Mahatma Hansraj

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Lala Hansraj

Lala Hansraj (1864–1938) also known as Mahatama Hansraj, was an Indian educationist and a follower of Arya Samaj movement founder, Swami Dayanand, and who founded Dayanand Anglo-Vedic Schools System (DAV) in Lahore in 1886, along with Guru Dutt Vidhyarthi, where the first DAV school was set up, in the memory of Swami Dayanand who had died three years earlier.

He was also a compatriot of freedom fighter Lala Lajpat Rai. He served as the principal of DAV College for 25 years, and committed the rest of his life in Social service. Today DAV runs over 669 colleges, schools, professional and technical institutions [1]

Early life and education[edit]

Born in a small town, Bajwara, in Hoshiarpur district, Punjab in 19 April 1864, Hans Raj lost his father before he was 12 and thereafter he was looked after and educated by his elder brother. Subsequently his family moved to Lahore where he joined a missionary school. Meanwhile he heard the lecture of Swami Dayanand and this changed his life course forever. He went on to complete his B.A. degree with excellent marks.


Pandit Gurudatta Vidyarthi

Upon completing his B.A., instead of taking up a job, he decided to start a school, the first DAV school along with a fellow Arya Samaji, Guru Dutt Vidyarthi. Later he became the Principal of the Dayanand Anglo-Vedic College, Lahore, and president of the provincial Arya Pradeshik Pratinidhi Sabha, the DAV section of Arya Samaj in Punjab.[2] In 1893, the Arya Samaj split into two in Punjab, one section led by Lala Hans Raj and Lala Lajpat Rai retained the control over DAV College Lahore, while the radical section was under the leadership of Pandit Lekh Ram and Lala Munshi Ram, who was later known as Swami Shraddhanand, formed Punjab Arya Samaj and led Arya Pratinidhi Sabha.[3] He served as the principal of DAV College, Lahore for the next 25 years, and after his retirement committed the rest of his life in Social service.

He died on November 14, 1938 in Lahore.


Today, many educational institutions are named after him, including Hans Raj College, Delhi University, where Mahatma Hans Raj College Road, is situated at the heart of University’s North campus.

Further reading[edit]

  • Mahatma Hansraj, Maker of the Modern Punjab: Maker of the Modern Punjab, by Sri Ram Sharma. Published by Institute of Public Administration, 1965.


  1. ^ Mahatma Hansraj
  2. ^ Lala Hans Raj Hindu-Muslim relations in British India: a study of controversy, conflict, and communal movements in northern India 1923-1928, by G. R. Thursby. Published by BRILL, 1975. ISBN 90-04-04380-2. pp 141.
  3. ^ Split Hindu Muslim: Page 14.

External links[edit]