Lala Lajpat Rai Biography, Birth Anniversary, Family, Education, Political Career

Lala Lajpat Rai Biography, Birth Anniversary, Family, Education, Political Career

Lala Lajpat Rai, a well-known character in the Indian independence movement, had a life characterized by unwavering dedication to his country. Following his graduation from Lahore, Lajpat Rai started his career in law. He did, however, resign from his legal practice to take an active role in the freedom struggle in response to the demand for India’s independence. During his political career, he played significant roles in promoting Swadeshi, independence, and representing India abroad.  

Unfortunately, his fate took a tragic turn during a protest against the Simon Commission, ultimately shaping his legacy as a resilient freedom fighter. In this biography, we delve into the early life, family background, political endeavors, and the unfortunate incident that marked the end of Lala Lajpat Rai’s remarkable journey. Read about Lala Lajpat Rai Biography in detail in the article ahead. 

The Birth Anniversary of Lala Lajpat Rai

Born on January 28, 1865, in Dhudike, India, Lala Lajpat Rai was a multifaceted figure – a revolutionary, politician, writer, and powerful orator. Renowned as the “Lion of Punjab” or “Punjab Kesari,” he left an indelible mark on Indian history, albeit a complex and often-debated one.

Lajpat Rai dedicated himself to the cause of Indian independence. He actively championed the Swadeshi movement, promoting self-reliance within India and abroad. Influenced by Dayananda Saraswati, founder of the Arya Samaj, he pursued Hindu social reform and established the Indian Home Rule League of America in 1917.

However, his legacy is not without controversy. Lajpat Rai’s association with the Hindu Mahasabha, a Hindu nationalist organization, and his advocacy for Hindu supremacy remain points of contention. His fiery speeches, while stirring, could also be divisive.

Beyond political activism, Lajpat Rai served as a leader in various sectors. In the 1980s, he held roles at the Punjab National Bank and Lakshmi Insurance Company. He remained a revered figure in his later years, organizing public meetings, establishing an orphanage, and inspiring many with his tireless efforts.

To truly understand Lala Lajpat Rai, we must delve deeper into his life, examining his complex ideological framework, his evolving political journey, and the impact he had on the diverse landscape of Indian nationalism. He was a man of contradictions, a passionate patriot with controversial beliefs, and a symbol of both resistance and social reform. By critically analyzing his legacy, we can gain a richer understanding of his contributions and shortcomings, fostering a more nuanced perspective on this influential figure in Indian history.

Lala Lajpat Rai Biography: Lala Lajpat Rai’s Family

While Lala Lajpat Rai was primarily known for his fiery passion for Indian independence and social reform, family played a significant role in shaping his values and upbringing. Though he dedicated much of his life to the public sphere, his connection to his loved ones remained a vital source of support and inspiration.

In 1877, Lajpat Rai married Radha Devi, who became his life partner and confidante. Together they raised three children: two sons, Pyarelal and Amrit Rai, and a daughter, Parvati. Radha Devi provided him with a stable home environment, allowing him to dedicate himself to the fight for freedom without compromising his family life.

While Lala Lajpat Rai became a legendary figure in Indian history, his family remained his cherished anchor. Their love and support provided him with the strength and resilience to persevere in his fight for a better India. He left behind a legacy not only of political activism but also of strong family values and dedication to community.

Lala Lajpat Rai Education

Lala Lajpat Rai’s initial education took place at the Government Higher Secondary School in Rewari, then part of Punjab and now in Haryana. In 1880, driven by a thirst for knowledge, he pursued a Law degree at the prestigious Government College in Lahore.

It was during his college years that Lajpat Rai’s journey towards his eventual role as a prominent Indian leader began. He formed crucial connections with fellow students who would later become prominent freedom fighters, such as Lala Hans Raj and Pandit Guru Dutt. These early interactions undoubtedly fueled his nascent patriotism and shaped his ideological development.

Upon completing his Law degree, Lajpat Rai commenced his legal practice in Hissar, Haryana, laying the foundation for his future public engagement. His activism also began to take root as he participated as a delegate in the annual sessions of the Indian National Congress in 1888 and 1889. By 1892, he had established himself as a respected lawyer, arguing cases before the High Court in Lahore.

Lala Lajpat Rai: Political Career

Giuseppe Mazzini, the leader of the Italian revolution, expressed nationalist and patriotic ideas that inspired Lala Lajpat Rai, someone who loves to read. Alongside well-known figures like Aurobindo Ghosh, Bipin Chandra Pal, and Bal Gangadhar Tilak, he developed a critical viewpoint towards the moderate politics that many Indian National Congress leaders were pushing. Collectively, they expressed their disapproval of the Dominion status and demanded “Purna Swaraj,” or total independence. Here’s a brief about Lala Lajpat Rai: Political Career hence read the following section carefully. 

  • Legal Practice and Independence: He abandoned his legal practice to contribute to India’s independence from British rule.
  • International Advocacy: Recognizing the need to expose British atrocities, he traveled to Britain in 1914 and the USA in 1917, where he established the Indian Home Rule League of America in New York. He stayed in the USA from 1917 to 1920.
  • Return to India: Upon his return in 1920, he presided over a special session of the Congress in Calcutta.
  • Leadership in Punjab: Rai led protests against British brutality in Punjab, notably at Jallianwala Bagh.
  • Non-Cooperation Movement: When Mahatma Gandhi launched the Non-Cooperation Movement in 1920, Lala Lajpat Rai spearheaded the movement in Punjab. He faced imprisonment from 1921 to 1923.
  • Political Resurgence: Upon release, he was elected to the legislative assembly.
  • Chauri-Chaura Incident: Disagreeing with Gandhi’s decision to withdraw the Non-Cooperation movement after the Chauri-Chaura incident, Rai aimed to establish the Congress Independence Party.
  • Simon Commission: In 1928, the Simon Commission visited India for constitutional reforms. Rai introduced a legislative assembly resolution advocating the boycott of the British Simon Commission.
  • Tragic Demise: During a demonstration in Lahore in 1928, Rai succumbed to injuries sustained from a police lathi charge, highlighting his unwavering commitment to India’s freedom struggle.

How Lala Lajpat Rai Died?

An unfortunate event that occurred during a demonstration against the Simon Commission marked Lala Lajpat Rai’s passing, marking a painful episode in India’s quest for freedom. An outline of Lala Lajpat Rai’s demise is provided below:

In 1928, the Simon Commission, a British-appointed committee, visited India to discuss constitutional reforms. Rai strongly opposed the commission, as it did not include any Indian members, and he considered it an affront to India’s aspirations for self-governance.

On October 30, 1928, a massive protest against the Simon Commission took place in Lahore. Lala Lajpat Rai led the demonstration, expressing vehement opposition to the British policies. The protesters aimed to march peacefully and voice their dissent.

During the protest, the police, under the command of James A. Scott, Superintendent of Police, resorted to a lathi charge (baton charge) to disperse the crowd. In the course of this charge, Lala Lajpat Rai sustained severe injuries, particularly to his chest.

Though initially, the extent of Rai’s injuries may not have seemed life-threatening, the consequences proved dire. The injuries led to serious internal injuries, ultimately impacting his health.

Lala Lajpat Rai succumbed to his injuries on November 17, 1928, in Lahore. His death stirred deep emotions among Indians, and it further intensified the call for independence. The incident played a crucial role in shaping the narrative of India’s struggle against British rule.

Lala Lajpat Rai’s death became a rallying point for nationalists. His sacrifice fueled the determination of fellow freedom fighters, including Bhagat Singh and his associates. In retaliation for Rai’s death, Bhagat Singh and his comrades planned the assassination of James A. Scott, the police officer responsible for the lathi charge.

In India’s fight for independence, Lala Lajpat Rai’s biography is still seen as a turning point that represents the price paid by those who defied colonial rule. His legacy continues on as a memorial to the unwavering bravery of those who gave their lives to protect the independence of their country.


Ques. Who established the American Indian Home Rule League in 1917 in New York?

Answer. The Indian Home Rule League of America was established in 1917 in New York by Lala Lajpat Rai. He remained in the United States from 1917 until 1920.

Ques. How did Punjab Kesari Lala Lajpat Rai come to be known?

Answer. Lala Lajpat Rai was honoured for his beliefs, patriotism, and role in bringing independence to India. Given his significant contribution to the Indian Independence cause, he was dubbed Punjab Kesari.

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