At the time when the national movement was still in its early stages, Madan Mohan Malaviya emerged as an enigmatic but commanding figure in the political landscape of India. This work reconstructs Malaviya's ideal of nationalism, which was composite, constructive, and creative, and offers a fresh perspective on an important period of modern India's political history.
Utilizing new and authentic source material, this book traces Malaviya's role in the freedom struggle, the people who supported him, his relations with other established political leaders of the country within and outside of the Congress Party, and how he saw his own actions and role in public life.
Taking Malaviya as a particular example of sub continental leadership, Jagannath Prasad Misra studies the method and manner of Malaviya's nationalist propaganda. He shows that rather than being a restraining influence, Malaviya's faith in constitutional politics and educational advancement laid a solid foundation for the uplift of the nation.
Jagannath Prasad Misra, formerly Professor and Head, Department of History, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India, had a long teaching career at Kanpur, Pilani, and Varanasi. His published works include The Administration of India under Lord Lansdowne (1975), Aadhunik Bharat Ka Itihas (2003), Madan Mohan Malaviya (1987), and Swadhinta Aandolan (1995). He has published a number of papers on various aspects of India's struggle for freedom.
This work aims at providing an integrated analysis of Madan Mohan Malaviya's long-term involvement in Indian nationalist politics. It takes Malaviya as its focus but becomes, of necessity, an investigation into the changing nature of India's nationalist struggle. It traces, from new and authentic source material, precisely what Malaviya did, whom he relied on for support, what his relations were with the established political leaders of the country, and how he saw his own actions and role in Indian public life. It asks whether Malaviya's career generated certain changes in Indian politics and, if so, in what directions, or whether it exploited existing forces of change in politics and society. It attempts to trace various stages of Malaviya's leadership and his ability to retain and wield authority.
The study concentrates much more on the relationship between Malaviya and his followers, between Malaviya and the Congress leadership, and between Malaviya and various leaders and workers of the Muslim League, the Hindu Mahasabha, the Sikh leaders, and those belonging to various other organizations or institutions. It investigates the means of communication between them, the barriers and contradictions, and tries to assess the way they influenced one another. An attempt is also made to explain the continuity of his long-term involvement in the Indian nationalist struggle in terms of not only the changing constitutional structure but also the organizational base of his leadership. The study examines how the method and manner of Malaviya's nationalist propaganda and some of the campaigns launched by him tended to affect the different communities.
Information about Malaviya is particularly difficult to find because he was not in the habit of entering into regular correspondence with his contemporaries. We have information that he made no effort to preserve his letters, telegrams, or other communications. Unfortunately, even after his death, no efforts were made to collect, preserve, or publish his papers. This has made the task of later researchers far more difficult than in the case of other nationalist leaders. As a result, we have to go through various scattered sources to locate his letters, correspondence, and statements, without which any investigation of his role would not be very convincing.
As most of the authors writing on Malaviya made no serious effort to consult various original sources and as Malaviya's private papers are not available, it became absolutely necessary for me to go through source material available for consultation at the National Archives of India, New Delhi; Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi; the Uttar Pradesh State Archives, Lucknow; and various other research centres, institutions, and libraries located in different cities. These are included in the select bibliography.
This study is primarily based on the proceeding volumes and files of the Home-Political Department, Government of India (cited as Home Poll); the microfilm collections of the private papers of the viceroys and governors of United Provinces (UP; now Uttar Pradesh); and the documents available for consultation at the Uttar Pradesh State Archives (UPSA), Lucknow. Because of the unavailability of Malaviya's papers, the letters and telegrams addressed to him and some of the replies received from him, available in the private papers of other leading nationalists of the time, help us to understand how he thought and acted at a given time or in a given situation. These private papers throw much light on Malaviya's role and are authentic records of his contemporaries. These papers become all the more valuable as the letters available in these series were often written either immediately before or soon after a major event, meeting, or gathering, and the immediate reaction of the nationalist leaders often assumes great significance. This study has been undertaken with a detailed review of the contemporary newspapers, both in English and Hindi. I have made special efforts to consult the newspapers and journals founded and patronized by Malaviya. The microfilms of Abhudaya, the Leader, and the Hindustan Times were consulted with a view to examining his major interests during the period.
I am thankful to the authorities and the staff of the National Archives of India, New Delhi; the Uttar Pradesh State Archives, Lucknow; the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. New Delhi; the Nagri Pracharni Sabha, Varanasi; the Theosophical Society Library, Varanasi; and the Central Library, Banaras Hindu University, for providing me facilities and help. I am obliged to Sri B.M. Birla for providing me photocopies of several letters and other correspondence of Sri G.D. Birla.
I recall with pleasure the warmth and affection extended to me by my son, Awadhesh, sons-in-law, Ramesh and Anurag, and daughters, Sandhya and Seema. Madhavan, Mukul, Sarthak, Roli, Suhasni, and Shristi have made my life a great deal more interesting and rewarding than it would have otherwise been. My wife, Padma, has constantly been by my side in this Endeavour, always offering encouragement and support.
I acknowledge with gratitude and thanks the cooperation extended to me by Professor Anand Shankar Singh and my former colleagues at the Department of History, Banaras Hindu University.
I am deeply obliged to the Chairman and the Member-Secretary of the Indian Council of Historical Research, New Delhi, for their decision to publish this book.
I alone am responsible for the deficiencies that remain and the opinions expressed.
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