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"I do not want kingdom, nor heaven, nor Moksha (freedom from rebirth). I only want the cessation of pain of all beings who are suffering." Mahamana Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya, a great patriot, educationist, statesman, orator, lawyer, journalist, social reformer and an unparalleled institution maker was born at Prayag (Allahabad) on December 25th, 1861 in a family of great luminaries. His forefathers were originally hailing from the Malwa region and known for scholastic leanings, they moved to Allahabad in late fifteenth century to escape the atrocious partiality of contemporary Muslim rulers. He was the fifth of the eight children of Pandit Brajnath and Moona Devi. After his basic education at home, he was admitted to “Haradeva-Guruki Pathshala” under the great disciplinarian, Haradevji; where he learned first the practice of meticulousness in life. Then he enrolled in another school run by the Vidya-Vardhini sabha. There he came closer to some young scholars like Pandit Devaki Nandan and developed zest for public life and profound elocution that kept galloping his quest for knowledge. He matriculated from the Allahabad Zila School, where the examination was conducted by the Calcutta University. Apart from being an avid learner and extraordinary student, Madan Mohan Malaviya was equally passionate for music
and sports. He had masterly command over many traditional music instruments like, flute, sitar-in this domain as well, he inherited a lot from his father and brother, Jai Krishna, a distinguished player on sitar of his time. He also laid lot of stress on the significance of good health which according to him was quite essential for public spirit and consistency in life. In adolescence; he sensed his duty for his motherland and started shaping his life as per the requirements, which enabled him for unusual advances, like protest to sectarian policies and anti-India propaganda. His enchantment for higher education pushed him to prestigious Muir Central College (then housed in Darbhanga Castle). Soon, his principled and meritorious exudes drew the attention of the visionary principal, Mr. H. Harrison, who took special care of young Madan Mohan Malaviya and remained gracious even after the grand reception to Lord Ripon, a great friend of India which was led by Malaviyaji against the will of British administrators. In 1884, he was awarded with B.A from Calcutta University. Three years later, the city of Allahabad received its first University by the transformation of Muir College which in later phase epitomized the anglicized education in Eastern India. After the completion of university education, he took a modest job of a school teacher. In December 1889, he founded a remarkable public institution, ‘Bharati Bhawan Library’ and built a hostel for outstation students in Allahabad University. This man in Chaugoshia (turban) rose to huge popularity through the Calcutta Congress session of 1896. Raja Rampal Singh of Kalankankar approached him for ‘Hindustan’ (newspaper). With some conditions, he accepted the assignment and made many effective changes for heralding Hindi press and freedom of press at large. The mission was quite tough, though he was indefatigable, and he succeeded to deepen the sound of freedom strugglers in the era of atrocious colonial suppression. ‘Abhudaya’ was another publication under his editorship that radicalized freedom movement and finally converted into a daily in 1915 through the dedicated contribution of Purushottam Das Tandon and Pandit Krishna Kant. His zeal for academics persisted even after his University education and fetched him a degree in law (1891) with high credits. Afterwards; he joined the bar at Allahabad High Court along with a job of assistant editor of ‘The Indian Opinion’. Even in the midst of such hectic activities, he always managed time to think for his dream institution which he has been nurturing in his cognition and was deeply concerned about. Meanwhile, multitasking had to stay, so as the next move for motherland’s liberty-he undertook a formidable role in the foundation of English daily ‘The Leader’ (1909).
For better grouping of nationalists, he evoked Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru to settle in Allahabad. Moreover, presence of Sir Sundar Lal, Pandit Motilal Nehru, and Mr. Chaudhury kept him exuberant for the great causes; indeed the period was most memorable from the point of view of Allahabad’s resonance in academic and other significant matters. He equally volunteered for the cause of Hindi and other imperative public initiatives, like ‘Kashi Nagri Prachirini Sabha’. These efforts were crucial and pertinent for the sake of identity revival among Indians. His stint as lawyer was very impressive which he displayed on crucial occasions like Chauri-Chaura incident, Round table conference in 1932, etc. Lord Curzon, the Viceroy, was greatly alarmed by the proliferation of nationalist activities inside the academic circle, and appointed Indian Universities Commission in 1904 to probe into the working of Indian Universities. All the Universities were brought directly under government control. This errant move of British rule, couldn’t restrain the long cherished dream of a great institution from the mind and action of Malaviyaji. In 1904, he held a resolution for establishing a ‘Hindu University’ (at Kashi), under the president ship of the Maharaja of Banaras. He received from his father first token donation. Debate over the University grew more during Indian National Congress Session (31st December 1905, Banaras) at the Town Hall, under the president ship of Shri B. N. Mahajani. Scheme of the Hindu University was placed before the representatives of all religious and renowned educationists. With these exuberant developments, public announcement of Banaras Hindu University was finally enunciated on January1st, 1906. Two contemporary moves further exuded confidence in Mahamana, Central Hindu College, after witnessing a great success under the visionary leadership of Mrs. Annie Besant, applied for statuary Royal Charter for the establishment of a ‘University of India’ under the signature of influential personalities. The Bharata Dharma Mahamandal of Kashi under the president ship of the Maharaja of Darbhanga had simultaneously launched a scheme for the establishment of a ‘Sanatana-Dharma-University’. In the year1911, the Maharaja of Darbhanga along with Annie Besant incorporated his scheme with that of the Hindu University. He personally too took great interest and met Lord Harding (then Governor-General) with plan of University and received his consent easily as this top notch British official was comparatively flexible in his demeanor. Finally the dream came true on the Vasant Panchami day, February 4, 1916 and foundation stone of ‘Banaras Hindu University’ was laid by the Lord Harding in the presence of august gathering and thousands of city dwellers.
The Objectives of ‘Banaras Hindu University’ are: 1. To promote the study of the Hindu Shastras and of Sanskrit literature generally as a means of preserving and popularizing for the benefit of the Hindus in particular and of the world at large in general, the best thought and culture of the Hindus, and all that was good and great in the ancient civilization of India. 2. To promote learning and research generally in Arts and Sciences in all branches. 3. To advance and diffuse such scientific, technical and professional knowledge combined with the necessary practical training as is best calculated to help in promoting indigenous industries and in developing the material resources of the country. 4. To promote building up of character in youth by religion and ethics as an integral part of education. B.H.U was shifted from its Kamaccha Campus to the new (existing) campus in Nagwa Ghat. He spent considerable time in the capacity of Vice Chancellor in his dream institution. In 1938, he resigned from the post of VC and continued as its Rector till his death on Nov 12th, 1946. It was an auspicious fortune of this university that it was served by a numbers of distinguished scholars and benign human beings. Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, Acharaya Narendra Deo, Dr. C. P. Ramaswamy Aiyer were foremost among them. For making his dream come true, he intertwined with privations and never took even a pittance from the University and remained concerned for its further development in different domain. For the size of University, he founded and maintained throughout his life became possible through great earmarking and humbleness. He maintained his diverse roles, including of top brass in Indian National Congress through his unparalleled will and sacrifice on family front. Right since the day of foundation, this university played a formidable role in strengthening of the national causes, from freedom movement to modern time. Its culture blended with modernity and tradition, always prioritized the ethics and humanity along with finest pastime for high standard education in the close “Guru-Shishya” tradition. Many changes have taken place inside the University and its reputation as center of excellence have expanded to all major streams. Old hostels and few old nameplates like, “College of Arts”, “Bharati Mahavidyalaya”, “Mahila Mahavidyalaya” etc give a chance to roam down the memory lane.
As an alumnus of Mahamana’s great institution, I have reason to exulting on my deliberations and recalling Kulgeet of my Alma mater…
Satyendra Nath Dwivedi
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