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.
Pt. Madan Mohan As Freedom Fighter and Maker of Modern India
As Freedom Fighter
Malaviya made his maiden speech at the second session of the Congress held at Calcutta under the president-ship of Dadabhai Naoroji in 1886. His speech was applauded by the top-ranking leaders of Congress. A.O. Hume was so impressed by Malaviya’s personality and character that he got him elected to the newly constituted Rules Committee of the Congress and also appointed him Joint Secretary of the Provincial Congress. In this session of the Congress, he focussed attention on the indifference with which British Parliament dealt with Indian affairs.
He demanded setting up of representative institutions in the country to exercise control over the Government. Malaviya attended the next session of the Congress held in Madras in 1887. His success at this session was also resounding. Soon after the Madras session of the Congress, Malaviya was appointed Secretary of the North Western Provinces Union and the Standing Committee of the Congress.
After Madras, came the turn of Allahabad. The British Government became suspicious about the activities and the growing popularity of the Congress. The leader of the officials opposed to the Congress, tried his best to prevent the Reception Committee from securing a site for the session. But Malaviya was equally adamant to make the Congress Session.
Malaviya attended the Bombay Session of the Congress in 1889, as an elected delegate from Allahabad. At the end of his speech, he reminded the British Government of its duty towards India and its callous indifference to the Indian Budget.
Back from Bombay to the Calcutta Congress session in 1890, Malaviya made a forceful plea that one half of the members of the Legislative Councils should be elected by the people.
He participated in the Congress Session of 1891 held at Nagpur, no sooner than he started to practice as a lawyer. The 1892 session of the Congress was to be held at Allahabad. The Reception Committee found it difficult to hold the session due to some unforeseen reasons but for the courage and determination of Malaviya, the session was held on time. Malaviya quoted figures to establish, that the root cause of the increasing poverty of India was due to the great drain of India’s money.
Malaviya was one of those public man who did not approve of the idea of founding a new organisation called the Home Rule League. He felt that it would perhaps weaken the Congress. Malaviya, therefore, did not become a member of the Home Rule League, as he was not convinced of the necessity of forming a separate organisation for propagating Home Rule or Swaraj for India.
In recognition of his services and the unifying role that he had played in the Special Session of the Congress held at Bombay in August 1918, the Congress elected Malaviya to preside over its annual session, held at Delhi in December 1918. Malaviya’s Presidential Address at the Delhi Congress was hailed in the nationalist press. The rift between the Moderates and the Congress grew deeper with the passage of time, though Malaviya had all along been working for unity within the Congress. Despite his best efforts, he failed. Thus, Malaviya decided to flow with the main stream rather than to be thrown aside from the main current.
In the beginning, Malaviya felt hesitant of joining the Satyagraha movement as he was not confident of its success. But. after the police filing in Delhi, he decided to join the movement and took the Satyagraha pledge and addressed meetings and urged the people to remain firm and true to their pledge. Unlike Delhi, the rest the country observed April 6, 1919 as the Satyagraha Day. But the incident which threw aside all other events and drew the attention of the whole country was the massacre at Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar, where General Daeyer had resorted to an indiscriminate tiring on the peaceful gathering of men and women on the Baisakhi Day.
Martial Law was imposed. People outside Punjab could not immediately measure the extent of atrocities committed there. The people of Punjab were in dire need of help and assistance from outside the state but very few could dare enter Punjab. Malaviya, Motilal Nehru and Swami Sharddhanand were the first to go to the Punjab and rendered all possible help. Malaviya along with him, took the volunteers of the Allahabad Seva Samiti. The volunteers provided relief to over three hundred families of those killed or imprisoned.
On the question of non-cooperation, Malaviya opted for a middle course. Though he regarded non-cooperation absolutely legitimate and constitutional under the circumstances, he did not favour it on grounds of expediency.
The arrival of the Simon Commission in India saw Malaviya in the forefront of the freedom movement. He exhorted the people to carry out a total boycott of the Commission throughout India. Malaviya addressed several public meetings and urged the people to boycott the Commission. He joined the ill-fated procession at Lahore, taken out against the Commission when Lala Lajpat Rai was critically hurt and ultimately succumbed to his injuries on November 17, 1927. He also succeeded in persuading the Hindu Mahasabha to adopt a resolution boycotting the Simon Commission.
Soon after the adoption of the ‘Poorna Swaraj’ resolution and the withdrawal of the Congress members from the Legislature, the doors for launching the Civil Disobedience Movement were opened. Gandhi took the lead in launching the Satyagraha movement by picking up salt at the end of his historical Dandi March. After walking out and resigning his seat from the Assembly on the question of debate on the Tariff Bill, Malaviya joined the Civil Disobedience Movement.
For popularising the movement, Malaviya decided to concentrate on propagation of Swadeshi and boycott of foreign cloth. Malaviya remained with Gandhi and the Congress throughout the period of negotiations which Gandhi had with Lord Irwin. As a member of the Congress Working Committee, he gave his valuable help and advise to Gandhi in arriving at an agreement with the Viceroy, popularly known as the Gandhi-Irwin Pact. In a bid to save the lives of Sardar Bhagat Singh and his associates, he humbly urged the Viceroy to commute the death sentence.
The Karachi Congress of 1931 picked up Gandhi as the sole representative to the Second Round Table Conference. On Gandhi’s suggestion, Malaviya and Mrs. Sarojini Naidu were nominated by the Government to accompany him to London. He justified the confidence reposed in him by Gandhi. The most difficult problem that needed immediate solution was the communal question.
Malaviya maintained that the best solution lay in an agreement between the parties concerned. When the Communal Award was announced by the British Government, it was denounced by Malaviya. He made a significant contribution to the discussion on question of defence, right to property and the composition of Legislature and the Judiciary.
The problems that also needed immediate attention and solution pertained to the Depressed Classes which had been granted separate electorate by the Communal Award. In a bid to resolve the crisis, Malaviya issued an appeal to the Depressed Classes and the Hindus to sit together and find out a peaceful settlement.
He took the initiative and called the Hindu Leaders Conference at Delhi. Later, the venue of the Conference was changed to Bombay and subsequently to Poona to facilitate negotiations. After long and tedious deliberations, the Congress arrived at an agreement between caste Hindus and the Depressed Classes, popularly known as the Poona Pact.
Early in the year 1933, the greatest of political organisations, namely—the Congress was under ban and many of its leading lights were behind the bars. In the circumstances, then prevailing, Malaviya was called upon for the fourth time to preside over the Calcutta Congress in April, 1933 and guide its deliberations. In his Presidential address, he defended the Civil Disobedience Mover lent and held it to be perfectly constitutional.
The suspension of the Civil Disobedience Movement, the failure of talks between Malaviya and Jinnah on the question of Hindu-Muslim unity, the natural stand taken by the Congress over the issue of Communal Award and Malaviya’s growing estrangement with the Congress virtually forced him to form a new party, popularly known as the Congress Nationalist Party which was, however, no match to the Congress. As elections were fought for wrecking the Government of India Act, 1935, Malaviya pleaded for its outright rejection following the path of struggle.
Malaviya retired from active politics in 1937 but he continued to take keen interest in his public life. His vehement opposition to the Communal Award continued unabated. He also raised his voice against Muslim League’s demand for Pakistan in 1940, he asked the students to strive hard for Hindu-Muslim unity. He expressed his willingness to offer Satyagraha in 1940. He felt disturbed over the ill-treatment of political prisoners and quite worried about Gandhi’s fast in prison during the stormy days of the Quit India Movement.
As Maker of Modern India
Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya popularly known as ‘Mahamana’ was the front leader of our nation. He commanded equal respect from the educated as well as the common masses. He was highly learned and cultured person. Modesty and grace were hallmark of his personality. He was the first public speaker of his time with thorough command over Sanskrit, Hindi, Persian and English.
He was endowed with a good physique and impressive personality. He had deep faith in religion. He adopted fully modem educational systems and means in his best creation Banaras Hindu University. His very life was a great inspiration for the youth. The masses could reach him easily unlike any other leader of his stature. People could talk freely as though he were their father, brother or friend. Service to the poor and afflicted was the ideal and aim of his life.
Gandhiji considered him as an elder brother and would call him “Maker of Modem India”.