A leader of the Indian National Congress, an eminent journalist and a brave freedom fighter who fought for the nation, Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi is a name one is bound to remember for times immemorial.
On this day, i.e. March 25, in the year 1931, Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi lost his life while helping people during a communal right in Kanpur.
Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi was born on October 26, 1890 in Fatehpur, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh to Gomati Devi and Jai Narayan. His father was an assistant teacher in a middle school in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh. This was where he too received his early education, under the guidance of his father. He went to Kayastha Pathshala College in Allahabad, but had to drop in between due to financial reasons.
Before moving onto his destined field, that is journalism, Vidyarthi worked as a clerk in the currency office and later as a teacher in a high school in Kanpur. Due to his inclination in the field of political journalism towards he started contributing as an agent of popular Hindi and Urdu journals called 'Karamyogi' and 'Swarjya'.
'Pratap' is born
As per iloveindia.com, in 1913 Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi came back to Kanpur and launched 'Pratap'. With this he fought many battles for the oppressed, including his famous fights for the peasants of Rae Bareli, workers of Kanpur Mills, and other oppressed sections of society in various Indian states.
Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi had to face several prosecutions-- was imprisoned five times-- in pursuit of justice for the oppressed. He remained the editor of 'Pratap' till his death.
In 1916 that Vidyarthi met Mahatma Gandhi in Lucknow for the first time and joined the national movement. Around the same time he got closely associated with Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru and became an active member of the Indian National Congress.
In his fight for Kanpur's textile workers and peasants of Rae Bareli through 'Pratap', he was sentence to two years in jail between 1920 and 1922. Soon after release, he was imprisoned again for two years till 1924 for his insurgent speech as the President of Provincial Political Conference at Fatehgarh.
After his release, he was made the Chairman of the reception committee of the All India Congress Committee (AICC), and served as a member of the UP Legislative Council from 1926 to 1929.
Kanpur's Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi Memorial (GSVM) Medical College is named in his remembrance. Likewise, the Phool Bagh in Kanpur is also called Ganesh Vidyarthi Udyan in his honour.
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