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Madan Mohan Malviya

Published: 6th Jan, 2020

December 25 is the birth anniversary of Madan Mohan Malaviya, the famed Indian educationist and freedom fighter who is also called ‘Mahamana’.



December 25 is the birth anniversary of Madan Mohan Malaviya, the famed Indian educationist and freedom fighter who is also called ‘Mahamana’.


  • He was an Indian educationist and politician notable for his role in the Indian independence movement.
  • He was four times president of Indian National Congress.
  • He was respectfully addressed as Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya and also addressed as Mahamana.
  • He was the founder of Banaras Hindu University (BHU).
  • He has been conferred the Bharat Ratna along with former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2014.
  • Malaviya was born in AllahabadNorth-Western Provinces, India on 25 December 1861.

Malviya and his life

  • Malaviya is credited with popularising the term 'Satyameva Jayate' (Truth alone triumphs) - India's national motto.
  • He did not coin the term. It is a mantra from the Upanishads, written thousands of years ago.
  • He was president of the Indian National Congress party four times - in 1909, 1918, 1932 and 1933.
  • Malaviya is often described as a Hindu nationalist, but he always strived for Hindu-Muslim unity. He gave two famous speeches on communal harmony- one in Lahore in 1922 and in Kanpur 1931.
  • Malaviya, who practiced as a lawyer at Allahabad High Court, defended most of the accused in the 1922 Chauri Chaura riots in Gorakhpur in UP and is said to have saved 153 accused from getting death penalty.
  • 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.
  • He was staunch opponent of Separate electorates and so disapproved Lukhnow pact (Congress – league) of 1916.  He was also opposed to Khilafat Movement.


  • Malaviya was the son of Pandit Brij Nath, a noted Sanskrit scholar, and his early educationtook place at two Sanskrit pathshalas (traditional schools).
  • After graduating from Muir Central College, Allahabad, in 1884, he took up teaching in a local school.
  • He was a diligent scholar and instructor, but he was more attracted to politics, and he made his political debut at the 1886 Calcutta (Kolkata) session of the Indian National Congress.
  • Malaviya also served on the Imperial Legislative Council (1909–20). 
  • He participated actively in debates on issues including free and compulsory primary education, the prohibition on recruiting of Indian indentured labour in the British colonies, and the nationalization of railways.
  • Though a strong supporter of Congress, Malaviya helped establish the Hindu Mahasabha (“Great Society of Hindus”) in 1906, which brought diverselocal Hindu nationalist movements together.

Contribution in Education Sector-

  • Malaviya, who was keenly interested in uplifting the educational standards of the country, was the principal founder in 1916 of the Banaras Hindu Universityin Varanasi, a premier institution of learning in India.
  • 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.
  • He served as the university’s vice-chancellor for some two decades (1919–38) and remained active at the school until his death.
  • Malaviya’s consciousnesstoward the public led to the launch of his own Hindi-language weekly, the Abhyudaya (1907), the Leader of Allahabad, an English-language daily (1909), and the Hindi monthly the Maryada (1910).
  • In addition, he was chairman of the board of directors of the Hindustan Timesfrom 1924 until he died.

His Contribution to Freedom movement-

  • He was perhaps only freedom fighter, who was involved in politics of congress right from beginning i.e. 1886 and remained active till his death in 1946.
  • Apart from freedom fighter he was an educator, social reformer, journalist, and lawyer. 
  • On the ideological level, he was a moderate, traditionalist and nationalist.

Social Work-

  • 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.
  • In 1942, he founded Goraksha Mandal.
  • He took up the cause of Harijans and worked for their upliftment along with Gandhi Ji. The Harijan Sevak Sangh was founded at a meeting in 1933 at which Pandit Malviya presided. He worked for eradication of untouchability and to enable temple entry for Harijans.  However, he believed in Varnaashram system (as did Gandhi ji).

Brief timeline

Brief Summary of the Malaviya’s Life


Born in Allahabad


B.A. from Calcutta University

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

March 1898

Submits memorandum about Hindi to U.P. Lt. Governor


Construction of Hindu Boarding House in Allahabad

January 1906

Convened Sanatan Dharma Mahasabha on Kumbha in Allahabad. Propagation of liberal Sanatan Dharma. Decision to open university in Banaras


Editorship of the Abhyudaya. Propagation of Sanatan Dharma and democratic principles


Editorship of the English daily Leader. Chaired the Lahore Congress

October 1910

Presidential address in 1st Conference of Hindi Sahitya Sammelan


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

March 1916

Bill against Indentured Labour system in Councils


Formation of Scout Association by Seva Samiti

December 1918

Chaired Annual Congress Conference in Delhi

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


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


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

April 1932

As Calcutta Congress President arrested in Asansole

November 1939

Appointed life Rector of BHU


Founded Goraksha Mandal

12 November -1946

Passed Away


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