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.
Personality of Malaviya As a Teacher, Journalist and Advocate
Personality of Malaviya
Malaviya’s personality can not be condensed into a few words. Mahatma Gandhi called him ‘pratah smaraniyal’, a pious person whose name when remembered in the morning would lift one out of the mire of one’s sordid self. Gandhiji compared Tilak to the lofty Himalayas, Gokhale to the deep seas, and Malaviya to the crystal clear sacred river in which one would have ablution!
Malaviya’s gentle, sweet, soft and graceful nature was a true reflection of his abundant love for humanity. A British official commented that Malaviya ‘wore the white flower of a blameless life’.
Edgar Snow, a journalist, wrote that his personality radiated ‘the sweetness and simplicity of a child, yet his words carried the strength and conviction of a man with a settled philosophy of life’.
For all his sweetness, he could still be tougher than the toughest when occasion demanded it.
As a Teacher
Malaviya was, undoubtedly an able, successful and a great teacher. He was a store-house of knowledge and useful information from the scriptures. His pronunciation of English, Sanskrit, Hindi and Persian was chaste and his style was simple and lucid. He had complete and perfect command over all the languages that he knew, which helped him win the respect and admiration of all who heard him teaching or talking in and outside the class. He was perfect in making his lectures lively.
His tender feelings towards his students, his sweetness of speech and, above all, his magnatic personality was admired by all. Even as a teacher, Malaviya found time for social and political activities. At the outset, these activities were confined to the service of the people in Prayag, his home-town, but gradually the sphere of his interests and activities widened. It was during his career as teacher that he first attended a session of the Indian National Congress at Calcutta.
As a Journalist
The year 1887 marked a turning point in Malaviya’s life and career. In July, this year, he resigned his job as teacher of English and switched over from teaching to journalism for he believed that journalism was another form of educational service. Malaviya put his heart and soul together ever since he began editing the Hindustan. His fearless leading articles and bold editorial comments on all matters were widely read with interest and attention.
Thereafter, he was offered the co-editorship of a leading English daily. ‘The Indian Opinion He was also associated with the ‘Advocate ’ of Lucknow for some time. Malaviya felt the need of a newspaper in the Punjab and Delhi region, he found one when the Hindustan Times passed into the hands of the Birlas in 1924, and he became the Chairman of its Managing Board.
He completely reorganised the paper and made it one of the leading papers in the country. The last of his journalistic ventures was the Hindi weekly, ‘Sanatan Dharma’ issued from Banaras. Malaviya considered journalism as an art. He was known for his honest, judicious and constructive criticism. He never hesitated in criticising the Government policies which went against public interests.
As an Advocate
Practice of law was perhaps the only alternative to journalism as a means of livelihood for Malaviya, who had indeed made a brilliant debut in public life as early as 1886. After severing his connection with the ‘Hindostan’, Malaviya, therefore, took a decision to qualify himself for the bar. He rejoined Muir Central College in 1889 for his study of Law and passed the Law examination in 1891 in second division. In the beginning, he started his legal practice in the District Courts and after two years he joined the bar at the Allahabad High Court.
Malaviya quickly made a mark as a promising member of the bar. He earned for him, both fame and fortune besides friends. He was acclaimed for his brilliant intellect and remarkable power of eloquence and persuasive argument. He was very scrupulous in taking up cases and never accepted more cases than he could ordinarily dispose off. He always insisted on his clients being honest.
In the early years of his legal practice, someone complained that Malaviya was neglecting national cause because of his busy practice. Malaviya never intended to stick to the legal profession for life. He decided to give it up for giving a definite shape to his project of a Hindu University. In fact, his ideal was service to humanity. He gradually withdrew from the legal profession around 1908 and finally abandoned it in 1911, except, when he appeared in the Allahabad High Court to defend the victims of the ‘Chauri Chaura’ case in 1922.
Long after Malaviya’s giving up lucrative legal practice, the lawyer in Malaviya did not die. It lay dormant, only to rise again, whenever an occasion arose. And such an occasion did arise on February 4, 1922, when an unruly mob of patriots set on fire a police post at Chauri Chaura near Gorakhpur in U.P. Twenty-one policemen was burnt alive in the unfortunate incident. 225 persons were arrested on the charge of arson and murder.
The Session Judge of Gorakhpur had sentenced 170 of the accused to capital punishment. All eyes turned towards Malaviya when the case came up for hearing before the Allahabad High Court. Greatly moved by the call of his conscience, Malaviya took up the case, prepared the brief, and pleaded on behalf of all the accused. It was a miracle! 150 of the accused were saved from the gallows. Such a great lawyer was Malaviya!