There is a saying in English, 'the king is dead, long live the king'. Perhaps it can be said with greater aptness though in a different setting, of the great and good Malaviyaji whom death has kindly delivered from physical pain and to whom his body had ceased for some time to give the work he would gladly have taken from it. Can we not say of him, 'Malaviyaji the adored of Bharatvarsha is dead, long live Malaviyaji ?'
His unremitting toil from his early youth to ripe old age has made him immortal. His services were many but the Benares Hindu University, styled in Hindi as Kashi Vishwa Vidyalaya must for all time be counted as his greatest and best creation. If it is more popularly known as the Benares Hindu University the fault was not his, or, if it was his, it was due to his magnanimous nature. He was a servant of his followers. He allowed them to do as they wished. I happen to know personally that this spirit of accommodation was part of his nature, so much so that at times it took the shape of weakness. Only he was a powerful man. And has not his own special favourite Bhagawata said that no fault accrues to the powerful?
But it is a defect which can easily be remedied now. Every stone of that majestic structure should be a reflection of true Hindu dharma or culture. The institution must not in any shape or form reflect the glory of materialism of the West that we are familiar with, but it should be a true reflection of the glory that is spiritualism. Is every pupil a representative of pure undefiled religion? If he is not, why not? This university will be judged, as all universities should be, not by the number of pupils studying at it at a given time but by their quality, however few in numbers they may be
I know that this is easier said than done. Nevertheless, it is the foundation of this university. If it is not that, it is nothing. Hence it is the clear duty of the progeny of the deceased as also his followers to give it that shape. It is essentially the function of the university to assign Hindu religion its status in the body of the religions of the world, as it is its function to rid it of its defects and limitations. The devotees of the deceased should regard it as their special duty to shoulder this burden.
Malaviyaji has left an imperishable memorial of himself in the Kashi Vishwa Vidyalaya. To put it on a stable foundation, to secure its revolutionary growth, will surely be the most suitable memorial that can be erected by us to the memory of the great patriot. He spared no pains in making a big collection for his pet child. Everyone who reveres his memory can give a helping hand to the labour of continuing the collection
His internal life was purity exemplified. He was a repository of kindness and gentleness. His knowledge of religious scriptures was very great. He was by heredity a great religious preacher. He had a marvellous memory and his life was as clean as it was simple. His politics I must leave alone as also his other manifold activities. He, whose life was singled out for selfless service and who had many gifts, would naturally stand for limitless activities. I have ventured to single out what has appealed to me as his most prominent service. And to give a real helping hand in making the institution a living example of true Hinduism will only be done by those who will try to imitate sincerely the purity and simplicity of his life
Excerpts from Mahatma Gandhi’s Speeches, Writings, Letters
When I returned to my country, I first went to Lokmanya Tilak. He appeared tall like the Himalayas. I thought it was not possible for me to scale the heights and returned. Then I went to Deshbandhu Gokhale. He appeared deep like the ocean. I saw that it was not possible for me gauge the depth and returned. Finally, I went to Mahamana Malaviya and he appeared like pure flow of the Ganga. I saw it was possible to take bath in the sacred flow
I have the privilege of knowing Pandit Malaviyaji ever since my return to India in 1915. I have had the privilege of closest communion with him. I regard him as one of the best among Hindus, who though orthodox, holds most liberal views. He is incapable of jealousy of anyone. He has a heart large enough to accommodate even his enemies. He has never aimed at power. And what he has is due to a long period of unbroken service of the motherland, such as very few of us can boast. He and I are temperamentally different but love each other like brothers. There never has been even so much as a jar between us.
Pandit Malaviyaji had harboured me in his own room. I had a glimpse of the simplicity of his life on the occasion of the foundation ceremony of the Hindu University, but on this occasion being in the same room with him I was able to observe his daily routine in the closest detail, and what I saw filled me with joyful surprise. His room presented the appearance of a free inn for all the poor. You could hardly cross from one end to the other. It was so crowded. It was accessible at all odd hours to chance visitors who had the license to take as much of his time as they liked. In a corner of this crib lay my charpai in all its dignity. I was thus enabled to hold daily discussions with Malaviyaji who used to lovingly explain to me, like an elder brother, the various view points of the different parties.
I am the devotee of Malaviyaji Maharaj. How can a devotee properly and adequately praise his master or write about him? Whatever he writes look incomplete. Through pictures I had Darshan of Malaviyaji in 1890. This picture was in paper called ‘India’ published in England by Mr.Digwi. It seems to me I am still today seeing that picture. There is abundance of unity and purity in his thoughts, looks and dress. And in this unity I find sweetness and devotion. Today who can compete with Malaviyaji in Patriotism? Beginning with his youth and till date his patriotism flows uninterrupted like Ganga.(While leaving for England, 07-09-1931)
Patriotism and service to Motherland is food for Malaviyaji. He can never, ever leave it, just as it impossible to leave daily recitation of Bhagwad Gita. Patriotism and service to motherland together is breath of life for him. That is why till he breathes he will ceaselessly continue to serve motherland and humanity.
Innocent Hindu and Musalman brothers were saved (after the Jalianwala Bagh incident) due to unprecedented efforts of Malaviyaji in Punjab
Even today, leaving his law practice of more than a lakh of monthly income, he is ceaselessly involved in the service of the country.(Aaj, Hindi Daily, 4th Nov 1920)
No aspect of Malaviyaji is hidden from me. I am well aware of his simplicity, purity, tenderness and love. From all these virtues of him, you must take as much as you (student & teacher) can. If someone cannot take the warmth of sun, even being in the open, it is not the fault of sun. Sun itself gives warmth to one and all. If someone does not want to take it and shivers in cold then what can sun do? Being so close to Malaviyaji, if you cannot learn from his life simplicity, sacrifice, patriotism, large heartedness, universal love and other virtues, then who can be a greater unlucky person than you?
Among the living Indians I cannot see greater patriot doing immense service to mother India than him. Ever since I came from Africa I am his devotee, a disciple. He is Vice Chancellor of BHU, founded by him. He is its soul and to respect him is our religion, our duty. It is true BHU is his life, but Bharat for him is even more than his life. Malaviyaji has a firm conviction that no one is capable of harming Bharat
Remember, millions of poor people will never have access to the facilities that Malaviyaji has provided for you. What return will you make to these brothers and sisters of yours? You may be sure that when he conceived the plan of this university, he had the question in mind and he embarked on the mission in the hope that you would so conduct yourselves as to deserve the training given to you.
(On a visit to BHU in 1929).
Everyone knows that there is no great beggar than Pandit Malaviyaji on the face of the earth. He has never begged for himself, by the grace of god he has never been in want, but he became a voluntary beggar for causes he has made his own, and God has always filled his bowl in an overflowing measure. But he had an insatiable appetite and although he got the crore he wanted he is still asking for more.(Silver Jubilee address, BHU, 1942)
He is immortal. His labour from youth to ripe old age has made him immortal. He was servant to his followers. Reconciliation was in his nature.... His life was epitome of the holy. He was the image of mercy and softness.(At Noakhali -- on Malaviyaji’s passing away)
नूतन जुग सूर्य उठिल, छुटिल तिमिर रात्रि !
तब मंदिर आँगन भरि, मिलिल सकल जात्री !
दिन आगत ओई, भारत तबउ कोई ?
गत गौरव हत आसान, नत मस्तक लाजे !
ग्लानि तार मोचन कर, नर समाज माझे !
स्थान दाओ, स्थान दाओ, दाओ दाओ स्थान है !
जागृत भगवान है !
नूतन युग का प्रकाश आ गया ! रात्रि का अंधकार भी छट गया !
आगे जाने वाले यात्रियों का समय आ पंहुचा, लेकिन उनमे भारत नहीं दिखाई देता !
आज भारत का गौरव लुप्त हो गया, उसका आसन छीन गया, और लज्जा से वे नतमस्तक है !
है जागृत भगवान !
उसकी ग्लानि मिटाकर उसे स्थान देने की कृपा करे !
The birth, growth and development of the great Benares Hindu University are due to the unceasing labours of Panditji. He has literally spent himself in its maintenance and progress. When many other things are forgotten, this University will remain as a permanent monument to his life and personality.
In Malaviyaji we find a combination of the two great qualities of Yoga or contemplative energy, of Lord Krishna and practical efficiency of Arjuna, and it is this combination that has brought about this great institution to which we have the honour to belong. Pandit Malaviyaji is a Karmayogin. Our country requires Karmayogin most to-day. He materialized his dream and founded the Hindu University. He is not only a representative of Hinduism but the soul of Hinduism. He had striven all through his life for the Hindu ideals and we see the combination of idealism and practical wisdom with the result that side by side with cultural studies in the University, we have provision for imparting technical education…. He (Panditji) does not want to follow the 5,000 year old India. He has adjusted himself to the spirit of modern times and has been trying to do his level best to inspire his countrymen with progressive impulses and utilize Science for the service of man. While preserving the imperishable treasures of our past, he is keen on moving forward with the times. He is responsible to an extent for the renaissance of the Hindu spirit in our land. The renewal of these ideals and their application to the material needs of our country is an important lesson which we take from the life of Panditji.
I feel honoured by the invitation to unveil this life-size statue of Mahamana Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya installed on a pedestal of the BHU Gate. He was born on December 25th the Christmas Day. It symbolizes peace on earth and good will to man. If anyone embodied the great quality of love and peace and friendship it is Madan Mohan Malaviya. There was no trace of ill-will or hatred in him. Love is blind, but truth is blinder. We all know it. That is why in our scriptures when teacher and pupil sit together we say मा विद्विषावहै- “We do not hate each other.” We will develop love between ourselves. That is how we started.
I know Madan Mohan Malaviya for many years. In 1908, when he came to Madras in connection with the Indian National Congress I looked at him as a cat looks at the cage and never had an opportunity of meeting or talking to him. But I listened to his oratory. He was the greatest orator in both Hindi and English. We had some illustrations of it just now
I again met him in Bangalore while he was convalescing. The words which you just heard in his speech, he used it in an appeal to lift the submerged persons of humanity.
यतां धर्मसर्वस्वं श्रुत्वा चैवावधार्यताम् I
आत्मन: प्रतिकूलानि परेषां न समाचरेत II
“What you don’t wish to be done to yourself, don’t do to others.” That philosophy counted when he was asking the people of Bangalore to raise the down-trodden and the fallen people of this country whom we now call the Harijans.
After that I met him in London when he was the member of the Round Table Conference. He tried to conform to his orthodox habits even in that distant part of the country where he was. Again I saw him a number of times in Delhi, Benares etc., till at last I came here as the Vice-Chancellor of the University and spent a happy eight year period
Yesterday, I was at Jamshedpur and I was told that, the town had about two to three hundred graduates of Banaras Hindu University working there in Mining, Metallurgy, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering. As an outstanding sturdy patriot he realized that our country suffered on account of technical backwardness, lack of public spirit, inattention to our own great culture. These were the defects which he attempted to remove by the establishment of this University.
He established for the first time institutions for Glass Technology, Pharmaceuticals, Chemistry, Mining and Metallurgy, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering. There were other courses which were found in other Universities but these were the special things which were the characteristics of this University. In whatever part of the country you go, you find graduates of the Banaras Hindu University. Public spirit, the embodiment of it, he worked for several movements, social, political etc. but the most important monument of his work is this University, and the greatest character of Malaviya was his devotion to Indian culture. The speeches which you just listened to will give you an idea of how his enduring passion was to make Indian culture alive.
He is said to be a supporter of Sanatana Dharma. What is Sanatana Dharma? Not the rites and the ceremony, not the different things which have changed from centuries but there are certain qualities which are of universal character which has got an appeal in vitality even to-day. अभय, अहिंसा, असंग Abhay, Ahinsa, Asang. These are qualities which are the characteristics of Indian culture. अभय Freedom from fear, integrity of spirit…. We can be free from fear…. If we want to have Abhaya the first thing that we have to do is to ascertain whether this passing show is all or whether there is something behind this which gives meaning and significance to it and which makes us feel though temporal things may pass away, there is permanent reality, that sense of security. That alone can give the human mind true security. If that is Abhaya it remains to be followed that it must result in action of love and friendship, Ahimsa. You find Dhammapada saying Victory breeds hatred. The conquered live in sorrow. The Yogasutra tells us when Ahinsa is established, there is वैरत्याग (Vairatyaga). There is complete aspect of renunciation, so to say, of hatred. Violence in deed, violence in speech, these are the things which are subdued. We are called upon to practice friendship and love. All our great ethics, all our great scriptures call upon us to adopt such higher attitude. Indignation, anger, passion, greed, these are opposite of Ahimsa. We are talking to-day about disarmament, why are there armaments? Armaments are there because we want to defend our own injustices. Racial discrimination, colonial domination; these things are there. Why are these things there? Why do we have colonial domination? Why do we have racial discrimination? On account of our greed, on account of our passion. The crisis in the world is the reflection of the crisis in the human soul. If we want to rebuild this world, we have to remake the human individual. We have to change ourselves if we wish to bring about a changed world. You and I are responsible for the present condition of the world and if that has to be altered you and I have to change. It is this remaking of self, the substitution of love for hate, of friendship for antagonism, that is the thing which we are called upon to adopt. It does not mean that we should retire from the world, when we want to enjoy what in essence reality is. We should try to live in the world, reduce and minimize its suffering…. The truly religious man is not the man who stays on the top of a hill for all time; who gets away from life. He wants to live in this world and reduce the sufferings in the world
विदेही सर्वदा मुक्तः कुर्वतो नास्ति कर्तृता I
अवेपमानमाश्रित्य श्रीकृष्ण जनकं यथा II
Shri Krishna and Shri Janaka filled with spiritual wisdom … tried to rectify the wrongs, tried to remove the inequalities and the injustices, tried to raise the world to a higher plane…
And when Malaviyaji took up this problem of raising our country from slavery to freedom, from spiritual ignorance to some kind of spiritual enlightenment, he tried to remove all the technical difficulties and defects from which we suffer. He tried to throw himself into the work of the world. He tried to do what no man can do, he has done a great deal to remove the suffering in this world, to raise the country to a higher level. Religion is a supreme effort to improve the human condition. It is there for the purpose of helping us to feel that there is nothing to be afraid of. मा शुचः “Do not fear.” That’s the advice of Sri Krishna. The Upanishads say- यतो वाचो निवर्तन्ते अप्राप्य मनसा सह I आनन्दं ब्राह्म्णों विद्वान न विभेति कदाचनेति He is never afraid of anything that can happen. It is that sort of religion which we should have. It is not metaphysical speculation; it is remaking of man’s own nature. The absolute experience cannot be brought out by absolute language. The language guarded religion can never grasp the essentials of action. It is therefore that our people insisted again and again, “Do not follow the way of hatred.” We have shown such an enormous amount of hospitality to other creeds. If experience is there, it can be expressed through poetry, through silence, through adoration, through prayer, but it can’t be expressed through words…. Then these words must be regarded as relative expression never raised to the rank of absolute. If we have that it will be possible for us to live in this world as friends and comrades in one supreme spiritual quest. We should not regard ourselves as rivals fighting with one another. We should regard ourselves as partners in the supreme task of raising the level of humankind.
These three points of Abhaya, Ahimsa, and Asang must be regarded as the category of Sanatana Dharma. It is not whether you cross the sea or whether you touch this food or that food. They do not constitute the essential religion. We have suffered; lives are broken; opportunities are wasted; hearts are angry on account of our submission to this rigid fanaticism and false orthodoxy. These things have to be set aside. The truly religious man is one who harbours no greed, no passion, no hatred; he will look upon others as brothers. There are no strangers for him. There are no enemies for him. If the world is to be lifted and established on a better plane it is only due to that. I hope that all those who study in this University and all those who enter this University, will look at the statue which I have now the pleasure of unveiling and will remember his fascination for patriotism, his insistence on purity, his adherence to supreme, for the rational values of life – fearlessness, love and detachment
(Excerpts from the speech delivered by Dr S. Radhakrishnan on the occasion of unveiling of the statue of Pandit Malaviya at the BHU Gate)
Malaviyaji’s birthday is an auspicious day for our country. Especially for us, who live in this city of Prayag. Today, the past days flash across my eyes, particularly those days when I had returned to Allahabad after some studies. In a way, from my early childhood, I do not remember exactly from when, I have been seeing Malaviyaji from a distance, just as children look at the elders. He used to love me and I respected him. Then I was out of my country for a long period. When I was back, I got involved in many things, politics as well. That was the time of fire and enthusiasm of youth. I remember that in those days, I would often go to Bharati Bhavan to visit him. I had my doubts and was baffled why nothing happens here and why people become lazy and laid back. I would ask him and he would explain; something I would understand and still I would remain confused. The confusion was a general one. The condition of Hindustan was not good at all. Particularly, I remember those days in the beginning when I used to go to him; sometimes alone and sometimes with others. I would try to understand from him the political situation here. And then I myself plunged into this realm and got many opportunities to meet him. Those were the days of the First World War. Our political activities were dampened because the World War was going on. Attention was diverted to what would happen to the world. With the turn of events, few new thoughts came up and gradually the winds of change led to Hindustan’s step forward. Probably, people may still remember that period when Lokmanya Tilak started a ‘Home Rule League’ and another one by Annie Besant. Our organization Congress, whose oldest and tallest leader was Malaviyaji, too had started waking up
The War ended and other events followed. In a few days, Punjab massacre took place. Malaviyaji had a great role to play during the period of Marshal Law and its fall out, the shame, the enquiry and the relief work for help. It was then that I got an opportunity to work well with him in Lahore, in Punjab, in Amritsar and in Shimla, where at that time the old Imperial Council held its meetings. I had known Malaviyaji since a long time from a distance and now I got an opportunity to know him better from nearby. He always explained and clarified things to me with love and affection. Sometimes, I would take liberty to argue with him; even then he tried to explain with love. Sometimes it was not possible to fully agree with him, but the method of his explanation was soft. His method itself was sweet and loving. That would leave profound impressions whether any one agreed with his views or not. After that the Non-Cooperation movement started and there were different views. Gandhiji entered the field. Even during this period also his influence was not merely in Allahabad, but it was very powerful in the politics of the entire country
Despite our fondness for him, we would, as young men of those days, at times complained to him. The complaint according to us was that he was slow. This was, what I should say, our youthful anguish to think that any one not fully agreeing with our views was slow. Let that be. Ever since Congress was started, he had been a unique symbol of our political movements. Malaviyaji had a big role in its inception, in its making and its growth. There is no doubt that with the moving tides of time, Malaviyaji was not only in the forefront but also was a link to unite – to unite the radicals and the moderates in Congress. It was not his nature to oppose vehemently. A remarkable part of his personality was while standing firm on his conviction, he remained with others and tried to bring them together
hen came a period when I had to meet him frequently. Today, such pictures come in front of me and I see what a big role he had in shaping up the Indian politics in all these years. This was as far as politics is concerned, which itself was great indeed. Another remarkable point was his special inclination towards our ancient culture. He was always trying to enrich it and you can find his impressions everywhere. The position during those days was something like this. The opinions he expressed were right in my way of thinking, but there were arguments which continue even today about language and sometimes about some other subject. However, Malaviyaji was never an opponent of any language. He wanted that Hindi and Sanskrit should prosper in the country and he was right. Education and arts are the true wealth, which make us grow in stature and the more you have them the better it is.
The political leaders of that period were different; our country then had many stalwarts. It was a unique era when great people were born in many parts of the country. Many of them were drawn towards Congress. Many types of people were there, different in views and dissimilar in interests.
And among those great leaders of the time, Malaviyaji paid the most intense attention on ancient culture, our rich heritage. In the conditions at that time, it was very good because the nation was groping in the dark; it had already gone wayward. The first point is that among our people, every one big and small, a new English speaking elite caste was establishing itself. While politically we were opposing the English rule, the English culture, the culture of Angreziat was influencing the leaders of that time. This was not surprising; it was to happen that way only; it happened in other countries also. Not only English, a new wave had enveloped entire Europe; and on its back was a new era of industries, factories and science. And the result was a good one and we were attempting to make it ours also. But apart from this, there are other things. A few great people were looking at the larger vision. Malaviyaji put his entire stress on Hindustaniyat, on Bharatiyata and to balance the views to some extent. That time also there were many people, many learned ones, cultured and erudite scholars; but as per my understanding Malaviyaji was probably far ahead in this matter among the political leaders, the big leaders. He was stopping the flood of Angreziat not through opposition but by doing his work; by his thoughts he was trying to enrich our culture. In this connection his great work was the establishment of Hindu Vishwavidyalay (Banaras Hindu University). That was great indeed. The goal of the university, its object, was to blend today’s science and its off-springs like technology, industry etc with our ancient Indian culture. In a way it was a great work for India. Even now it is, because it is not a work of a day or two. On one side is our ancient culture which we have to understand well. We have been moulded in it for hundreds-thousands of years. It was very valuable for the country and to forget it is a sort of forgetting ourselves because we have grown and are made up from the same soil. If we forget it we will have no roots, which are very essential. But along with it, it is also important to know the present day world. Today’s world belongs to science and if we do not understand it, we will lag behind. We have lost our freedom. The biggest question in front of us today is how to understand it to improve the financial status of our country and make it better. Therefore, if you see both these sides, you will understand the need of both. Our country needs both. If only one is there and not the second, we cannot march ahead. If the first is not there, that means if we forget the ancient culture, we will become rootless, we will remain artificial people. No country can grow much by artificiality; this has to be learnt by every country, understand it fully and well. We cannot progress much by just talking about the country’s great past without understanding today’s world, today’s science etc and then we will not be useful in today’s world, will become strength-less, weak, will not be able to retain our freedom, cannot make ourselves prosperous and our economic position will not be good. The world belongs to science and science is a part of knowledge. Science has given man great power. Therefore both the sides are essential for the growth of India. Even if one separates out, then it becomes like a one wheeled vehicle.
Malaviyaji had both the sights in front of him. He put both the objects in front of the Banaras University and the same challenge is there in front of all of us today. The vehicle of Hindusthan went ahead speedily on these two wheels. Today’s youth complain of the slow march, just as we complained that the old people were slow and shoddy, that they do not have that much zeal, that much courage as we have. In every period, our youth understand the same way. If we read the lectures of the people who started Congress—whether of Dadabhai Naoroji or other great people or of Malaviyaji — they appear to be in mild tone. But people forget what the times were then, what conditions prevailed then, what efforts were made for change. Comparing the ten-twenty year old happenings with today’s yardstick has no meaning; that will be beyond our understanding. When you see with this view, you will comprehend how Malaviyaji led the nation, how was his leadership, how he was in the forefront of our political movement. You will find the old leaders of Congress, (respected Malaviyaji was among the greatest of those leaders), as great from any standard of comparison in the world.
He was a great man who took out the country from that bad situation, a noble man in thoughts and in sacrifice. In addition to these, he was a great visionary who also built, not broke, unlike most of the so-called revolutionaries who pay more attention to breaking than to making. In other countries also, whether it be Asia or Africa, we see that to build is more difficult than to break. Our elderly leaders’ attention was always on building, not on breaking. Malaviyaji was a special example of this, he was great, he used to bring about change by his effort. He was a true revolutionary and there is no doubt about this. It is not that he made some institutions, he made many of them, but he made the people of India. He desired that the people of India should gain courage, their head held high, and with confidence in themselves.
A leader has to go forward and take his people step by step and keep the steps together. If leader goes too far, then the people will fall behind. There is no use for the group, for the people. This way you can judge the times and the leader. Therefore, if we measure from this standard and see what relationship Malaviyaji had with his times and with the old generations, then you will gauge how big he was and how great he was. And Malaviyaji was forward looking and taking people forward also. There is no doubt that he was a Mahapurush (a great soul) of our country. The entire country is proud of him, and those living in Allahabad should be particularly proud that such a great man was born here in our city. We should pay our tributes to him. Banaras University is his greatest legacy. What greater memorial can there be than this? In the past seventy years of our political history, in the history of India, his name is shining like a bright star. From the beginning, he took part in Congress and in many other fields and made them sparkle and progress further.
The youth of today are in a different age; they probably cannot even understand fully what happened or did not happen in our fight for freedom. Yes, they hear some stories, read some things from the books, but can never fully feel the way someone who has seen with his eyes and experienced the events. It will be good if young people try to understand some such great people and find what they were, what all they did in their time, how they extricated Hindustan and its people from a deep gorge in which they had fallen
The country progresses not on the basis of the money (money is also important and is required) it has but on the basis of the quality of its people. And you will see that a great person born amidst us faces the question of how to uplift people. Malaviyaji and Gandhiji’s attention was to uplift the peasantry, the depressed people, and the downtrodden. How these people can lift their head, have confidence in themselves, work together in cooperation? Malaviyaji and Gandhiji used to think that when freedom arrives and the people are not ready, it will go away, it will not stay. If people are educated, freedom will come and it will remain
Malaviyaji and Gandhiji looked to the future – to make everyone progressive, educated, uplifted. Brick by brick, stone by stone, the two great men tried to make the future of India bright. They made us, they made the people. We were given opportunity so that we can do something in our time; just like now the time has come for the present youth. And they will also do something, because all structures are built, from where they can go further. People of today can profit from past experience and with intelligence can improve on it. People will keep growing day by day, always
On such an occasion when we remember a great person, we should get an inspiration, a lesson from his life. In this way we can learn many things. What is the history of the world? There are many things in world history, but world history is the life story of people who are of higher calibre, who are great. There are other opinions also, but in reality probably this is the most important thing
Today’s people, today’s youth can learn a lot from Malaviayji’s life -- from the goal he had in front of him, how he worked and how he succeeded. To erect statues, to establish organisations is alright, but let us learn from his life, let us learn more from his work and go in that path. That will become the greatest memorial! It is good the time has come for celebrating his centenary. Let old and new people of Hindu Vishwavidyalay think again, discuss and learn whatever made Malaviyaji such a great person (Mahapurush), how he encouraged everyone in the path of India’s freedom, in the path of respecting our culture and how we follow in the path shown by him and serve India and progress ahead. Jai Hind!
(Pt. JawaharLal Nehru was the Chairman of the Committee of Birth Centenary of Mahamana Madan Mohan Malaviyaji and delivered this address in 1961, at Allahabad in Hindi. Edited version of the translation by Shri K. Chandramauli (Bangalore).
"A giant among men, one of those who laid the foundation of modern Indian Nationalism and, year by year, built up brick by brick and stone by stone, the noble edifice of Indian freedom. With his passing, perhaps it might be said that a certain age in Indian Politics had closed. Men like Pandit Malaviya laboured in days when they had to face enormous difficulties. My earliest memories of childhood are connected so far as Indian politics is concerned with Pandit Malaviya. Somehow Indian politics took shape in my boyhood eyes in Malaviyaji's face and figure.
Pandit Nehru, As Leader of the Central Assembly on 13.11.46, New Delhi
Malaviyaji did not belong to one man and to one country. He was a man of universal fame. By his death a void has been created which would be difficult to fill. His noble example and works will be a sort of inspiration for generations to come.
Pandit Malaviya was a true servant of the country. His services were too many to be recounted in a few sentences. In spite of his differences Malaviyaji continued to help and guide the Congress at critical times. During the Congress movements of 1921, 30 and 42, when all other leaders of the Congress were arrested Malaviyaji guided the followers of the Congress.
Benares Hindu University is a living example of his services to education. Although he was himself poor, he collected crores of rupees for the university.
As a religionist Pt. Malaviya did immense good to the country. He was very accommodating to men of other religions who went to see him.
In public work of any kind in India during the latter half of the 19th century and first half of the 20th century, it is impossible not to have known Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya. The gamut of his activities was wide enough to include political, social, educational and religious activities and he has personality which enabled him to influence all these spheres with equal felicity.
He has left us a rich legacy of devoted service and sacrifice for the country in the many fields in which he undertook and accomplished great things.
A great soul has left us. His name and work would inspire future generation and give the message that for a determined person nothing is impossible. His service to nation is beyond words. The vacuum created by his death can't be filled. He was a real patriot.
At every point in time in human development, we have great individuals who are great scholars or professionals with great insight into issues that are topical, but more than that visualize a future course for posterity. Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviyaji is one such great son of India. He excelled in every field of his association, be it the Freedom Movement, Journalism, Law, Education, Hindi, Upliftment of the Downtrodden, Social Welfare or Dharma. As an extraordinary visionary, he saw beyond the Country's freedom into the needs of a 'Resurgent Modern India'. He founded the Bañaras Hindu University, which is a pride of modern India. His thoughts, ideologies, and values are very important and extremely relevant today.
Mahatma Gandhi says that he went to Mahamana Malaviya and he appeared like the pure flow of Ganga. He saw it was possible to take bath in the sacred flow. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru describes him as a giant among men, one of those who laid the foundation of modern Indian Nationalism. Dr. Radhakrishnan sees him as an outstanding sturdy patriot who realized that our country suffered on account of technical backwardness, lack of public spirit, and inattention to our own great culture. These were the defects which he attempted to remove by the establishment of BHU. Pandit Malaviya’s own hope and prayer in conceiving the BHU was that this centre of life and light, that is coming into existence will produce students who will not only be intellectually equal to the best of students in other parts of the world, but also will live a noble life, love their country and be loyal to the supreme ruler. What messages do original thinkers and creators of institutions give.
In my opinion, based on the study of number of visionaries like Swami Vivekananda, Vikram Sarabhai, Jamshedji Tata, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Pundit Madan Mohan Malaviya, I feel they have some unique characteristics:
* Visionaries take great efforts to get to the root of current issues, but conceive long lasting solutions
*They develop an integrative thinking
*They are courageous to launch an unexplored path, the impact of that may not be obvious at that time
*They don’t just see an institution merely as an educational or research set up, but as nurturing grounds for excellence , research and human values
*They remain as role models for posterity
*They are not deterred by differences of opinions but are wedded to their cause which is unquestionable
I am delighted to participate in the inauguration of National Memorial of Mahamana Madan Mohan Malaviya. My greetings to the organizers, participants, BHU Alumni and the distinguished guests.
I appreciate and congratulate the team that was responsible in building the beautiful dynamic memorial for remembering the great son of our country, Mahamana Madam Mohan Malaviya. With these words I inaugurate the National Memorial For Mahamana Madan Mohan Malaviya.
My best wishes to all the members for success in the mission of promoting quality education to the youth based on the tradition set by Mahamana Madan Mohan Malaviya.
(Excerpts from Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam’s speech at the inauguration of the National memorial in honour of Madan Mohan Malviya in New Delhi on 25.12.2008)
I am delighted to participate in the Mahamana Madan Mohan Malaviya Commemoration of the 150th Birth Anniversary organised by Mahamana Malaviya Mission in association with the BHU Alumni Association at Mumbai
When I think of Madan Mohan Malaviyaji, immediately my mind goes to what Mahatma Gandhi said about Malaviyaji. He says, "I do not consider anyone a greater patriot than Malaviyaji. I always worship him. I do not see any one among the present Indians who serves the country better than him".
The Foundation stone for the Banaras Hindu University was laid in 4 Feb 1916, by Lord Hardinge, the then Viceroy and Governor General of India in an elaborated arranged ceremony at Nagwa, where Mahatma Gandhi, Mrs. Annie Besant, Maharajas connected with the university society and eminent people from all over the country and the public at large participated. In the last portion of the Foundation slab of BHU reads: "The Prime instrument of the Divine Will in this work was the Malaviya Brahmana, Madan Mohan, lover of his motherland. Unto him the Lord gave the gift of speech, and awakened India with his voice and induced the leaders and the rulers of the people into this End". What is the "end"? The end is, blossoming of the great university the BHU for the benefit of the nation.
When I am in the environment of a large number of Banaras Hindu University Alumni, I want to share certain thoughts. I visited BHU on a number of occasions, as a teacher, as a lecturer. I have given series of lectures in many areas. I have visited a number of Laboratories in BHU and have witnessed the intensive research focus. Friends, me and you BHU Alumni, how do we fulfill the great mission of Malaviyaji, the dream of BHU becoming a great university in the world. This is possible only by research environment, research teachers and above all the research culture. Today, the world class universities are known from the top 1 to 10, for example, only because of the intensive research environment and great scientific environment and above all intellectual dynamics.
Friends, BHU has been a premier education and research University in the country and one of the leading institutions in the world. How will this University meet the challenge in the coming century? Based on my visits to all the States and Union Territories in the country and 25 countries in Asia, Europe and Africa and America and meeting over 15 million youth, I realize that all the youth irrespective of which country they belong to, aspire to live in a peaceful, happy, prosperous and safe nation. What does it mean? It means that economic prosperity alone is not sufficient. It has to be complimented with the value systems and our five thousand years old Civilizational heritage which has genetically shaped the Indian people. I personally believe, when the nation is progressing towards economic development, it is also essential to build education with value system drawn from our Civilizational heritage. I visualize the BHU has to have the vision for the next few decades to fulfil the vision of Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviyaji.
My best wishes and greetings to all for … realizing his dream in the mission of developing quality human resources for the nation
(Excerpts from Dr Kalam’s Address at Mumbai, Dec 9 2012)
Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviyaji was one of the greatest leaders of our freedom struggle who shaped the values and ideals of modern India. Like many leaders of that generation, he was a man of many parts and his genius as an educationist, as a social reformer, as a writer and as a legislator has left a deep imprint on our polity and on our society.
We remember Malaviyaji as the founder of the Banaras Hindu University, which is today one of the premier national universities in the country with nearly twenty thousand students and 140 departments ranging from social sciences to medicine and engineering.
Malaviyaji wanted the youth of India to benefit from an integrated education that incorporated modern scientific knowledge, practical training, ethical standard and the study of the arts. He wanted to blend the best of Indian learning with the modern scientific ideas of the West.
I can do no better than to quote his message on the founding of the Banaras Hindu University. “India is not a country of the Hindus only. It is a country of the Muslims, the Christians and the Parsees too. The country can gain strength and develop itself only when the people of the different communities in India live in mutual goodwill and harmony. It is my earnest hope and prayer that this centre of life and light which is coming into existence, will produce students who will not only be intellectually equal to the best of their fellow students in other parts of the world, but will also live a noble life, love their country and be loyal to the Supreme ruler. "
I cannot think of a better ideal of education in our country and it remains as relevant today as it was when it was written nearly a hundred years ago. Malaviyaji believed in the power of education and morality in arousing the national consciousness.
That was an era when a group of like-minded individuals, who were men and women of unimpeachable integrity and intellectual giants in their own rights, provided moral, intellectual and political leadership of a rare quality to our country. They were widely loved and respected and their politics was infused with a high degree of idealism, selfless service and the hope of building a new and modern India unshackled from colonial subjugation
Despite the cynicism that prevails today around us, I believe that in the heart of each one of us there is a yearning for decency, for goodness and respect for fundamental human values. These are the same values that we associate with the founding fathers of our republic. And it is our bounden duty to remind successive generations of what they aspired for in building a free and modern India.
I am extremely happy at the initiative taken by the Ministry of Culture to celebrate the life and achievements of one of our great patriots that Malaviyaji was. At the first meeting of the National Committee headed by me that was set up to Commemorate the 150th Birth Anniversary Year of Malaviyaji, we received a number of very constructive suggestions on the commemorative events to be organized. We have established a National Implementation Committee headed by renowned scholar-statesman Dr. Karan Singh to oversee the implementation of the various events.
A wide range of projects are being undertaken as part of the commemoration to make Malaviyaji’s ideals and achievements more accessible to a wider audience. Our aim is to motivate the youth of our country to learn and be inspired by his thoughts, by his teachings and by his achievements.
I am particularly glad to learn that special efforts are being made to translate the biography and literary works of Malaviyaji in different Indian languages. A series of countrywide seminars, lectures and exhibitions will be organised for spreading his message to the people at large
A Centre for Malaviya studies will be set up at the Banaras Hindu University, where a digital collection of Malaviyaji's writings will be compiled for the first time. We also plan to establish chairs, scholarships and education related awards in his memory.
I do hope commemorative events will capture the multi-faceted genius of Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya and his versatile contributions to the making of history of modern India.
(Speech at the inaugural function, Commemoration of 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahamana Madan Mohan Malaviya, December 27, 2011, New Delhi)
I am delighted to be present here in this famous seat of learning founded by the great patriot, Mahamana Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya Ji
It is a happy moment for all of us that we are commemorating this event by conferring the highest degree of the University on the Hon'ble President of Nepal, a country with which India has deep cultural affinity and historical ties. In fact, Kashi or Varanasi - has age old linkages with the people of Nepal. The Banaras Hindu University since its inception has carried forward this tradition with students from Nepal almost always on its rolls. Among its alumni are scores of leaders, ministers, parliamentarians, judges, academicians, public figures and citizens from Nepal. It is indeed most befitting that we are honouring the First Citizen of this great country and close neighbour of ours
It is also a matter of great pleasure that the University has established two very important interdisciplinary centres - namely Malaviya Centre for Human Values and Ethics and Inter-Cultural Studies Centre - to promote the vision and ideas of the Mahamana. These are endeavours to keep the noble mission of the Mahamana alive. I am therefore pleased to lay the foundation stone today for the building of these two centres proposed to be located in the Malaviya Heritage Complex.
A true son of the soil, Malaviyaji dedicated his whole life in the service of the nation. A statesman, scholar, educationist, journalist, social reformer and legislator, his contribution to the making of Modern India has been immense and varied. He was one of the foremost architects of Modern India and also one of the important leaders of the Indian National Movement. I recall the glowing words with which Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru paid tribute to Malaviyaji: "A giant among men, one of those who laid the foundation of modern Indian nationalism and, year by year, built up, brick by brick and stone by stone, the noble edifice of Indian freedom."
An intellectual and practical champion of global peace and intercultural harmony, Mahamana sought to draw the best from the eastern learning and western scientific knowledge. He strived to create a holistic template of education and actualize the same through the Banaras Hindu University which he established in the year 1916.
Banaras Hindu University was the first unitary and residential teaching university of India built through public donations collected by Mahamana. It is also the first example of community participation in higher education in India. This university was established to bring about a synergy in ancient traditions and modern understandings as also to align Indian wisdom with western knowledge. Thus this great seat of learning not only embodied the assertion of Indian genius but also became a site for nourishing the holistic vision of nationalism and universal values. The noble work of this great patriot was acknowledged by Mahatma Gandhi on behalf of the nation in following words: "Great as are Malaviyaji's services to the country, I have no doubt that the Banaras Hindu University constitutes his greatest service and achievement, and he has worn himself out for the work that is dear to him as life itself."
I am happy to see that Malaviyaji's dream-child, the Banaras Hindu University, has moved from strength to strength and is soon going to complete its centenary. It is now one of the largest universities in India with maximum number of academic disciplines and departments. Its illustrious alumni are spread far and wide bringing laurels to the country and society.
Universities are the fountainhead of knowledge and its dissemination. They have to discover fresh perspectives and assume new responsibilities to meet the imperatives of holistic human and social development. In this sense, higher education should offer a bridge between scientific knowledge and societal needs. Mahamana believed that human values and societal commitment must be inculcated in the students. In his words, "A teaching university would but half perform its function if it does not seek to develop the heart power of its scholar with the same solicitude with which it would develop their brain power." Much later, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru also expressed similar views about role and responsibilities of universities. He said, "A university stands for humanism, for tolerance, for reason, for adventure of ideas and for the search of truth. It stands for the onward march of human race towards even higher objectives. If the universities discharge their duties adequately, then it is well with the nation and the people."
Malaviyaji accorded great importance to the universal spread of learning and scholarship. He felt that education was the only way to revive the national pride and considered it a vehicle of social and cultural transformation. His vaulting ambition and bold vision could be seen in his words "Let us have charge of the education of the country with sufficient funds at our disposal, and on behalf of all my fellow-educationists in India, I promise that in course of a few short years we shall banish illiteracy from the land, and spread education and ideas of citizenship among our people to such an extent that the fog of communalism will vanish before the sun of nationalism, which it will be our earnest and proud endeavour to install in the hearts of our people." The fact that illiteracy still remains to be banished and the fog of communalism is yet to vanish, reminds us of the unfinished task ahead of us.
In a Convocation speech, Malaviyaji said two ancient injunctions that lay down a complete code of conduct for all humankind and all religion are "one should not do unto others that which he would dislike if it were done to him"; and "whatever one desires for himself, that he should desire for others also".
Mahamana was a great votary of women's education. He said "education of our women is a matter of even greater importance than the education of our men. They are the mothers of the future generations of India". With this vision, he established a Women's College in this university. Mahamana's emphasis on women's education and empowerment should inspire us to redouble efforts in this regard. Permit me to use this occasion to express deep anguish and dismay over the recent incident of a brutal attack on a 23 year old girl in our capital city of Delhi. My heart goes out to this young girl and her family who have demonstrated extraordinary courage amidst the worst adversity and I request all of you to join me in praying for her speedy recovery
he nation has been witness to the anger and rage of our youth who have gathered in the streets of Delhi and other cities to demand stronger measures to ensure the safety of women and more stringent laws to provide deterrent penalty to criminals who endanger our women. I am certain that, the Government will take all necessary steps to ensure that such incidents do not occur in future. The Prime Minister has assured that all possible efforts to ensure security and safety of women will be made. Let me also remind our young friends that their anger is justified. I understand agony of your mind but please remember nothing is achieved through violence. Please take hold of your emotions and act with reason. The society as a whole has to work to eradicate this menace
We as a society must work towards changing negative perceptions about women. Women must be treated with respect and should be provided a safe, secure and congenial environment in which their talents can flower and they can contribute their full share in the building of our nation. Our history, traditions, religions and cultural values as well as the Constitution demands nothing less. I hope the faculty and students of an august institution like BHU will take the lead in spreading awareness and sensitizing society at large on gender issues.
The proposed Centres on Human Values and Ethics and Inter-cultural Studies are timely and innovative. The integration of human values and ethics as well as the inculcation of tolerance and respect for pluralistic ethos in the mainstream education are an absolute imperative today. I congratulate the University for taking up this most important task with the help of the Ministry of Culture and the National Implementation Committee under the chairmanship of Dr. Karan Singh. It is appropriate that along with these centres, an archive of Mahamana's works and a special website to disseminate his thoughts and vision would be developed to create awareness and commitment to values, ethics and rights particularly among the youth for enrichment of social and human well being
The dream of Mahamana of culturalintegration of India with the rest of Asia, especially with its South and South East Asian neighbours and promotion of dialogue among them as a means of mutual enrichment and nourishment has been taken up as an important agenda of the University. Such a dialogue will go a long way in renewing and strengthening the common cultural bond which has existed for centuries together. We could proceed to build the 21st century as the Asian Century only if we develop relations on the basis of knowledge and understanding of each other. I am happy that on the occasion of the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahamana, the university is proposing to expand that vision to the other regions
The 150th Birth Anniversary is an opportunity to remember, cherish and act on ideas, vision, and activities of Mahamana Malaviyaji. That would be the best homage to a powerful visionary and nationalist leader of his times.
I call upon Banaras Hindu University, which is a permanent monument to the vision of Mahamana, to continue to undertake efforts to build strong national character in our youth, through education based on Indian culture and moral values.
Thank you. Jai Hind!
(Speech on the occasion of the closing ceremony of the year long celebrations of his 150th birth anniversary of Mahamana Malaviya at BHU on 25-12-2012)
Every Freedom movement around the world has produced outstanding leaders, but it would be safe to say that the sheer number, stature and outstanding quality of the leaders of the Indian Freedom Movement are unique. If we set aside for the moment the 1857 uprising, which we now call the First Indian War of Independence, and begin from the founding of the Indian National Congress in 1885, we will see a whole series of towering personalities representing various shades of ideology. The early stalwarts included Dadabhai Naoroji, Ferozshah Mehta, Gopal Krishna Gokhale and M.G.Ranade as the moderate wing, and such charismatic personalities as Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Sri Aurbindo, Lala Lajpat Rai and Bipin Chandra as leaders of the radical wing. When Gandhiji came into the picture he gathered around himself many outstanding figures, such as Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Dr. Rajendra Prasad and C.Rajagopalachari. All of these are well known in history. But there is one outstanding name that seems to have largely neglected by historians; that of Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya.
This Year we are celebrating the 150th birth Anniversary of Malaviyaji under the guidance of a National Commission headed by the Prime Minister. Malaviyaji was indeed a many faceted and multi-talented person. He was a social reformer, a powerful writer, a riveting orator, a leading lawyer, an outstanding political leader having been elected President of the Indian National Congress on four different occasions and, of course, a visionary intellectual and educationist. Just because he was devout Hindu, it appears that our generally left-oriented and liberal historians have tended to overlook his remarkable achievements. In fact Malaviyaji was a strong proponent of social reform, worked tirelessly for the reduction of caste barriers in temples and was in the forefront of the movement for Dalit entry into Hindu Shrines. He was also one of the first leaders to announce ‘India belongs to the Hindus, the Mohammedans, the Sikhs, the Parsees and others.” No single community can rub over the rest. It was in this spirit he opposed the Communal award, and the Congress finally accepted this point. A more holistic approach to his life should place him in a historical perspective, not rush to easy, if misleading conclusions.
Malaviyaji was associated with the Indian National Congress for 60 years from its inception in 1886 right up to 1946. Despite difference of approach, Gandhiji held Malaviyaji in very high esteem. He wrote at one place,
The name of Malaviyaji is magical for the people. Since I arrived in India I have had an intimate contact with him. I have lots of interaction with him and I have known him very well. His views for this society are full of compassion and love. We love each other more than real brothers. I do not consider anyone a greater patriot than Malaviyaji. I always worship him. I don’t see anyone among the present Indians who serves the country better than him
Such glowing tributes from the Father of the Nation make it very clear that Malaviyaji was a major and influential figure in the freedom movement. It is not possible in an article to detail his many achievements. His role with Annie Besant and Pandit Motilal Nehru in the Home Rule Movement – nevertheless was a significant factor in defining the contours of our freedom movement. It is often forgotten how the Home Rule League brought into public life early on one of India’s finest sons – the young Jawaharlal Nehru.
Basically, his political ideology was moderate. He continued to believe in his initial views that he had formed in his first three decades of his political career. That is why he participated enthusiastically in State and Central Assemblies, gave long speeches and tried to influence the British Government. When the National Movement changed its form in the Gandhian Era, he didn’t hesitate to work accordingly. He was fully committed to the Civil Disobedience Movement. By the end of the Dandi March, he left the Indian Legislative Assembly and tried his best to make the movement a success, and in its first place also went to jail. After the Gandhi-Irvin Pact, he went to London to take part in the Round Table Conference. Sir Tej Bhahadur Sapru, in his memoirs writes, ‘No other Indian in the conference commanded as much respect from British politicians as he. In second Phase of the movement, he played an active role to guide the mass struggle.’
Born in fairly humble circumstances in Allahabad on Christmas Day in 1861, Malaviyaji was a very bright student in the Government High School but was unable to study for the M.A. Examination due to lack of resources. He began earning as a high school teacher at a salary of Rs. 40 per month in his alma mater. As a result of his brilliance and indefatigable energy he rose to play an outstanding role in several fields, including politics, social reform, law journalism and education. He was an outstanding orator with equal command over Hindi, English and Sanskrit. His crowning achievements, however, was the founding of the great Banaras Hindu University (BHU) at Varanasi in 1916 of which he remained Vice-chancellor for twenty years from 1919-1938. This was the first National University to be created in India, the earlier ones in the four metros having been set up the British. Almost single-handedly he raised resources to build the great campus, which still remains one of the finest in the country, and stands as a permanent monument to the remarkable vision, patriotism and dynamism of Mahamana Malaviya. It is difficult to conceive of anyone else who could have brought together, on one platform, the traditional literati and new intelligentsia with the princes, land owners and business in this august enterprise
His Life’s work, particularly the founding of the Banaras Hindu University which will celebrate its centenary in 2016, will be long remembered by his grateful countrymen as tens of thousands of students have passed through its portals, in which Malaviyaji sought to combine ancient wisdom with modern technology. The BHU Engineering College, now renamed the IIT (BHU), Varanasi, was one of the finest in India. He sought to combine best of the East and West, so as to make BHU the ‘Sarva Vidya ki Rajdhani’. In his own words, ‘ A University should preserve the noblest traditions of the past and breaking away from there, where necessary, adapt itself to the requirements of the present and of the future. I have had the honour of being Chancellor of the Banaras Hindu University for over a decade from 1960-66 and again from 2006 to the present day. Each Time I visit BHU, I am overwhelmed at Malaviyaji’s Vision for having created, almost a century ago, a magnificent campus combining humanities and technology, or to use the Upanishadic phrase, the Para Vidya and the Apara Vidya.
Most important of all, Malaviyaji stood for certain moral and spiritual values and for ethics in public life, which, regretfully, are conspicuous by their absence in our current scene. The epitome of simple living and high thinking, Malaviyaji with his white turban, became a symbol of alternative lifestyle, which was neither ascetic nor hedonistic but was based firmly upon our ancient cultural heritage, particularly the Upanishads. His memory and his work will continue to be honoured for generations to come. His 150th birth anniversary is a good occasion for us to rediscover and reassess the contribution that this remarkable man has made to the development of India’s cultural profile.
His crowning achievementshis crowning
Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya's death was hastened, because of his sorrow over the communal strife in India.
Pt. Malaviya, who had striven to make during his lifetime unity the one basic creed of India, gave up his life as sacrifice in his old age, because men were no longer brothers, but enemies in their motherland. The greatest Hindu of his time and the greatest among great Hindus of all ages, Pandit Malaviya fulfilled in himself the great noble and universal ideals of Hinduism, which did not recognise division between human clans and classes
Never was there a bitter thought in his heart even when Indians forgot their own greatness and culture and slew one another like beasts
Pt. Malaviya's greatness was unquestioned, he was also a man of ineffable sweetness and courtesy. There was another man known over the world for his courtesy, namely Mahatma Gandhi, but much as she loved her little Mahatma, Pt. Malaviya's courtesy was far greater and sweeter than Mahatma Gandhi's
Pandit Malavia was one of the earliest pioneers among those who founded the Indian National Congress. In these many years, the Congress had changed beyond recognition, and those of his contemporaries who were his colleagues in founding the Congress more than 50 years ago, could not keep with the wonderful and incredible charges that the new generation brought in the Congress. They could not be revolutionaries. But Pandit Malaviya, even when he did not agree with the revolutionary changes that were taking place swiftly, never deserted the Congress. Sometimes, he expressed his views with that moving voice of his, and protested gently against such rapid changes.
At the A.I.C.C. meeting at Allahabad in 1942 Pandit Malaviya was so old and frail that he was literally carried to the dais, and he sat there all bent down, but his spirit was alive and young and immortal. Today, the whole country is mourning, because the great flame quenches, a golden lamp extinguished, yet not really extinguished. His spirit would be a beacon light to succeeding generations down to the ages.
Pandit Malaviya remained a Hindu to the core, a nationalist to the core, a great human being to the core.
I had seen Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya often in the Congress Session and on the public platform. I had occasion to meet him and talk to him in Muzaffarpur where I was teacher in the local college when he came as a member of some economic committee. He was in the Central Assembly. This must have been round about 1916. He invited me join the Banaras Hindu University, which was then in the making as a Professor. I did not take the invitation quite seriously. This was good because afterwards when I had to work as his Personal Secretary, I found that such invitation were generally extended as an expression of his innate courtesy and those who applied to join the university on the mere invitation of Malaviyaji often had to cool their heels for months before anything tangible could materialize. From another view point too, I was glad that I did not take the offer seriously. I might have lost the valuable opportunity of working under Gandhiji in Champaran. However, the opportunity to serve the university came very naturally afterwards.
In 1917 my services in the Muzaffarpur college were dispensed by the Government because of political activities and my political influence upon the students. The last act for which the authorities decided to dismiss me was entertaining Gandhiji at Muzaffarpur where he had come to enquire into the condition of kisans under the British planters in Champaran. The work in Champaran being over, I was rather at a loose end. I was with Gandhiji in Bombay, when in 1918 Malaviyaji wrote him that he needed a Secretary for his political work. He had been elected to preside over the annual session of the Congress of 1918. Gandhiji suggested my name and I was packed off to Allahabad.
It was for me a new and valuable experience. For a young man interested in politics, it was a great opportunity. Malaviyaji had a very pleasing and attractive personality. He had a passionate love of the country. He was thoroughly imbued with Indian culture. His knowledge of Hindu religion, if not scholarly, was adequate. He often enlivened his talk and public speeches with quotations from the Ramayan, Mahabharata, the Upanishads and the Geeta. His personal life and habits were clean and simple. He had no conception of money nor did he care for it. He had just then left the legal profession to devote himself to service of the country as also the organization of the Banaras Hindu University, which he rightly considered as a great and fruitful work of his life. His appeal to the Hindu community was universal – from the princes to the masses. The native princes often consulted him in their troubles with the British authorities. He utilised his influence with them for getting big donations and endowments for the university. For the masses of the Hindus he was a great and pious Pandit, who was as learned in the ancient lore as in the modern knowledge and wisdom of the West.
He was an eloquent speaker both in English and Hindi. He had a rich melodious voice which Gandhiji characterised as Malaviyaji's silver voice. Often his eloquence lost something of his grace and effectiveness by the length of his speeches, a common falling with public men in India. Nevertheless he spoke against the Rowlatt Bill for six hours and kept the legislature spell bound. In his politics, Malaviyaji was midway between the liberals and the nationalists, the moderates and the extremists, as the followers of Gokhale and Tilak were respectively called. He never entirely approved of the Non-cooperation Movement of Gandhiji, but he never opposed it. Sometimes he made common cause with it, when leaders of the movement had been marched off to jail and there was a wave of repression as in 1930, when he squatted on a public road in Bombay before a police squadron and was arrested after a whole night of vigil. With Gandhiji his relations were like those of blood brother. And both admitted the claims of such a relation.
With all his modern outlook, he was orthodox in his personal life. However, this orthodoxy did not preclude him from going to England when he felt that the country’s service demanded it. He exercised his orthodoxy in food etc. giving offense to members of other communities. He was all for the uplift of the Harijans. As an orthodox Hindu, he was often mistrusted by Muslim leaders. But I know that he was passionate advocate of Hindu-Muslim unity.
He was the biggest public beggar in India, beaten only by Gandhiji. I can never forget how he induced donors to subscribe towards the Hindu University funds. Whenever he travelled, he had plans of the university buildings with him. He would spread out these plans before his rich fellow passengers and would sing the praise of this seat of learning, where Hindu religion and culture will be the subjects of special study along with all modern sciences. He would say: “In this ancient and holy place of Lord Vishwanath, on the bank of sacred Ganges, in the most ancient city and holy place of pilgrimage, in the city of Kashi, where great Raja Harishchandra gave in charity not only his kingdom but his son and wife, the city where great saints and rishis had lived through the ages and where some still had their abode, and where it was the ambition of ever Hindu, to pass his last days and breathe his last breath, where millions of Hindus mingled their ashes in mother Ganga, a place of learning where from ancient days students acquired the highest wisdom without paying fee and getting their meals free, I am establishing a University, which will combine ancient wisdom with knowledge of physical sciences and technology. There could be no greater charity than that of providing knowledge. Here is an opportunity for large hearted people to give liberally and to earn merit, gain the blessings of Lord Vishwanath, the Bholanath who is so easy to please.” All these were often said in his Hindi which in spite of his being a learned Pandit was such as could be understood by the common man. How many donations I have seen promised by fellow passengers in this way! In my flippancy I used to call this highway pick-pocketing for a worthy cause.
Malaviyaji was one of the shining lights of the freedom fight during three decades of this century. In later years his health, due to old age, did not permit to take active part in public affairs. But when anybody went to pay respect to him, he would show his keen interest in what was going on around him. It may be truly said of him that he passed almost the whole of his active life in the service of his country. He should be an example for the young men and women of India, of dedicated and untiring service for the motherland.... May his memory live and work among the young of today!
Even though we knew that he might not be with us long, the news of his death is painful. He was one of the pioneers in the national movement. He joined the Congress when he was a young man of 25. Ever since, he remained loyal to that organization even though he did not always endorse its policies. He was a great scholar of Sanskrit and a regular student of the Hindu Shastras. The nation mourns his loss.
Acharya J.B.Kripalani, President of the Congress
Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya was one of the fathers of Indian Nationalism. Associated with the Congress almost from its birth, he remained actively associated with it right till his death. He fought by parliamentary devices, he led the Satyagraha movement and he lived to see the Congress installed at Delhi. Four times he presided over the Congress, three times over the Hindu Mahasabha, and there was scarcely a great political cause which did not find in him an enthusiastic supporter
Even when Gandhiji obtained unquestioned mastery of the Congress in 1920, Malaviyaji, in spite of difference in outlook on some points, stood by him throughout. He differed from Gandhiji on many points, but he never dissociated himself from him, for he knew that the country’s future was safe in Gandhiji’s hands. Gandhiji treated him like an elder brother.
However, Malaviyaji was not merely a politician. He was also the father of the movement for a national language for India and brought the Hindi Sahitya Sammelan and the great linguistic and literary movement which is associated with Hindi into existence. He was the greatest educationist in India of the time having founded and conducted the Hindu University at Banaras. He was an erudite scholar and energised the Sanskritic revival which brought to the Indian languages a new Renaissance. He was accepted as the highest authority in Hindu religious thought and action. He was, in essence, the embodiment of the spirit of Kashi, the heart of Hindu outlook throughout the ages
His achievements were many and varied, but he himself was greater than the greatest of his achievements. Spotless and selfless in character, large-hearted and sympathetic towards all good causes, devoutly religious, he lived in a ceaseless effort to realize the ideals which ennoble life, and by every test maharshi. Mahatma Gandhi once called him pratah smaraniyah sage whose name, if spoken in the morning, would lift one out of the mire of one’s sordid self.
He died full of years and of honours which love of India bestowed on him. He was the darling of the gods, for he saw the fulfilment of his dreams with his own eyes. Bombay, 8.12.1961
Like most Indians of my generations, I knew and admired Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya from a distance. There is only one occasion when I had the privilege of meeting him. This was in the year 1931 when he was in the United Kingdom for the second round table conference. We had invited him to visit Oxford and he came and spoke to the Majlis on the failure of the negotiations with the British government.
Many of us do not remember today that agreement among all Indians at the Conference was almost achieved at one stage. It was, I think, the late Aga khan who had formulated proposals based on joint electorates which were generally acceptable to almost all the delegates. Differences arose over one or two seats in Bengal and one seat in Punjab. My recollection is that even the Bengal tangle was resolved but there was disagreement over one seat in Punjab which was to be allotted to the Muslims. The difference was whether it should come out of the Hindu or the Sikh quota. Looking back today, the issue seems trivial. Many of us felt even those days it was a trivial issue and therefore we were very sore that our leaders had not succeeded in solving the problem. When the President of the Majlis suggested that I should move the vote of thanks to the distinguished visitors, I was first reluctant, but agreed when the President told me that I was free to express my dissatisfaction with the outcome of the conference. I spoke briefly but somewhat strongly of the sense of disappointment and humiliation of the Indian students in Britain that this issue had not been resolved by our leaders.
Most politicians would have ignored such remarks from the callow student at a students’ function, but to my surprise, Pandit Malaviya rose again after my vote of thanks and addressed us for almost an hour explaining the circumstances in which the negotiations had failed. What impressed us even more and made me feel both ashamed and happy, he gave us a pledge that immediately on his return to India he would devote all his energies to a satisfactory solution of the communal problem. Students of history will remember that soon after return to India, Pandit Malaviya did convene an All Parties Conference and made earnest efforts for satisfactory solution of the differences among the Indian communities. His efforts did not unfortunately succeed, but we all admired him for the attempt. His deportment at the meeting at Oxford and this action thereafter made a deep impression on me and I recall with admiration the graciousness and magnanimity with which he responded to the criticism of a young student
You are the pride of Bharat and Bharat is proud of you…
Padma Bhushan Maithili Sharan Gupt, National Poet
Twelve months have gone by since Malaviyaji passed away from our midst. These have not been ordinary months. Events have happened which few of us considered possible a short time ago. Freedom which seemed so far off, of which, to speak the truth, some of us were really afraid, even while expressing intellectual support to it, has come and Indians have now to make decisions involving peace and war and the happiness and prosperity of millions. But it has brought in its wake the partition of the country. The cradle of Indian civilization and culture, the greater part of the land on the banks of the Sindhu and the Saraswati, is no longer ours; it will become alien to us not only because of the accident of a separate Government but because the administration in that region will be in the hands of people pledged to propagate a culture deriving its existence and strength from foreign sources. This is not all. Partition has been accompanied by large-scale pillage and arson, rape and forcible conversion and an uprooting of populations which has no parallel to offer. The material loss has been great, the loss of life has been heavy. But who shall calculate the spiritual damage done to the man compelled to disown the faith of his fathers under duress and to the woman who is robbed of that which she values more than life itself, her honour?
Malaviyaji is not with us. He did not live to see the day of India's independence. The thought of it, the yearning for it, was always so near to his heart. Like many others, I was privileged to meet him a few days before his death. He could not make himself distinctly heard and we did not wish him to exert himself. Still, he could not restrain himself. He spoke to me of a number of things, cow protection for instance, in which he was interested all his life long. And the one thing that was uppermost in his mind, claiming precedence even over cow protection, was the country's independence. He would not fail to refer to it in one context or another. We can hardly imagine the satisfaction, the joy he would have felt if he had been spared a few months to witness the fruition of his labours, the consummation of the task which the Congress which he had helped to found had set itself to perform. But it seems to me, on reflection, that perhaps it is best as it is. Malaviyaji has been spared the pain which would have overshadowed by far his joy at the advent of independence. Those of us who had the privilege of coming into intimate contact with him know what a rare sensitive soul he was. I have seen him weep over the woes suffered by the cow. I and others know what sleepless nights he spent, what acute pain he suffered, when accounts were brought to him of the brutalities which were practised by the police and the magistracy on the people of Ballia as an aftermath of the 1942 movement. One shudders to think what the consequences to Malaviyaji's delicate health would have been if news of the recent happenings in the Punjab had been brought to him. He could not have survived the shock, but every moment of his life till death brought relief would have been a nerve-racking experience. The sense of utter impotence to stop this madness would have meant for him an unbearable torture.
I have said that he was a rare, sensitive soul. He was rare not only in being a man of wide and deep sympathies but in the depth of his cultured mind. There is no dearth of eminent scholars of Sanskrit but the fact that a person has made a wide and deep study of one branch or another of oriental learning does not necessarily mean he is an exponent of the culture associated with that learning. Malaviyaji may not have been a Vedic scholar; his interests, in any case, lay more in the domain of the Puranas which he rightly considered to be the best means of inspiring the masses with courage, hope and self-confidence along with that fervour and faith which only religion can impart. Our scriptures were, to his mind, not merely collections of hymns, philosophic obiter dicta, and a jungle of fantastic stories. They were store-houses of culture and full of that inspiring teaching which lifts man above his little self. He had imbibed deeply the spirit of Hindu culture and he lived it. He was aware of the fact that true religion is above the limitations of time and space; it is eternal but it has to be presented to humanity in the context and the background of the material and mental environment in which the people actually live. That is why he was able to make his versions of Pauranic stories so realistic; the past was so subtly interwoven with the present as to acquire an undying freshness.
He was an orthodox Hindu. This was one of the secrets of his immense popularity. Not that he was not aware of the great necessity for social reforms but he proceeded about them in a cautious manner which he felt, would weaken much of the antagonism from the inert mass of unthinking orthodoxy.
The generation which Malaviyaji represented is no more, A newer generation of workers has taken the place of the old stalwarts. It has tremendous problems to face. Independence, won after such a hard fight, has to be maintained and translated in terms of peace and prosperity for the common man. Every citizen has to be given the opportunity to rise to his full stature. Let us hope that, faced with these problems, we shall not be led into an unthinking imitations of the ideals and methods of other nations. We have to assimilate knowledge from wherever available, for truth does not know national boundaries but we have to weave it into a pattern with our own traditions. I have no doubt that the example of men like Malaviyaji will be a source of great inspiration and guidance to us in our work today
Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya belongs to the class of men who have a vision, who dream dreams, to whom reality is not the sordid prosaic thing we generally take it to be, but to whom meadow, grove and green, the earth we pace and every common sight' does seem 'appareled in celestial light'. He was one of those to whom was vouchsafed that knowledge, the possession of which entitles a man to be called a seer.
This knowledge, in fact, is what the Greeks called Sophia, and which was the great legacy which their thinkers have left us. It is knowledge of the universal, of the ideal of what in modern terminology is called the values, as distinct from the knowledge of the particular, the actual, the facts. The other kind of knowledge is what may be called Scientia— knowledge of particular facts and events and processes and their relations. These two types of knowledge are, broadly speaking, represented respectively by Greek and Roman culture. Their very names, one Greek and the other Latin, indicate the countries of their origin. The Greek culture is noted for its love for the universal, for its predilection for values, whereas the Roman culture is noted for giving us particular sciences dealing with different departments of life, especially the science of law. We called in our country these two kinds of knowledge by the names jnana and vijnana. Jnana meant for our ancient sages knowledge of the values. When Narada approached Sanat Kumara for instruction, he had mastered all the sciences that were known in his day, yet the latter did not hesitate to say that all that he had learnt was names, names, names, ("Yad vai kinca etat", "Whatever you have learnt is only names"). He did not possess the knowledge of values which alone could be called jnana, and which would enable one to cross over sorrow.
In Malaviyaji there was a perfect blending of these two kinds of knowledge, of idealism and realism.
As a true descendant of our Arya Rishis, Malaviyaji showed a predilection for Sophia, for that knowledge which we call Jnana and which gives us insight into the values. This represented the idealistic trait in his character. But he combined with this—and that, too, I would say, as a true Arya— scrupulous regard for the particular facts and processes of the world, in one word, realism. In fact, it is the combination in him of idealism and realism that stamps him out as a true representative of Arya Dharma, for does not the Gita say, "Yogasthah kuru karmani" ("Perform actions, while remaining in Yoga"). What is the meaning of this great teaching of the Gita ? It is nothing but this, that devotion to the ideal should be joined to a scrupulous regard for the actualities of this life. The devotee of the ideal should not live in a cloudland, but should come down from his seclusion and do his allotted share in the work of the world. The Gita speaks of this also as the union of the Yogesvara and the Dhanur dhara, the man of ideal and the man of action, and says that human society can only function properly if there is such a union. What the Gita, in fact, teaches is that everyone should be both a man of ideal and a man of action, that unless our actions, are informed by a love for the ideal, they are not worth anything. This is a truth which we realize today more acutely perhaps than at any other period of the world's history. The World-War which is just over, but the effects of which still continue, has taught us one thing, and that is, that a purely materialistic civilization, which has no regard for the values of life, however grand it may look outwardly stands on a very weak foundation, and tumbles down like a house of cards at the first touch of conflict which it itself inevitably brings forth. Equally ineffective is that idealism which has contempt for the realities of the world. If our country has suffered from anything more than any other, it is this spurious idealism which believes in monastic seclusion as the only way to salvation. I would call it spiritual isolationism, and I say deliberately that it is to this, more than to anything else, that we owe our present political and social degradation. Isolationism of every kind is bad, but this spiritual isolationism kills the very soul of a nation. In Malaviyaji, however, we had a leader who imbibed the true spirit of our Arya Dharma and embodied in his own life that philosophy of Yoga in action which is perhaps the greatest gift of our ancient culture to the world. It is to this that Malaviyaji owed his great success as a man of action. He was a practical Vedantist, in the sense in which Swami Vivekananda understood the term.
But he was more than that. He not only embodied in himself the ideal of a practical Vedantist which would give us the jnana-vijnana-triptatma of the Gita, the man who has obtained satisfaction through jnana and vijnana, but he came close to the ideal of the Bhagavata, the union of jnana, vijnana, vairagya, sraddha and bhakti, which the Bhagavata says (XI. 19 13) was the goal of life taught bv Bhishma to Yudhishthira. What is the additional element which the Bhagavata here introduces ? It is nothing else than a right dose of emotion. It is the possession of this which made Malaviyaji perhaps the most human among all our great leaders. Exclusive devotion to reason or logic makes a man rather stiff and incapable of understanding and sympathizing with the follies and foibles of his fellow-men. Not for Malaviyaji, whose heart melted at the sight of the sufferings of men and whose motto was contained in the following verse which he was very fond of quoting frequently: 'I do not seek kingdom or heaven or rebirth; the only thing I seek is the removal of the sufferings of creatures.'
Not for him was the worship of pure reason divorced from feeling, which would make him lose that living touch with ailing, suffering humanity, the maintenance of which he viewed as man's duty and prerogative. In this respect he was one with poet Tagore, who said. ''Science may include in its field of knowledge the starry world and the world beyond it; philosophy may try to find some universal principle which is at the root of all things, but religion inevitably concentrates itself on humanity, which illumines our reason, inspires our wisdom, stimulates our love, claims our intelligent service'' (Religion of Man)….
Malaviyaji is not dead. He lives in his deeds. He lives especially in that great work of his, the Benaras Hindu University, which has been rightly called one of the greatest achievements of the 20th century. We cannot show our love for him better than by making this great institution grow from strength to strength, from glory to glory. Malaviyaji devoted the whole of his life to the cause of Hindu religion and culture…. But if we really cherish his memory and not merely do lip service to it, we have to take it up and carry it on in the way in which he would have carried it on, by selfless service and unflinching devotion.
The recollections of that meeting will for a long time remain green in the garden of my memory. It was a summer's evening and the earth over which we moved was intolerably hot. I was in the company of Sri T. L. Vaswani; we were returning from Calcutta, where Vaswaniji had presided over the All-India Gita Conference, and on our way to Sind we halted for a few days at Banaras. Vaswaniji had to address, that evening, a meeting of Professors in the Benares Hindu University. Before proceeding to the meeting, Vaswaniji expressed a desire to see Pandit Malaviyaji
he sun was fading out of sight when we arrived on the grounds of the University and the soft tints of the setting sun served as a wonderfully beautiful background to the landscape thickly covered by mango trees that grew there in great abundance. My heart within me throbbed; soon I would meet one of the greatest sons of Mother India.
In strange contrast to what I thought was the sight I beheld
We entered the house; it was so simple and the atmosphere was so peaceful, undisturbed by the meaningless chatter of press correspondents and the official clatter of private secretaries and personal assistants. In the front room sat an attendant awaiting Vaswaniji's arrival. He took us into the next room and there on a cot lay one whose face had little resemblance with the stern, set countenance I had so often seen in the papers. For a moment or two I could not believe that I was face to face with Pandit Malaviyaji.
Quietly and calmly he lay with the repose of a sage, and in his eyes was the lustre of a Rishi. I looked, again and again, at his wonderful, velvety face; it was so radiant and serene. ‘What a marvellous man!" I said to myself. At a time when in the name of progress modern India is being swayed, more and more, by forces of an alien culture and civilization, and Hindu traditions are becoming a memory of the past, this man holds fast to the lamp of Hindu ideals. Here is a man who, living in the suffocating, strangulating atmosphere, inevitable in a modern University area, still aspires in thought, word and deed to bear witness to the wisdom of the ‘Rishis.'
As soon as he saw Vaswaniji, he made an attempt to get up. His heart was still brave and full of courage, but his body was weak. And he had to be helped into a sitting position.
Vaswaniji went up to him and said: 'I have come to get your blessings.' Malaviyaji smiled. 'You have come to get my blessings!' he exclaimed. 'You who are a shining star in the spiritual firmament of India!' What simplicity in those words, what humility and what beauty! And then he pointed to a booklet which lay near him. It was 'The Gita and the Modern Age,' Vaswaniji's presidential address at the Gita Conference, Calcutta. 'I have just been reading this today,' he said. “It is a marvelous thing. In fact, there is, in everything that you write, a flame; every word penetrates right into the heart.'
I bent low to touch his feet. He placed his soft hand of benediction on my head. And then I sat down at the feet of these two apostles of Indian culture and leaders and inspirers of India's youth. It was a rare privilege. In silence I listened to what they spoke to each other. I drank in every word as it came out of their lips; inspiration was in their talk. There was something ethereal about their conversation, something so delicate that the very act of writing it may destroy its fragile grace, its faint perfume. They spoke concerning the Indian situation, the problem of Pakistan, the pitiable plight of villagers, especially in Sind, the way the youths of India were drifting. The two exchanged views on the revival of Hindu culture and the return of India to her place of glory and greatness in the assemblage of nations. They spoke of the New Age that would surely come after the night, in which the nations are plunged, is over. 'We are still in the transition period', Vaswaniji said, and Malaviyaji added: 'The New Age is already in the hearts of seers and saints.'
The future of the Hindu University, which he had nurtured since its infancy, sometimes caused him anxiety. He seemed anxious that the University, which had cost two crores of rupees, should reflect, more and more, the Hindu Ideal. 'I have one request to make to you', he said to Vaswaniji. 'You need not request me', Vaswaniji replied; 'you have but to order me." 'I request you to kindly spend a fortnight every year in the University and inspire the students with love for Hindu ideals and ancient wisdom', Malaviyaji said.
Great as a politician, he was greater in his love for Hindu culture and the wisdom of India's Rishis. Free from the interests and passions that inevitably creep into the life of a man devoted wholly to politics, he utilized the greater part of his energies in building a centre of education and learning, which has now grown into a world-renowned University and which is unparalleled in India for its technological departments. While politicians had always in view the next election, the thought of the next generation had ever been before him; while politicians had been working for the growth of their respective parties, the growth of the country had been foremost in his mind. Political giants like Sir Pherozeshah Mehta, Surendranath Banerjea, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, who in their own days influenced the destinies of the nation in no small measure, have passed away and today their work and names are gradually fading away from the memories of men, but the Hindu University will ever stand as a living reminder of the greatness of Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviyaji.
The dream danced in his eyes that the University might become a centre out of which would go out influences which would thrill India from end to end, renovate and re-vitalise this great and gifted land and make her once again a nation of the strong and free.... In his heart was the faith that the problems and perplexities of modern life could yet be solved by the application of the teaching of the Rishis and sages of ancient India. Has the University realised, in some measure, the vision of its great founder? Has the University succeeded in resisting the onslaught of the modern forces? Has it answered the challenge of western industrialism? Has the great institution of learning approached any nearer the one source of knowledge and life? Did Pandit Malaviyaji, in his life-time, see his hopes fulfilled, his dream realised, or has he passed on to the Great Beyond with his aspirations locked up in his heart? For an answer we must await the verdict of Time.
The cause of cow-protection was dear and near to him. When Vaswaniji took leave of him and left the room, I followed. And as I was passing out of the door of his room, he called me. 'I am an old man', he said to me, 'and I may not meet you again’. ‘But before you leave, I have just one word to say to you. Tell Vaswaniji to take up the cause of cow-protection and see that the barbaric and inhuman system of cow-slaughter is stopped by non-violent methods'. He spoke so quietly, so convincingly, and the words are still ringing in my ears. I assured him that the cow was very sacred to Vaswaniji and the cause of cow-protection very near to his heart. And then to re-assure him, I described to him how only a few days before we set out for Calcutta, Vaswaniji was taking his usual evening stroll in the Hyderabad Cantonment area when from a distance I sighted a cow being pushed and pulled and dragged, evidently much against its will. I drew Vaswaniji's attention to this and he asked me to go and find out what the matter was. I ran up to the spot, made enquiries, and was told that the cow would be slaughtered in a few minutes' time. I ran back and reported the matter to Vaswanji, and this was more than he could bear. In haste, he himself proceeded to the spot and offered to purchase the cow at any price, if only to save its life. The butcher very shrewdly raised hitches. The cow simply must be slaughtered, he said, as it was meant for the military officials. Eventually he agreed to sell it for more than double its actual price and Vaswaniji paid for it on the spot. 'The cow', I told Malaviyaji, 'is now happy and gay, grazing on the farm of a friend.' As soon as I finished speaking to him, I saw that a look of joy lit up his countenance and in his eyes appeared the glow of a light which was almost otherworldly.
I bowed down to him in reverence and asked for his blessings. Once again, in benediction, he placed his soft, tender hand on the back of my head and muttered a sutra in Sanskrit. As he spoke, I felt that in his words was a breath which breathed out peace to all mankind. And, as I left him, I felt renewed, re-vitalized, as though I had breathed a purer air, and had drunk from a fountain of fresh waters.
Today the news travels to me over the radio of the passing away of this great one. For a moment my eyes are touched with tears, but for a brief moment only. For the message comes back to me, the message he gave me on that memorable evening, the message of the Gita concerning the immortality of the soul. In a voice, tremulous with emotion, he uttered the beautiful lyrical sloka from the Gita: 'Never the Spirit was born and the Spirit shall cease to be never! Birthless and deathless and changeless remaineth the Spirit for ever. Death hath not touched it, dead though the house of it seems.'
Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviyaji is not dead; he has but passed on to join the Band of the Shining Ones who, behind the veil, are building, stone by stone, the temple of India's Freedom. Generations unborn will salute him as a great builder of the Indian nation, as an apostle of Indian ideals and pioneer who called India to the Great future that awaits her. Homage to him!
My memory of Malaviyaji is a vision of a radiant personality in a delicate frame, clad in pure, swadeshi white from head to foot, with a radiant, smiling face, full of energy and vigour and the milk of human kindness, shedding light, sweetness and happiness and having keen anxiety to remove poverty and liberate the people. Malaviyaji appeared to me as the embodiment of true Indian culture and he tried to combine observance of ancient Hindu customs, traditions and forms with modern, liberal and progressive outlook.
The greatest dream of Pandit Malviyaji's life was an institution where Hindu culture could be taught side by side with the sciences as perfected in the Occident -- is already a reality that lives and pulsates. Only a man with his energy, persistence and influence could have set up the Hindu University at Benares. The journeys that he made in quest of support for that institution if put end to end would doubtless run into thousands of miles. The speeches that he made from the public platform, in private sitting rooms would, if put together, make many volumes. The warmth of his eloquence melted in time the Hindu inertia and he secured the funds needed to make a start. Few Indians are capable of as much sustained effort as this leader….
Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya whose name is household word in our country and will remain immortalized in the history of our freedom struggle not only as a great fighter and orator but also as the embodiment of Indian culture.
Through selfless devotion and service, Malaviyaji set high standards in the pursuit of learning. The organization of the Hindu University gives an idea of his grand vision of higher, general, professional and technical education in the country. He always thought in a big way and any scheme of a small dimension did not appeal to him. His whole life was noble example of selfless service and a single-minded devotion to the cause of Indian Freedom and nation-building and his sacrifices were unique, particularly in those early days of our national awakening.
Great men are like milestones in the life of a nation and the best way in which we can pay our homage to them is by trying to follow the high ideals that they have placed before us -- of selfless service in the cause of the nation irrespective of caste, creed and religion.
I have known Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya principally in connection with his endeavours to get Mysore connected with the Benaras Hindu University. In that connection, he visited Mysore at least twice. Though I had heard of him before then, by his eminent public services, I had not known him personally. My first meeting with him proved quite an experience. Some people had described him as an “anti-Mussalman”. A short conversation showed him untrue was such a description of the patriotic personality before me. This example, indeed, was more than sufficient to make me doubt the accuracy of popular verdicts. Pandit Malaviya is simply pro-Indian first and last. What impressed me most in him was his humility, his self-effacement and his sense of moral values. They say that self-abnegation is the law of life. If that be so, few, I think, will be disposed to dispute it. Here is one who has demonstrated it in his work for the country. I have heard a great lawyer say that if Mr. Malaviya had so willed it, he would have been a ornament to the legal profession. Perhaps a college professor would say, with equal truth, had he so desired, he would have been a splendid teacher of youth. A philosophically inclined person might claim him, perhaps with equal right, for his own fold. I am emphasizing not so much his versatility as the sacrifice he has made for the sake of advancing public interests. That is the outstanding merit of Pandit Malaviya. I draw pointed attention to it because it offers the true key to his character and his achievements in public services.
I do not think I need refer at any great length to his many-sided activities or to his great oratorical gifts, though of the latter something interesting might be said. He possesses in eminent degree the great powers of the orator-- to instruct, to move, to delight. The perfect rain of donation that has followed many a public speech of his on behalf of the Benaras University has, no doubt, to be set down to the marvelous effect of man’s mind, of his splendid eloquence. I sometimes wonder whether, in these days of crippled finances, Mysore may not secure unto herself an equally good money-dragging orator with my friend, the worthy Pandit. Perhaps the greatest achievement of Pandit Malaviya in the field of practical action has been the foundation of the Benaras Hindu University, which will ever stand a public monument to his disinterested labours in the cause of public education in the country. His persuasive skill carried all before him. After his second visit, it was almost impossible to resist him. The result was that His Highness the Maharaja of Mysore accepted the Chancellorship of the Benaras University. I am happy in the thought that what His Highness’s Government could do was done for this University. Quite apart from the financial aspect of the matter, Pandit Malaviya was anxious to have the moral support of a Maharaja who is acknowledged on all hands to be the type of what a Hindu Sovereign should be -- a father to his subjects in the truest sense of that ancient and hallowed phrase.
It is pleasing to feel that a just tribute to the great work done by Pandit Malaviya is being paid to him on the 70th Anniversary of his birth. Pandit Malaviya wears his years lightly. He is, as the poet would have it, “A man not old, but mellow like good wine”
I gladly join my countrymen in praying my personal tribute to the eminent worth and work of one of the foremost among Indian patriots.
"His life was gentle and the elements
So mixed in him that nature might stand up
And say to all the world 'This was a man'.
Here is Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviyaji's life in a flash. A touch here, a touch there and an outline for a story and for a song.
1861. 25th December. Prayag -- beautiful of all cities in India. Twilight hour -- solemn silence reigns around. The world rejoices over the birth of Jesus Christ. Angels sing the song of peace and good-will among men. Tiny temple-bells chime in "Bharati Bhawan". Little lamps illumine a corner of the humble home. Air and earth are full of the sweet sounds of music. In such an auspicious hour, on such a glorious day a babe is born in the Malaviya family. The poor pious parents, devotees of Lord Krishna, hail the new comer. They call him Madan Mohan. In days to come the blessed babe is destined to become another apostle of peace and good-will among men.
1868. A seven-year old boy is seen preaching to a large concourse of people at the confluence of the three rivers in Prayag. He becomes the cynosure of neighbouring eyes. Thousands of people listen to him. The boy looks like an angel. He is so handsome. He speaks Hindi with wonderful ease and elegance. He recites Sanskrit slokas from Srimad Bhagavat. "Who is this boy?", an old mother asks. Madan Mohan, comes the reply from children gathered around. He has cast his magic spell on us to-day
1880. Muir College, Allahabad. The College Dramatic society stages Shakespeare's 'Merchant of Venice'. A young man in his teens plays the part of Portia. He speaks so sweetly and pleads for mercy. His words drop as gentle rain. He looks like an embodiment of love and compassion. Exquisite is his acting. The youth is so beautiful to behold. He looks more like a girl than a boy with his soft velvety face, and fawn-like countenance. Principal Agustus Harrison feels proud of his pupil. Madan Mohan's pronunciation of English is perfect. The Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court goes up the stage after the play is over and congratulates the actor. "What is your name?" the English Judge asks. "Madan Mohan Malaviya", replies the young man who captivates the literary world. Once again the charmer charms his listeners on the stage.
1886. The scene is in Calcutta Town Hall. The second Indian National Congress is in session. The venerable old Dadabhai Naoroji is in the chair. On the third day of the Congress a young man of 25 summers hears voices. "May I speak", asks Madan Mohan his preceptor -- Pt. Adityaram Bhattacharya ? "Speak, Speak", advises the guru. A chit is sent round to the President. Madan Mohan goes up and makes his maiden speech before the national gathering. That short speech gives the Pandit a niche in the temple of fame. The sun shines on Malayiyaji that day and all through his eighty six summers.
1905. On the Gangetic shore in Kashi, Madan Mohan Malaviya dreams a dream. He resolves to do a big thing in life. It is a wonderful year in the history of India. Aurobindo Ghosh dreams of Swaraj through Swadeshi. Gopal Krishna Gokhale dreams of spiritualising the political life of India through public service. Malaviyaji dreams of liberating India through learning. Great spirits are in the air. The Pandit unfolds his dream to the leaders of the Congress. Blessings are showered on him. The voices utter "Go forth and win laurels and do that which cannot be done by anybody else." Malaviyaji prays to God to reveal Himself to him through the Benares Hindu University. The Lord is Merciful.
1909. Lahore. The nation places the crown on Malaviyaji's head. He becomes the President of the Indian National Congress. He exhorts the people to unite. "Be truthful, be humble he says and tells the story of Vasishtha and Viswamitra to the Congressmen.
1916. Once again in the holy city of Kashi. A galaxy of Governors, Ruling Princes and the Viceroy meet on a beautiful spring morning—scholars and savants recite ancient texts on the river bank. It is Vasant Panchami day. The foundation ceremony of the Hindu University takes place. A solemn occasion. A grand moment in life. Underneath the foundation stone is hidden in the bowels of the earth a copper plate. It bears an inscription which says:
“The prime instrument of the Divine will in this work is the Brahmana Madan Mohan Malaviya—Lover of his motherland. Unto him the Lord gave the gift of speech and awakened India with his voice, and induced the leaders and the rulers of the people unto this end."
1919. On the floor of the Imperial Legislative Council at Delhi. The Viceroy presides. India's heart is lacerated by the Punjab massacres. The nation's voice is muffled. One brave leader stands up. His heart bleeds for the cause of righteousness. He puts 93 questions in the Council. The British members are aghast. The Honorable Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya crosses swords with the Governor of the Punjab—His speech in the Council lifts him to the skies.
1921. The landscape in Kashi changes. Banaras bursts forth in all its lovely splendour. The heir to the British Throne, the Prince of Wales, visits Banaras, dons the Hindu University robe, puts on a turban and opens the buildings of the University. Temple towers of the University glisten in sunlight. The golden sunbeams fall on Malaviyaji's face. His dream comes true. India is wonder-struck by Malaviyaji's magic touch. Benares becomes the cultural capital of the Motherland.
1930. In drizzling rain the 69-year-old Malaviyaji sits with members of the Working Committee on a public road in Bombay. The battle for Freedom has begun again. The leaders are forbidden to walk along the King's highway. Who dares to prevent them from treading on India's sacred soil? Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviyaji and his colleagues defy the ban of the Bombay Government. The night drags on. The city of two million souls is disturbed. The morning sun rises. People find Malaviyaji, Sardar Patel and friends still, squatting on the road. Suddenly a police van turns up. The five leaders are arrested and taken to Jail. Malaviyaji's imprisonment stirs the whole country. "Fearlessness is the only way to Freedom," says Malaviyaji.
1931. St James Palace in London. On a winter morning Ramsay MacDonald, the Prime Minister, and members of the British Parliament listen to the silver-tongued orator of India. Malaviyaji pleads for the cause of independence for his country. "How beautifully Pandit Malaviya speaks in our tongue ! What a mastery he has over the English language", remarks the chairman of the Conference.
1935. The scene is in Calcutta where 49 years ago he made his first speech. A young Brahmachari takes a vow to stop the slaughter of animals in front of the Kali temple. It is the 35th day of his fast. Ramchandra is in a dying condition. Malaviyaji arrives in the city. He sits by the young man's side and recites with fervour the Durga Saptasati. He invokes the Goddess to save the Pandit from death. The recitation is over. Malaviyaji sprinkles the Ganga water over him. The sleeper wakes up from his swoon. His life is saved. Calcutta wonders at Malaviyaji's miraculous powers. Old Rabindranath Tagore hears the story, and is moved by Pandit Malaviya's tapasya. "God never forsakes his devotee," says Malaviyaji.
1942. Two sages sit side by side on a dais before a vast concourse of people in the campus of the Benares University. What is the occasion for this large gathering? It is the Silver Jubilee of the Benares Hindu University. Holy Kashi becomes holier by the presence of the Mahamana and the Mahatma. "Blessed is India that has given birth to Gandhiji and Malaviyaji". Lucky are we to hail the two men today — say the people.
1946. The End. How calm! Half a million people in mourning. The city of Banaras is in gloom. The funeral procession of Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya passes slowly solemnly along the narrow lanes and alleys of the world's ancient city. Marigold flowers and roses shower over the bier all along the five-mile route. Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs and Pandits join the mourners. At Manikarnika the pyre is lit. The flames leap up and consume the body of Malaviyaji. A hapless populace weeps aloud on the river-bank. Nature mourns. A whole nation is sorrow-stricken. There is universal grief. From Noakhali in Bengal, Mahatma Gandhi writes: "The adored of Bharatavarsh is dead. Long live Malaviyaji."
Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviyaji was a many sided genius of the Indian Renaissance. He was one of the rarest figures in Indian History — one of the noblest lives that Hinduism ever gave to mankind. He was the supreme architect of the temple of learning in Kashi, a pure devotee of God, an eminent educationist, father of a nation, a Karma-Yogi, lord of languages -- ancient and modern, a master-mind, a leader among politicians, a great parliamentarian, prince among patriots, religious reformer, scholar, savant, sage, and servant of India and mankind, torch-bearer and wonder-worker.
For eighty-five years Pandit Malaviyaji went about doing good. To do good was his mission in life. He became great, he became immortal, by doing ceaselessly good to all beings. He was good to the sub-human beings and to plants too. Mahamana Malaviyaji believed in the ancient religion of Sanatana Dharma and preached the gospel of the immanence of God. Sanatana Dharma was Eternal Dharma.
It was ancient, most sacred, most high. It was a Dharma, the Mahamana said, which could bring salvation to the whole world. Knowledge, devotion and renunciation were its three pillars. Knowledge was its soul. Sanatana Dharma believed in God's presence not only in mankind, but even in birds, insects, animals and plants. If the people could feel the presence of God in everything, none would think of injuring the other. "Do not do that unto others, what you wish others not to do to you' was the golden teaching of Hinduism.
Mahamana Malaviyaji was very fond of the cow and worshipped the Gomata. The divine gentleness, which one saw in the innocent face of the mother cow, was visible in Puudit Madan Mohan Malaviyaji's charming countenance, so full of purity and sweetness. The last act of the Mahamana's life on earth was to address a cow conference in Banaras.
Many years ago Malaviyaji was found to be lost in reverie on seeing a blue-winged bird, swinging and singing on a Deodar tree in Simla. When it flew away, Malaviyaji uttered in a painful voice the following words 'Ah truant, why are you so unfair? Why do you fly away so soon? Little did I know till then, that Panditji was such an ardent lover of birds. In his home at Allahabad, he used to feed the birds every day before taking his midday meal. At Rameswaram he was found welcoming the little messengers of the dawn. There was a Franciscan love in him for the blithe spirits of the air.
The Mahamana was passionately fond of flowers. Not merely of the lotus, the jasmine and the rose, which perfume the Indian air by their maddening fragrance, but the great Panditiji specially loved the beautiful wee little flowers on the fields, which one sees in millions in the Gangetic valley. Once while walking across the fields of the Viswa Vidyalaya, the Mahamana pointed out the lovely sapphire colored Sanka-Pushpi blossoms, which had covered the whole ground in early spring time, and asked his companion to tread gently over the flower-smiling land. Then he spoke of the medicinal value of the little Sanka-Pushpi and how very beneficial it was to the brain in hot weather. While talking about flowers the Mahamana's soul bowed in adoration to the creator of plants, animals and mankind.
As Panditji was greatly interested in the science of Ayurveda, he had studied the life and history of plants and knew hundreds of names in the vegetable kingdom. For hours he would talk to the gardener, the botanist, and the horticulturist, about the endless variety, the utility and the beauty of plants. 'Give me more money, I will make the Viswa-Vidyalaya into a lovely garden,' he would often say. He was a gardener and his excellence could be seen by the way he sowed the seed of the Viswa Vidyalaya and watched tenderly the growth of the plant and watered it during his life-time.
It is all a wonder, how he changed with his magic wand, the fallow fields of Nagwa in Banaras, into a cultural capital and a garden of learning.
The large-hearted Panditji was fond of the beautiful little ones of the world. He enjoyed their angelic company. He taught the children to sing in praise of Bal Ram and Bal Gopal and of Prahalad and of Dhruva. Whenever the children clung round the old sweet-voiced Panditji, he would pat the kids and talk to them in the child's language of love and joy.
To the mothers, the Mahamana was reverential and worshipful. He always addressed them as 'Deviyon'. There was purity in his expression and divinity in his look. He would tell the women of the immortal stories of Arundati, Droupadi, Maitreyi, Gargi, Savitri and Sita and transport his listeners to ethereal realms. The women of India adored the Mahamana. Who can forget the vast gathering of fifty thousand women, who had gathered on the Bombay beach to hear his soul-stirring address in 1930, during the Satyagraha days when he came out of Bombay Arthur Road jail. He exhorted the women of India to be brave and fearless and to save their honour in moments of danger and practice methods of self-defence. The Mahamana's words infused a new hope into the hearts of the women of India.
Panditji moulded the lives of tens of thousands of young men and women. 'Practice truth, do your duty, he would say to everyone, who went to receive his blessings. On a score of occasions young India had heard the Mahamana's golden voice at the annual convocations of the Banaras University, when he chanted so beautifully ancient Vedic hymns and exhorted the youths to follow the path of 'Dharma'. The vibration of the word 'Dharma' when uttered by the Dharmatma, thrilled the hearts of the great national gatherings at Kashi.
Besides the large number of students, the poor folk used to flock to the annual gatherings. Panditji loved the poor, the needy, the sorrow-stricken. They were ever outside his door. He would talk to everyone of them in their dialect. Hundreds of poor people waited outside his small room to have his darshan—to have a glance at his God-like face, so full of grace and beauty. Malaviyaji's eyes were suffused with tears as he greeted the village people. He talked to them of Ram and Krishna and advised them to love one another and walk along the path of Dharma. His heart was moved by the sufferings of the ill-clad, starving millions of his countrymen.
From his childhood Malaviyaji was accustomed to meet large crowds. He began lecturing to them in the Magh Mela from his seventh year. For sixty-five years and more the Mahamana spoke to large gatherings in various parts of India. Millions of words must have fallen from his lips, lakhs of people must have heard the silver-tongued speaker of India. As an orator he was transcendental. He inspired his hearers by his moral fervour and by his patriotic words. He made great speeches in the Congress, Councils and Assemblies and some of them lifted him to the skies. His reputation grew as his golden voice became mellow. The people of India adored Malaviyaji for his sweet words and for his golden deeds.
Looking at the soaring, sun-lit spires of the Banaras Hindu University and the panorama of colleges, hostels, laboratories, pavilions, and residences, the mind wanders to Prayag, where amidst immemorial scenes of purity and beauty, the dreamer and builder of the Viswa-Vidyalaya was born. To breathe the air of the Mahamana one must go on a pilgrimage to Prayag -- his native city.
Beautiful is Allahabad. Beauteous are the lovely scenes in the city, where ethereal breeze blows at the confluence of the three rivers. There is Madan Mohan's cradle. There are his early memorials -- the schools where he studied in his boyhood, the famous Muir College, where the boy Madan Mohan acted the graceful part of Portia in 1882; the clubs, societies and Samajs, where he spoke are all at Allahabad. The school, where he taught, the Newspapers, which he edited, the newspaper "Leader" which he founded in 1909, are in Allahabad. Allahabad has the temple of justice, where Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya practised as a lawyer for eighteen years. The city is so rich in associations and is full of historic memories. That is the city of Malaviyaji's perennial inspiration. Earth had not anything to show more fair for him and whenever Pandit Malaviyaji went out, his heart fondly turned to Allahabad. 'It is the most beautiful city of India. It is noted for its health and purity. The sight of the confluence of the three rivers is exhilarating. I like it best," said the Mahamana, while referring to his beloved native city. Allahabad had exercised a tremendous influence on Malaviyaji for eighty-five years. One day in the month of Magh, when Allahabad looks like paradise on earth, Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviyaji took a plunge in the Triveni, heard voices calling him to consecrate his life and talents, came out of the river with a prayer on his lips, went home and shared the Himalayan vision which he saw, received his parents' blessings, and their precious gift, took a vow before them and with an indomitable will came down to Banaras to fulfil the dream of his life -- to raise the noblest monument in India to Hinduism. There is something Bhagirathian about the majestic and solemn fervour with which the Mahamana plunged into the greatest mission of his life.
Ten-thousand days in Kashi, from 1916 to 1946, dreaming, planning, working, preaching, praying, making use of every minute of his waking hour. Who would remember the by-gone days and yet who can forget the glorious years, when the Mahamana crowned the city of Kashi and immortalised it by his sacrifice and selfless service. It is not an easy thing to build a University which has become in the words of a world-renowned savant, 'unique'. 'It is the work of a superhuman being, said another distinguished statesman and scholar. The Mahamana breathed his soul into the University. Look at the institution! Look at the care, the labour behind the marvellous undertaking. It has taken half a century of thought, prayer and work to transform the dream into reality -- what pains-taking workmanship … behind this colossal enterprise. The University, as one sees it in its prosperity in 1947, did not just spring up. For thirty years, the Mahamana worked like a titan. He strove with the Gods, saved the University from all harms, and brick by brick, stone by stone, he built, what Mahatma Gandhi called "the majestic structure' of the Viswa-Vidyalaya, which stands on the rock of his patriotism, purity, and self-sacrifice. 'I have built this shrine of learning with my blood. I have drawn the picture. Let them praise or criticise it,' said the Mahamana, a month before his death. While sharing his hopes about the future of the Viswa-Vidyalaya with a friend, the Mahamana wrote down the following pregnant words: 'It is only men, who possess great courage and patience and who have developed in them a constant spirit of self-sacrifice and who possess undying devotion to the cause which they have understood to be great and glorious that can serve an institution like the Banaras Hindu University’.
With all those matchless qualities the Mahamana built the University, which has become the pride of India! Thank God India produced a savant and a sage like Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviyaji.
So many lovely pictures of him float in my mind. His gracious personality is still a tender memory. Sweet as the water of the Ganga, pure as the snow on the Himalaya was Malaviyaji. We shall not see his like again. In silence I bow to his spirit.
A teacher, a journalist, a social worker, a lawyer, a politician, an educationist, and, above all, a profound student of ancient Indian culture and a devout Hindu, Mahamana Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya was a sage and a savant who stood second only to Mahatma Gandhi among the builders of modern India. There have occasionally been oblique references to his orthodoxy, but those who had the good fortune of coming in close contact with him would bear it out that orthodoxy in Malaviyaji was nothing more than rigorous self-discipline prescribed by ancient texts. There was not the slightest trace of bigotry, fanaticism and intolerance in him. One of the articles of his faith was "वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम" I
He gave मंत्र दीक्षा to untouchables in Calcutta in 1928 and again in Varanasi in 1936. When Mahatma Gandhi went on a fast as a protest against the award of Ramsay Macdonald, he not only supported the stand that separate electorate would do a great harm to Harijans, but also went a step further and assured Mahatma Gandhi that no one would be regarded as untouchable thereafter. On the question of the right of Harijans to enter temples he observed, "मैं धर्म ग्रन्थों के अध्ययन के अनुसार कहता हूं कि इनको भी देव दर्शन मिलना चाहिये" I
There have been some who dubbed him as anti-Muslim. To them, an observation of Munshi Ishwar Saran, who knew Malaviyaji more intimately than many others, should serve as a corrective. “All over the country”, Munshi Ishwar Saran records, “Malaviyaji’s public life is an object of love and adoration, but there is one misconception which I shall try to remove, if I can. On the Hindu-Mohammedan question he and I are not in perfect agreement, but I can truthfully assert that he is by no means anti-Mohammedan, as in certain quarters he is supposed to be. I have had innumerable talks with him on the question, but never has he betrayed even in private any hostility to the Muslim community. By nature he is averse to wrong or injustice and he is loath to hurt even a fly much less a human being or a community. He desires to be just to Mohammedans, but unlike Mahatma Gandhi he is not prepared to give them all they want. He would be just and even a little generous to Mohammedan but not over-generous”.
It is in this strain and certainly not as a strand of hostility towards Muslim that his criticism of the Morley-Minto reforms which he made in 1909 as President of the Lahore session of the Indian National Congress should be read. It was not his complaint that direct representation was given to Muslim, but he failed to see why a similar privilege had been withheld from non-Muslims. “The point of our complaint,” he said, “is that franchise has not similarly been extended to the non-Mohammedan subjects of His Majesty …. A Parsee, Hindu or Christian who may be paying an income-tax on three lakhs or land revenue in the sum of three times, is not entitled to a vote to which his Mohammedan fellow-subject who pays an income-tax only on three thousand a year or land revenue in the same sum is entitled”.
If it is admitted that history creates its makers and in turn gets impetus from them, the personality of Mahamana Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya appears in clearer relief. “By the nineties of the last century”, notes the well known historian Sri V.N. Mehta, “India was spiritually dead. Each Party was treating the symptoms of the body politic and trying to throw the responsibility on someone else for the sorry pass the country had come to. Mrs. Besant and the theosophists sowed at the time the seed of the tree that was to take under its shade the whole community for their spiritual uplift. Benares was asleep. The traditional sanctity of the holy place and the divine Ganges was still believed by the average citizen to be quite sufficient to atone for inactivity and sins of omission and commission”. There was a mania for English manners and customs. All that was English was considered good, everything else useless. India was, in short, losing her soul. Malaviyaji who started taking active interest in public affairs amid such a socio-political environment revolted, and nurtured as he was in Sanskrit lore and learning, drew inspiration from ancient Indian culture and civilization, to give a new orientation to the life of the young men of the country.
His very wide sympathies drew him in various directions and his genius created an indelible impression on whatever aspect of life it felt, called upon to act. Nature had gifted him with rare powers of oratory and sweet temper, besides delicately chiseled features, instinct with intellectuality and a far complexion. He was singularly free from rancor, malice and hatred, and was gentle and generous to a fault. There was no pride in him and he made no distinction between the rich and the poor. A couple of anecdotes would illustrate the point.
Once when he was ill and doctors had advised him not to receive visitors, his son wanted to stop some people going to see him, but Malaviyaji said, “As long as I occupy this house these poor people will come without let or hindrances”. Munshi Ishwar Saran records, “When he was at the bar, he and I for some time had our respective offices in the same house and thus he came to know my clerk. Once he invited me on the occasion of some festival to dinner. When I arrived at his house, he asked me when my clerk would come. I told him that he had not been asked and Malaviyaji felt terribly disappointed. He had intended to invite him also, but forgot to do so. Twice he expressed his disappointment to me and when he came to the office the next day, he profusely apologized to the clerk”.
Many other instances can be cited in support of Malaviyaji’s gentleness, courtesy, and sweetness of manners. Along with these qualities there was his remarkable gift of speech whose style, delivery and lucidity found no parallel. Sri Mirza Ismail once said, “He possesses in eminent degree the three great powers of the orator -- to instruct, to move and to delight”, and Sir Sachchidanand Sinha’s opinion was that “Pandit Malaviya’s speeches seemed to me to combine rare eloquence with remarkable sweetness and suavity…the conviction has steadily grown upon me that through India has produced several unrivalled orators and debaters, Pandit Malaviya is unique in the sense of being the only public speaker who tries to persuade the audience not by reason of power and vehemence of his language but by great tact, wonderful gentleness, and extraordinary charm coupled with the most easy flowing fluency which, all combined, produce upon the hearer’s mind and attention a soothing sense and at once carry conviction to it”.
Gifted as such, Malaviyaji could have soared to enviable eminence at the bar. That was what an Allahabad High Court Judge meant when he said, “Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya has the ball before his feet but he refuses to kick it”. Why he did so was due to his burning patriotism and his desire to uplift India materially and spiritually.
At the 1893 Congress session, he drew the attention of the British administration to the growing impoverishment of millions of Indians. “Will they kindly come here and see”, he asked. “If they believe in God, and believe they must, they will have to render an account of their stewardship in this country. Let them come out to this country once in their lives and go from village to village, and town to town and see in what misery the people live. Let them come out and ask the people what the country was, say before the Mutiny. Where are weavers, where are those men who lived by different industries and manufactures that were sent to England and other countries in large numbers year after year”.
The question was basic and its answer, attempted ever since, came only in 1947 when the British left the country. In the struggle of the intervening period Malaviyaji often played the decisive role. He kept an eye on the interests of Indians both at home and abroad so that indentured labour came in for forceful comment at his hands. He described it as an “unmitigated evil” and said, “The system has worked enough moral havoc during 75 years. We cannot think, my lord, without intense pain and humiliation, of the blasted lives of its victims, of the anguish of soul to which our numerous brothers and sisters have been subjected by this system. It is high time that this should be abolished.” The appeal had the desired affect and the system was stopped.
In the brief span of an article it is not possible to even touch all the aspects of the life of Malaviyaji, but any account of his activities, howsoever brief, would be incomplete without a mention of the Banaras Hindu University which epitomizes to a very large extent what Pandit Malaviya stood for. It is a permanent memorial to his greatness and a crowning glory of his life.
The idea of founding the Hindu University was conceived in the year 1904, when at a meeting held under the Presidentship of the then Maharaja of Banaras, the proposal to found a Hindu University was first put forward. The idea took some years to mature and led in 1911 to the formation of the Hindu University Society which was registered under that name. The Banaras Hindu University Bill was passed and placed on the Statute Book on October 1, 1915
The foundation stone of this premier institution of Asia was laid on February 4, 1916 by the then Viceroy and Governor General of India, Lord Hardinge. The University is spread over an area of 1,300 acres of land.
The Banaras Hindu University, popularly known as B.H.U., is open to persons of either sex and of any race, creed, caste or class. There are nearly 14 constituent colleges and a number of local colleges affiliated with the University at present. The number of students studying in this University is nearly ten thousand which includes about a thousand girls and many students from foreign countries.
The objects of the Hindu University, which is ateaching and residential University, are: (1) to promote the study of Hindu Shastras and of Sanskrit literature generally as a means of preserving and popularizing the best thought and culture of Hindus, (2) to promote learning and research in arts and science 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, and (4) to promote the building up of character in youth by making religion and ethics an integral part of education.
It needs little imagination to realize how great can be the contribution of the University in the regeneration of the forces which in days by-gone made India the leader of the rest of the world in every branch of knowledge and learning; and if the B.H.U. succeeds in recapturing the greatness that was ours, the contribution of Pandit Malaviya would be a greater landmark in the history of the country than any created so far. As a nation we are grateful to him, and though his physical form is no more amongst us, his spirit survives to inspire and guide us. We can pay him no greater tribute than to follow the path he chalked out for us and pledge to uphold all that he stood for.
Excepting Mahatma Gandhi, probably no man in India is so loved and respected and has such a wide following among 200 million Hindus as has Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya. Like Gandhi, in his youth he studied law; like Gandhi he abandoned it to devote his energies to the cause of India, first as an editor, later in broader fields of public services. Today, at 71, he is distinguished as an educator, statesman, legislator, orator, above all as a patriot.
Of the patriarchs among leaders of India’s struggle for freedom none has so impressed me with his fairness, sincerity and cultural greatness as Malaviya. He has a manner full of grace and charm and a demeanor calm, dignified and with splendid Aryan poise. His face is handsome and still remarkably youthful. In his speech he is disarmingly candid and direct-- quite the opposite of what we are told to expect from Eastern politicians. His personality radiates the sweetness and simplicity of a child, yet his words carry the strength and conviction of a man with a settled philosophy of life.
Malaviyaji is deeply and genuinely religious. You sense about him, almost at once, an inwardness and spiritual consciousness that animates his attitudes towards his environment. Yet there is nothing of mysticism, asceticism, or negation about him. He is a man of action and at times of impassioned utterance. Yet he is, like Gandhi again, a thorough satyagrahi. An instinct of gentleness, fortified in him by his unquestioning faith, accounts for the fact that though his whole career has been a battle for political reform in India, he has never advocated violence in any form
Malaviya is a Brahman, of the highest Hindu caste. He was born in Allahabad of a family that has furnished some of India’s most celebrated Sanskrit scholars. Hoping that he would further add to the lustre of the classic escutcheon his parents secured for him a sound Sanskrit education. But in his thirteenth year an incident occurred that was significant of the direction in which his genius was to turn. One day he disappeared, and his father, fearing that something had happened, went in search of him. He found young Mohan delivering a fiery speech to a rapt audience on the junction of the three rivers.
From his Indian school Malaviya went to an English middle school, then to Calcutta University, where he earned a B.A. degree. His unusual felicity with English got him a place as assistant master and for three years he taught in an English school. Then he returned to Calcutta University and in 1891 acquired an L.L.B. For a while he practiced law, and with marked success.
While still a student, Malaviya had joined the Indian National Congress, then a mild even a conservative body with little influence of power. As he matured, legal procedure, which seemed to him dull and detached from the formative streams of life, lost interest for him. He began more and more to identify himself with the agencies acting for progress and change in the social and political scene of India.
In those days Malaviya was not a rebel in the sense of one who urges a sharp break with tradition and the prevailing system, but rather a logician seeking to win his ends through persuasion and “sweet reasonableness” in contrast with the irreconcilable Indian Nationalists who sought to overthrow everyone and everything in authority. Panditji, his education having given him a horror of breaking the law, believed in utilizing what legal instruments then existed to introduce improvements. He was a reformist rather than a revolutionary.
Like other Indian parties, Malaviya has had always for his ultimate goal the liberation of his country. Unlike others he has not, however been above cooperating with the British Raj whenever such cooperation offered the chance of bringing even a small benefit to the Indian people. In 1902 he entered the Government Legislative Council, and he has been a member of it ever since. During his 29 years in the Council he has introduced many bills aimed to help the impoverished kisans, the agrarians.
Malaviya has worked for political and educational advancements. Such concessions as the Morley and Chelmsford reforms in a large sense owed their inspiration to his passionate and eloquently graphic pleas for relief of his enthralled countrymen. His ability at manipulating searching inquiries into official methods of systems, and the unexpected satire and irony with which his brilliance as a dialecticism is tinged, early became feared and respected by the Government. At one standing he once put 93 questions in the Legislative Council, thereby exercising the Government for weeks afterwards.
Malaviya has twice been president of the Indian National Congress and is, I believe, its eldest active member. Only Gandhi, Gokhale and Nehru have done as much in enhancing the prestige and developing the power of the now world renowned organization as has the “silver tongued” Pandit from Allahabad. Perhaps his greatest service to it was that, through his essentially conservative spirit, he kept the Congress from contesting with the Government until it had developed sufficient strength to launch a campaign without being wrecked as a result of it.
He believed, as a strategist, in gaining puissance through time. He knew, as an educator, that his people were woefully ignorant and divided in opinion. He realized, as a politician, that before acting, the Congress must secure itself firmly on the edifice of public support. Thus for years he fought the Congress Left Wing, counseling for delay in the execution of a revolutionary programme.
When at last his followers felt that the time had come, Maliviya reluctantly acquiesced. His talent as an arbiter, so often helpful in settling previous disputes in the Congress, he now turned upon himself. Still inwardly hesitant, perhaps, still fearful lest the satyagrah principle should be misunderstood by the masses and overreaching the discipline of Congress leaders should end in futile bloodshed and suffering, he allied himself to the movement with some misgivings.
Yet after Gandhi was arrested last spring, and jailed, Malaviya rose and as religious head of the powerful Hindu Mahasabha took the responsibility of carrying the Congress banner. He invited those who wish to do so to follow him. Thousands accepted. It was inevitable that, despite his great service to the Imperial Government he was, in his turn, arrested tried and sentenced for disobeying the laws of India. Only Gandhi’s incarceration stirred the nation’s educated class as did the arrest of Panditji. But his patriotism, I believe, has not been expressed as a reformer or politician so much as in his enterprises. You often hear it remarked by skeptical Europeans that the Indians are admirable agitators, but utterly incapable of improving upon that which they seek to destroy. It is believed that Indian Nationalists are excellent destructionists but incompetent constructionists. One of the most complete refutations of this observation exists at Benares, where the Hindu National University proudly lifts its graven spires over the rooftops of a city sacred not for centuries, but for millenniums. That institution is the product of Malaviya’s energy and imagination, the full-fruited realization of a man of practical genius.
Twenty years ago Panditji issued a thin brochure in which he etched in outline the kind of school he hoped to erect at Benares. Most of his own fortune had been given away to charitable enterprises and in various services to his country. He had invested and lost a great deal in the four Nationalist newspapers of which he was editor, and two of which he founded. But the vigour with which he campaigned for funds to build the Benares Hindu University attracted the interest of the nation’s wealthiest citizens, and won the encouragement at last even of the British Government.
He described a seat of learning risen from the banks of the ancient Ganges, dedicated to the exposition of all that was fine, lasting and beautiful in Hindu culture. It would be equipped also to furnish an adequate introduction to the important courses of western thought, and to teach the fundamentals of western arts, sciences and mechanics. It was nearly ten years more before the thing of such lofty fancy achieved shape and men were able to point to it, rising lordly beside golden waters, as the finest university in modern India conceived, constructed and administered solely by Indians.
Today the University has 32 departments of learning and over 180 members of the teaching staff. It has over 2600 students. On its magnificent site, two square miles of green and gold, it has 173 buildings, including numerous University hostels with a capacity for housing more than half of its students, and its professional members. It has a library with over 60,000 books and a dozen laboratories with equipment costing more than Rs. 2,50,000. There are 300 scholarships open to competition by boys and girls of any caste, any creed. It has extensive playgrounds and athletic fields, a gymnasium, a stadium, a botanical garden, a dairy, and so on. Ten thousand persons visit it annually, among them many distinguished Europeans and Americans.
It is largely upon this achievement – the University – and the ideals which Malaviya has tried to foster here, that his prestige in the future will rest. It is an edifice that must secure for him a peculiar niche in the Indian hall of fame. Whatever evolution or revolution may mold India’s destiny it is certain that a reverence for modern education, bearing kinship to this type of which Malaviya has been the pioneer, must be a fundamental credo in any new state which survives.
There is no doubt that Malaviya is guided by a discerning faith in his own interpretations of the Hindu scriptures. His religion is hardly separable from any aspect of life, any problem of society. In one of his famous extempore speeches he once confessed, “It is one of the settled convictions of my life that religion is at the foundations of all greatness and goodness, and that without an abiding religious faith no affair of man can succeed”. But he tells you that he is impatient with the corruption of religion into codified superstitions, and the abuse of it to enforce social discriminations.
Malaviya sings hymns and prays regularly. In his address he sometimes quotes from the Bhagvad Gita and occasionally from western poets with spiritual turn of mind. He is extraordinarily well read but though he has carefully studied the most profound western philosophers he still finds, on the whole, loftier solace in the Indian sages. One of the exceptions to this are the works of Smiles. He carries copies of them with him whenever he travels.
He is in favour of adult suffrage for women and the removal of purdah. Through legislations, he would guarantee to all citizens of India, under Swaraj, equal opportunities in matters of education and livelihood, and equal rights to participate in all the social and political functions of public life. But interference in any way with the individual’s religious convictions, or any attempt to force him to change his private mode of conduct, meet with his vigorous opposition.
Pandit Malaviya was the most lovable of our public men; and he was respected as much as he was loved. At a time when full-timed politicians were rare the call to national service was so irresistible to him that he gave up a magnificent practice at the Bar in spite of onerous family obligations. There was no ostentation about his self-dedication; it came to him as naturally as fragrance does to the flower. Few men could have combined in themselves in so exceptional a degree so many aptitudes for a political career nourished by appropriate training. He had started life as a Hindi journalist and built up a fine reputation for his paper. And his interest in journalism continued to be close and friendly. It was his inside knowledge of the potentialities as well as the problems of the Press that made him a formidable critic of the Press laws which have made a mockery of freedom of opinion in this country. As a member of the Legislature for many decades he led the serried cohorts of nationalism against the citadel of the bureaucracy with an unruffled dignity, an urbane eloquence and a high moral fervor which won him the respect of even his most reactionary opponents. As an educational administrator his record must be accounted unique. Though numberless people have helped, he was the supreme architect of the Benares Hindu University. Of that grand achievement it might he justly said, what the well-known epitaph of Wren said of St. Paul's, Si monumentum requi-ris, circumspice
The unifying influence in this long life of exceptionally crowded activity was Panditji's devotion to the faith of his fathers and the ancient culture of the land. Steeped in the literature, sacred and secular, which in Sanskrit still nourishes the roots of a living tradition, Pandit Malaviya was not in the unfortunate predicament of those who are born strangers to the splendid legacy from the past. Firmly anchored in the culture and mores of his people he looked out on the modern world with the frank and friendly eye of an equal. He was not indifferent to the great advances that Western science and social organisation had achieved. He wanted his countrymen to receive from the West the best it could give but not at the cost of their individuality or self-respect. And he had a robust faith in the power of Indian spirituality to bring health to an activity-mad world tormented by suicidal urges. Like all the best minds of both the hemispheres he realised that the first condition of India's rehabilitating herself and helping to persuade the world to follow the ways of peace and co-operation was for her to achieve political emancipation. It was because he was sustained by profound faith in the spirit of man that his mind retained to the end its resilience as well as vigour. He never stopped growing in tolerance, charity and understanding. The most orthodox and abstemious of men, he did not hesitate to disregard taboos and even braved the rigours of jail life when he felt that the people's interests might be imperilled or national self-respect was insulted. His devotion to Gandhiji was eloquent of the true greatness of the man. There was not in him an atom of vanity or amour propre. To the last he was a crusader for righteousness and because he saw in Gandhiji a pillar of fire he followed him unquestioningly in many a crisis when his own innate moderation and aversion to strife might have counselled a different course. He was a man cast in a large mould and such was his happy eclecticism that he could combine in himself many roles which in others might have seemed irreconcilable. He was a founder of the Hindu Mahasabha and yet his faith in the Congress never wavered. He was a true Sanatanist but with not the slightest suggestion of obscurantism about him. He was truly among the children of light.
In the death of Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya, the country loses one of its most eminent public men, a distinguished educationist, a peerless patriot and a prince among men and the United Provinces one who for more than half a century dominated its public life and wove himself round the hearts of the meanest of its inhabitants. Representing in himself all that was best and noblest in Hindu culture and civilization, he made it his life's mission to revitalise its culture so that the world might come to know of the achievements of ancient Hindus, and Hindu society on its part may be benefited by its contact with the cultural achievement of other countries and nations. It was in fulfilment of this desire that he early conceived the dream of a University devoted to the study of Hindu culture and civilisation in all its aspects, and what greater tribute can there be to his vast energy, his single-minded devotion and the unselfish spirit in which he dedicated himself to this task, than that he should have lived to see the practical fulfilment of his dream by the establishment in the holy city of Benares, by the side of the Ganges, of the Hindu University, over whose destinies he presided with such loving care till the breakdown in his health made it all but impossible for him to carry on? Today the Hindu University stands as an imperishable monument to proclaim to the world the vitality of Hindu culture and the greatness of the dedicated spirit which devoted the greater part of its earthly life to its foundation and growth.
Malaviyaji's interest was, however, not confined to the ancient achievements of Hindu religion. He was more keenly interested in the reorganisation of Hindu society in order to make it a living force in the lives of his countrymen, impregnable to the assaults made on it from outside. He knew that on account of historic circumstances over which it had no control and the passage of years, Hindu society had developed excrescences which were in no sense an essential part of Hinduism as preached and practiced by the sages of old. It was his love for his country and community which made him anxious to remove these excrescences so that Hinduism may shine in all its pristine glory. That he did not shy at it is an indication of his progressive mind which thought in terms of future advancement and not merely in terms of conserving what was great in our past. So long as Hindu society and Hinduism exist, his services to both are not likely to be easily forgotten.
There was in him no tinge of that narrow sectarianism, the deifying of sectarianism to the ruin of the common interest of the whole which today passes muster with certain classes of leaders. Twice he presided over the destinies of the Indian National Congress, once in 1919 at Lahore and again in 1918 at Delhi. One would look in vain in either of these addresses for the least trace of communalism. Whatever he strove for, whatever he fought for in the public life of his country, whether it was on the platform of the Congress or the country's legislatures, it was for the people of India as a whole, and he took a legitimate pride in the achievements of Muslims as he did in the achievements of his co-religionists. In him dies a valiant fighter in the cause of his country's freedom, one who through shadow and sun-shine never lost faith in the future of his country, never doubted clouds would break, never dreamed, though right were worsted wrong would triumph, held we fall to rise, are baffled to fight better, sleep to wake.
In this hour of sorrow when a great nation mourns the passing away of a beloved leader, saint and politician, reformer and patriot, educationist and elder statesman, we shall be failing in our duty if we do not recall that the blow which has fallen on all has fallen on 'The Leader' with a special measure of intensity, as Malaviyaji was the founder of 'The Leader' and presided over its early years with the loving care of a parent. And the only way in which we can repay him for all that he did for us, is to re-dedicate ourselves to the ideals for which he lived, strove and fell, and carry them forward to the triumphant conclusion, and we do so today, a day which will become a sacred memory to unborn generations of our countrymen.
The Banaras Hindu University symbolized Malaviyaji’s respect for the past, confidence in the present and hope for the future.
R. Venkataraman, President of India
Amongst the centres of higher learning in India, Banaras Hindu University occupies a pivotal place having arisen from the crucible of the Indian nationalist movement and the struggle for independence. In the post-independence days, it provided the much needed manpower in the scientific and technological fields, vital for the reconstruction of the nation....visionary sage, scholar statesman...Mahamana Malaviya was its legendary founder.
K.R. Narayanan, President of India
There is a great university for ever offering worship to its founder.
Dr.C.Rajagopalachari, Governor General
महामना पं० मदन मोहन मालवीय कर्मठ स्वतन्त्रता सेनानी, निर्भीक पत्रकार, कुशल शिक्षाविद एवं प्रखर चिन्तक थे I उनके हृदय की विशालता को देखते हुए बापू ने उन्हें अपनी आत्म कथा में 'भारत भूषण', 'गंगा की निर्मल धारा' तथा उनके निवास को 'गरीबों की धर्मशाला' कहा I मालवीय जी के व्यक्तित्व में भारत की साँझी संस्कृति तथा चिंतन में जीवन के शाश्वत मूल्य परिलक्षित होते थे I 'आज' के 12 अप्रैल 1924 के अंक में उन्होंने लिखा था, 'भारत हिन्दुओं, मुसलमानों, इसाइयों, पारसियों, आदि सभी की मातृभूमि है और वे एक दूसरे के पर्याय हैं I' मालवीय जी उच्चा सांस्कृतिक एवं वैज्ञानिक चेतना से सम्पन्न गतिशील भारत के द्रष्टा थे I काशी हिन्दू विश्वविद्यालय की स्थापना तथा उसमें देश के पहले रसायन इंजीनियरिंग विभाग के प्रारम्भ को मैं उनकी इसी भावना का प्रमाण मानत्ता हूँ I
डॉ. शंकर दयाल शर्मा, भारत के राष्ट्रपति
Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya was one of the important leaders of India’s struggle for freedom who made supreme sacrifices for the country and its people. The Banaras Hindu University established by him is testimony to his commitment to high ideals of excellence in education and patotism. His ideals and vision shall always be a beacon light to guide the younger generations to work for the country’s development.
Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, Vice-President of India
महामना मदन मोहन मालवीय एक महान नेता, प्रसिद्ध अधिवक्ता, पत्रकार तथा शिक्षा प्रचारक थे I उनका सम्पूर्ण जीवन एक शान्ति पूर्ण, खुशहाल तथा प्रगतिशील भारत के निर्माण के लिए समर्पित रहा I वे उच्च जीवन मूल्यों तथा आदर्शों के प्रतीक थे I भारतीय संस्कृति में उनकी गहरी आस्था थी I वे राष्ट्रीय एकता, समानतापूर्ण समाज तथा सर्वधर्म समभाव के पक्षधर थे I स्वतन्त्रता आन्दोलन के दौरान उन्होंने अपनी लेखनी के माध्यम से लोगों में अपने देश की संस्कृति के प्रति सम्मान, गौरव और आत्मविश्वास का भाव पैदा किया I शिक्षा के क्षेत्र में उनका कार्य ऐतिहासिक है I हिन्दू विश्वविद्यालय की स्थापना उनके दृढ़ संकल्प और इच्छा शक्ति का प्रमाण है I महामना के जीवन मूल्यों का सम्मान करना, उसे पोषित कर आगे आने वाली पीढ़ी तक पहुंचाना हमारा कर्त्तव्य है I
अटल बिहारी वाजपेयी, प्रधान मन्त्री
By virtue of his learning, sincerity and patriotism, Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya became one of the most highly respected leaders in our national life. …There was no doubt about his sterling personality, dedication and the nobility of his vision. The nation will long remember this distinguished leader in our struggle for political and intellectual emancipation.
Shri Morarji Desai, Prime Minister of India
Malaviyaji’s contribution to our national life is of continuing relevance. His humility and gentleness, as well as his resolute stand on matters of principle impressed all those who came in contact with him. He reached out to the people and became a source of inspiration to them during our freedom struggle. Education for Malaviyaji was an instrument for the self-development of the people and in making them aware of their own ethos. His contribution to education is epitomized by the Banaras Hindu University, living example of his great vision.
P.V. Narsimha Rao, Prime Minister of India
महामना एक युगपुरुष और भारतीय संस्कृति के अनन्य संरक्षक थे I उनका चरित्र राजनीति, शिक्षा तथा समाज सेवा में एक आदर्श प्रस्तुत करता है I संस्कार व चरित्र निर्माण के माध्यम से वे भारतीय नवयुवकों को आधुनिक ज्ञान-विज्ञान की शिक्षा से युक्त करना चाहते थे I हिन्दू विश्वविद्यालय की स्थापना उनके विचार चिन्तन को मूर्त्त रूप प्रदान करता है I
विष्णुकान्त शास्त्री, राज्यपाल, उत्तर प्रदेश
महामना मालवीय जी के प्रति मेरे मन में स्वाभाविक श्रद्धा रही है I शिक्षा के क्षेत्र में उन्होंने जो योगदान दिया उसका महत्त्व मैं बहुत पहले से ही शिक्षा क्षेत्र से सम्बद्ध लोगों के सम्मुख रखता हूँ I अगर काशी हिन्दू विश्वविद्यालय न होता तो हमारे देश में विज्ञान, टेक्नोलॉजी में इतनी प्रगति नहीं हुई होती I यह विश्वविद्यालय एशिया का सबसे बड़ा विश्वविद्यालय है और कई मामलों में अन्तर्राष्ट्रीय स्तर पर इसने अपनी पहचान बनाई है I इसे मालवीय जी के आदर्शों के अनुरूप ढाला जाना चाहिए I मध्य एशिया तथा दक्षिणी-पूर्वी एशिया के देशों के साथ हमारे पुराने सांस्कृतिक सम्बन्ध हैं I इन देशों के बारे में जानकारी देने वाला कोई केन्द्र भारत में नहीं है I सांस्कृतिक दृष्टि से एक दूसरे के करीब इन देशों के संबंधों को और मजबूत बनाया जा सकता है I महामना इसी भारतीय परिवार को सुसंगठित देखना चाहते थे I इस कार्य के लिए काशी हिन्दू विश्वविद्यालय से बढ़कर कोई दूसरा केन्द्र नहीं हो सकता I
डॉ. मुरली मनोहर जोशी, मानव संसाधन विकास, विज्ञान-टेक्नोलॉजी मन्त्री
I was a student of the university and studied staying near Malaviyaji. He had great love for me. There only I studied ancient Indian literature, which left a deep impression on my life. From here, I decided to fight for social equality and later for my country’s freedom.
Babu Jagjivan Ram, Dy Prime Minister
महामना पं० मदन मोहन मालवीय सच्चे अर्थों में महामना थे I उनकी मुझ पर असीम कृपा थी I 1942 के 'भारत छोड़ो' आन्दोलन में मैं जब तक जेल के बाहर फरार था, मालवीय जी ने किसी न किसी तरह मुझे बराबर आर्थिक सहायता भेजते रहे I मालवीय जी जैसे व्यक्ति आज के युग में नहीं मिलते I
'वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम' में विश्वास रखने वाले, विद्वान विचारक, कट्टर देशभक्त एवं महान समाज सुधारक पं० मदन मोहन मालवीय का नाम भारतीय समाज विज्ञान में चिन्तनशील मनीषी के रूप में जाना जाता है I स्वतन्त्रता संग्राम में उनका कार्य, हिन्दू विश्वविद्यालय की स्थापना, सामाजिक समता आदि अनेक क्षेत्रों में उन्होंने जो कार्य किया, वह हमारी आगे आने वाली पीढ़ियों को सदैव प्रेरणा देता रहेगा I यह मेरा सौभाग्य था कि प्रयाग में मालवीय जी के श्रीचरणों में लगभग 5 मास रहकर उनकी यतकिंचित सेवा कर सका I
नारायण दत्त तिवारी , राज्यपाल
In a very unique and a special sense Pandit Malaviya symbolizes India not only in the minds of his own countrymen but also in the eyes of the outside world
Nobel Laureate Sir C.V.Raman
The Hindu University is a monumental work, the credit of which is almost exclusively due to the genius, energy, devotion and self-sacrifice of one man -- The Great Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya. The University, as it stands today, is the result of the single minded devotion of one man. His was the conception, the plan and the execution. The Hindu University is pervaded by the spirit of Pandit Malaviya. He is the University and vice versa. Of all Indian leaders I love Malaviyaji the most, though I respect Gandhiji the best. That I think is a fair distribution of honor.
Lala Lajpat Rai, Congress President
One of India's noblest sons has passed away. In his erudition, in education, politics and Hindu religion and rites, he was without an equal. There is no doubt that the Bengal tragedy quickened his end. Let his last call to the Hindus serve to unite them and make them fearless champions for serving and saving Hindusthan.
Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee, Founder Bharatiya Jan Sangh
Sitting near Malaviyaji I always felt a holiness that one feels after taking a dip in the sacred Ganga.
Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan
Knowledge of Sanskrit classic, wide acquaintance with English history and literature, deep study of the condition of the masses and researches in current finance and commerce, all helped to adorn his discourses. The Pandit’s interests are nation-wide and are not confined to politics or education. Every good public cause has his sympathy and support. He has also been one of the principal organizers of the Hindu Mahasabha Movement, the object of which is to promote co-operative effort for all good purposes among the Hindus…
Bharat Ratna Dr M.Visweswaraya
Mahamana Malaviyaji’s all-encompassing compassion embraced one and all, kings and paupers alike. That is why he was called Mahamana
Bharat Ratna Vinoba Bhave
Hindu Dharma was the most outstanding feature of his personality. It was, in fact, the very breath of his life. It pervaded his whole life as nothing else did. All his activities -- political, social, educational -- were centred in it. Yet there was nothing sectarian about it. It was not confined to any creed or dogma. He felt about Hindu Dharma as a child feels about its mother, as something indispensable without which life becomes impossible. Those who ascribe sectarianism to him do great injustice to him. His conception of Hindu Dharma could not be sectarian, for the simple reason that it was universal.
N.C.Kelkar, Member, Viceroy’s Council & Editor, Kesari
Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya placed before us the life of a Yogi who, renouncing all selfish pursuits, devoted himself solely to the service of his religion, culture and country. Benares Hindu University will stand as a monument to his patriotic effort. No Indian has done so much to popularise the Hindi language and Nagri script in Northern India as he had done. With his intense love for Hinduism he had a catholicity of spirit and breadth of view to respect other religions and their followers. He therefore had friends and admirers in every kind of people. I can venture to say that he was the common friend of all and could have been rightly styled the Ajat Shatru. He was the embodiment of piety, purity and patriotism. May his soul guide the new generations for a long time to come.
Shri M. S. Aney, Governor of Bihar
I am deeply grieved to hear of the demise of revered Malaviyaji. He was one of the greatest of men ever born and his name will always be enshrined in letters of gold in the history of India. He was a devoted patriot, an eminent statesman and one of the illustrious architects of modern India. His activities were varied and he was a friend of every good cause. He was a perfect gentleman of very high ideals and character and inspired respect and affection in all those who had the privilege of coming in contact with him. While taking an active part in the fight for national freedom and the politics of the country he, at the same time successfully accomplished a lot in the constructive field and his solid achievements, particularly in the field of education, will ever continue to inspire the youth in this land. The Hindu University will serve as his living memorial and it will be the duty of everyone of his admirers to see that it fully maintains and upholds the great ideals for which he lived and worked.
Pandit Govind Vallabh Pant, Chief Minister, UP
Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviyaji was a great friend of my revered father....It was my privilege, therefore, to have become acquainted with this great man early in life and to have learnt not only to respect and admire him, but also to love and be educated by him. Malaviyaji was most attractive personality and a true patriot. It was not easy to be fearless in those early days, before Mahatma Gandhi came to India to fight against British imperialism. But Malaviyaji, like Shri Gopal Krishna Gokhale, had the courage to do so and to suffer for the cause of India’s freedom. He was a master of English and a gifted speaker.
I shall never forget a high British official saying to my father that while they could bribe or frighten most people into submission, they could never get the better of Malaviyaji who “wore the white flower of a blameless life”.
I know how greatly Gandhiji loved and admired Malaviyaji, and the last time I saw him was when he was lying very ill in Delhi and I had the privilege of accompanying Gandhiji to his beside
In ... matters of social reform, Malaviyaji was most progressive and I was specially drawn to him by his indignation at the many disabilities from which Indian women suffered.
The Banaras Hindu University is a fine monument to the memory of this great son of India, and I only hope that it will continue to uphold those traditions of Indian culture for which Malaviyaji worked, lived, and died.
Rajkumari Amrit Kaur, Union Health Minister
Next to Gandhi, it is difficult to find anyone who sacrificed so much and did such multifarious works as he.
Sir P.C. Roy, Scientist
The chief quality in Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya was that he never talked ill even of his enemies. When Malaviyaji entered public life, there were very few people who were giving their whole time to the service of the country. But when the call came to Malaviyaji he sacrificed his lucrative practice at the Bar and worked heart and soul for the country. His pure and serene life, his simplicity, his unparalleled self-sacrifice, his intense patriotism and his manifold services will always be a source of inspiration to the Indian people.
Malaviyaji was a pillar of India's glory. His interest in the politics of the country remained undiminished till the last breath. His enthusiam and courage were such even in his old age as would bring shame to the youth of the country. His services in the field of education were most valuable. His best memorial is the immortal creation of the Hindu University.
Acharya Narendra Dev, Socialist Leader and V.C., BHU
If Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi can be called Mahatma Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi, then Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya can be aptly called Dharmatma Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya.
Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya is nothing but heart from head to foot full of the milk of human kindness; charitable indeed certainly, but, what is less common, in judgment unselfish to a fault; tenacious in adhering to his opinions, sometimes to the point of obstinacy; at the same time with a broad toleration for the opinions and feelings of others; with any amount of respect for age and seniority; with no end of pride in his religion and country; and very sanguine about the future of his race; loyal to friends and forgiving to opponents; Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya is a model of a Hindu and a Brahmana.
Sir C.Y. Chintamani, Editor, The Leader
Pandit Malaviya stands today, I venture to suggest, as a symbol of Indian unity among diversity of opinions. No person is as dear to innumerable Indians as is Malaviyaji. He has served the country with intense devotion; that is why we give him the highest place among Indian leaders of today.
Another great personality of our country has passed away. It was characteristic of Pandit Malaviya's life that he carried on his magnificent constructive work along with the political struggle. The Benares Hindu University is a living monument to his memory.
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Education Minister of India
Pandit Malaviya was one of India's greatest sons, a selfless worker, a mighty builder and above all, the greatest patriot that had lived in India during the last 50 years.
Gopinath Bardolai, Premier & Education Minister of Assam
Pandit Malaviya stands today, I venture to suggest, as the symbol of Indian unity among diversity of opinions
Mrs. Annie Besant, Theosophist & Congress President
Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya has been one of the earliest and one of the most devoted workers in the Congress cause. My memory goes back to the events of 1886 when my young friend having just left the college after a distinguished academic career for the first time spoke at a meeting of the Calcutta Congress. He was so young that he had to be lifted up on a chair in order that the audience might have an opportunity of having a look at him. He had a fascinating appearance -- which he has even now -- but the audience was more charmed by the eloquence of the youthful orator than by his good looks, and that speech -- one of the very best that I have heard -- made a deep impression upon the minds of the Congress gathering, and pointed him out as one of the future leaders of the Congress movement. The promise of 1886 has now been abundantly fulfilled and today Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya stands forth as one of the great buttresses of the Congress movement. Sober and moderate in his views, temperate but eloquent in their expression, he has been rightly declared the silver-tongued orator of the Congress
Rashtraguru Surendranath Banerji
The services of Pandit Malaviyaji to the country are clear as day. Panditji is among those who have sacrificed their whole life for their country.
Pandit Motilal Nehru, Congress President
Once at Amritsar, a deputation of Muslim women in Burqa came to see him. Their husbands had been convicted for murder and looting of Hindus. Panditji was moved by the plight of the Muslim women, agreed to give them financial help against the wishes of local Hindu leaders. I remember Panditji saying, “why should the women be punished for the crime of their husbands?” That was Budha-like culture of the great Panditji.
Bhikshu Chaman Lal
The honourable Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya is inseparably connected with the Hindu University and will live long in the memory of grateful posterity.
Sir Sundar Lal, First Indian V.C., Allahabad University
Prof V.V.Narlikar, Physicist
Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya has attained remarkable success in the field of politics, but his most constructive work has been in the educational line. He is one of the most distinguished alumni of the Calcutta University. The Benares University is a wonderful institution. To bring it into being required a tremendous personality, a power of organisaton like that of Pandit Malaviya. There are people who may have differences of opinion as to Malaviyaji's political views, but I dare say there is none who will deny the fact that Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviyaji is a gentleman undoubtedly with the most remarkable power of organisation.
Dr Sir Hassan Suhrawardy, Vice Chancellor, Calcutta University
The passing away of Pandit Malaviya will be regarded as a great calamity in every Indian home. He was one of those giants, born about the middle of the last century, who in their several ways helped to build a new India. Pandit Malaviya had big conceptions and made big contributions to our national life. His services in connection with the Punjab disturbances will never be forgotten by his countrymen
Malaviyaji was a staunch Dharmic person. Dharma and communalism are not the same thing. A true Dharmic person cannot be communalistic; he remains a gentleman.
Ishtiyak Hussain Quereshi, Vice Chancellor, Delhi University
The Banaras University is Pandit Malaviya‘s crowning achievement. It is a stupendous monument to his peculiar genius, his piety, his audacity in conception, his persistence in execution, his magic influence in the world of Pandits and in that of Princes…. Utterly devoid of personal ambition, he never bothered to gather a party around himself, or found a school of thought. SurendraNath, Mehta, Gokhale and now Gandhi – to these he has always yielded first place with reverence and whole-hearted admiration. He is without a particle of envy or malice. When the world of politics is in convulsion, the unwavering loyalty of the Pandit to the Indian National Congress is in the nature of a romantic attachment. It led him to seek imprisonment for the second time.
Hon’ble V.S. Srinivasa Sastri, Member, Council of State
Patriotism, in the best sense of the term, a burning love for the country of his birth, and a very keen desire to ameliorate the conditions of his fellow-countrymen, have been the striking key-notes of Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya’s character as a public man
Sir Sachidananda Sinha, President, Constituent Assembly of India
Without exaggeration it may be said that Malaviyaji during his waking moments lives for India and if during sleep he dreams, they must be about India. India fills his whole being, her love is his inspiration and her service is the only object of his life.
Munshi Iswar Saran, Member, Central Legislative Assembly
God said ‘Let there be Light’ and there was a light. Malaviyaji said ‘Let there be a University’ and there was the Banaras Hindu University. He built the University brick by brick. If we would understand the language of the bricks, we would hear them singing today to the eternal glory of this master builder.
Pandit Madan Mohan Malviyaji was one of the most eminent leaders of India. There was hardly any important aspect of Indian National regeneration to which he did not make a substantial contribution. The Benares Hindu University, which is big monumental work, embodies his love and devotion to our great ideals and illustrates how wisely he realised the need of a nation in the making. He took an abiding interest in developing the scientific and technological studies at BHU. He played an eminent part in the political, social and other activities of the nation and as a gifted orator, with tremendous power of moving his audience, he continued throughout his long life to be a great advocate of the country's Cause.
But Malviyaji was not only a political leader, a social reformer and a great educationist. He was also in the true sense of the term a great "Rishi", reminiscent of our glorious past. He led a life of dedication and was instinctively responsive to every noble cause. Full of zeal, optimism and self-confidence which characterized all his activities, he worked ceaselessly for the betterment of the world he lived in. His spotless character, his boundless faith in God, his saintly life and his spirit of accommodation endeared him to all and he was held in great respect by everyone -- princes and people of different views and persuasions. His personality had a powerful charm and his smile was winning and persuasive. Imbibing all that is best in the West, he held fast to the old Brahmanical way of life and was an embodiment of love and purity, of spirituality and sympathy. He combined to a rare degree, a synthesis of the ancient and the modern, a blending of the eastern and the western culture. He inspired all who came in contact with him and generated in them a feeling of respect for his ideals. His contribution to the renaissance of modern India is really unique in the modern world of materialism. Malviyaji is no longer with us but his immortal work and his high ideals will continue to inspire for long the present and the future generations in our country.
H.H. Maharao Umed Singhji of Kotah
To few men is given to conceive great and noble things for the benefit of their fellowmen; to fewer still is given the good fortune to see their noble conceptions nobly realised by their own efforts. Of Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya, the revered founder of this University, it can be truly said that he not only had the vision of dedicating a new temple to Saraswati in the ancient and sacred city of Banaras, but also the tenacity of purpose to achieve its material realisation, and within his own life-time to see it become the great seat of learning that it is today.
Maharaja Ganga Singh Bahadur of Bikaner
Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya was one of the greatest sons of India. It is well known how he fought for ending the foreign subjugation of India on different fronts. While putting his full weight on the political side of the struggle he also strove to develop the social and spiritual side all through his life. The proceedings of the Indian National Congress, Provincial and Central legislatures, the Banaras Hindu University, the Sanatan Dharma Mahasabha, and the Hindi Sahitya Sammelan, amongst others, will bear ample testimony to his indefatigable effort in this direction. He endeavoured to catch up with the spirit of the modern world without disturbing the old principles and ideals that have stood the test of time. His persuasiveness, eloquence, lofty character and unshaken faith in God enabled him to achieve remarkable successes. With unique devotion he had dedicated his life to the Nation, but these are things well known to most of us.
I would like recall on this occasion the connections that existed between my family and his. His father was an erudite Pandit reputed for his exposition of our ancient lore. My grandfather used to invite him, off and on, for expounding the Bhagvata. Thus, in the ancient land of Sanskrit Scholars, he was a familiar figure those days.
It was Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya who brought the message from Pandit Ayodhyanath to my uncle, Maharaja Sir Lakshmishwara Singh Bahadur, conveying that the Lieutenant Governor of U.P. had made it difficult for the Congress to hold its session in Allahabad as announced, and if he could help it to get a place for the same, it would vindicate national honour and be a fine retort to the unimaginative Governor. My uncle immediately responded; and the session was held in the Darbhanga Compound at Allahabad.
Again, my father was his close collaborator in founding the Banaras Hindu University. He travelled with him through-out the length and breadth of India for princely donations and helped the smoothen the way of legislation for the purpose. The friendship between them brought him frequently to our house and I had been seeing him since my infancy.
He came to Darbhanga to bless me on the occasion of my installation as the Maharajadhiraja of Darbhanga in the year 1929; and I used to have frequent consultation with him regarding various public matters. My admiration for him grew day by day and I did my bit to further some of the causes he espoused.
His relinquishing of the Vice-chancellorship of the Banaras Hindu University was a memorable event in the life of the University. Had it not been for the fact that he was to be succeeded by another man of great eminence and scholarship in the person of our Vice-President Dr. Radhakrishnan, the incident would have been viewed with dismay. It was my privilege to preside over the meeting of the University Body which came to the decision; and I remember the feelings that pervaded the entire University campus. It was one of the sorrow mixed with hope. That was because of the high respect and affection he had engendered in the hearts of all concerned.
That was of course not the end of his work. He thought and worked for our motherland till the last breath of his life and today I take the opportunity to offer my respectful homage to his blessed memory, which I trust, will guide and inspire the successive generations of our countrymen.
Maharaja Sir Kameshwar Singh
The Working Committee places on record their profound sense of grief and loss at the death of Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya, who served the country with signal devotion in various capacities for an unbroken period of over sixty years and who was thrice President of the Indian National Congress. India thinks of his manifold services and achievements with pride and gratitude. He was an embodiment of the rich culture of India and reminded us of the Rishis of old. In the Benares Hindu University we have a memorial of his sacrifice, energy and love of India. The Working Committee offers its homage to his memory.
Congress Working Committee Resolution, 21-11-1946
Malaviyaji has left behind him an inspiring monument of his selfless devotion in the Benares Hindu University to which he dedicated so many years of his life and the best that was in him. His was a noble life, lived for great causes and India owes a debt to him which cannot be repaid.
Dr. Sir V. T. Krishnamachariar, 1st Dy Chairman, Planning Commission
The devotion, sincerity and selflessness with which Pandit Malaviya worked for 60 years for the national cause must be rare in the annals of any country. There were few men in India who could be mentioned in the same breath as Pandit Malaviya.
Pandit Hirdyanath Kunzru, President, Servants of India, Society
‘Pratah Smaraniya Pujya Malaviyaji was the prime mover and the greatest leader to patronise the cause of Hindi. Both in politics and education he acted as a forerunner of an era and initiator of the transformation of an age.’’
Rajarshi Purusottam Das Tandon, Freedom Fighter
A great figure had passed away from the Indian scene. He was not only a great parliamentarian but a great educationist and social reformer
Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar, Muslim Leader & Governor West Punjab
Pandit Malaviya, was one of the most illustrious of our national leaders. He led a selfless and strenuous life which was worthy of emulation by the younger generation. He did his work with skill and independence and we found in him a great and fearless critic of the Government. His speeches on the Sedition Bill and the Press Act are well-known. He was a great citizen of India."
Sir Manekji Dadabhoy, Industrialist & Member, Council of States
We knew Pandit Malaviya from his school days. Later his reputation as an educationist grew. That reputation would always be remembered. There might be political differences with Pandit Malaviya, but in spite of those differences, the respect for him was very high.
Mohammad Yamin Khan, Member, Legislative Assemby
n the passing away of Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya, India has lost the Grand Old Man of India, a great patriot of unrivalled self-sacrifice who has given of his best to the service of this country for over 60 years -- the father of the Benares Hindu University. A Brahmin living up to the ideal and best traditions of Sanatana Dharma.
Dr. Alladi Krishnasawmi Aiyar, Member Constituent Assembly.
Malaviyaji is dead only physically. Spiritually he will continue to live and inspire India for many generations.
Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya is one of the most honoured and respected of the moderate leaders. While there may have been any differences of opinion on ordinary matters whenever there was a crisis or some great national service to be done he has proved that there is no greater patriot than he. When the Press Act was before the Council some people supported it, one or two Mahammadans even supported it, but Panditji was the first person to oppose it in the Council. When the Defence of India Act was put forward, many people wavered but Panditji stood firm. In the end when our opponents wanted to create divisions amongst ourselves and thus weaken the Congress it was he who came out of the moderate camp and led us. In grave national events he has been only guided by a sense of national duty.
Maulana Hazrat Mohani, President, Muslim League
In my opinion Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya will rank high in any group of American educational statesmen. His passion is for education; but he is not a mere visionary. A talk with him will convince even a hard-boiled Anglo-Indian how vigorously and incisively and sensibly he has dealt with every situation and problem arising out of the Hindu University during the past few years. He is a far sighted, warm hearted and lovable man. Malaviya, to my mind, stands at par in diplomatic and administrative ability with the best captains of education that America or Europe can show.
Prof. Sudhindara Bose PhD, USA
The Honourable Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya has already won an honoured place in the hearts of the people by his devoted services in the cause of the motherland. He is not one of those who seem to think that the best way to crown one's life-long services to the country is by deserting the national flag at the time of one of the greatest crisis in the history of the nation. He believes in loyalty and not in desertion and therefore he has proved his fidelity to the national cause by being with us during our trying moments.
The Hon’ble Fazlul Haq, Premier of Bengal
In fact Pandit Malaviya has been able to inspire thousands of our young men whose good fortune it has been to carry on their studies in this great institution. We all look upon the revered Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya not only as a founder of this great University but as an institution himself.
Pt Iqbal Narain Gurtu, Vice Chancellor, Allahabad University
His was a spotless, crystal clear life of sacrifice and sadhana, against which no one could ever find any blemish or point finger. If we lift the veil from his personal life, we will not be able to see any unclean spot. In this matter he was pure like a vast open paradise. It was one of his great achievements.
Al Kabeer, Muslim Leader
Among all the pictures that remain in my memory of friends in India none is more vivid than that of Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya. It is among my friends that place him for I felt a deep affection for him and he on his side always treated me as a personal friend even at times of the acutest political controversy. It is among the great men too that I place him. I see his picture as one who combined gentleness with a burning enthusiasm for the causes which he thought right. Thus he exercised a compelling force which gave him power to achieve great and enduring results. Banaras University will be the special memorial to him, but his influence will affect all who knew him throughout India and other lands. So to use words from our Bible, I pay tribute to him as one of those "that were honoured in their generation and were the glory of their times...that have left a name behind them that their praises might be reported"
The Rt. Honble Sir George Schuster, Finance Member, British Gov of India
My memories of Pandit Malaviya are of his exquisite courtesy. Such courtesy is the flower of a fine mind and a kindly spirit. Of all my memories of India the talks I had with him at Banaras in 1932 remain the most vivid. There was no rancor no harshness of thought even -- against anyone. His was the aristocracy of the mind. He was as convinced of the justice of his cause as he was of the value of his view of his religion. With perfect grace he granted to others the right to think otherwise and to feel themselves as right as he. That is the democracy of the intellect -- though I think there was very little of democracy in his political opinions.
In the presence of Pandit Malaviya I felt a sense of holiness -- of something withdrawn. The tiny figure, the delicate face, the clothes of soft white wool, the gentle shudder at the mere idea of unsanctified contacts, were all so different from the cheerful humanity of Mahatma Gandhi, with whom I always feel one can talk as one politician to another.
Gandhi has a great knowledge of, and interest in, even the minute details of politics. I always felt that Pandit Malaviya was, at heart, really quite indifferent as to how this carnal world gets itself governed.
The Rt. Hon’ble Ellen Wilkinson, British MP
Europe is aware of the extent to which Indian education is indebted to Pandit Malaviyaji, but I have not seen before such a great institution which is, to a great extent, the work of one single person. If Pandit Malaviya were not a politician, he would have been considered the greatest leader of the academic world; and if Banaras Hindu University were not his child, he would have been considered a great politician of the world. This is a unique combination in the history of India.
Col Josiah Wedgwood, Labour Politician
Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya, the most active politician in any council. He is a man of beautiful appearance, a brahmin, clad in white, with a beautiful voice, perfect manners.... He is a great leader on the Legislative Assembly.
The Rt. Hon'ble E. S. Montagu, Secretary of State for India
The leader of the party, Madan Mohan Malaviya, is a very eminent man, who, if we take everything into account, is a figure about equal in importance to Pandit Motilal Nehru. With Mr. Gandhi, they make up the triumvirate of Hindu leaders with whom Britain has to deal. He is the same age as his brother Pandit, and he follows the same profession, but his connection with public life has been much longer, for he entered the Imperial Legislative Council as long ago as 1910. He is an orthodox high caste Brahmin, he is Vice-Chancellor of Benares Hindu University, and the influence which he wields and the love and respect which he enjoys among the Hindus are very great indeed. An Indian member on the Government side of the House, speaking in debate in February last, said that if any one man might be regarded as the leader of the Hindu community, that man was Pandit Malaviya. It is a wonderful thing to contemplate, that one man should be the leader of 200,000,000 and he may with some truth be said to be the leader of them all for in the Hooghly at Calcutta in December he washed the untouchables with his own hands.
It is a nice point whether he or Pandit Motilal Nehru speaks the finer English. Both have acquired a great mastery over the English tongue, but while the Nehru sentences are crisper and more robust, the Malaviya vocabulary is wider, the syntax more flexible, diction more choice. He says hard things about the Government, and often impugns the sincerity of British statesmen, but his bitterness and Pandit Motilal Nehru's fall far short of the bitterness of the Adams brothers, or of the bitterness of Parnell and Healy, to quote two cases of Nationalist leaders against the British. He over responds more readily to generous treatment; no leader was ever freer from thought of self.
Age sits lightly on the slender, erect, handsome figure, clad in white 'achkan' and long white 'dupatta' and there is no faltering in the courage with which, in his sixty-ninth year, he enters in the great struggle of his life.
"His skin was dark as bronze; his face,
Irradiate, but yet severe,
His eyes had much of love and grace,
But glowed so bright, they filled with fear.''
The Pandit is not dark as bronze; he has the normal hue of upper India. But I have quoted those lines of the young Bengali poetess because the rest of the stanza conveys some of the greatness of his heart.
Arnold Wark, British M. P.
Pandit Malaviya was one who had dedicated himself to public service and in that service displayed not only great ability but unassailable political integrity. Pandit Malaviya was a man of vision. Where there was no vision people perished. Progress depended on the existence among us of people who were capable of seeing distant visions, people who, while taking a full part in the affairs of the day, kept their eyes on the future. It was men of that class who provided the inspiration by which the world lived and did not stagnate. It was because Pandit Malaviya belonged to that class of men and ranked high in that class of men that we regarded him as a great man and every party, class and community in the country united in honouring him.
Sir Percival Griffiths ICS & Member, Legislative Assembly
“There must be few men in the world who can boast the vision, courage, and persuasive enterprise that enabled Pandit Malaviya to dream of planting a great university, comparable in purpose and administration to the best in Europe”
Patrick Lacey, British Author
Pandit Malaviyaji is a man of very high calibre. He speaks strongly against the Government and lashes the English statesmen. There is no other more selfless leader than him in India
Arnold Ward, British MP