Raja Mahendra Pratap was an Indian freedom fighter, journalist, writer, revolutionary, President in the Provisional Government of India, which served as the Indian Government in exile during World War I, and social reformist in the Republic of India.
Pratap was born in a princely state of Mursan in the Hathras District of Uttar Pradesh on 1 December 1886.
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. He could not complete his graduation and left MAO in 1905.
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 also started the movement to burn the foreign-made clothes in his state.
To eliminate untouchability he dined with a Tamata family of Almora in 1911, and a Mehtar family of Agra in 1912.
On 20th December 1914, at the age of 28, Raja Mahendra Pratap left India for European countries to liberate India from the clutches of the British colonial rule with outside support.
In 1915, through Germany and Turkey, he made his way to Afghanistan. That year in Kabul, along with other Indian revolutionaries he established provisional Government of Free India. He was the President and Maulana Barkatullah was the Prime Minister.
The British Government of India declared a reward on his head, attached his entire estate and declared him a fugitive.
While in United States, he worked in cooperation with the Hindustan Ghadar Party. He was sent as their emissary to Tibet to organise a revolt against the British.
He went to Japan in 1925. He published “World Federation Monthly Magazine” in 1929. 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 was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1932.
He formed the Executive Board of India in Japan in 1940 during Second World War.
At last the British government had to kneel to Raja Mahendra Pratap and he was permitted to come to India from Tokyo with respect.
He returned to India after about 32 years by the “City of Paris” Ship and landed at Madras on 9th August 1946. In his later life, he came under the spell of Mahatma Gandhi and accepted the Gandhian philosophy of non-violence.
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 will give the real power in the hands of people and will reduce corruption and bureaucratic hurdles.
He was president of Indian Freedom Fighters’ Association. He was president of All India Jat Mahasabha also.