Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh was born in the ruling Thenua Jat family of the state of Mursan in the Hathras District of Uttar Pradesh on 1 December 1886. He was the third son of Raja Ghanshyam Singh. At the age of three, Raja Bahadur Harnarayan Singh of Hathras adopted him as his son. He was married to Maharaj kumari Balveer Kaur ( Later Rani Balveer Kaur) belonging to the ruling Sidhu Jat family of Jind, a princely state of Haryana (then in Punjab) in 1902 while studying in college. He died in 1979.

Education :-
In 1895 Pratap was admitted to the Government High School in Aligarh, but soon he switched over to the Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental Collegiate School which later on became Aligarh Muslim University Here he received his education under British Headmasters and Muslim teachers all from Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College Aligarh founded by Sir Sayed Ahmad Khan. He could not complete his graduation and left MAO in 1905. In 1977, AMU, under V-C Prof A M Khusro, felicitated Raja Bahadur Mahendra Pratap Singh at the centenary celebrations of MAO.

With this background he shaped into a true representative of secular society. To bring India to a par with European countries, Pratap established the free indigenous technical institute Prem Mahavidyalaya in his palace at Vrindavan on 24 May 1909.

Nobel prize Nomination :-
He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1932 N.A. Nilsson, his nominator, said about him- “Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh gave up his property for educational purposes, and he established a technical college at Brindaban. In 1913 he took part in Gandhi’s campaign in South Africa. He traveled around the world to create awareness about the situation in Afghanistan and India. In 1925 he went on a mission to Tibet and met the Dalai Lama. He was primarily on an unofficial economic mission on behalf of Afghanistan, but he also wanted to expose the British brutalities in India. He called himself the servant of the powerless and weak.”

While nominating for the Peace Nobel Prize, the nominator in a short biography, gave Singh’s status as follows: Singh “is the editor of the World Federation and an unofficial envoy of Afghanistan. The nominator wrote a short biography as well as international political activities. Particularly his role in the Indo-Turco-German mission was highlighted. For instance, Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany and Sultan Mohemmod Rishad of Turkey gave him letters for the Afghan King. He arrived in Kabul on Oct. 2, 1915. On December 1, 1915, a Provisional Government for India was organised. Pratap was declared as its President. In 1917 he went to Russia and met Trotsky at Leningrad. From there he came back to meet Kaiser and Sultan, to give the message of the King of Afghanistan. He passed some time in Budapest and Switzerland. He was brought by German aeroplane to Russia, where he met Lenin. From there he went to Afghanistan. King Amanullah sent him on a mission to China, Tibet, Japan, Siam, Germany, Turkey and the U.S.A. After an agreement with the British, the King lost interest in Pratap. In the end, it is summarized: “He is primarily on an unofficial economic mission of Afghanistan. However, being born as an Indian he also wanted to expose the British brutalities in that land of the idealist Americans. At this juncture, when the great freedom movement of India is developing with large momentum it is in the interest of the spiritually minded as well as business people to study carefully this new phenomenon of our social life. …. He hopes to achieve some practical results in this direction during his present sojourn in this country (U.S.A.). He is planning to establish an Afghanistan information bureau and an office of the World Federation at Washington, D.C. He just tries to do his duty according to his best understanding and leaves the working of fate to the Laws of Nature!”.. “It will be of interest to know – Why a Swede nominated Singh? The answer is to be found in the documents, which were sent with the nomination letter. Namely, Singh supported the idea of “World Federation”, about which N.A. Nilsson, propagated in 1910, as is evident from: “Fédération Internationale – Discours Au – xviii Congrés Universel de la paix (International Federation – Speeches in – xviii Universal Congress of Peace).”

Freedom Movement :-
In spite of objections from his father-in-law, Pratap went to Kolkata in 1906 to attend the Congress session, and met several leaders involved in the Swadeshi movement, deciding to promote small industries with indigenous goods and local artisans. He was very much against social evils, especially untouchability. To eliminate this evil he dined with a Tamata family of Almora in 1911, and a Mehtar family of Agra in 1912. He was influenced by the speeches of Dada bhai Naoroji, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Maharaja Baroda, and Bipin Chandra Pal, helping to make him a patriot who turned Swadeshi. He started the movement to burn the foreign-made clothes in his state.

After trying sincerely to liberate his motherland, on 20 December 1914 at the age of 28 Pratap left India for the third time, with a desire to liberate India from the clutches of British colonial rule by obtaining outside support.

In January 1915 on learning about his presence in Switzerland, Chatto alias Virendranath Chattopadhyay of the newly founded Berlin Committee (Deutsche Verein der Freunde Indien) requested Von Zimmermann of the German foreign ministry to get Pratap invited to Berlin. Already Chatto had sent a first mission to Afghanistan led by the Parsi revolutionary Dada ChanjiKersasp.

Informed about Chatto’s activities from Shyamji Krishna varma and Lala Hardayal, Pratap insisted on meeting the Kaiser Wilhelm II personally; Chatto rushed to Geneva to tell Pratap of the Kaiser’s eagerness to see him, and they went to Berlin together. HarDayal, too, followed them. Decorating Pratap with the Order of the Red Eagle, the Kaiser showed his awareness of the strategic position of the Phulkian States (Jind, Patiala and Nabha), if India was invaded through the Afghan frontier.

According to Pratap’s wish, he was taken to a military camp near the Polish border to gain a firsthand knowledge of army policies and functioning. On 10 April 1915 accompanied by the German diplomat Werner Otto von Hentig, Maulavi Barkatullah and a few other members, Pratap left Berlin, with due credentials from the Kaiser.

In Vienna the delegation met the Khedive of Egypt who during a conversation with Pratap expressed his desire to see the end of the British Empire. On their way, in Turkey they had a visit with Enver Pasha, son-in-law of the Sultan and Defense Minister, who appointed a trusted military officer to guide them. They were received by Rauf Bey with a detachment of 2000 soldiers at Ispahan. They reached Kabul on 2 October and were greeted by Habibullah, having a number of discussions.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Provisional Government of India :-

On 1 December 1915 during World War I (his 28th birthday) Pratap established the first Provisional Government of India at Kabul in Afghanistan as a government-in-exile of Free Hindustan, with himself as President, MaulaviBarkatullah as Prime Minister, and MaulanaUbaidullah Sindhi as Home Minister, declaring jihad on the British. Anti-British forces supported his movement, but because of obvious loyalty to the British, the Amir kept on delaying the expedition to overthrow British rule in India.

Due to his revolutionary ideas Pratap had a good relationship with Lenin, who invited him to Russia after its liberation and welcomed him. By this time, the British had noticed his activities, and the British Government of India put a bounty on his head, attached/confiscated his entire estate, and declared him a fugitive, causing him to flee to Japan in 1925

In Japan :-
In Japan he published the ‘World Federation Monthly Magazine’ in 1929, trying his best to use the world war situations to free India. During Second World War he stayed at Tokyo in Japan and continued his movement from ‘World Federation Centre’ to free India from British rule. He formed the Executive Board of India in Japan in 1940 during Second World War. At last the British government relented and Raja MahendraPratap Singh was permitted to come to India from Tokyo with respect.

Return to India :-
He returned to India after 32 years on the ship City of Paris, and landed at Madras on 9 August 1946. On reaching India he immediately rushed to Wardha to meet Mahatma Gandhi.

After independence also he continued his struggle for transfer of power to the common man. His vision was that the Panchayat Raj was the only tool which can put real power in the hands of people and reduce corruption and bureaucratic hurdles. He was the president of Indian Freedom Fighters’ Association and was also the president of All India JatMahasabha.

1957 Lok Sabha Election :-
He was a member of the second Lok Sabha in 1957–1962. He was elected as an independent candidate in the 1957 Lok Sabha Elections from Mathura Lok Sabha constituency defeating Bharatiya Jana Sangh (which would later evolve into BJP) candidate and the future Prime Minister of India, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who was in the fourth position among the list of five candidates.

References :-

  • Gupta, Sourabh (28 November 2014). “3 surprising facts about Jat King at the centre of AMU row”. India Today.
  • Singh, Vir. Life and Times of Raja MahendraPratap. Low Price Publications (India). ISBN 9788188629329.
  • “The Role and Contribution of Raja MahendraPratap in Indian Freedom Movement” (PDF).
  • “Raja MahendraPratap”. India Post.
  • Jaiswal, Anuja (6 May 2018). “MahendraPratap Singh: Now, Raja MahendraPratap Singh’s grandson wants his portrait in AMU”. The Times of India. Retrieved 30 September 2020.
  • Bhattacharya, Abinash Chandra (1962). BahirbharateBharaterMuktiprayas (in Bengali), Kalikata:FirmaK.L.Mukhopadhyaya, pp. 9–24.
  • “Explained: Battleground AMU; A Raja and his Legacy”. The Indian Express. 29 November 2014. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
  • The Nomination Database for the Nobel Prize in Peace, 1901–1955. nobelprize.org.
  • Rajinder, Singh (2016) Inside Story of Nobel Peace Prize Award – Indian Contestants. Shaker, Aachen. pp. 21–30. ISBN 978-3844043389
  • “Looking back at the times”. The Hindu. 28 January 2015. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
  • Contributions of Raja MahendraPrata by Hakim Syed Zillur Rahman, International Seminar on Raja MahendraPratap&BarkatullahBhopali|MaulaviBarkatullah, Barkatulla University, Bhopal, 1–3 December 2005.
  • Statistical Report on General Elections, 1957 to the Second Lok Sabha. Election Commission of India (1957).
  • “General Election, 1957 (Vol I, II)”. Election Commission of India. Retrieved 2 March 2021.
  • Raja MahendraPratap Singh Wiki
  • साहिल, अफ़रोज़आलम (1 October 2019). “बीजेपीकोजिनराजामहेंद्रप्रतापपरप्यारआरहाहै, उन्होंनेवाजपेयीकोहरायाथा”. ThePrint Hindi. Retrieved 8 September 2021
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