January 28 marks the birth anniversary of Indian freedom icon Lala Lajpat Rai.

Rai, who was born in the Punjab town of Dhudike in 1865, was a significant leader in India’s freedom war. He fought hard against British authority and was given the label of ‘Punjab Kesari,’ or ‘The Lion of Punjab,’ because of his nationalism and passionate ideas. 

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He is fondly known as Lal from the ‘Lal-Bal-Pal’ triad (Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, and Bipin Chandra Pal) and was a notable Congress party leader.

Lala Lajpat Rai also established the Punjab National Bank (PNB) and the Laxmi Insurance Company in 1894. When the Simon Commission was established by Britishers in India in 1928 to maintain a watch on the country’s political status, Indians revolted.

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He led the nonviolent march to oppose and boycott the British Simon Commission, but was regrettably beaten and injured by a police lathi charge on protestors.

Rai was severely hurt and died of a heart attack on November 17, 1928.

On the 157th anniversary of Lala Lajpat Rai’s birth, we celebrate his accomplishments through some inspiring words and slogans of the revolutionary freedom fighter who gave his life for the country.

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  • The shots that hit me are the last nails to the coffin of British rule in India.
  • A person should be courageous and honest in worshipping the truth, without being concerned about receiving worldly benefits. 
  • Defeat and failure are sometimes necessary steps of victory.
  • If I had the power to influence Indian journals, I would have the following headlines printed in bold letters on the first page: Milk for infants, food for the adults and education for all.
  • I always believed that my silence on several topics will be an advantage in the long run.