The legacy of Raja- Two years after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh had not received due recognition for donating land to the Muslim University of Aligarh (AMU), and promised to build a university in the same city on his behalf, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of the university on Tuesday (September 14th).
Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh was a freedom fighter, revolutionary, writer, social reformer, and internationalist who entered Lok Sabha as Mathura’s independent candidate in 1957, in an election in which Atal Bihari Vajpayee of Bharatiya Jana Sangh came in fourth.
Mahendra Pratap established a “Provisional Government of India” in Kabul in the midst of World War I in 1915 and, as the British government targeted him for its activities, based in Japan. In 1932, he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
The Raja finally returned to India a year before independence and immediately began working with Mahatma Gandhi. In free India he diligently pursued his ideal of panchayati raj.
Why is the chief of Jat considered by his family and his admirers as an indispensable icon of peace in the present day? What are its contributions to the promotion of education? What was the nature and basis of his leftist leanings? And why are he and his legacy being invoked ahead of the Assembly elections scheduled for 2022?
Mahendra Pratap Singh’s legacy (The legacy of Raja)
“He was not a political figure. He was more of a reformer who promoted education. He gave his own residence to establish the country’s first technical school. He knew eight different languages well, he practiced different religions, he founded the world federation, he was nominated for the Nobel Prize, he set up a provisional government of India in Afghanistan, but still very few know him Said Charat Pratap Singh, Mahendra Pratap’s great-grandson. Charat Pratap Singh said he was the manager of the late Raja’s estate in Hathras and its affairs.
“Now that the government has decided to create a university after him, Dadaji’s legacy will be known to people. They would like to know more about him and his contributions,” Charat Pratap told The Indian Express Tuesday morning.
The youth and travels of Mahendra Pratap
Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh was born in 1886 into the ruling Jat family of the Mursan estate in Hathras. In 1907, the young Raja embarked on a world tour with his wife, who was Sikh. On his return, the Raja gave up his own residence in Mathura to be converted into a technical school named Prem Mahavidyalaya in 1909. It would have been the first polytechnic in the country.