More Details about Lala Hardev Sahai (a biography)

General Information  
Author(s)M M Juneja
PublisherModern Publisher
Publish YearSeptember 2011



Page no.


Author's Note


Lala Hardev Sahai had served his fellow-countrymen on different fronts. He was not much educated, yet knew well the significance of Education. Probably, he was the 'first Haryanvi' who opened a school of Hindi medium in his native village as early as 1912 and then 65 schools and a shilpashala in the rural area of present districts of Hisar, Bhiwani, Sirsa and Fatehbad.



First of all, I extend my heartfelt thanks to the following four promminent personalities, who are now the departed souls-
(1)Sh. Balwant Rai Tayal, (2) Bhagat Rameshwar Das, (3) Pt. Jagat Sarup Advocate and (4) Sh. O.P. Jindal-who took the initiative to highlight the life and work of an illustrious son of the country i.e. Lala Hardev Sahai on the occasion of his birth-centenary.



1892: Born on 26 November at Satrod village, near Hisar.
1912: Opened a primary school at Satrod village on 12 July.
1919-21: Stayed in Calcutta as a businessman.
1921: Joined the Indian National Congress, and was sentenced to one year's R.I. while taking active part in the NonCo-operation Movement.




Lala Hardev Sahai, popularly known as the father of rural education in Haryana and the Sarvashrestha Go-rakshak of India, was born on 26 November 1892 at Satrod Khurd village near Hisar city which was then a district headquarters of the Punjab province of British India.

Formative Period


The Child Hardev Sahai was born in a well-to-do Vaishya family of Satrod village of Hisar District. A few decades before his birth, his forefather had migrated to Satrod. They originally belonged to Tara Nagar. It was a small town of the then Bikaner State, but now in Churu District of Rajasthan.

Role for Rural Education


Hisar District was educationally backward. According to 1881 Census, literacy in the district was only 2 per cent. In 1931, it could only reach 3.5 while the all-India and Punjab (including present Haryana) average was 8% and 11% respectively.

Help for the Victims of Famine


The word 'Haryana' means green land. Before the completion of the Bhakra Dam Scheme in 1954, it's major part was the land of famines. Hisar was worst affected by famines.

Opposing the Vanaspathi Ghee


The word 'Vanaspati' is a name given to the hydrogenated refined edible vegetable oils. During its processing, hydrogen is made to combine with these oils in the presence of a metal known as 'nickel'.

Staunch Faith in Cow's Greatness


For Hindus, Cow is still known as go-mata (mother-cow). She does not enjoy such a great status anywhere in the world. Unlike Europe and the West, Cow-stock is meant for many purposes in India.

Causes of Cow-Salughter


Lala Hardev Sahai  rightly felt that the noble cause of cow cannot be protected unless the causes responsible for its slaughter are thoroughly known. He thus goes to the roots of the problem.

Efforts for Cow-Protection


Lala Hardev Sahai had been serving the cause of cow-protection since the early days of his public life as the Secretary of Go-rakshini Sabha (society for cow-protection), Hisar.

Tussle with Nehru


As a scholar of Indian culture and history, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru knew well the importance of cattle-wealth especially the cow in Hindu eyes. How the people of India, especially the Hindus, had imbibed their qualities of mildness and non-violence from their sacred animal, the cow, Nehru points out in his Autobiography.:

Tussle with Others


The cause of Cow-protection was so dear to the heart of Lala Hardev Sahai that he was ever ready to engage any individual or institution opposed to the cow. His public life, especially after independence, was full of such tussels.

As a Soldier of the Congress


Since the appearance of Gandhiji on the political scene of India, the Indian National Congress was not only a political party, but also a freedom movement in itself. As the days were rolling by, the public-spirited people became its active members on a large scale.

As a Rival of the Congress


Having served the cause of Indian National Congress for three decades, Lala Hardev Sahai left it in 1951, just before the first general election of the post-independence India. The Congress leadership was ready to offer him Party ticket, but he flatly refused to accept it.

His Prosecution


Since 1951, Lala Hardev Sahai had taken a vow to oppose the Indian National Congress till it completely stopped the evil practice of cow-slaughter throughout the country.



Lala Hardev Sahai was trapped into a criminal case by the Delhi Police on the instance of the Pradesh Congress in July 1961. It caused Lalaji a lot of tension. In addition to it, he contested an election to the Lok Sabha in the beginning of 1962.



(Date) 4.3.1931, (Visitor's Name) Ch. Mukhtiar Singh, M.L.A., Meerut

(Visitor's Impression)

The School is fulfilling a great need, and it is instrumental in creating an interest in handicrafts. I hope that if the students can sell the carpet and cloth made here, it will be a good source of income. A remarkable specialty of the school building and the boarding house building is that they are made of mud; and it teaches us a lesson that it would be far better to spend the amount



a) Official Records:
The District Gazetteer of Hissar, Lahore, 1915
The Census of India, 1931, Lahore, 1933
Home Political Files, Fortnightly Report (Punjab), 1938
(National Archives of India, New Delhi)
Irrigation in Hissar District, Shimla, 1954