Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the stone of the university named after Maharaja Mahendra Pratap Singh, who donated land for Aligarh Muslim University.
According to the university’s land records, Raja Mahendra Pratap leased 1.221 hectares (3.04 acres) of land in 1929 at Rs 2 per annum to the university.
Maharaja Mahendra Pratap Singh’s legacy has been embroiled in controversy because his ancestors have been demanding that his portrayal be displayed at Aligarh Muslim University.
His grandson, Garundhwaj Singh, went a step further and demanded the name of the university should be changed. Garundhwaj Singh, wants the university’s name to be changed after his grandfather so that everyone, including the students, should become aware of his contribution to the institution.Maharaja Mahendra Pratap Singh
Born into a royal family in 1886 in the Hathras District of Uttar Pradesh, his descendants no longer stay in Aligarh, some stay in Mathura while his grandson stays in Dehradun.
He was elected to Parliament in 1957 when he defeated Bharatiya Jana Sangh candidate Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the Lok Sabha polls.
Mahendra Pratap was an active participant in the freedom struggle of India. He, along with his fellow students, took part in the Balkan War in 1911. He was an alumnus of Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental Collegiate School, founded by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, which later on became Aligarh Muslim University and the land which he donated to the university was his way of paying respect to the institution.
He did not complete his graduation, but he was felicitated during the centenary celebrations of the university in 1977. Apart from his donation and his fight for India’s freedom, he was also nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize nominee in 1932.
After years of back and forth and many controversies, the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh decided to set up a state university named after Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh in Aligarh.
A resolution was passed in the Uttar Pradesh cabinet and an ordinance was subsequently issued on November 25, 2020.
Once the ordinance was passed, Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma, who holds the higher education portfolio, said, “Now that the ordinance has been tabled, work on the university will begin soon.”
While speaking with India Today, Mahendra Pratap’s grandson, Charat Pratap Singh said, “Der aaye durse aaye, the family is very happy that the Prime Minister is laying the stone for the University. This is a historical step.”
Yogi Adityanath, the Chief Minister, has played an important role in this new university. The PM acknowledged my grandfather’s contribution to the freedom struggle when he spoke about it in Afghanistan in 2016.
Chart Pratap Singh along with other descendants will be present in Aligarh during the university’s stone laying ceremony on September 14.
Charat Pratap Singh
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