life. All his time, energy, and resources were spent in the service of India.
Since childhood, he had a desire to serve his country and therefore he took a pledge to free it from foreign rule.
Lalaji remained engaged in multifarious activities and social works along with his Law Practice, Arya Samaj work, and patriotic activities all his life.
Career As Lawyer
Having passed the first examination in Law in 1883 he could practice as a muktiar (a minor lawyer). He had also to bear the burden of running the family. Eighteen year old Lalaji practiced in the revenue court of Jagraon town. After passing the Pleaders’ Examination he came to Hissar in South Punjab and commenced practice as a lawyer.
He later shifted to Lahore and practised at Punjab High Court. Lalaji’s early legal practice at Hissar was very successful. He was as an advocate of self-reliance and refused to take Government aid for DAV college.
He had no thought of making money in his profession and settling down comfortably. He wanted to devote his life to the service of his country. He was immensely inspired by great revolutionaries of the world. He had read the biography of Mazzini, the brave revolutionary of Italy. When he could not get a copy of the book in India, he wrote to a friend in England and got it. Mazzini’s bravery, magnanimity and patriotism thrilled him.
As Social Worker
In 1884 his father was transferred to Rohtak and Lala Lajpat Rai came along. He became the secretary of Arya Samaj in Rohtak. In 1886 he passed his Law exams and he started his practice in Rohtak but moved to Hissar where some of his friends were also practicing Law. Lalaji’s early legal practice at Hissar was very successful.
His life of six years in Hissar became the apprenticeship for public service. He was elected to the Hissar municipality as a member and later as secretary. Besides practicing, Lalaji collected funds for the Daya Nand College, attended Arya Samaj functions. After the death of Swami Dayananda, Lalaji with his associates toiled to develop the Anglo-Vedic College. He came in contact with all the important Arya Samajis there.
The three tenets of Arya Samaj are the reformation of society, the advancement of Hindu Dharma and educational progress. Lalaji earned a thousand rupees a month. He kept aside a part of his earnings to keep his father above want and arranged for the interest on it to be paid to his father. One-tenth of his income was earmarked for work for the nation. The greater part of that sum was being used for Arya Samaj activities.
When the Lieutenant Governor visited Hissar, Lalaji pleaded that the Welcome Address to be presented to him should be in Urdu. To satisfy the British officer a speech had already been prepared in English. Lalaji’s suggestion made everyone nervous. But without a trace of fear, he presented the Address in Urdu and thereby inviting the wrath of the British.
Most of his time was given to Arya Samaj’s activities. Working ceaselessly he set up branches of the Arya Samaj. He built up educational institutions. But he was not partial to any community. He was elected unopposed to the Municipal Council from a constituency where there were a number of Muslims.
Lala Lajpat Rai shifted to Lahore in 1892. Lalaji provided immense service toward the famine relief efforts during the famines of 1897 and 1899. He mobilized DAV college students and went to Bikaner and other areas of Rajasthan to rescue destitute children and bring them to Lahore. He believed that a nation that does not protect its own orphan children cannot command respect at the hands of other people.
When people fleeing the famine reached Lahore, they spent their first night at Lalaji’s house. In 1898, Lalaji curtailed his legal practice and vowed to devote all his energy to the nation. The Kangra district of Punjab suffered destruction in the earthquake of 1905. Lalaji was there once again, organizing relief for extricating people from the debris.
His activities were multifarious. He was an ardent social reformer. He founded the Indian Home Rule League of America in October 1917, in New York and, a year later, he also set up, with himself as Director, the “Indian Information Bureau” in New York to serve as a Publicity Organization for India. Lala Lajpat Rai returned to India on February 20, 1920, as a great hero.
His love for service was insatiable. He founded educational institutions. He befriended the suppressed classes. In the political field he was indispensable.