Lala Lajapat Rai

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Lala Lajpat Rai (28 January 1865 – 17 November 1928) was an Indian author and politician who is chiefly remembered as a leader in the Indian fight for independence from the British Raj. He was popularly known as Punjab Kesari (Punjabi:The Lion of Punjab) or Sher-e-Punjab (Urdu:The Lion of Punjab) meaning the same and was part of the Lal Bal Pal trio. He was also associated with activities of Punjab National Bank and Lakshmi Insurance Company in their early stages. He ustained serious injuries by the police when leading a non-violent protest against the Simon Commission and died less than three weeks later. His death anniversary (November 17) is one of several days celebrated as Martyrs' Day in India. Lala Lajpat Rai was born in Dhudike (now in Moga district, Punjab) on 28 January 1865. His grandfather was a Svetambara Jain while his father had great respect for Islam, and he even fasted and prayed like Muslims, but did not embrace Islam largely due to his family's attachment to the Hindu faith. Rai had his initial education in Government Higher Secondary School, Rewari (now in Haryana, previously in Punjab), in the late 1870s and early 1880s, where his father, Radha Krishan, was an Urdu teacher. Rai was influenced by Hinduism and Manusmriti and created a career of reforming Indian policy through politics and writing. (When studying law in Lahore, he continued to practice Hinduism. He became a large believer in the idea that Hinduism, above nationality, was the pivotal point upon which an Indian lifestyle must be based.) Hinduism, he believed, led to practices of peace to humanity, and the idea that when nationalist ideas were added to this peaceful belief system, a non-secular nation could be formed. His involvement with Hindu Mahasabha leaders gathered criticism from the Bharat Sabha as the Mahasabhas were non-secular, which did not conform with the system laid out by the Indian National Congress. This focus on Hindu...
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