Recently, the Prime Minister laid the foundation stone of Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh (1886-1979) State University in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh.
- Born in Hathras (UP) in 1886, he was a freedom fighter, revolutionary, writer, social reformer, and internationalist.
- He was well versed in eight different languages and practised different religions.
- Promoted Education: In 1909, he gave up his own residence in Mathura to be converted into a technical school named Prem Mahavidyalaya.
- It is said to have been the country’s first polytechnic.
- In 1913, he took part in Gandhi’s campaign in South Africa.
- He established a “Provisional Government of India (Bagh-e-Babur)” in Kabul in the middle of World War-I in 1915.
- He declared himself president, and his fiery fellow revolutionary Maulana Barkatullah of Bhopal, prime minister, of the Provisional Government.
- He is said to have met Vladimir Lenin in 1919, two years after the Bolshevik Revolution (in Russia).
- In 1925, he went on a mission to Tibet and met the Dalai Lama. He was primarily on an unofficial economic mission on behalf of Afghanistan, but he also wanted to expose the British brutalities in India.
- The Raja finally returned to India a year before Independence, and immediately began work with Mahatma Gandhi.
- In 1929, he launched the World Federation (which later became the force behind the United Nations) in Berlin. He was nominated for the 1932 Nobel Peace Prize.
- In free India, he diligently pursued his ideal of panchayati raj.
- He entered Lok Sabha as an Independent candidate from Mathura in 1957.
SOURCE: THE HINDU,THE ECONOMIC TIMES.MINT