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.
Mohan’s Social Ideology and Constitutional Ways of Struggle
His Social Ideology
Malaviya was a great leader of the Hindu community and played a significant role in the regeneration and reconstruction of the Hindu society and culture. He was the main figure behind the Sanatan Dharma Mahasabha. He was also one of the principal leaders and organisers of the Hindu Mahasabha. He stressed the growth of Hindu solidarity and co-operative efforts. He had done commendable work in the solidification and rehabilitation of the Hindu Community in Northern India. His role and activities in the socio-religious sphere was important and crucial.
Malaviya had a religious approach to life. He accorded highest priority to the sanctity and necessity of moral values. Religion meant love and sacrifice, tolerance and mutual regard. The religion meant sympathy for mankind, leading a helping hand to the fallen and feeling pleasure in the happiness of others. For him, a truly religious man is one who utilises his fullest capacity in the service of his mother land, the service of the nation is also part of true religion.
Malaviya’s concept of religion was not narrow. He had respect for all places of worship. Malaviya was proud of belonging to a Dharma which he considered to be the oldest and the holiest religion on earth. He firmly believed that there could be no dispute between truly religious men belonging to different faiths, as all living beings were the creation of the same God.
Protection of cows was Malaviya’s life-long mission. He regarded cows to be the national property and advocated for their preservation and protection. Malaviya held the view that Sanatan Dharma forbids killing of any creature which does not hurt or harm anybody. He believed that Hinduism enjoined its followers not to kill except when absolutely necessary to save some life, religion or property. He held that it was as cowardly to bear injustice as it was to commit injustice.
Malaviya was not less interested in matters of social reform. Questions of inter-caste marriage, child marriage, widow re-marriage etc. also attracted his attention. Malaviya’s benevolence and broadmindedness was his effort for the emancipation of the depressed classes. Long before Gandhiji launched his Harijan movement, the attention of the British Government was drawn to the deteriorating condition of the depressed classes by Malaviya in 1909. Malaviya took a bold stand and came forward in defence of the depressed classes.
Yet another method to provide help to the untouchables, according to Malaviya, was construction of new public wells, schools and temples which were open to all, including the untouchables. In order to bring about improvement in the condition of the depressed classes, Malaviya used to visit, from time to time, the Harijan colonies, to advise their residents to keep neat and clean and to give up their bad habits. He got small houses built for them at several places including the Harijan Ashram at Prayag with the help of some affluent friends.
Malaviya, regarded untouchability a great stigma on the Hindu society and an obstacle in the way of national progress and reconstruction. He, pleaded for providing equal rights and privileges to the depressed classes in society. Malaviya held the women folk in high esteem and accorded them equal position with man in society. He laid great emphasis on their role in the making of future generations. He exhorted the women to come forward and work for the reconstruction of the country. He wanted them to be physically strong to defend their honour themselves.
One of the most significant contributions of Malaviya in the social field was the organisation of Seva Samitis. Malaviya emphasised the necessity of training the tender boys in patriotism, obedience, discipline, resourcefulness, self-reliance, physical culture besides the ideal of social service.
He wished each boy to be fearless, brave, disciplined and social-minded inspired by the ideal of social service as a matter of religious duty, he made sincere efforts to organise the Indian scouts. The All India Seva Samiti Boy Scout Association under Malaviya became extremely popular for its sincere and efficient service, in times of public distress like earthquakes, floods, famines, riots, epidemics etc. It rendered great help and service to the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre in 1919.
Malaviya gave his full support to the University Training Corps (U.T.C) – a military organisation to impart training in military arts and crafts. Malaviya had a life-long interest in education. For him, the best thing that the Government should and could do for the benefit of the masses, was to give them the right kind of education.
Malaviya gave special importance to primary education. Malaviya pleaded the case of compulsory, universal and free elementary education for boys and girls. He suggested that the courses for primary education should be made more practical. He favoured ‘book reading’ and ‘useful arts’ for boys till the age of fifteen. He recommended drawing and manual training along with Sanskrit, however, he did not ignore English at the primary stage.
Malaviya also pleaded for compulsory education. He demanded statutory provision to be made for it. He felt that “the mother-tongue is the proper medium of instruction for the people.” Malaviya was bom and brought up in an atmosphere of learning and piety. He was, like his parents, a noble Hindu. It pained him much to find the younger generation of the Hindus having very little knowledge of and interest in their religion and culture.
He, therefore, made up his mind to do something for uniting and awakening the Hindus. Consequently, he established a Hindu Samaj at Prayag as early as the year 1880 and a Central Hindu Samaj in 1884.
He stressed the need of taking back into Hinduism those Hindus, who were converted through mistake, by initiating them through Mantra Diksha. All eyes turned towards Malaviya whenever there was any trouble facing the Hindus. A staunch Sanatan Dharmist himself, Malaviya believed in universal brotherhood. He did not harbour any distinction of caste or creed in his heart. Hindus, Muslims, touchables, untouchables, all were dear to him.
His Constitutional Ways of Struggle
The early Congress Leaders, popularly known as Liberals or Moderates, asked for extremely limited and qualified application of the principles of representation in the administration of the country. Malaviya stood for cooperation with the British in all that was good for the people of India. To him, constitutional method meant cooperation with the government. It included prayer, petition and protest. He emphasised that government help and the public help, both must be combined in an effort to find more bread and employment for the people.
Malaviya, as a Liberal, suggested various means and methods to achieve freedom from foreign rule. It also meant representation and agitation, even an appeal to the League of Nations so as to build up world public opinion. But, co-operation, according to Malaviya, also implied “fullest, the strongest, the most unbending obstruction and opposition to bureaucracy when they are wrong.”
He deplored the Congress’ idea of non-cooperation with the government. He did not find it basically wrong to take advantage of institutions like government schools and colleges. Malaviya was always eager to extend his support to every measure of the Government which was in the best interest of the country.
Co-operation with the British, according to Malaviya, did not mean extending blind support and co-operation to the government. He did not hesitate in severely criticising the policies of the Government whenever he found the government lacking in its efforts or indifferent towards the solution of the problems of Indians.