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FREEDOM FIGHTER

Swami Shraddhanand Alias

Mahatma Munshi Ram Vij 52

Swami Shraddhanand was born on 22 February 1856 in the village of Talwan in the Jalandhar District of the Punjab Province of India. He was the youngest child in the family of Lala Nanak Chand, who was a Police Inspector in the United Provinces (now Uttar Pradesh), then administered by the East India Company.

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His given name was Brihaspati Vij, but later he was called Munshi Ram Vij by his father, a name that stayed with him till he took sanyas in 1917, variously as Lala Munshi Ram Vij and Mahatma Munshi Ram. He adopted to atheism after a few incidents, such as when he was prevented from entering the temple while a noble woman was praying. He also witnessed to a

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“compromising” situation involving a church’s father with a nun and the suspicious death of a little girl at the home of a Muslim lawyer. All of these events made him to embrace atheism. After passing the mukhtari exams, he began his studies to become a lawyer. He first met Dayanand Saraswati when Dayanand had visited Bareilly to give lectures. Munshiram attended the lectures


Wishesh Magazine January 2017