New Delhi | Jagran Education Desk: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is all set to lay the foundation stone of the new university in Aligarh today, September 14. The university will be named after legendary freedom fighter Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh, who set up the first Provisional Government of India in Afghanistan in 1915. The university will be constructed on 92.27 acres of land at village Lodha and Musepur Kareen Jaroului in Kol Tehsil.

Who was Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh?

Born in a royal Jat family, Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh was a resident of Hathras district in 1886. He was not just a freedom fighter, but also a social reformer, Marxist revolutionary, journalist and writer. Pratap is also an alumnus of Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental Collegiate School, present-day Aligarh Muslim University. However, he couldn't complete his graduation and left the MAO in 1905.

Popularly known as Aryan Peshwa, he participated in Balkan War in 1911 with his fellow mates of MAO college.

In 1915, Pratap set up the first Provisional Government of India in Afghanistan and declared himself as the President. He later fled to Japan, where he established the Executive Board of India in 1940.
In 1977, AMU, under VC Prof AM Khusro, was felicitated at the centenary celebration of MAO.

Influenced by the speeches of Dadabhai Naoroji, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Maharaja Baroda, and Bipin Chandra Pal, he turned into Swadeshi and led the movement to burn the foreign-made clothes in the state.

32 years in Exile

On December 20, 1914, Pratap left India for the third time and returned after 32 years on August 9, 1946, when India got its independence. On reaching India, he immediately rushed to meet Mahatama Gandhi in Wardha.

Political Career

In 1957, Pratap was elected as an independent candidate in Lok Sabha Elections from Mathura Lok Sabha constituency defeating Bhartiya Jana Sangh (now BJP) member and future Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Posted By: Niharika Sanjeeiv