Full story of Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh, in whose name PM Modi laid the foundation stone of the university

In 1977, AMU Vice Chancellor Prof. AM Khusro had made Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh the chief guest at the centenary celebrations of the university.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday laid the foundation stone of the university in Aligarh in the name of Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh. In September 2019, the Yogi Adityanath government of Uttar Pradesh had announced the opening of a state-level university in the name of Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh in Aligarh.

The things being publicized by the state government and the Bharatiya Janata Party regarding the arrival of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Aligarh for the foundation stone laying program of this university and the opening of this university, it was being said that it was working to honor those people. Which were forgotten in the previous governments.

Laying the foundation stone of the university, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, "Many great personalities have expended their everything in our freedom movement. But it has been the misfortune of the country that after independence such national heroes and heroines were not introduced to the next generations. Gaya."

Sanjeev Balyan, MP from Muzaffarnagar in western Uttar Pradesh and Minister of State in the Central Government, says, "Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh was involved in the freedom struggle, he formed India's first government-in-exile. He had opened many institutions for the society. AMU Like he had given land for the university. But his contribution was completely forgotten. The names of those who contributed less than him were taken every second and third day in the previous governments, but did not remember the contribution of such a great leader of the Jat community.


Who was Raja Mahendra Pratap?

 

In such a situation, the biggest question is, who was Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh and what has been his contribution to the Jat society. Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh was the king of Mursan princely state of Hathras district of western Uttar Pradesh. The personality of Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh, who came out of the Jat family, had many colors. Not only was he a well-educated person in his area, he also played the role of a writer and journalist. During the First World War, he went to Afghanistan and formed India's first government in exile. He was the President of this government in exile.


Picture of Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh in the library of Aligarh Muslim University.

 

On December 1, 1915, Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh announced the first government-in-exile in Afghanistan.

The government-in-exile means the declaration of an independent Indian government during the British rule. Subhash Chandra Bose did the same work which was done by Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh. From this perspective, there is a similarity between the two.

Although Subhash Chandra Bose was a Congressman and Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh officially did not remain in the Congress. However, in that period, his threat had reached the big leaders of Congress. This is estimated from the Abhinandan book published on Mahendra Pratap Singh, in which there is mention of his contact with Mahatma Gandhi.


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A book written in Urdu on Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh in the library of Aligarh Muslim University

The thoughts of Mahatma Gandhi have also been given place in this book. Gandhi had said about Mahendra Pratap Singh, "I had developed respect for Raja Mahendra Pratap in 1915. Even before that, the condition of his fame had come to me in Africa. His correspondence continued with me. Due to which I have come to know him well. His sacrifice and patriotism are commendable.

However, Subhash Chandra Bose could not return home after the formation of the government-in-exile, but Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh also returned to India and became active in politics after independence. Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh, who was out of the country for 32 years, sought help from countries like Germany, Russia and Japan for his efforts to liberate India. However, they did not succeed in that.

When he returned to India in 1946, he first went to Wardha to meet Mahatma Gandhi. But he did not get a chance to play any important responsibility in Indian politics during the Congress governments of that period.

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What did PM Modi say about AMU?

 

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In that period in Indian politics, he did not get a chance to play any important responsibility.

Congress did not give much priority

Germany and Japan were not friendly countries in Jawaharlal Nehru's foreign policy and Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh started the freedom struggle by seeking help from these countries. In such a situation, Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh did not get much preference in the Congress.

However, in 1957 he contested from Mathura and won as an independent candidate. The most important thing about this election was that Atal Bihari Vajpayee was also standing in the election field here as a candidate of Jana Sangh.

In that election, Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh defeated Chaudhary Digambar Singh of Congress by about 30 thousand votes. Aditya Choudhary, the son of Chaudhary Digambar Singh and the founder and editor of the Hindi Samagra Gyankosh named 'Bharatkosh', who was awarded the World Hindi Award, says, "You guess what kind of personality Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh was. One day during the election campaign, he left his car. I reached our house and told my father that the area of ​​Yamuna Khadar where I have to go to campaign is sand and it is difficult to go by car, so I am taking your jeep and you take my car. It is another matter that when my father got ready to leave for election campaign, Raja Saab's driver said that Raja Sahab has not given permission to go anywhere.

This shows that Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh used to keep an eye on his political opponents as well. Aditya Chowdhary explains, "There were five people in the electoral fray, father stood second and Atal Bihari Vajpayee came fourth, his bail was forfeited. But he was also contesting from Balrampur and won the election there he was the first. Bar had reached the Lok Sabha."

By the way, Chaudhary Digambar Singh was a big Congress leader of the Jat community at that time and he avenged his defeat in 1962 by defeating Raja Mahendra Singh by about 30 thousand votes. But the relationship between Chaudhary Digambar Singh and Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh was always sweet and he himself had published a treatise on Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh.

Image Source, AMU

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Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh donated land for Aligarh Muslim University

image of person helping in education

Politically, Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh may not have been recognized as a very big person, but it was definitely made as a social worker who continued to donate wealth for the promotion of education.

Aditya Choudhary explains, "Raja Saheb did not have leadership quality, he was not very popular even among Jats but he had a unique determination to pursue education. You can say that he devoted all his wealth in setting up educational institutions. "

However, when Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh was donating to educational institutions, he probably never thought that there would come a time when it would become a political issue. During the opening of Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh University, Aligarh Muslim University is being discussed continuously on social media platforms. It is also being told that Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh had donated land for Aligarh Muslim University and there is no mention of his contribution in the university campus.

On this aspect, Aligarh Muslim University spokesperson Umar Peerzada says, "Look, Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh has been a student of our university, so it is a matter of pride for all of us to open an educational center in his name."

 


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Aligarh Muslim University

Father's friendship with Sir Syed Ahmed Khan

In fact, Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh's father Raja Ghanshyam Singh was a friend of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and his family had financially helped in the construction of the school and college that ran here before Aligarh Muslim University. Referring to Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh's contribution in the construction of the AMU, Umar Peerzada said, "Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh had leased 3.8 acres of land to Aligarh Muslim University in 1929. This land was on the side of the city, away from the main campus. Where today half of the city school is running and half is still vacant.

The campus of Aligarh Muslim University is spread over an area of ​​more than 467 acres and for this land was given by others besides Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh. Asked about how Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh's contribution has been cherished in the university campus, Umar Peerzada said, "We have a big picture of him in our Central Library, Maulana Azad Library, we have written many books on him specially. But from time to time, seminars and seminars have been held in his honor.

Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh's name may not be included in the list of names of many celebrities in Aligarh Muslim University such as Sir Syed Hall, Maulana Azad Library, Sarojini Naidu Hall, Dhyanchand Hostel, Indira Gandhi Hostel, but the university campus has forgotten him, it Cannot be considered because in 1977, Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh had attended the centenary celebrations of MAO College Aligarh as the chief guest.

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Raja Mahendra Pratap made Mohammad Barkatullah Bhopali the Prime Minister of his government-in-exile.

He was known for universal religion

Another interesting thing is that Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh never fell into the trap of Hindu-Muslim. He was also known as Arya Peshwa Tyag Murthy. Aditya Chowdhary says, "The truth is that Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh was known for his universalism. He also used to say that there should be only one religion, Prem Dharma. Moreover, he called the people 'Peer Peter Prem Pratap'. ' In such a situation, it would not be appropriate to focus them on Hindus or only Jats.

In the government-in-exile that Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh had formed in Afghanistan, he himself became the President while he made Mohammad Barkatullah Bhopali the Prime Minister. The special thing is that before the freedom struggle, he was neither in the moderate party of the Congress nor in the hot party and after independence he was neither with the Congress nor with the Jana Sangh. However, his tendency was definitely towards the left and he was influenced by the Russian Revolution.

Aditya Chaudhary also tells that King Mahendra Pratap had established Prem Mahavidyalaya in Vrindavan and he was convinced that love and harmony can be established in the society only through education. This Prem Vidyalaya is currently considered as a good institution as Vrindavan Polytechnic Institute. Seeing the efforts for peace-harmony and education, Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1932.

Although it is true that after losing the election from Mathura Lok Sabha in 1962, he was not very active in public life and he died on April 29, 1979. On his death, the then central government had also issued a postage stamp.


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The Yogi government had announced the opening of this university in September 2019.

Today's generation unknown to Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh

The government of Narendra Modi and Yogi Adityanath has introduced Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh to today's generation by starting this university. This is in a way part of the BJP's strategy in which it has been trying to increase its vote bank by honoring even those heroes who have never had any association with Jan Sangh and BJP.

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav has taken a jibe at the foundation stone laying ceremony of the university.

While welcoming the university named after Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh, Rashtriya Lok Dal leader Jayant Chaudhary said, "I have said earlier that it is a welcome decision. But we demand that the central government respect the legacy of Raja Saheb. Honor him with Bharat Ratna.

Union Minister Sanjeev Balyan says, "Look, our generation knew about Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh, but today's young generation did not know, now if the information reaches them, then they will also have a sense of respect that our community What a great man the man was. What could be better than that."

At present, the way Jat farmers in western Uttar Pradesh are opposing the Modi government over the three new laws, it is also being seen as an attempt to persuade the Jat community. Sanjeev Balyan, however, explains these two aspects separately and says, "The announcement of the construction of a university in the name of Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh was made by the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath, when there was no farmers' movement. Acquisition of land to build the university Etc. takes time. That's why the foundation stone is being laid now."

Aditya Choudhary says, "You can consider Jats as the only community that does not give much thought to choosing its leader. So it is a bit difficult to assess when he will give his support."

On the other hand, regarding the movement of Jat farmers, Sanjeev Balyan said, "We are in talks, work is being done to increase the support price of crops. It is our constant effort to find a solution to this movement."