Mahavarat Vidyalankar, (also spelled Mahavrat), s/o Ch. Hardayal Singh Saini, was a prominent Indian Freedom Fighter and a versatile man of letters.
Mahavarat was a close advisor and comrade of Subhas Chandra Bose . He was also among the founding members of the All India Forward Bloc, a leftist party which held the most uncompromising position on India's Independence. Contrary to the position of the Indian National Congress till 1942, Forward Bloc demanded complete Independence from the British Empire and total severance from the British Commonwealth. It is to be noted that although Forward Bloc had left leanings, its ideology and agenda were totally distinct from Communist Party of India . Forward Bloc was deeply immersed in Indian Nationalism and viewed alliance with USSR as a tactical move rather than something inspired by Marxist-Leninist ideology.
For very obvious reasons the party was deemed seditious by British imperialists an it was outlawed. All of its leaders including S.C. Bose and Mahavrat Vidyankar were arrested . Mahavarat Vidyalankar was interned in the famous Red Fort prison.
As a young man Mahavarat Vidyalankar was sent by his father to study Engineering at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. There he came in contact with many leftist scholars and was highly influenced by Marxist philosophy. After obtaining his degree he secretly left England to further study Marxist-Leninism in Russia. He spent almost 17 years in Russia and became a scholar of the Russian language translating Russian literature into Hindi. During that time he travelled extensively to Mongolia and translated literature from Mongolian to Hindi as well. While in Mongolia he came in contact with Borjigin Dashdorjiin Natsagdorj a Mongolian poet and writer. They became close friends and later he translated many of Natsagdorj's works into Hindi. He returned to India with a unique understanding of imperialism and believed that only socialism could give India meaningful and true Independence.
After working many years with Congress members he met Subhas Chandra Bose and sharing a common vision for India's future and a common understanding of India's needs the two formed a close friendship. He convinced Bose to travel to Russia for assistance in India's struggle. Mahavarat Vidyalankar was also a writer of many books on both politics and Sanskrit. As a scholar of Sanskrit, Russian, and Mongolian and he has also translated many books from these languages into Hindi and English. He died in 1965. He had 3 children all of whom eventually left India.
Mahavarat Vidyalankar lived in Pahari Dhiraj in Old Delhi. His house, known as "Dayal Vas" named after his father Har Dayal Singh Saini was known to be the hub and hiding placed of many prominent Indian Freedom Fighters such as Sheel Bhadra Yajee, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Sarojini Naidu, Mahavir Tyagi, and many I.N.A heroes such as Dhillon and Sehgal. In fact, when he was imprisoned by the British it was Sarojini Naidu who arranged for his daughter, Indira, to be sent to live in Hyderabad with her son Jayasuria and her daughter-in-law, as her mother had died many years earlier from tuberculosis. The historic house is still standing in Old Delhi, in Mandir Wali Gali .
It is to be noted that there were many other people from Saini community of Punjab who had the honour of serving with and under S.C. Bose, titled the "Prince of Patriots" by Mahatama Gandhi. Noted Punjabi journalist , Ajit Saini, seved as the liasion officer for INA and assistant editor for INA publications in Singapore.
Sardar Mahan Singh Gahunia, a leading Indian business man in Philipines , was noted for his contribution as civilian organizer for INA . Gahunia was instrumental in organizing financial and moral support for INA in far east and it is said that he donated his entire personal wealth for INA at one time.
Another notable Saini personality associated with INA was Sardar Mehnga Singh who was an INA veteran and who served long imprisonments in India and Europe as INA POW , although POW status was not extended to INA soldiers by imperialists. Sardar Mehnga Singh Marg in Amritsar is named in the honour of this personality.
Late Akali President and noted freedom fighter , Sardar Labh Singh Saini, also known popularly as Babu Labh Singh, was also a passionate advocate for INA veterans. As Akali Dal President he had used his good offices and all available public platforms to ask the imperial government to extend POW status to the captured INA soldiers so that they could be protected from torture which British imperialists routinely used on Indian freedom fighters.
Other than these prominent personalities, the list Saini INA veterans would run into hundreds if not thousands. One reason for this is that INA was chiefly composed of POWs from British Indian Army captured by Axis powers in Malayan peninsula. Since Sainis were a designated Martial Class in British era, along with many other rural groups of North West India, they were actively recruited in the British Indian Army. Since almost all of these POWs came from designated martial classes, it is natural that rank and file of INA would also have a large number of soldiers from these groups. So this statement would be true not only for Sainis but also for other groups who were classed as "martial races" i.e. Pathans, Awans, Mahton, Dogras, Ahirs, Jats, etc. who also fought heroically as INA soldiers.
Another reason why there was so much passionate support among Sainis for INA was that bulk of them hailed from Hoshiarpur district of Punjab which was the hotbed of discontent and sedition. The number of authenticated freedom fighters from district Hoshiarpur runs into several thousands and this also includes people like Bhagat Singh , Harnam Singh Saini, who actually went to gallows for "waging a war against King Emperor".
Saini Personalities >