MARTYR MAHASHAY RAJPAL OF LAHORE
By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM
The D Day was on 6th April 1929. Mahashay Rajpal, a staunch Arya Samajist had returned from an academic tour of Gurukul Kangri Haridwar and was resting on a cot in his book shop, Arya Pustakalaya – Saraswati Ashram in Lahore. An Arya who visited Lahore, the capital of undivided Punjab, invariably paid a visit to the Gurudutt Bhawan that housed the Arya Pratinidhi Sabha Punjab and dropped in Arya Pustakalaya-Saraswati Ashram for an intellectual cum religious get-together. On the fateful day, an illiterate Muslim named Ilamdin, made an unlawful entry into the resting place of Mahashay Rajpal and thrust a long dagger like rapacious knife into his chest. The deep wound cost him his life. The assailant was grabbed and held tight by Arya stalwarts present and handed over to the police. The killer was tried in a sessions court and finally hanged till death.
One may wonder today in the 21st century why was the murder of a noble man like Rajpal committed by an illiterate man. Well, the story is long but to cut it short one may say that the Muslim clergy could not face the Truth as told by the Arya Samaj men of letters who always backed their propositions by facts and figures that went unchallenged. Stung by the logical presentation of religious points of view wherein religions that did not stand the scrutiny of logic fell flat on the ground and stood in the danger of losing followers, looked for an avenue of violent revenge. Maharishi Swami Dayanand Saraswati had exposed in the 14th chapter of the Satyarth Prakash that Islam professed to be a religion of Peace on paper and its adherents were the most violent men on Earth. History stood by the said great treatise. The Muslim community avenged the sting by writing a tract, Uneeswin Sadi ka Mahrishi, wherein they hurled abusive false charges against the founder of the Arya Samaj which went unproven. The Muslim community also made wild accusations against Yogeshwar Shri Krishna in a book of malicious charges named,” Krishna, Teri Gita Jalani Padegi”. Indeed a counter attack on the sections of Muslims who pioneered the two pieces of contemptuous writings was called for. Pt Chamupati wrote a booklet” RANGEELA RASOOL” anonymously and Mahashay Rajpal boldly published it in 1923. The book sold well for a year and a half and remained unchallenged by the affected community.
All was quiet on the western front except battle of books. It was Gandhiji who took note of Rangeela Rasool and called for action against the writer and publisher. A man of peace and non-violence set the Thames on fire. The situation became volatile and created a law and order problem in Lahore. The British Administration launched a case of prosecution against the publisher, Mahashay Rajpal to placate the Muslim community that was up in arms.
The case Crown Vs Rajpal eventually became a case of Hindus Vs Muslims. Eminent lawyers like Narang from the Hindu side and Jinnah from the Muslim side appeared but justice was done and Ilamdin was hanged. Mahashay Rajpal was acquitted of charges under section 153A IPC with honour by the Punjab High Court.
Nevertheless the Muslim community was not satisfied with logic and peace and took recourse to violence. Ilamdin represented that shame of violence and reportedly only dogs wallow on his grave now. Mahashay Rajpal is hailed as a martyr, a man who sacrificed his life for the cause of the Vedic Dharm without revealing name of author of Rangeela Rasool as vowed.
Mahashay Rajpal is hailed as a Martyr even after eight decades plus of his martyrdom. AUM Shantih Shantih Shantih.