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Who was Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh, the ‘Jat King’ who has grabbed PM Narendra Modi’s attention?

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi today will lay the foundation stone of Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh State University in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh. The university is being established by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government to honour the noted Jat figure, Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh, who was a freedom fighter, a social reformer, and a Marxist revolutionary. 

Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh, born in 1886 in UP’s Hathras, was an alumnus of Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental Collegiate School that later became Aligarh Muslim University. According to reports, Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh donated land for Aligarh Muslim University.

He leased 1.221 hectares (3.04 acres) of land in 1929 at Rs 2 per annum to the university, AMU’s land records state. Later the year, CM Adityanath announced that a state-level university would be set up after him in Aligarh. 

In 2019, BJP and RSS leaders demanded that the Aligarh Muslim University should be renamed after him.

Born into a royal family, Raja Mahendra Pratap Sing was actively involved in politics from a young age and had participated in the 1911 Balkan War with his fellow students at the AMU. While he never completed his graduation from the university, he was felicitated during the centenary celebration of the AMU in 1997. 

He was deeply involved in the Swadeshi movement, and he set up the first Provisional Government of India in Afghanistan in 1915, declaring himself the President. 

The Britishers had announced a bounty on Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh’s head, as he had announced a jihad against the colonial rule. He later fled to Japan and established the Executive Board of India in Japan in 1940.

Singh, who was a firm believer in Mahatma Gandhi’s policy of non-violence, was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1932. He called himself the “servant of the powerless and weak.” He also set up a polytechnic institution, Prem Maha Vidyalaya in his place in UP’s Vrindavan. 

A firm believer in Mahatma Gandhi’s policy of non-violence, Singh also set up the Prem Maha Vidyalaya, a polytechnic institution in his palace in Vrindavan.

After India’s independence, he was elected to the Parliament in 1957, after he defeated the then Jan Sangh (now BJP) candidate Atal Bihari Vajpayee. 

He died in 1979.


Courtesy – www.dnaindia.com

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