Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya was an Indian scholar, educational reformer and politician notable for his role in the Indian independence movement, as the four times president of Indian National Congress, the founder of Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha and BHU Varansi.⁣
Malaviya was born on December 25, 1861, in Allahabad. His ancestors, known for their Sanskrit scholarship, originally hailed from Malwa (Ujjain) in the Madhya Pradesh and hence came to be known as ‘Malviyas’. He studied from Calcutta University. He then became a school teacher and later a lawyer and after that, a newspaper editor. ⁣

In 1889, he became the Editor of the “Indian Opinion”. He also founded a highly influential, English-newspaper, The Leader published from Prayagaraj in 1909. He also started his own Hindi weekly “Abhyudaya”. In 1910, Malaviyaji started the Hindi paper ‘Maryada’.⁣

In April 1911, he met Annie Besant and they decided to work for a common Hindu University in Varanasi. Hence, Banaras Hindu University (BHU) was established in 1916, through a Parliamentary legislation, the ‘B.H.U. Act 1915’, and today it remains a prominent institution of learning in India.⁣

Malviya founded Ganga Mahasabha to oppose the damming of Ganges. He compelled the British govt. to sign an agreement with Ganga Mahasabha and other Hindu religious leaders on uninterrupted flow of Ganges of Haridwar and protect Ganges for future obstructions. This agreement is known as Aviral Ganga Raksha Samjhuata 1916.⁣

He was president of the party four times – in 1909, 1918, 1932 and 1933. The “Mahamana” title was conferred to him by Rabindranath Tagore ⁣

Malaviya, who practiced as a lawyer at Allahabad High Court, defended most of the accused in the 1922 Chauri Chaura riots in Gorakhpur in UP and is said to have saved 153 accused from getting death penalty.⁣

He is also credited with popularising the term ‘Satyameva Jayate’ (Truth alone triumphs) – India’s national motto.⁣

In 2014, he has been conferred the Bharat Ratna along with former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.⁣

Mahamana Express train (Delhi to Varansi) has been flagged off by PM Modi on 22 January 2016 is named after him. ⁣