Madan Mohan Malaviya: Life and Contributions

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madan mohan malviya

Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya was a great politician, Indian scholar, and education reformer who made significant contributions to the Indian freedom struggle. He was born on December 25, 1861, in Allahabad and was a great leader whose visionary vision made great changes in the education, social reform, and social activism sectors of India. Read this blog to learn more about “Madan Mohan Malaviya,” his life, and his contributions to the country.

Overview of Madan Mohan Malaviya
Birth 25th December 1861
Birth PlacePrayagraj
Organizations foundBanaras Hindu University, Bharat Dharma Mahamandala, etc
AwardsBharat Ratna
Died12th November 1946

Madan Mohan Malaviya: Early Life and Education

Madan Mohan Malaviya was born in Praygraj on December 25, 1861, his parents were Brijnath Malaviya and Moona Devi. At the age of 16, he married Kundan Devi from Mirzapur, and it is said that his ancestors were very respected for the knowledge they had of Hindu scriptures and Sanskrit scholarship.

  • Malaviya started attending Mahajani Pathsala at the age of five.
  • Malaviya completed his primary education at a school run by Vidha Vardini Sabha.
  • Later, he joined the  Allahabad District School.
  • He completed his graduation from Muir Central College in 1879, which is now known as the University of Allahabad.
  • Malaviya wanted to study Sanskrit for an M.A. However, his father wanted him to follow the family trade of Bhagavat recital because his circumstances prevented him from doing so.

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Contributions to the Indian Education System

Malaviya was a firm believer that education was the main pathway to India’s progress.

  • He promoted a system of education that combined Western scientific advances with traditional Indian values, fighting for universal access to modern education.
  • He is the founder of Banaras Hindu University, which was established in 1916.
  • He was the vice-chancellor of BHU University for over two years.
  • Malaviya actively pushed BHU to offer vocational training programs with an emphasis on fields like technology, engineering, and agriculture. 
  • Malaviya was a firm believer in not only focusing on the accumulation of knowledge through education but also nurturing a sense of cultural identity.
  • BHU, in his time, incorporated the study of Indian languages, philosophy, and history.
  • He took an active part in discussions about educational reforms, arguing in favour of a framework that took into account the special needs of India.

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Madan Mohan Malviya’s Contribution to the Indian Freedom Struggle

The establishment of Banaras Hindu University (BHU) was not the only thing that Madan Mohan Malaviya contributed to the Indian independence movement.

  • He was a great visionary leader who employed different methods to fight for a free India.
  • He was Indian National Congress President twice, in 1909 and 1919, and advocated for a moderate approach to gaining independence from the British Raj.
  • Malaviya understood that the only way to overthrow British rule was to present a united front. He believed that cooperation between the two major communities was crucial for the success of the freedom struggle, so he actively promoted Hindu-Muslim unity.
  • Malaviya understood that social inequalities weakened the national movement. Which is why he championed the cause of underprivileged communities and advocated against caste discrimination. 
  • Malaviya established influential newspapers like “The Leader” to spread nationalist ideas and mobilize public opinion.
  • Malaviya promoted the concept of Swadeshi (use of domestic goods) as a means to weaken the British economy and foster self-reliance. 


What were Madan Mohan Malaviya’s major contributions to education in India?

Madan Mohan Malaviya founded Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in 1916, emphasizing a blend of Western education with Indian values and promoting vocational training.

How did Madan Mohan Malaviya contribute to the Indian freedom struggle?  

He served as Indian National Congress President twice, advocated for Hindu-Muslim unity, fought against social inequalities, and promoted Swadeshi.

What was Madan Mohan Malaviya’s educational background?

Malaviya graduated from Muir Central College (now the University of Allahabad) in 1879, known for his expertise in Sanskrit and dedication to educational reforms in India.

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