Who was Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh? PM Modi lays foundation stone of university after Jat icon in Aligarh

PM Narendra Modi is set to lay the foundation stone of the Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh University in Aligarh on September 14, 2021. All you need to know about the Jat icon after whom a university in Aligarh has been named.

Created On: Sep 14, 2021 12:10 IST
Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh, Source: ANI
Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh, Source: ANI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of the Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh University in Aligarh on September 14, 2021. Amid the upcoming Assembly elections, the move to name the university after the ‘Jat Icon’ comes at a time when the farmers protest against the farm laws has been gaining momentum in Western Uttar Pradesh which is also a Jat-dominated area and this move has been seen as an attempt by the BJP to win over the Jat farmers. The Jat community accounts for approximately 17 per cent of the voting population in twelve districts of the Western UP region.

The BJP and RSS leaders in 2019 had demanded the Aligarh Muslim University be renamed after Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh who had donated the land to AMU. Following the demands, the Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath on September 14, 2019, announced that a state-level university will be set up in the name of Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh.

In 2020, the Uttar Pradesh government had cleared a proposal to set up a new university in Aligarh, named after Mahendra Pratap Singh. The construction of the university is expected to be completed within at least 24 months from the date of laying the foundation. The university is expected to be ready by September 2023.

Who is Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh?

Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh was a Jat freedom fighter, social reformist, journalist, writer. He was the third son of Raja Ghanshyam Singh and a Jat icon and. Singh was born in a socio-economically influential Jat family of Mursan in Hathras district in 1886. He was an alumnus of Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College, which was later renamed Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) in 1920.

Singh had served as President in the Provisional Government of India, the Indian government that served in exile during World War I. Singh also formed the Executive Board of India in Japan in 1940 during the Second World War. Singh contributed significantly to the freedom struggle of India.

Singh had set up a provisional government in exile in Afghanistan during World War I. He also took part in the Balkan War in 1911 along with his fellow students at MAO College. The Indian government had also issued postage stamps in his honor in 1979. Singh was popularly known as ‘Aryan Peshwa’.

In 1909, Singh established the indigenous technical institute Prem Mahavidyalaya in Vrindavan to bring India at par with European countries. In 1932, Singh was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for giving up his property and establishing a technical college in Vrindavan.

N A Nilsson who nominated Singh for the Peace Prize stated that Singh gave up his property to establish a technical college in Vrindavan. He participated in the campaign by Mahatma Gandhi in South Africa in 1913. He worked on creating awareness about the situation in Afghanistan and India. Singh went on a mission in Tibet in 1925 and met Dalai Lama. Singh was known as an unofficial envoy of Afghanistan.

During the 1957 Lok Sabha elections, Singh won the election from the Mathura constituency. Singh was contesting as an independent candidate while Atal Bihari Vajpayee was contesting as a candidate for the BJP.

 

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