On January 28, 1865, Indian independence activist Lala Lajpat Rai was born. He was one of the three Lal Bal Pal triumvirate. His ideology of nationalism and zealous patriotism earned him the title, ‘Punjab Kesari’ and ‘Lion of Punjab’
On the same date of the year 1925, nuclear scientist Raja Ramanna was born. Ramanna played a key role in carrying out India’s first nuclear device test in Pokhran in 1974.
He joined the nuclear program in 1964 and worked under Homi Jehangir Bhabha. He later became the director of the program in 1967.
He was a recipient of Padma Vibhushan, India’s second-highest civilian decoration, in honor of his services to build India’s nuclear program.
As we remember the exemplary leader on his birth anniversary, let us take a look at some of the interesting facts concerning him, and continue to draw inspiration from him:
- At 16 years of age, this Swadeshi crusader had joined the Indian National Congress. And within 4 years in 1885, he founded the Dayanand Anglo-Vedic School in Lahore by the age of 20. He was an ardent follower of Dayanand Saraswati.
- He had traveled to the US in 1907 and noted sociological similarities on color-caste, between US and India. The United States of America, his travelog documents his knowledge gained during the travel.
- Rai was a prominent, leading freedom fighter who had led a silent protest march against the Simon Commission in 1928. He was violently beaten up by the police during the event. Such was his passion, grit and indomitable spirit that even after being assaulted, he had declared “…the blows struck at me today will be the last nails in the coffin of British rule”.
- The Rai University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences in Hisar, Haryana, has been named after him.
Rai had started practicing law in 1886.
- He was a noted author of books including, England’s Debt to India, History of the Arya Samaj, The Story of my Deportation, and Swaraj and Social Change.
- In 2016, to honor Rai’s 150th birth anniversary, the Indian culture ministry had issued a commemorative coin of Rs 150 and circulation coin of Rs 10.
- Earlier, a postage stamp was issued to pay tribute to Rai.
- Rai had founded Punjab National Bank and Laxmi Insurance company in 1894.
Famous quotes by Lala Lajpat Rai:
- “The shots that hit me are the last nails to the coffin of British rule in India.”
- “The government which attacks its own innocent subjects has no claim to be called a civilized government.
- Bear in mind, such a government does not survive long. I declare that the blows struck at me will be the last nails in the coffin of British rule in India.”
- “If I had the power to influence Indian journals, I would have the following headlines printed in bold letters on the first page: Milk for the infants, food for the adults and education for all.”
- “A person should be courageous and honest in worshiping the truth, without being concerned about receiving worldly benefits.”
- “Defeat and failure are sometimes necessary steps of victory.”