NEW DELHI: A multifaceted personality, Madan Mohan Malviya, who was conferred the Bharat Ratna today along with former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, was an educationist who founded the Banaras Hindu University and became one of the torchbearers of the freedom struggle acting as a bridge between the Moderates and the Extremists.
Known for his espousal of Hindu nationalism- being one of the initial leaders of the far-right Hindu Mahasabha- Malviya was a social reformer and a successful Parliamentarian.
Malviya was catapulted into the political arena immediately after his inspiring speech at the second Congress session in Calcutta in 1886. He went on to serve Congress for almost 50 years. He served as Congress President for four times- in 1909 (Lahore), in 1918(Delhi), in 1930 (Delhi) and in 1932 (Calcutta).
In the freedom struggle, Malaviya was midway between the Liberals and the Nationalists, the Moderates and the Extremists, as the followers of Gokhale and Tilak were respectively called.
In 1930, when Mahatma Gandhi launched the Salt Satyagraha and the Civil Disobedience Movement, he participated in it and courted arrest.
Born in an educated orthodox Hindu family at Prayag (Allahabad) in 1861 Malviya started his career as a teacher in Allahabad District School but continued to pursue his education.