Historical Perspective - Our Founding Members

Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati

The Indian society was at its cultural, social and political nadir when Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati was born in 1824. He grew up in an environment of political subjugation, where he witnessed extreme casteism, superstition, religious dogma and social oppression of women and marginalized sections of society.

He openly stood up against all the social evils such as discrimination on grounds of caste, creed, sex, economic status and social bigotry, male chauvinism and religious dominance of higher castes over the backward castes and classes. He fought for the rights of women and opened " Kanya Vidyalayas" to empower and enlighten them. Unfortunately, the task of social resurgence was too vast to be completed during his lifetime and when Maharishi attained Samadhi in 1883, the Indian society was only partially reformed, with the onus of completing this unfinished task falling on his followers.

Taking a stock of the ground realities of Indian society and the nature of the task undertaken by Maharishi, his followers decided to commemorate his life and works not by building lifeless statues, but by opening temples of learning - schools and colleges where all the values advocated by Maharishi would be inculcated in the children so that they could carry forward his message and work ceaselessly throughout their life to carry out the reforms suggested by him.

Mahatma Hansraj

Mahatma Hans Raj, the man in whose memory this college has been founded was a great nationalist at heart, besides being an educationist and a religious organizer. He was also an untiring relief worker and social reformer, organizing relief work during earthquakes at Kangra (1905), Quetta (1934), Bihar (1935), famines of Rajasthan (1905), Awadh (1907), and Garhwal (1918). He upheld widow remarriage and strongly advocated the abolition of early marriages and caste distinctions. By his efforts he turned Arya Samaj and DAV institutions into effective instruments of social upliftment and moral regeneration.

Mahatma Hans Raj was born on 19 April 1864 in the hamlet of Bajwara in district of Hoshiarpur in Punjab, in a family of modest financial means. His father Lala Chunnilal was an appeal nawis and mother Hardevi was a simple housewife. When Hans Raj was 12 years old his father died putting the family to severe economic strain. Fortunately for Hans Raj his elder brother Muluk Raj got a scholarship of Rs.8/- per month which also enabled Hans Raj to pursue his studies. He started his career as Honorary Founder Head Master of DAV High School Lahore in 1886 at the age of 22. In 1889 when DAV College was established in Lahore he became its honorary Principal, identifying himself completely with the college. DAV College Lahore became an important centre of learning, inculcating among its students the qualities of discipline and self-sacrifice. He opened many more institutions in other important places and guided the destiny of DAV institutions for fifty years. He breathed his last in 1938. Mahatma Hans Raj may truly be acknowledged as the founding father of the DAV movement. Hans Raj College lives up to the values and ideals of this great soul who lived and sacrificed his entire life for the ideals he believed in and practiced.

The LEGACY
The vision of a powerful and enlightened India had been conceived by Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati (1824-1883). He devoted his whole life to awaken the ignorant, illiterate masses of this country. He knew that it could be possible only through education and literacy. The vision and philosophy of the fearless reformer, Maharshi Dayanand, was given a practical shape by Mahatma Hansraj, who led the educational renaissance in India. As his most important legacy, the Mahatma left behind a pragmatic and enlightened approach to education. One aspect of his approach was his choice of English-oriented Science-based education with a blend of Vedic values. Another was the great emphasis he laid on women education. Lastly, true to the egalitarian basis of Arya Samaj philosophy (as conceived by Maharishi Dayanand), Mahatmaji believed in equality for all students irrespective of their caste, colour or creed were welcome to join the DAV institution. The first institution was established at Lahore in 1886 with Lala Hansraj (Later Mahatma Hansraj) himself as the dedicated Headmaster. Today, the movement is led by DAV veterans like Padma Shri G.P. Chopra and his team of dedicated Office Bearers, who have a progressive vision. It is due to their dedication and farsightedness that every year DAV CMC is opening new schools in various parts of India.

ARYA SAMAJ
The Arya Samaj is a progressive faith and a way of life. It was founded by Swami Dayanand Saraswati - a great thinker and social reformer. In 19th century, he saw the Indian society in the grip of age-old customs, superstitions and beliefs. He propounded the slogan 'Back to the Vedas' to help people get rid of the false beliefs and adopt an objective, rational and progressive way of life. He openly stood up against all the social evils such as discrimination on grounds of caste, creed, sex, economic status and social bigotry, male chauvinism and religious dominance of higher castes over the backward castes and classes. By propagating Vedic knowledge he ushered in a social renaissance in the Indian society. He strongly advocated the eradication of ignorance and illiteracy through education of persons belonging to all castes, high or low. He encouraged education of women and promoted widow-remarriage. Rarely in history has one single person come to be so totally identified with social and moral revival of the nation as Swami Dayanand Saraswati. Thus Arya Samaj aims at making man a good human being and achieving the two-fold development i.e. the spiritual upliftment and the social upliftment.

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