Lala Hardayal & His Writing
Lala Hardayal is a renowned freedom fighter and a great scholar of India. He dedicated his whole life to serve his motherland, India. He was one of the founder members of Gadar party. This great patriot left his career of civil services to serve his nation. His simple living and intellectual insight inspired numerous Indians living in foreign countries to fight against British imperialism.
Lala Hardayal was a selfless servant of his motherland. He was inspired by many legendary Indian revolutionary figures. Among them Shyamji Krishna Varma, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, Bhikhaji Cama and some others were his ideals. He was an ardent follower of Arya Samaj too.
Lala Hardayal Ji was a master of letters. His precious writings are appreciated in the entire world. He was influenced by Mazzini, Marx and Mikhail Bakunin in his writing. His idealistic thoughts are very impressive.
His important works include Hints for Self Culture, Thoughts on Education, Social Conquest of Hindu Race, Forty Four Months in Germany and Turkey, Bodhisatva Doctrines, Our Educational Problem, Glimpses of World Religions etc.
In his writing Lalaji appears as a great patriot and as a great enemy of imperialism. He vehemently criticizes the British rule in India. He has written several articles against the education policy of British government in India. He condemned this faulty system and openly declared that Sanskrit is the only national tongue for all India. Lala Hardayal’s multi angled interpretation of culture, history, ethics, theology and political and religious philosophy is appreciated in the entire world.
Lala Hardayal is very popular for his Hints for Self Culture which was published in 1934. This book is the manifestation of the scholarly side of a revolutionary. It is a long treatise on the multiple forms of required knowledge.
This book has been divided into four sections- Intellectual Culture, Physical Culture, Aesthetic Culture and Ethical Culture. In the beginning of this book Lalaji mentions the purpose of this presentation. He Says, ‘In this little book, I have tried to indicate and explain some aspects of the message of Rationalism for the young men and women of all countries. If it helps them in their efforts for self improvement in the last degree, I shall be amply rewarded.’
The first section of this book is Intellectual Culture. This section has been divided into several parts- Science, History, Psychology, Economics, Philosophy, Sociology, Languages and Comparative Religion. Lala has expressed his opinion on all these subjects.
The Intellectual Culture begins with the fantastic articulation, ‘It is your duty to train and develop your Mind and acquire knowledge, as much knowledge as you can obtain. Knowledge is like a deep well, fed by perennial springs, and your Mind is like the little bucket that you drop into it: you will get as much as you can assimilate.’ According to Lala Hardayal Brain is a wonderful gift of nature. At one place he adds, ‘Knowledge and mental self culture will confer untold blessings upon you. You will not be the victim of superstition and demagogy in religion and politics.’ He is of the opinion that, ‘Intellect should be employed chiefly as an instrument of growth, and social service.’
The Intellectual Culture by Lala Hardayal helps the reader to build their personality as a free and cultured citizen. It talks about the philosophy of life from a practical viewpoint. It inspires the readers to gain knowledge and shed ignorance to make their life worth living. It emphasises a radical self-¬making process toward the creation of present and future. Lala Hardayal is of the opinion that, ‘One is no better than an animal if one does not try to be on the path of self-improvement. As human beings with high intelligence, we need to do constant thinking on ways and means to be better every day.’
Lala Hardayal, no doubt, is a great prose writer. The range of his subjects is vast. Life in totality has been taken to discuss. As a writer he had a rich romantic imagination and a classic insight. So far as his language is concerned, it has fantastic communicability. It suits to the subject. His prose gives us a pleasure of poetry. Lalaji is very particular in the use of intonation and rhythm. The tonal quality of his words is also appreciable. He used appropriate word at appropriate place. His analysis was practical. His perception was healthy and robust. His precision is absolute. Quotations and references are nearly absent in his writing.
Thus it can be said that Lala Hardayal was not only a leading revolutionary, but he was also a scholar and philosopher par excellence. His last words in his last lecture were: ‘I am at peace with all.’