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Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya- The Man, The Spirit, The Vision

The President has been pleased to award Bharat Ratna to Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya (posthumously) and to Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, has expressed delight at the Bharat Ratna being conferred on Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya and Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

“Bharat Ratna being conferred on Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya and Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee is a matter of great delight. Country`s highest honour to these illustrious stalwarts is a fitting recognition of their service to the Nation. Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya is remembered as a phenomenal scholar and freedom fighter who lit the spark of national consciousness among people. Atal ji means so much to everyone. A guide, inspiration and giant among giants. His contribution to India is invaluable,” the Prime Minister said.

His multifaceted personality made him, at the same time, a great patriot, an educationist with a vision, a social reformer, an ardent journalist, reluctant but effective lawyer, a successful parliamentarian and an outstanding statesman. Among Malaviyaji’s many achievements, the most monumental was the establishment of the Banaras Hindu University or Kashi Hindu Vishvavidyalaya. In the course of his lifetime Banaras Hindu University came to be known as a Capital of Knowledge acknowledged across India and the World.

Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya created history in Indian education with this institution – the first of its kind in the country. He chose Banaras as the site, because of the centuries old tradition of learning, wisdom and spirituality inherent to the place. His vision was to blend the best of Indian education called from the ancient centres of learning – Takshashila and Nalanda and other hallowed institutions, with the best tradition of modern universities of the west

Great minds and personalities like Annie Besant, Mahatma Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore, Shyama Charan De and many others joined hand with him in his quest for knowledge, arousing the national spirit in India and winning freedom with the power of education and righteousness.

Malaviya passed away in 1946. But his spirit still lives and there are many who bear the torch that he lit, Many more stand ready to shoulder the mantle of his responsibility.


Malaviya Bhavan, the former residence of the founder of the university, was opened for public in 1961 during Malaviya Centenary Year. This memorial building serves as the centre of studies and research on the life and teaching of Mahamanaji. It consists of five main constituents – Geeta-Yoga Library, Yoga Sadhana Kendra, Geeta Samiti, Malaviya Adhyayan Sansthan, and Malaviya Centre for Value Studies. The Centre for Yoga runs Diploma and Certificate Courses in Yoga. The Geeta Samiti organises morning lectures on religious-philosophical topics. Every Sunday Geeta discourses by eminent persons are held. The Centre for Value Studies offers a short-term course on Value Education for Integrated Personality Development. Malaviya Bhavan has a beautiful garden with a variety of plants. Every year the Flower Show of the University is held here. The Central Assembly Hall of the Malaviya Bhavan is often used for important cultural and religious events and lectures.

Biography of Mahamana Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviyaji (1861-1946)

An embodiment of Indian culture and wisdom, Mahamana Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya was born on Dec. 25th, 1861 i.e. as per Hindu Calendar “Paush krishna Ashtami, Wednesday Sanvat 1918 vikramai” in the locality named Lal diggi in Prayaga (Bharati Bhavan, Allahabad). His father was Pt. Braj Nath ji and mother was Smt. Moone Devi. Both of them were spiritually awakened and had firm faith in Sanatan Dharma. It is said that the grandfather of Pt. Braj Nath was Pt. Premdhar, who was a renowned Sanskrit scholar and belonged to the family of Pt. Vishnu Prasad ji of Malava, a state in Central India. The grandfather, Pt. Premdhar came to Prayaga to settle down there, while other members of his family came to a nearby city named Mirzapur of Uttar Pradesh. Pt. Premdhar was famous for his fine and heart touching speeches on the Bhagavat Purana. Among all his siblings, Madan Mohan was most talented and genius and had visionary aptitudes. This, ‘Madan Mohan’ by dint of his vision and dreams significantly contributed to the building of New India. He became a guide to mankind in the sense of giving a new kind of leadership not only in the political field but more so in the field of Education, which was for him, the backbone for arousing people from ignorance to wisdom, from imperfection to the perfect man. This is how he was regarded as ‘Mahamana’.


The early education of Mahamana was completed in Allahabad. Started at the age of five in Mahajani Pathshala, Madan Mohan imbibed the real Hindu Sanskaras and while going to school, he used to visit the temple of Hanuman and recite the prayer every day.

मनोजवं मारूत तुल्य वेगं जितेन्द्रिय बुद्धिमतां वरिष्ठम् ।

वातात्मजं वानरयूथ मुख्यं श्री रामदूतं सिरसा नमामि ।।

On the auspicious occasion of Sri Krishna Janmashtami, he used to celebrate it whole heartedly. He started composing poetry at the age of fifteen with the pen name ‘Makarand’. He passed matriculation examination in the year 1868 from Prayaga Govt. High school. Then He joined Myore Central College. He used to participate in several cultural events in the school as well as in the college. He established “Hindu Samaj” in 1880.


He was married with Kundan Devi daughter of Pt. Nand Lal ji of Mirzapur at the age of sixteen.

Social Works:

Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya was the founder of several organisation and edited magazines of high standard in order to promote Hindu ideals of Sanatan Dharma, and to build India as a strong and developed country in the world. For this purpose, he founded “Prayaga Hindu Samaj”, and wrote served articles on the Contemporary issues and problems of the country. In 1884, he became the member of ‘Hindi Uddharini Pratinidhi Sabha’. In 1885, he edited ‘Indian Union’ English weekly. In 1887, he established “Bharata Dharma Mahamandal”, to propagate Sanatan Dharma and Hindu culture. He was editor of ‘Hindustan’. In 1889, he edited ‘Indian Opinion’. In 1891, he become barrister and started practicing at Allahabad High Court. He pleaded successfully for many significant cases during these days.

He left the law practice in 1913 and decided to serve the nation for attaining freedom from British rule. Mahamana was keenly interested to help the students for better learning and living and for this sake he arranged to build a Hostel named ‘MacDonnell Hindu Hostel’ at Allahabad, and in 1889, he also established there a library.

He remained a member of municipality at Allahabad till 1916 and he was also an honoured member of Indian National Congress for several years.

In 1907, on the day of “Vasanta Panchami” he started a weekly in Hindi, entitled ‘Abhyudaya’. He was also instrumental in bringing out an English Daily called ‘Leader’ in 1909.

After the death of his father, he decided to serve the nation in more than one way. In 1919, at the auspicious “Kumbha” fair at Prayaga, he started “Prayaga Seva Samiti” to serve the pilgrims. He admitted himself to the selfless action as inspired by ‘Mahabharata’, the great Epic, making the following famous shloka his mantra:

न त्वहं कामये राज्यं, न स्वर्गं न पुनर्भवम् ।

कामये दुःख तप्तानाम् प्राणिनामार्तनाशनम् ।।

This goal became an ideal slogan later on.

Making of the Banaras Hindu University:-

Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya was greatly inspired by Dr. Annie Besant, an Irish lady, who came to India with motive of spreading Educational Programmes. She started Central Hindu College at Kamachha in the city of Varanasi in 1889, which became the nexus of the Banaras Hindu University later on. Pandit ji, with help of the then Maharaja of Banaras, Sri Prabhu Narain Singh ji, proposed to establish the University named the Banaras Hindu University in 1904. In the year 1905, this proposal got the sanction of several Hindu organizations. On 31st Dec. 1905, in the Town Hall of Varanasi, under the chairmanship of Sri D. N. Mahajan, the proposal was finally approved.

In 1911, in the association of Dr. Annie Besant, a resolution was passed to establish “Kashi Vishva Vidyalaya”, and on 28 Nov. 1911, a society was formed to begin the work for the Banaras Hindu University. On March, 25, 1915, Sir Hurcourt Butler proposed a bill in the Imperial legislation Council for the establishment of the University. On Oct. 01, 1915, the B.H.U. Act was passed.

On Feb. 4th, 1916, i.e. Magh Shukla Pratipada, samvat 1972, the foundation of the Banaras Hindu University was laid down. A grand ceremony was organised to celebrate the occasion in which several eminent personalities of India, were present.

Brief Summary of the Malaviya Ji’s Life
25.12.1861 Born in Allahabad
1878 Marriage with Kundan Devi in Mirzapur
1884 B.A. from Calcutta University
July 1884 Teacher in Allahabad District School
December 1886 2nd Congress in Calcutta under chairmanship of Dadabhai Nouroji. Speech on the issue of representation in Councils
July 1887 Editorship of the Hindosthan in Kalakankar. Founding conference of Bharat Dharma Mandal
July 1889 Leaving editorship joins LL.B. in Allahabad
1891 Passing LL.B. starts practice in Allahabad District Court
December 1893 Practice at Allahabad High Court
March 1898 Submits memorandum about Hindi to U.P. Lt. Governor
1902-1903 Construction of Hindu Boarding House in Allahabad
1903-1912 Service to province as member of Provincial Council
1904 Proposal of establishing university under chairmanship of Kashi Naresh
January 1906 Convened Sanatan Dharma Mahasabha on Kumbha in Allahabad. Propagation of liberal Sanatan Dharma. Decision to open university in Banaras
1907 Editorship of the Abhyudaya. Propagation of Sanatan Dharma and democratic principles
1909 Editorship of the English daily Leader. Chaired the Lahore Congress
October 1910 Presidential address in 1st Conference of Hindi Sahitya Sammelan
22.11.1911 Formation of the Hindu University Society
December 1911 At 50 gave up practice. Decision to serve country and work for establishing the university
February 1915 Formation of Prayaga Seva Samiti under his chairmanship
October 1915 The Banaras Hindu University Bill passed
04 Feb- 1916 Foundation ceremony of the university
March 1916 Bill against Indentured Labour system in Councils
1916-18 Member, Industrial Commission
1918 Formation of Scout Association by Seva Samiti
December 1918 Chaired Annual Congress Conference in Delhi
February 1919 Debate on the Rowlett Bill in Council. Resignation from Council
Nov. 1919-Sep. 1939 Vice Chancellor, B.H.U.
19 April 1919 Chaired Hindi Sahitya Sammelan in Bombay
January 1922 Convened all party conference
16 December 1922 Speech on Hindu Muslim goodwill in Lahore
1924 Formation of Independent Party in District and Assembly. Satyagraha on Sangam [Confluence of rivers] in Allahabad. Debate on the Steel Conservation Bill
August 1926 Formation of Congress Independent Party with Lala Lajpat Rai
February 1927 Statement before Agriculture Commission
December 1929 Convocation address in BHU. Asked students to serve nation and be patriot
1930 Resigns from Assembly. Arrested in Delhi. Six months sentence
5 April 1931 Speech on Hindu Muslim Unity in Kanpur
1931 Took part with Gandhi in the London Round Table Conference
March 1932 Formation of All India Swadeshi Union in Banaras
20 April 1932 Nominated President of Delhi Congress. Arrested
September 1932 Chaired meeting on emancipation of outcasts in Bombay
April 1932 As Calcutta Congress President arrested in Asansole
August 1934 Speech on emancipation of the outcasts in Gandhi’s meeting in Banaras
January 1936 Convened Sanatan Dharma Mahasabha Conference in Allahabad. Proposal for emancipation of outcasts
1938 Kalpa [Ayurvedic rejuvenation therapy]
November 1939 Appointed life Rector of BHU
1941 Founded Goraksha Mandal
January 1942 Gandhi’s convocation address on Silver Jubilee of BHU
12 November -1946 Passed Away


* Shri Y.S. Kataria is Director (Media & Communications) PIB New Delhi

courtesy PIB


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