Madan Mohan Malaviya

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Madan Mohan Malviya
Madan Mohan Malaviya.png
Portrait of Madan Mohan Malviya unveiled by Dr. Rajendra Prasad on 19 December 1957.
President of the Indian National Congress
In office
1909–10; 1918–19
Incumbent Sonia Gandhi
Personal details
Born (1861-12-25)25 December 1861
Allahabad, India
Died 12 November 1946(1946-11-12) (aged 84)
Nationality Indian
Political party Indian National Congress
Alma mater Allahabad University
University of Calcutta
Religion Hinduism

Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya (About this sound pronunciation  (1861–1946) was an Indian educationist and politician notable for his role in the Indian independence movement and his espousal of Hindu nationalism (being one of the initial leaders of the far-right party Hindu Mahasabha). Later in life, he was also addressed as 'Mahamana'.[1]

He was the President of the Indian National Congress on two occasions (1909 & 1918) and today is most remembered as the founder of the largest residential university in Asia and one of the largest in the world,[2] having over 12,000 students across arts, sciences, engineering and technology, Banaras Hindu University (BHU) at Varanasi in 1916, of which he also remained the Vice Chancellor, 1919–1938[3][4] Malviya was one of the founders of Scouting in India.[5] He also founded a highly influential, English-newspaper, The Leader published from Allahabad in 1909.[6]

On his 150th birth anniversary (25 December 2011), Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh announced that a Centre for Malviya Studies will be set up at the Banaras Hindu University apart from establishment of scholarships and education related awards in his memory, and UPA chairperson released a biography of Madan Mohan Malaviya.[7]

He was also the Chairman of Hindustan Times from 1924 to 1946. His efforts resulted in the launch of its Hindi edition in 1936.[6]

Early life and education[edit]

Malviya was born in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, India on 25 December 1861,[8] to Brijnath and Moona Devi.He belonged to "Shrigod Brahmins" from Malwa region of Madhya pradesh. He was the fifth child in a family of five brothers and two sisters. His ancestors, known for their Sanskrit scholarship, originally hailed from Malwa, Madhya Pradesh and hence came to be known as 'Malviyas'. Malviyas were the house priests for the Agarwal merchants of Benares.[9] His father was also a learned man in Sanskrit scriptures, and used to recite the Bhagvat Katha to earn a living.[9]

Malviya's education began at age five in Sanskrit, when he was sent to Hardeva's Dharma Gyanopadesh Pathshala, where he completed his primary education and later another school run by Vidha Vardini Sabha. He then joined Allahabad Zila School (Allahabad District School), where he started writing poems under the pen name Makarand which were published in journals and magazines. Malviya matriculated in 1879 from the Muir Central College, now known as Allahabad University. Harrison College's Principal provided a monthly scholarship to Malviya, whose family had been facing financial hardships, and he was able to complete his B.A. at the University of Calcutta. Although he wanted to pursue an M.A. in Sanskrit, his family conditions did not allow it and his father wanted him to take his family profession of Bhagavat recital, thus in July 1884 Madan Mohan Malviya started his career as teacher in Allahabad District School.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

As was the tradition in those days, he was married in 1878, when he was about sixteen years of age to Kundan Devi of Mirzapur. The couple had five sons and five daughters, out of which four sons, Ramakant, Radhakant, Mukund, Govind and two daughters Rama and Malati survived.He was very much connected to malwa region & had done great social work in Indore also. He was the founder member of "Shrigod Vidya mandir" in Indore.

His youngest son Govind Malaviya (1902–1961)was a freedom Fighter and Member of India's Parliament till his death in 1961. He was also the Vice-Chancellor of the Banaras Hindu University.

Political career[edit]

In December 1886, Malaviya attended the 2nd Indian National Congress session in Calcutta under chairmanship of Dadabhai Naoroji, where he spoke on the issue of representation in Councils. His address not only impressed Dadabhai but also Raja Rampal Singh, ruler of Kalakankar estate near Allahabad, who started a Hindi weekly Hindustan but was looking for a suitable editor to turn it into a daily. Thus in July 1887, he left his school job and joined as the editor of the nationalist weekly, he remained here for two and a half years, and left for Allahabad to join L.L.B., it was here that he was offered co-editorship of The Indian Union, an English daily. After finishing his law degree, he started practising law at Allahabad District Court in 1891, and moved to Allahabad High Court by December 1893[10][11]

Malviya became the President of the Indian National Congress in 1909 and 1918. He was a moderate leader and opposed the separate electorates for Muslims under the Lucknow Pact of 1916."mahamana" title given by Mahatma Gandhi.

To redeem his resolve to serve the cause of education and social-service he renounced his well established practice of law in 1911, for ever. In order to follow the tradition of Sannyasa throughout his life, he pursued the avowed commitment to live on the society's support. But when 177 freedom fighters were convicted to be hanged in the Chouri-choura case he appeared before the court, despite his vow and got acquitted 156 freedom fighters.[12]

He remained a member of the Imperial Legislative Council from 1912 and when in 1919 it was converted to the Central Legislative Assembly he remained its member as well, till 1926.[13]

Malaviya was an important figure in the Non-cooperation movement.[14] However, he was opposed to the politics of appeasement and the participation of Congress in the Khilafat movement.

In 1928 he joined Lala Lajpat Rai, Jawaharlal Nehru and many others in protesting against the Simon Commission, which had been set up by the British to consider India's future. Just as the "Buy British" campaign was sweeping England, he issued, on 30 May 1932, a manifesto urging concentration on the "Buy Indian" movement in India.[15]

Malaviya was a delegate at the First Round Table Conference in 1930. However, during the Civil Disobedience Movement, he was arrested on 25 April 1932, along with 450 other Congress volunteers in Delhi, only a few days after he was appointed the President of Congress after the arrest of Sarojini Naidu.[16]

In protest against the Communal Award which sought to provide separate electorates for minorities, Malaviya along with Madhav Shrihari Aney left the Congress and started the Congress Nationalist Party . The party contested the 1934 elections to the central legislature and won 12 seats.[17]

Malaviya was also the Chairman of Hindustan Times from 1924 to 1946. His efforts resulted in the launch of its Hindi edition in 1936. The paper was saved from an untimely demise when he stepped in to realise his vision of a newspaper in Delhi."[18] Malaviya raised Rs.50,000 rupees to acquire the Hindustan Times along with the help of nationalist leaders Lala Lajpat Rai and M. R. Jayakar and industrilist Ghanshyam Das Birla, who paid most of the cash. The paper is now owned by the Birla family.

Benaras Hindu University[edit]

In April 1911, Annie Besant met Malaviya and they decided to work for a common Hindu University at Varanasi. Besant and fellow trustees of the Central Hindu College, which she has founded in 1898 also agreed to Government of India's precondition that the college should become a part of the new University. Thus Banaras Hindu University (BHU) was established in 1916, through under the Parliamentary legislation, 'B.H.U. Act 1915', today it remains a prominent institution of learning in India.[3][19]

In 1939, he left the Vice chancellorship of BHU and was succeeded by S. Radhakrishnan, who later became the President of India.[20]

Social work[edit]

He worked for the eradication of caste barrier in temples and other social barriers. He is believed to have undergone a rejuvenation. Because of his social works in Dalit areas, Sri Gaud Brahmins had expelled him initially but after understanding their mistakes the elite people has taken back Malviyaji's in Shi Gaud Brahmin samaj. Also, he organised a mass of 200 Dalit peoples, including the Hindu Dalit (Harijan) leader P. N. Rajbhoj to demand entry at the Kalaram Temple on a Rath Yatra day. All those who participated in this event took a dip in the Godavari River and chanted Hindu mantras.[21] Malaviya made massive efforts for the entry into any Hindu temple.[21]


Though, Scouting in India was officially founded in British India in 1909, at the Bishop Cotton's Boys School in Bangalore, Scouting for native Indians was started by Justice Vivian Bose, Malaviya, Hridayanath Kunzru, Girija Shankar Bajpai, Annie Besant and George Arundale, in 1913, he also started a Scouting inspired organisation called Seva Samithi.[22]


Statue of Madan Mohan Malviya at the entrance of Banaras Hindu University

Malviya popularised the slogan Satyameva Jayate (Truth alone will triumph).[23]

Malviya Nagar in Allahabad, Lucknow, Delhi, Bhopal, Durg and Jaipur are named after him. A postage stamp has been printed in India in his honour in 1961.[24] Malaviya National Institute of Technology (MNIT) at Jaipur is named after him, as is Madan Mohan Malaviya University of Technology in Gorakhpur, UP. The Hostels of IIT Roorkee Saharanpur Campus and BITS Pilani,Pilani campus are also named Malviya Bhawan after him, He started the tradition of Aarti at Har ki Pauri Haridwar to the sacred Ganges river which is performed till date, the Malviya Dwipa, a small island across the ghat, named after him. This was inline with the Ganesha Festival started by Bal Gangadhar Tilak in Maharashtra to organise the masses. A square in main city at Jabalpur is named after him and is called Malviya chowk.

Mahamana's life size portrait was unveiled in the Central Hall of India's Parliament by the then President of India Dr. Rajendra Prasad, and his life-size statue was unveiled in 1961 by the then President of India Dr. S. Radhakrishnan in front of the BHU main gate on the occasion of his birth centenary. This year 2011 is being celebrated as his 150th birth centenary by the Government of India under the Chairmanship of India's prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh. In front of the main Gate leading to the Assembly Hall and outside the porch, there exists a bust of Pt. Madan Mohan Malviya, which was inaugurated by the former Lt. Governor of Delhi, Dr. A.N. Jha on 25 December 1971.[13] Pt. On 25 December 2008, on his birth anniversary, the national memorial of Mahamana Madan Mohan Malaviya was inaugurated by the then president A P J Abdul Kalam at 53, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Marg, in Delhi.[25]


  • A criticism of Montagu-Chelmsford proposals of Indian constitutional reform. Printed by C. Y. Chintamani, 1918.
  • Speeches and writings of Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya. Publisher G.A. Natesan, 1919.


  • Malaviyaji, a brief life sketch of Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya, by B. J. Akkad. Pub. Vora, 1948.
  • Malaviyana: a bibliography of Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya by Sayaji Rao Gaekwad Library. Ed. Prithvi Nath Kaula. 1962.
  • Role of Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya in our national life, by Chandra Prakash Jha. Modern Publications, 1977.
  • Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya: a socio-political study, by Sundar Lal Gupta. Pub. Chugh Publications, 1978.
  • Mahāmanā Madan Mohan Malaviya: An Historical Biography, by Parmanand. Malaviya Adhyayan Sansthan, Banaras Hindu University, 1985.
  • Struggle for Independence: Madan Mohan Malaviya by Shri Ram Bakshi. Anmol Publications, 1989. ISBN 81-7041-142-4.
  • Madan Mohan Malaviya: the man and his ideology, by S. R. Bakshi. Anmol Publications, 1991. ISBN 81-7041-429-6.
  • Madan Mohan Malaviya, by Sitaram Chaturvedi. Publ. Division, Ministry of I & B, Govt. of India, 1996. ISBN 81-230-0486-9.
  • Visionary of Modern India- Madan Mohan Malaviya, by S K Maini, K Chandramouli and Vishwanath Pandey. Mahamana MalaviyaJi Trust. 2009.


  1. ^ "Mahamana's life as exemplary as Mahatma's: BHU V-C". The Times of India. 27 December 2009. 
  2. ^ Singh, Binay (13 March 2009). "BHU set to realise future goals". VARANASI: The Times of India. Retrieved 3 June 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "History of BHU". Banaras Hindu University website. 
  4. ^ "University at Buffalo, BHU sign exchange programme". Rediff News. 4 October 2007. 
  5. ^ Our Leaders (Volume 9 of Remembering Our Leaders). Children's Book Trust. 1989. p. 61. ISBN 81-7011-842-5. 
  6. ^ a b "C. Y. Chintamani (10 April 1880 – 1 July, 1941)". The Tribune. 7 May 2000. 
  7. ^ "brings the Latest & Top Breaking News on Politics, G-20 summit, CHOGM 2011,Vice President's visit to Perth for CHOGM, Cricket, Sports, Business , State,Formula One in INDIA , Regional Language Audio Bulletins , Regional Language scripts & more". News On Air. 2012-08-15. Retrieved 2013-04-22. 
  8. ^ Bhattacherje, S. B. (May 1, 2009). Encyclopaedia of Indian Events & Dates. Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd. pp. 138–139. Retrieved March 24, 2014. 
  9. ^ a b Timberg, Thomas A (2014). The Marwaris: From Jagat Seth to the Birlas. Penguin Books. ISBN 9789351187134. 
  10. ^ Our Leaders (Volume 9 of Remembering Our Leaders): Madan Mohan Malaviya. Children's Book Trust. 1989. pp. 53–73. ISBN 81-7011-842-5. 
  11. ^ A brief summary of Indian Warriors
  12. ^ "RSS Resolution 2: 150th Birth Anniversary of Mhamana Malviya ji". Vishwa Samvada Kendra. 31 October 2010. 
  13. ^ a b "Old Secetariat:Important Members of Imperial Legislative Council". Legislative Assembly of Delhi website. 
  14. ^ "Gandhi is Urged to Delay Break". New York Times. 11 February 1922. 
  15. ^ ""Buy Indian" Move Gains". The New York Times. 30 May 1932. 
  16. ^ "450 Seized at Delhi for Defiance of Ban on Indian Congress". New York Times. 25 April 1932. 
  17. ^ Schwartzberg Atlas
  18. ^ TJS George, Lessons in Journalism, 2007, Viva Books, New Delhi.
  19. ^ "BANARAS HINDU UNIVERSITY" (PDF). Indian Academy of Sciences. 26 July 2005. Retrieved 2007-04-19. 
  20. ^ Murty, K. Satchidananda; Ashok Vohra (1990). Radhakrishnan: his life and ideas. SUNY Press. p. 90. ISBN 0-7914-0343-2. 
  21. ^ a b Political Mobilization and Identity in Western India, 1934–47 By Shri Krishan
  22. ^ "Honouring the oath: The beginning". The Hindu. 17 August 2007. 
  23. ^ "India's Freedom Struggle: Madan Mohan Malaviya" (PDF). Kamat's Potpourri. 22 December 2007. Retrieved 2008-03-09. 
  24. ^ Indian stamp bearing Madan Mohan Malaviya's picture
  25. ^ "Former President Kalam inaugurates BHU founder's memorial". The Indian Express. 26 December 2008. 


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