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Madan Mohan Malaviya

(1861 – 1946) – (Uttar Pradesh)

Madan Mohan Malaviya (Aged 85) was an Indian scholar, educational reformer, and politician born on December 25, 1861, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh, India. He played a notable role in the Indian independence movement as the three-time president of the Indian National Congress and the founder of Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha. He was respectfully addressed by the title “Pandit” and also addressed as Mahamana.

Malaviya strove to promote modern education among Indians and eventually co-founded the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) at Varanasi in 1916. Created under the BHU Act, 1915, it is the largest residential university in Asia and one of the largest in the world, having over 40,000 students across various disciplines. He served as the vice-chancellor of the Banaras Hindu University from 1919 to 1938.

He is also remembered for his role in ending the Indian indenture system, particularly in the Caribbean, with his efforts being compared to Mahatma Gandhi’s efforts in helping Indian South Africans. Malaviya was one of the founders of the Bharat Scouts and Guides and also founded a highly influential English newspaper, The Leader, published from Allahabad in 1909. He was also the Chairman of Hindustan Times from 1924 to 1946, and his efforts resulted in the launch of its Hindi edition named Hindustan Dainik in 1936. He passed away on November 12, 1946, in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India.

Malaviya was posthumously conferred with the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, on December 24, 2014, one day before his 153rd birth anniversary. The slogan “Satyameva Jayate” (Truth alone triumphs) is also a legacy given to the nation by Pandit Malaviya as the President of the Indian National Congress in its session of 1918 at Delhi. He said that this slogan from the Mundakopanishad should be the slogan for the nation.