Raja Mahendra Pratap singh- Great freedom fighter
There were innumerable sons of India who struggle for the freedom of India from British and uplift of people. Their paths differ but goal was same. We had non violent movement led by Mahatma Gandhi, armed acts by revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh who fought on soil of India and also the armed struggle from abroad. Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose is well known as one who fought for independence from abroad. There is another lesser known great freedom fighter and revolutionary who formed a government in exile abroad at Kabul and planned armed struggle. He is none other than Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh.
Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh as born born at Hathras ( Mahamayanagar) Uttar Pradesh on first December 1886. He is also known as Aryan Peshwa. He was educated in Government High School, Aligarh and Muhammedan Anglo-Oriental Collegiate School. The attributes of secularism were deep rooted in him..
Swadeshi movement and opposition to untouchabilitry
He attended Congress session in Kolkata in 1906. There, he came in contact with prominent leaders associated with Swadeshi movement. He was greatly influenced by freedom fighters like Dadabhai Naroji and Bal Gangadhar Tilak. He became a strong supporter of Swadeshi movement. . He actively participated in the movement to burn foreign made clothes. .He decided to promote small industries with indigenous goods and local artisans. He also established a polytechnic called Premi Mahavidyalaya at Vrindavan for this purpose. This clearly shows that he practiced what he believed. He was a man of action and not words. . He opposed untouchability. He dined with low caste families including scavenger. This clearly shows that he believed in oneness of humanity and was a bitter opponent of considering anyone untouchable for mere accident of birth in a particular caste
With a view to liberate motherland, he left India on 20 December 1914 while in his late twenties. He sought outside support for the cause of Independence. He was invited to Berlin by Chatto Chatto alias Virendra Nath chattopadhaya who had founded founded Berlin committee. Chatto had sent first mission to Afghanistan under leadership of Dada Chanji Kersasp, Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh was desirous of personal meeting with Kaiser Wilhelm II. Chatto rushed to Geneva to intimate Pratap of the Kaiser's eagerness to see him, and they went to Berlin together. Another revolutionary Har Dayal, followed them. By conferring on Pratap the title Order of the Red Eagle, the Kaiser demonstrated his understanding of the strategic position of the Phulkian States (Jind, Patiala and Nabha), At Pratap's request, he was given an opportunity to go to a military camp near the Polish border for getting direct knowledge of the army policy and functioning. On 10 April 1915, along with Maulavi Barkatullah, a German diplomat and some others, Pratap left Berlin, with due credentials from the Kaiser. In Vienna, they had a meeting with Khedive of Egypt who showed his deep desire to see the collapse of the British empire. They had contact with Pasha, who appointed a trustworthy military officer to guide the Mission. Rauf Bey welcomed them with a detachment of 2000 soldiers at Ispahan. They reached Kabul on 2 October and were greeted by Habibullah with whom they had serious and long discussions.
Formation of government in exile
1 December 1915 was Pratap's 28th birthday. On this day, he established the first Provisional Government of India in exile at Kabul in Afghanistan. Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh was President and Maulavi Barkatullah the Prime Minister of this government. It appears that Amir had some loyalty to British and hence kept on delaying the expedition. Raja Mahendra Pratap had a good relationship with Lenin. Lenin invited him to Russia on its liberation and welcomed him. The British government in Idia considered him a real threat and declared a reward on his head.
Visit to Japan
Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh visited Japan in 1925. He published 'World Federation Monthly Magazine' in 1929. Raja Mahendra Pratap tried to take advantage of world war situations for liberation of India from British rule. He formed Executive Board of India in Japan in 1940. Ultimately, British government relented and allowed Raja Mahendra Pratap to honorably return to India. He was also nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1932.]
Return to India
He returned to India on 9 August 1946 and rushed to Wardha to meet Mahatma Gandhi.
He continued his struggle for real empowerment of common man even after independence. His strongly believed that Panchayat Raj could really empower people, check corruption and bureaucracy. He was a member of the second Lok Sabha from 1957-1962. He was elected as an independent candidate from Mathura constituency. He was president of Indian Freedom Fighters' Association. He was president of All India Jat Mahasabha also. He died on 29 April 1979.
Raja Mahendra Pratap was a great visionary. He was a life long revolutionary. He wanted radical changes in society and world order. He also toyed with the idea of 'World Federation'. For him, entire world was a family. He viewed cut in expenditures on police and armed forces would release resources for development of all nations..
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