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Current Affairs

Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh

Date: 17 September 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has laid the foundation stone of a university named after Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh.

 

Background

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister had announced to recognize contributions of Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh by having a university named after him.

 

Details

  • Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh is known as a revolutionary, freedom fighter, writer and social reformer who was also a member of Lok Sabha.

  • Singh had won the election from Mathura in 1957 as an independent candidate. He had defeated Bharatiya Jan Sangh candidate and future Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

  • He established a “Provisional Government of India” in Kabul in 1915 during the World War I. He had to shift to Japan to escape British.

  • Singh was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1932. He returned to India just before India and began working with Mahatma Gandhi to realize his idea of Panchayati Raj.

 

Legacy of Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh

  • He was a non-political figure

  • He was a social reformer who promoted education.

  • He was well versed in eight different languages and practiced different religions.

  • He donated his own residence to establish the first technical school of the country.

  • He founded the world federation.

 

 

Early life

  • Singh was born in Mursan estate in Hathras in 1886 into the ruling Jat royal family. He was an explorer who took world tour in 1907.

  • The Raja studied in government school and later joined the Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College in Aligarh, which later came to be known as Aligarh Muslim University.

  • He helped establish a technical school named Prem Mahavidyalaya in 1909 by donating his own house in Mathura. It was country’s first polytechnic college.

  • The family of Raja donated vast land to set up Aligarh Muslim University. Mahendra Pratap also gave land to various educational institutions.

 

Contributions in freedom struggle

  • He joined India’s struggle for independence by leaving his estate in 1914. He set a provisional government in Kabul, of which he declared himself President and Maulana Barkatullah as prime minister

  • He visited many countries to get support for India’s independence. He travelled to Germany, Japan, Russia to meet political leader, including Vladimir Lenin.

  • He took up Gandhi’s campaign in South Africa and travelled world to expose British atrocities. He considered himself the servant of the powerless and weak.

 

Political career

Singh defeated Chaudhary Digambar Singh, the Jat leader of the Congress, and the young Vajpayee during his maiden election from Mathura to the Lok Sabha.

 

Relevance

  • The ruling BJP has lost support among the politically powerful and influential Jat community of Western UP, who have been protesting against the farm laws.

  • The party aims to gain back some support by celebrating and highlighting the legacy of one of the biggest Jat leaders and social reformer.