“India belongs to the Hindus, the Mohammedans, the Sikhs, the Parsis and others. No single community can run over the rest. Your hand has five fingers. If you put off the thumb, the power of your hand will be reduced to one-tenth of its original power. Act in such a way that all may unite… Let there be mutual trust.” – Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya
Mahamana Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya, a leading light of the nationalist movement and founder of the Banaras Hindu University, was born in Allahabad present-day Uttar Pradesh on 25 December 1861.
Madan Mohan was a diligent student during his years of school and university education. He came to be widely known when as a spirited youth concerned about the future of his country, he delivered a moving speech at the Congress session in Calcutta in 1886.
As his visibility in public life increased, he was elected to the provincial legislative council in 1902 and to the imperial legislative council in 1909 also he was elected president of the Indian National Congress in 1909. Malaviya was committed to the need for social change and reform in the country. He was one of the earliest to appreciate the role of newspapers, particularly in Indian languages, in the education of the public.
Madan Mohan Malaviya as rightly summed up by Jawaharlal Nehru, was a giant among men, and one of the foundation-layers of Indian nationalism. He was a multifaceted personality, remembered not just for his contributions to the freedom struggle, but also to education, journalism and social reform.
On December 24, 2014, he was posthumously bestowed the highest civilian honour of India, The Bharat Ratna.
The Department of Posts remembers this great son of India in gratitude for the services rendered to the nation and issues a postage stamp to commemorate his 150th birth anniversary. RBI has also issued a 5 rupee coin to mark his birth anniversary.