IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis

Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya

28th December, 2020 History

Context: The Prime Minister has paid his tributes to Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya on his Jayanti.

  • He was a scholar and thinker who worked towards spreading education among our citizens.
  • December 25 is the birth anniversary of Madan Mohan Malaviya, the famed Indian educationist and freedom fighter who is also called ‘Mahamana’.
  • Malaviya is known for founding the Banaras Hindu University and for becoming one of the torchbearers of the freedom struggle — acting as a bridge between the Moderates and the Extremists in the Congress.
  • Born in Allahabad, Malaviya took early education under the ‘pathshala’ system, and was proficient in Sanskrit.
  • In 1879, he graduated from the Muir Central College (today’s Allahabad University) and started working as a teacher at a local high school.
  • Drawn to politics, Malaviya joined the Indian National Congress at its Calcutta session in 1886 — it had been founded a year previously at the Gokuldas Tejpal Sanskrit College in Mumbai.
  • Malaviya rose up the ranks, and became president four times — in 1909 (Lahore), in 1918 (Delhi), in 1930 (Delhi), and in 1932 (Calcutta).
  • Malaviya was part of the Congress for almost 50 years.
  • Malaviya was one of the early leaders of the Hindu Mahasabha, and helped found it in 1906.
  • He was a social reformer and a successful legislator, serving as a member of the Imperial Legislative Council for 11 years (1909–20).
  • At the Banaras Hindu University (BHU), which he founded in 1916, he served as Vice-Chancellor from 1919 to 1938.
  • Malaviya espoused free and compulsory primary education, opposed the system of indentured labour in the British Empire, and supported the nationalisation of railways.
  • In the freedom struggle, Malaviya was midway between the Liberals and the Nationalists, the Moderates and the Extremists, as the followers of Gokhale and Tilak were respectively called.
  • In 1930, when Mahatma Gandhi launched the Salt Satyagraha and the Civil Disobedience Movement, he participated in it and courted arrest.
  • In 2015, the government bestowed Malaviya with the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour, 68 years after his death.
  • In 2016, the Indian Railways started the Varanasi-New Delhi Mahamana Express in the leader’s honour.