UPSC Exam Preparation: This Day in History – Nov 12

12 November 1946

Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya passed away.


What happened?

Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya

On 12 November 1946, freedom fighter and social reformer Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya passed away in Allahabad aged 84.

Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya

  • Malaviya was born on 25 December 1861 to Pandit Brij Nath and Moona Devi in Allahabad. His father and grandfather were Sanskrit scholars.
  • He started his education in traditional Sanskrit pathshalas before moving to an English school. He completed his BA from the University of Calcutta.
  • He took part in the 2nd session of the Indian National Congress in Calcutta in 1886. He was working as a schoolmaster in a school which he left in 1887 to become the editor of a Hindi magazine, ‘Hindosthan’.
  • He became the editor of the ‘Indian Opinion’ in 1889. He also started a Hindi weekly ‘Abhyudaya’, an English daily ‘Leader’, a Hindi newspaper ‘Maryada’.
  • Malaviya finished his law degree in 1891 and started his law practice at Allahabad. In 1911, he sacrificed his legal career to plunge himself into the national struggle.
  • Pandit Malaviya was instrumental in founding the Benares Hindu University in 1916. He also became its Vice-Chancellor till 1939.
  • He also served as the president of the INC in 1909, 1918, 1930 and 1932. He was a moderate member of the party.
  • He was opposed to separate electorates to Muslims and the Lucknow Pact. He was also against the INC’s participation in the Khilafat Movement.
  • He took part in the Simon Commission agitations and in the Non-Cooperation Movement.
  • As a lawyer, he defended the 177 Indians who were convicted to be punished by death in the Chauri Chaura case. He was successful in getting 156 of them acquitted. The others had their death sentence commuted to life.
  • Malaviya was a participant in the Second Round Table Conference in 1931.
  • He started the Ganga Mahasabha to oppose construction of dams in the Ganga.
  • He was also a social reformer who opposed untouchability. He worked for the temple entry of Dalits at the Kalaram Temple at Nashik, Maharashtra.
  • He is credited with giving the nation this slogan from the Mundakopanishad, ‘Satyameva Jayate’.
  • He also founded the organisation Shri Mathura Vrindavan Hasanand Gochar Bhoomi in Vrindavan.
  • He was given the title, ‘Mahanama’.
  • Pandit Malaviya passed away on 12 November 1946 in Allahabad.
  • In 2014, he was bestowed the Bharat Ratna posthumously.
Also on This Day 

1896: Birth of ornithologist Salim Ali, ‘Birdman of India’.
See previous ‘This Day in History’ here.

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