MAHAVIR TYAGI -Indian Freedom Fighters Biography


MAHAVIR TYAGI -Indian Freedom Fighters Biography

MAHAVIR TYAGI -Indian Freedom Fighters Biography

Born in 1899, Mahavir Tyagi was an Indian freedom fighter and famous parliamentarian from the state of Uttar Pradesh. Tyagi was educated in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh. He joined the British Indian Army and was posted in Persia but resigned after the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre of April 13, 1919. He was court martial led in Quetta (capital of Baluchistan, now in Pakistan) and externed from Baluchistan with all pay deposits forfeited. Returning to India, Tyagi became a staunch follower of Mahatma Gandhi.

Tyagi, who was active" in the Kisan (peasant) movement, remained a life-long member of the Indian National Congress. He was imprisoned by the British several times. In 1921 he was tried at Bulandshahr in Uttar Pradesh. Mahatma Gandhi wrote four articles on the trial in the journal Young India. Tyagi became a legislator in the United Provinces (later known as Uttar Pradesh) before Indian independence. In this capacity, he was a member of a committee which heralded social and land reform in the tribal area of Jaunsar in Dehradun district of Uttar Pradesh (an area now forming part of Uttakhand state). While he himself adhered to Gandhian non-violence, he had close contacts even among the' revolutionaries', that is those who were not opposed to using violent means to overthrow the imperial state. These included Sachindra Nath Sanyal, Prem Kishan Khanna and Vishnu Sharan Dublish.

Mahavir Tyagi was a member of the Constituent Assembly of India. In this capacity he is known especially for his strong stand against unsafeguarded Preventive Detention laws and against suspension of fundamental rights in emergency situations. On India's becoming a Republic in 1950, Tyagi remained a member of the Provisional Parliament (1950-52), and the Lower House of the Parliament, that is, the First, Second and Third Lok Sabha (1952-67). Tyagi was Minister for Revenue & Expenditure in the Nehru Council of Ministers (1951-53). While in the Ministry of Finance, Tyagi earned a reputation as a strict economizer. Later Mahavir Tyagi became Minister for Defence (1953-57). Tyagi was Chairman of the Direct Taxes Administration Enquiry Committee (1958-59) and in that capacity paved the way, along with the Law Commission, for the Income Tax Act, 1961.


He served as Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament (1962-64). In April 1964, a month before Nehru's death, Tyagi rejoined the Government as Cabinet Minister in charge of Rehabilitation. In 1968 he became the Chairman of the Fifth Finance Commission. After the split in the Congress in 1969, Tyagi stayed with the Congress(O). In 1970 he was elected to the Upper House of Parliament, the Rajya Sabha, from Uttar Pradesh and led the Congress(O) in the House till he retired in 1976. Tyagi's being in the Congress(O) did not prevent him from being critical of the movement led by Jaya Prakash Narayan in 1974-75. He was equally critical of the Emergency imposed by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1975. Mahavir Tyagi passed away in New Delhi on May 22, 1980. 

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