Lala Lajpat Rai, popularly known as Punjab Kesari or Lion of Punjab, was born on January 28, 1865 in Jagraon in Ludhiana. He was the eldest son of Munshi Kishan Azad and Gulab Devi who inculcated strong moral values in him. He studied law from Government College in Lahore and thereafter started his legal practice in Hissar.
His political career started in 1888 with the Indian National Congress Session at Allahabad. At the next session at Bombay in 1889, he was linked with other two leading freedom fighters Bipin Chandra Pal and Bal Gangadhar Tilak. The trio was popularly known as Lal-Bal-Pal. Lalaji was actively involved in struggle against partition of Bengal. During the struggle he galvanized Indians for a campaign of Swadeshi and was imprisoned for six months for creating turmoil.
After his release in 1907, he went to Britain in April 1914 to explain the position of India. During his stay in Britain, the First World War broke out but he was unable to return. So, he went to USA for promoting the cause of India’s freedom struggle. There he founded the India Home League Society of America. He returned to India in 1920 and formed the Congress Independence Party in protest against the Jalianwala Bagh Massacre and Non Cooperation Movement.
In 1928, Simon Commission that came to India to discuss constitutional reforms was protested by Lalaji because the commission had no Indian members. The shrewd Britishers brutally lathicharged Lalaji during the protest and because of severe head injuries he expired on November 17, 1928.