Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya was one of the fathers of Indian Nationalism. Associated with the Congress almost from its birth, he remained actively associated with it right till his death. He fought by parliamentary devices, he led the Satyagraha movement and he lived to see the Congress installed at Delhi. Four times he presided over the Congress, three times over the Hindu Mahasabha, and there was scarcely a great political cause which did not find in him an enthusiastic supporter.
Even when Gandhiji obtained unquestioned mastery of the Congress in 1920, Malaviyaji, in spite of difference in outlook on some points, stood by him throughout. He differed from Gandhiji on many points, but he never dissociated himself from him, for he knew that the country’s future was safe in Gandhiji’s hands. Gandhiji treated him like an elder brother.
However, Malaviyaji was not merely a politician. He was also the father of the movement for a national language for India and brought the Hindi Sahitya Sammelan and the great linguistic and literary movement which is associated with Hindi into existence. He was the greatest educationist in India of the time having founded and conducted the Hindu University at Banaras. He was an erudite scholar and energised the Sanskritic revival which brought to the Indian languages a new Renaissance. He was accepted as the highest authority in Hindu religious thought and action. He was, in essence, the embodiment of the spirit of Kashi, the heart of Hindu outlook throughout the ages.
His achievements were many and varied, but he himself was greater than the greatest of his achievements. Spotless and selfless in character, large-hearted and sympathetic towards all good causes, devoutly religious, he lived in a ceaseless effort to realize the ideals which ennoble life, and by every test maharshi. Mahatma Gandhi once called him pratah smaraniyah sage whose name, if spoken in the morning, would lift one out of the mire of one’s sordid self.
He died full of years and of honours which love of India bestowed on him. He was the darling of the gods, for he saw the fulfilment of his dreams with his own eyes.