In the death of Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya, the country loses one of its most eminent public men, a distinguished educationist, a peerless patriot and a prince among men and the United Provinces one who for more than half a century dominated its public life and wove himself round the hearts of the meanest of its inhabitants.Representing in himself all that was best and noblest in Hindu culture and civilization, he made it his life's mission to revitalise its culture so that the world might come to know of the achievements of ancient Hindus, and Hindu society on its part may be benefited by its contact with the cultural achievement of other countries and nations. It was in fulfilment of this desire that he early conceived the dream of a University devoted to the study of Hindu culture and civilisation in all its aspects, and what greater tribute can there be to his vast energy, his single-minded devotion and the unselfish spirit in which he dedicated himself to this task, than that he should have lived to see the practical fulfilment of his dream by the establishment in the holy city of Benares, by the side of the Ganges, of the Hindu University, over whose destinies he presided with such loving care till the breakdown in his health made it all but impossible for him to carry on? Today the Hindu University stands as an imperishable monument to proclaim to the world the vitality of Hindu culture and the greatness of the dedicated spirit which devoted the greater part of its earthly life to its foundation and growth.
Malaviyaji's interest was, however, not confined to the ancient achievements of Hindu religion. He was more keenly interested in the reorganisation of Hindu society in order to make it a living force in the lives of his countrymen, impregnable to the assaults made on it from outside. He knew that on account of historic circumstances over which it had no control and the passage of years, Hindu society had developed excrescences which were in no sense an essential part of Hinduism as preached and practiced by the sages of old. It was his love for his country and community which made him anxious to remove these excrescences sothat Hinduism may shine in all its pristine glory. That he did not shy at it is an indication of his progressive mind which thought in terms of future advancement and not merely in terms of conserving what was great in our past. So long as Hindu society and Hinduism exist, his services to both are not likely to be easily forgotten.
There was in him no tinge of that narrow sectarianism, the deifying of sectarianism to the ruin of the common interest of the whole which today passes muster with certain classes of leaders. Twice he presided over the destinies of the Indian National Congress, once in 1919 at Lahore and again in 1918 at Delhi.One would look in vain in either of these addresses for the least trace of communalism.Whatever he strove for, whatever he fought for in the public life of his country, whether it was on the platform of the Congress or the country's legislatures, it was for the people of India as a whole, and he took a legitimate pride in the achievements of Muslims as he did in the achievements of his co-religionists. In him dies a valiant fighter in the cause of his country's freedom, one who through shadow and sun-shine never lost faith in the future of his country, never doubted clouds would break, never dreamed, though right were worsted wrong would triumph, held we fall to rise, are baffled to fight better, sleep to wake.
In this hour of sorrow when a great nation mourns the passing away of a beloved leader, saint and politician, reformer and patriot, educationist and elder statesman, we shall be failing in our duty if we do not recall that the blow which has fallen on all has fallen on 'The Leader' with a special measure of intensity, as Malaviyaji was the founder of 'The Leader' and presided over its early years with the loving care of a parent. And the only way in which we can repay him for all that he did for us, is to re-dedicate ourselves to the ideals for which he lived, strove and fell, and carry them forward to the triumphant conclusion, and we do so today, a day which will become a sacred memory to unborn generations of our countrymen.