Mahamana Malaviya – A Giant Among Dwarfs


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DEORIA – UTTAR PRADESH – INDIA           SEPTEMBER 20, 2014           11.55 P.M.

MAHAMANA MADAN MOHAN MALAVIYA

MAHAMANA PANDIT MADAN MOHAN MALAVIYA

 

 Born December 25 , 1861 , Allahabad , India

Died November 12 , 1946 , Allahabad , India

The President of the Indian National Congress on four occasions [ 1909 / 1918 / 1930 / 1932 ]

The founding member of the Hindu Mahasabha [ 1906 ]

The President of Hindu Mahasabha [ 1923 ]

The founder of Banaras Hindu University , the largest residential university in Asia and one of the largest in the world , at Varanasi in 1916

The Vice Chancellor of Banaras Hindu University [ 1919 – 1938 ]

One of the founders of Scouting in India [ 1918 ]

The founder of English-newspaper , The Leader, published from Allahabad [ 1909 ]

The Chairman of Hindustan Times  [ 1924 to 1946 ]

Instrumental in the launch of Hindustan , the Hindi edition [ 1936 ]

Member of the Imperial Legislative Council [ 1912 – 1919 ]

Member of the Central Legislative Assembly [ 1919 – 1926 ]

Above mentioned facts about Mahamana Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya are known to all because these are continuously highlighted . You can find some more information about his Congress background on various internet postings . But his views on Hinduism and his pain and anguish on the sufferings of Hindus are not widely mentioned or chronicled . That , apart from being the president of Indian National Congress on 4 occasions , he was one of the founders of Hindu Mahasabha and was the president of Hindu Mahasabha in 1923 , is now almost forgotten .

It is widely known and well chronicled that in 1886, Mahamana Malaviya attended the 2nd session of Indian National Congress in Calcutta [ now Kolkata ] and he became the President of the Indian National Congress in 1909, 1918, 1930 and 1932 . But it is forgotten that as a leader of Indian National Congress he opposed the separate electorates for Muslims under the Lucknow Pact of 1916 . In protest against the Communal Award , which sought to provide separate electorates for minorities ,  Mahamana Malaviya along with Madhav Shrihari Aney left the Congress and started the Congress Nationalist Party . The party contested 1934 central legislature elections and won 12 seats . Some so – called secular historians try to hide this facet of Mahamana’s life .

Mahamana was fiercely opposed to the politics of appeasement of Muslims and other minorities and the participation of Congress in the Khilafat Movement . Again this fact is not so widely mentioned in his biographies .

The effort is on to obfuscate nationalist views of Mahamana and to hide his pro Hindu views from the youngsters . Therefore I thought it proper to write about his views on the issues which are surprisingly relevant even today . In the Gaya session of Hindu Mahasabha in 1923 , he expressed his views on untouchability , Hindu – Muslim problems and re – conversions of non – Hindus . When I read his presidential address , I was shocked . He had mentioned about the communal riots of Muzaffarnagar in 1923 . And you all know , even after 91 years , Muzaffarnagar is still burning .

To illuminate the nationalist image of Mahamana , I am quoting from the presidential address , which he delivered at the Gaya session of Hindu Mahasabha in 1923 . Words are ominous and they are as relevant today as they were in 1923 .

 

Mahamana on Hindu – Muslim Problem :

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” The relations between Hindus and Mahomedans have not been as happy and cordial as they ought to be . During the Bengal Partition days the Government were inciting Mahomedans to attack Hindus . In 1916 in Eastern Bengal inhuman , brutal , unparalleled atrocities were perpetrated on Hindus . Hindu women were outraged by fanatic Mahomedans and many Hindu women had to take shelter in rivers and tanks to protect their honour .

Then came the Great War in 1914 . In 1914 in the frontier districts , particularly Muzaffarnagar , Hindu houses were regularly looted and Hindu women dishonoured , but Indian patriots preached not to heed them . By Mahatma Gandhi’s advice Hindus worked with Mahomedans and helped them in the Khilafat cause , not because the former wanted something in return , but because they were for the liberty and freedom of every nation and also because of their sympathy for fellow Muslim brothers .

Again in 1920 brutal and inhuman atrocities were perpetrated on Hindus by Moplahs in Malabar . Hindu houses were looted , women were outraged , male and female butchered with the greatest cruelty for refusing to embrace Islam and many were forced into Islam at the point of the sword . It is better to die than to see women’s modesty outraged , temples attacked and burnt and idols broken . The whole of India was severely pained and afflicted at these horrible inhumanities . Due to tolerance we patiently bore all this and drank the bitter dose simply with anxiety and desire that no ill-feeling and differences be created between the two sister communities .

At Multan temples were burnt down and women’s chastity was outraged . Burnt Geeta and Granth Saheb and broken temple idols were found . Next an appeal was issued to maintain unity and peace on Bakrid day , but riots occurred at several places . Our ladies do not consider they are as safe as 50 years ago . Amritsar Hindu women do not come out of houses so frequently and abruptly as they used to do formerly . Every moment they fear of being dishonoured . Everybody knows what happened at Panipat and at Ajmer . Temples were broken and burnt and idols destroyed .

In such circumstances it is our individual and social duty to increase our strength . It is most deplorable that Hindus are so fallen that a handful of foreigners can be ruling over us . Shame on the Hindus who live to see the breaking of temples and the outrage of women . Miss Ellis was kidnapped and the vibration pervaded the whole British Empire . Behind English girls and women there is national strength which protects them wherever they go . So also with Mahomedan women . There was a time when Hindu ladies had also such national backings behind them . Unless we have such strength , we cannot continue among strong nations of the world . The main reason of the present disunity is that Hindus are comparatively weak and cannot protect their religion and women . Unity and good-will can exist only between two equally strong parties . When the irresponsible element of Muslims will realize that we can react to the policy of tit for tat they would never venture to attack us . “

Mahamana on Re-Conversion :

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Referring to the Shuddhi movement Pandit Malaviya said ,  ” there are forty-eight crores of Muslims in India of whom not more than fifty lakhs are those who might have come from outside . The rests were converted from Hinduism . Theirs is a proselytizing religion while our religion has closed the doors for those who wish to come in our fold . Mullas have recently prepared an expansive scheme for reconversion of Hindus on a grand active scale in their private very confidential meeting and have scrupulously given no publication to this resolution and they have also collected fifty lakhs , but you will be surprised to know that it has not been scrupulously kept secret . Hindus are converted by dupes . In Gujarat some Mussalmans with notices bearing prints of ‘Om preach Kalauki incarnation is H.H. Aga Khan’ say that they should join that sect . Within three years one lakh of Hindus have been converted by Khojas .

‘Is there no prayashchitta for those who unknowingly took anything touched by non-Hindus . Malkanas ought to be taken into Hinduism. He then referred to a verse in Dharmshastra Mahaprabandha which lays down that those who had been converted to other religion either by force or willingly can be taken back to the Hindu religion if they so desire . He asked the audience to decide this question.

Replying to those who say that we should not care for our numerical strength and that those who have already been converted should not be taken into Hinduism , Mahamana said : ‘When now we are so badly treated with a numerical strength of 22 crores , what would be our condition in future with a much reduced Hindu population , if we allow this rate of conversion from Hinduism and do not allow reconversion into Hinduism ? ”

Mahamana on Untouchability :

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With tears in his eyes , he took out the turban from his head during presidential address and said , ” Why should I not place my turban at the feet of my untouchable brothers who follows the Hindu religion ? Why should I not allow my untouchable brothers to have darshan in temples ? Full of sins as I am , what right have I to stop my untouchable brothers from entering temples ?’
Addressing the orthodox pandits, he then said with folded hands : ‘Oh, learned Pandits, for God’s sake do not prevent these brothers from having darshan in temples’.
Referring to permission to untouchables for drawing water from wells he said that Christians and Mahomedans are asking untouchables to embrace their religion . So long as they remain Hindu they are not allowed to draw water from wells and if they accept their faith , they will not be so outcasted , insulted, and disallowed . This exactly happened at Panipat . But this is to be remembered that these untouchables who are so outcasted by high caste people were the first to come to defend the Hindu temple at Panipat when it was attacked by Mahomedans .
Pertinently remarked Pandit Malaviya : ‘An untouchable comes under the hottest sun from your labour and is extremely thirsty . I ask what true Hindu is there who will so cruelly prevent these untouchables from drawing water from wells while they do not object untouchables’ entry in houses when their services are required.”
Mahamana’s views on above mentioned 3 topics are so true even today. A man of this prophetic vision is needed even today . We celebrated his 150th anniversary in 2011. We paid lip service to him. Government of India issued coins in his honour.
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But thats all. He adorns the wall of our parliament, but not our hearts. Today as I sit in my ancestral house and go through the pages of our recent history and remember recent incidents in Uttar Pradesh, I thought it proper to write this blog to bring out the feelings of a nationalist like MAHAMANA MADAN MOHAN MALAVIYA on today’s burning topics. I offer my tribute to the true son of Bharat Mata , to the staunch Hindu and a visionary !

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On behalf of all the students and staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Merchandise, I offer my regards to the staunch Hindu MAHAMANA MADAN MOHAN MALAVIYA.

May his soul awaken us and lead us to the goal of becoming a proud Indian!

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

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Vidur’s Travel Diary – 13 : Varanasi


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           JULY 03 , 2012           01.15 A.M.

Varanasi or Benaras or Kasi or Kashi , this old and perennial city of India , which symbolises Hindu ethos and its timeless tradition , is a new metropolis , yet it existed and started its journey several millennium ago . As per tradition and folklore it is 5000 years old city . Its mythical and cultural name is Kashi . Rigveda mentions this city as Kasi or Kashi . During British era the name was changed and the city came to be known as Benaras . After independence the city was rechristened as Varanasi . Varuna and Assi are two rivers , which caress the city from two sides , hence the city was rechristened as Varanasi .

Varanasi predates history . It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities of the world and the oldest city in India . As per Hindu mythology this city rests on the trident of Bhagwan Shiva . This city is closely associated with the legendary Raja Harishchandra , an ancestor of Bhagwan Ram . Harishchandra ghat still exists and bears his name and reminds us of his supreme sacrifices in pursuit of truth . Along with AYODHYA , MATHURA , MAYA [ HARIDWAR ] , KANCHI , AVANTIKA [ UJJAIN ] and DWARKA , Varanasi , for the Hindus , is the 7th Holiest Cities of India . I consider myself lucky and fortunate that I have chance to visit all the above mentioned seven cities .

I have been to Varanasi several times . I first visited this city with my parents and other siblings , while I was a toddler . It was for the MUNDAN [ Tonsure Ceremony ] of my younger brother . I still remember my first journey to Varanasi by train . I was a kid and I used to converse with my parents only in Bhojpuri . My father insisted that while in Varanasi , we all must converse in Hindi . I was finding it difficult and avoided speaking throughout the journey .

I have visited this city numerous times since then . Every year when I visit my native place Deoria , I have to make a halt either at Varanasi or Lucknow . This year in June , I took a morning flight from Mumbai on June 16 , 2012 and along with my wife , landed there in the afternoon . Varanasi now has a swanky and sprawling airport . Old airport was not worthy of the reputation of this ancient city . This new Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport is truly impressive .

Lal Bahadur Shastri Airport - Varanasi

Lal Bahadur Shastri Airport – Varanasi

Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport - Varanasi

Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport – Varanasi

I took a cab and drove to Hotel Gautam Grand near Varanasi Cant station .

Hotel Gautam Grand - Varanasi

Hotel Gautam Grand – Varanasi

When in Varanasi , you have to enjoy the crowded lanes and by-lanes of this mythical yet  modern metropolis . Godaulia is the nerve – centre of the city .

Godaulia - Varanasi

Godaulia – Varanasi

The world-famous Kashi Vishwanath Temple is one of the 12 JYOTIRLINGAS of Bhagwan Shiva in India . You dare not afford to miss this shrine . The old temple , built by Adi Shankaracharya in 8th century , was destroyed by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb , who built a mosque on the ruins of this temple , which , today , is known as Gyanvapi mosque . The present Kashi Vishwanath temple was built by Ahilya Bai Holkar of Indore in 1717 . This temple was adorned by Maharaja Ranjit Singh , who donated 820 k.g. gold in 1889 .

Kashi Vishwanath Temple - Entrance

Kashi Vishwanath Temple – Entrance

World Famous Lane of Vishwanath Temple

World Famous Lane of Vishwanath Temple

World Famous Lane of Vishwanath Temple

World Famous Lane of Vishwanath Temple

 

Gyanvapi, the original holy well between the t...

Gyanvapi, the original holy well between the temple and mosque (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After darshan of Kashi Vishwanath temple , you proceed to Dashashwamedha Ghat , where Ganga Aarti is performed in the evening . Dashashwamedha Ghat was built by Maharaja Savai Jai Singh II in 1693 . It is one of the 100 ghats of Varanasi . Originally Ganga Aarti was started in Haridwar by Mahamana Madan Mohan Malaviya . Few years back it was started in Varanasi also and today it is major tourist attraction .

Ganga Arti - Varanasi

Ganga Arti – Varanasi

Ganga Arti - Varanasi

Ganga Arti – Varanasi

Ganga Arti - Varanasi

Ganga Arti – Varanasi

Ganga Arti - Varanasi

Ganga Arti – Varanasi

Ganga Arti - Varanasi

Ganga Arti – Varanasi

Ganga Arti - Varanasi

Ganga Arti – Varanasi

Ganga Arti - Varanasi

Ganga Arti – Varanasi

Ganga Arti - Varanasi

Ganga Arti – Varanasi

Ganga Arti - Varanasi

Ganga Arti – Varanasi

Ganga Arti - Varanasi

Ganga Arti – Varanasi

Apart from Dashashwamedha ghat , Kedar ghat and Harishchandra ghat are other two major ghats of Varanasi .

Kedar Ghat - Varanasi

Kedar Ghat – Varanasi

Harishchandra Ghat - Varanasi

Harishchandra Ghat – Varanasi

Godaulia - Varanasi at Night

Godaulia – Varanasi at Night

A British Era Church at Godaulia

A British Era Church at Godaulia

Sankat Mochan temple is the another famous temple of Varanasi . According to the folklore , Sant Tulsidas worshipped here and Bhagwan Hanuman gave him darshan . After Kashi Vishwanath temple , it is the 2nd most revered temple of Varanasi for Hindus .

Sankat Mochan Temple

Sankat Mochan Temple

Varanasi is famous for Sants like Tulsi Das , Kabir Das , Ravi Das , Tailang Swami and Keena Ram . Tailang Swami and his disciple Keena Ram Baba followed AGHOR PANTH . Keena Ram Baba is most famous exponent of AGHOR PANTH . I visited his Ashram also . This was my first visit . I visited it twice . First visit was in the afternoon of June 16th and the second one was next day , on June 17 , 2012 .

The Ashram of Keena Ram Baba - Main Entrance

The Ashram of Keena Ram Baba – Main Entrance

At The Ashram of Keena Ram Baba

At The Ashram of Keena Ram Baba

The Ashram of Keena Ram Baba

The Ashram of Keena Ram Baba

The Ashram of Keena Ram Baba  - Residence

The Ashram of Keena Ram Baba – Residence

At Keena Ram Baba Ashram

At Keena Ram Baba Ashram

My Wife at The Ashram of Sant Keena Ram

My Wife at The Ashram of Sant Keena Ram

I left Varanasi on June 17 , 2012 in the morning . While proceeding towards Sarnath and Aundihar , I started remembering several luminaries of Indian history , who were born in Varanasi and spent their lives in this city .

Notable residents of Varanasi

Temple of Markandeya Mahadev in Aundihar is another famous shrine of Bhagwan Shiv , which I visited with my wife , while on my way to Deoria .

At Markandeya Mahadev Temple - Aundihar

At Markandeya Mahadev Temple – Aundihar

My Wife at Markandeya Mahadev Temple - Aundihar

My Wife at Markandeya Mahadev Temple – Aundihar

Varanasi is not a remote place for me . It is in between Mumbai and Deoria . I can and will visit it as long as I am alive . But then being alive is the big , unknown and unanswered question . Who knows it is my last visit or not ? Who knows whether I would be able to visit it again or not ?

I started for Deoria with heavy heart . Though I do hope to visit Varanasi again in winters for Allahabad Kumbh mela . Lines of Agyeya come running in my mind :

पार्श्व गिरि का नम्र चीड़ों में , डगर चढ़ती उमंगों सी ;

बिछी पैरों में नदी ज्यों दर्द की रेखा , विहग शिशु मौन नीड़ों में ; 

मैंने आँख भर देखा , दिया मन को दिलासा ; 
पुनः आऊँगा , भले ही बरस दिन , अनगिन युगों के बाद ;

क्षितिज ने पलक सी खोली , दमक कर दामिनी बोली ;
” अरे यायावर ! रहेगा याद ? “
………………………………………………..अज्ञेय 
[ Tenderness of mighty mountains reflected in pine trees ,
Upward moving pathways symbolizing my enthusiasm ,
River , flowing deep down like a line of pain ,
Tiny tots of birds sitting silently in their nest ,
I saw everything with contentment ,
Consoled myself , I would come again ,
After a year or may be after ages ……….
Horizon opened its eyes , lightning dazzled in the sky ,
As if saying ………………
O Wanderer ! Would you ever even remember ? ]
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