Lala Har Dayal Mathur, an Indian freedom fighter

OV Digital Desk
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Lala Har Dayal Mathur

Lala Har Dayal Mathur (14 October 1884 – 4 March 1939) was an Indian nationalist revolutionary and freedom fighter.

Early Life

Lala Har Dayal Mathur was born on 14 October 1884, in Delhi, India. He completed his bachelor’s degree from Delhi’s St. Stephen’s College and got his Master’s in English Literature from the Government College of Lahore. The Government of India awarded him a State Scholarship so he could continue his education. As a result, he studied at Oxford, England. During his time in England, he took part in the Indian independence movement and met revolutionaries like C.F. Andrews, S.K. Verma, and Bhai Permanand. Following his protests against British oppression of Indians, he resigned from his scholarship. He moved back to India and got into politics in Lahore.

In 1908, he moved back to India to promote indigenous political institutions. He wrote a lot of provocative stuff against the government, so the British government banned him. Lala Lajpat Rai told him to go abroad after that, he soon moved to Europe.

In France and Germany, he propagated anti-British propaganda, and touting the virtues of Western science and political philosophy.

 In 1913, he founded the Gadar Party to organize a rebellion against British rule in India. U.S. immigration officials arrested him in March 1914. After being released on bail, he fled to Switzerland, then Berlin, where he tried to start an anti-British revolt in northwest India. Later, he worked as a professor of Indian philosophy in Sweden for ten years.

Har Dayal decidedly changed his mind about revolution in his later years. After overcoming his Anglophobia, he began to embrace Western values and culture, advocating a mixed British and Indian government for his country. In the 1920s, he moved to California to teach Sanskrit at the University of California, Berkeley.

Among his works are “Thoughts in Education”, “Social Conquest of the Hindu Race”, “Forty-four Months in Germany and Turkey”, and “Hints for Self-Culture”.


He died on 4 March 1939, in Philadelphia, U.S.

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