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Mahavir Tyagi

(1899 – 1980) – (Uttar Pradesh)

Mahavir Tyagi (Aged 81) a prominent Indian independence fighter and parliamentarian, was born on 31 December 1899 in Dhabarsi, Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh, India. He received his education in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh and joined the British Indian Army, but resigned after the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre (also known as the Amritsar Massacre) in 1919. Upon returning home, Tyagi became a follower of Mahatma Gandhi.

Tyagi remained a lifelong member of the Indian National Congress and was an active participant in the Kisan (peasant) movement, particularly in the Western region of the United Provinces. He was imprisoned eleven times by the British, during which he was assaulted on the orders of British Magistrate W.E.J. Dobbs. Gandhi condemned the assault as a “crime against the nation”.

Mahavir Tyagi was a close associate and jail companion of Motilal Nehru, the father of Jawaharlal Nehru, a leading Indian nationalist. In the 1920s, with the help of Maulana Mohammad Ali, Tyagi helped resolve a misunderstanding that had arisen between Motilal Nehru and Jawaharlal Nehru.

During the Civil Disobedience Movement of 1930, Tyagi was arrested and sentenced to two and a half years’ imprisonment. He was arrested again in Dehra Dun on 17 January 1932, with the resumption of Civil Disobedience, and was later arrested in the Individual Satyagraha in November 1940. He was taken to Dehra Dun Jail, where Jawaharlal Nehru was also imprisoned.

After the partition of the Indian subcontinent in 1947, Tyagi was inspired by Gandhi and risked his own life to save Muslims in his home state and bring peace. He passed away on 22 May 1980 in New Delhi, India.