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The Collected Works of Lala Lajpat Rai, Volume I

B R Nanda, Manohar, 2003, xxiv, 462 p, ISBN : 8173044813, $39.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

The Collected Works of Lala Lajpat Rai, Volume I/B.R. Nanda

Contents: Foreword. 1. Open letters to Sir Syed Ahmed Khan. 2. Constitutional reforms and the Indian National Congress. 3. Administration of justice. 4. Economic problems. 5. Education. 6. Famine relief and orphanages. 7. Guru Datta Vidyarthi. 8. Miscellaneous. 9. Great men of the world. Chronology. Index.

"Lala Lajpat Rai was one of the outstanding leaders of modern India, a contemporary of Dadabhai Naoroji, Tilak, Gokhale and Gandhi. His public life spanned the last decade of the nineteenth century and first three decades of the twentieth century. In his twenties he practised law at the Lahore Chief Court and built up a lucrative practice but was drawn very early into public activities pertaining to religious, educational and social reforms and then to nationalist politics.

"Lajpat Rai was one of the foremost leaders of the Indian National Congress in the years before the First World War. His arrest and deportation without trial to Burma in 1907 created great sensation in India. He spent the war years in the United States promoting the Indian case for self-government. He returned to India in 1920 and presided over the historic session of the Indian National Congress at Calcutta which approved of Gandhi’s programme for non-cooperation with the Raj. Later, he was the deputy leader of the Swaraj Party in the Central Legislative Assembly. He remained active both in provincial and national politics in the 1920s. While leading a demonstration against the Simon Commission at Lahore in 1928 he received injuries in an assault by the police which hastened his death.

"The first volume in this series covers the period up to 1900. While engaged in legal practice at the Lahore Bar, Lajpat Rai was also intensely involved in the work of Arya Samaj, and in social and humanitarian activities, such as famine relief, organization of orphanages and promotion of education on modern lines. He made his first foray into national politics at the age of twenty-three. He wrote ‘Open Letters’ to Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, the great Muslim educationist of Aligarh, charging him with going back on his views on Hindu-Muslim unity and Indian nationhood. At the Allahabad Congress session in 1888 he was called upon to support the resolution for constitutional reforms. He contributed articles and letters to the press, exposed corruption in the judiciary and discussed economic problems. He also authored a number of books, including the biographies of Mazzini and Garibaldi and Swami Dayanand.

"The Collected Works of Lala Lajpat Rai is a series that will not only document and illuminate the personality of an eminent Indian political leader but also provide valuable material for analysts and scholars of modern Indian history." (jacket)

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