Indian History 29 January 2021

🔷 PM pays tributes to Lala Lajpat Rai on his Jayanti

✅ Lala Lajpat Rai was an Indian independence activist.

✅ He played a pivotal role in the Indian Independence movement.

✅ He was popularly known as Punjab Kesari.

✅ He was also associated with activities of Punjab National Bank and Lakshmi Insurance Company in their early stages in 1894.

🟡 Lala Lajpat Rai in US

✅ Lajpat Rai travelled to the US in 1917, and then returned during World War I.

✅ He toured Sikh communities along the US West Coast, visited Tuskegee University in Alabama; and met with workers in the Philippines.

❇️ While in America he had founded the Indian Home Rule League in New York and a monthly journal Young India and Hindustan Information Services Association.

✅ He had petitioned the Foreign affairs committee of Senate of American Parliament giving a vivid picture of maladministration of British Raj in India.

✅ During World War I, Lajpat Rai lived in the United States, but he returned to India in 1919.

✅ He was imprisoned from 1921 to 1923 and elected to the legislative assembly on his release.

🟡 Protests against the Simon Commission

✅ In 1928, the British government set up the Commission, headed by Sir John Simon to report on the political situation in India.

✅ The Indian political parties boycotted the Commission, because it did not include a single Indian in its membership.

✅ When the Commission visited Lahore on 30 October 1928, Lajpat Rai led a non-violent march in protest against it. The protesters chanted “Simon go back” and carried black flags.

✅ The superintendent of police, James A. Scott, ordered the police to lathi (baton) charge the protesters and personally assaulted Rai.

✅ He did not fully recover from his injuries and died on 17 November 1928.

✅ Bhagat Singh, an HSRA (The Hindustan Socialist Republican Association) revolutionary who was a witness to the event, vowed to take revenge.

✅ As it was a murder of a very tall leader in the freedom movement. He joined other revolutionaries, Shivaram Rajguru, Sukhdev Thapar and Chandrashekhar Azad, in a plot to kill Scott to send a message to the British Raj.

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