DAV MOVEMENT

Background

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.

In 1885 the first DAV School was established at Lahore which was subsequently upgraded to become the first DAV College. In 1886 the DAV College Trust and Management Society was established and registered. The DAV Society visualized that the DAV Schools shall produce men and women of sterling national character and social commitment. The commendable objectives of the DAV attracted several committed individuals and groups to serve the society by striving to collect petty donations and gather humble resources to set up DAV Schools to spread Maharishi's message for enlightening all the Indians. Thus the crusade against ignorance, illiteracy, injustice and inequality was revived and it gained further momentum with the opening of each DAV School.

DAV College Managing Committee, the executive body of the DAV College Trust & Management Society, streamlined the school curriculum and administrative processes and gave the social movement a splendid vision and precise direction. Towards the end of nineteenth century and in the first half of twentieth century the DAV College Trust & Management Society established a number of schools. These schools were broadly categorized as directly controlled and managed schools. Some more schools came into the DAV fold as they were subsequently affiliated to DAV College Trust & Management Society.

The DAV institutions soon gained respect and reputation in the society and began to be recognized for their high academic standards and value-based education. The faculty comprised towering personalities such as Mahatma Hansraj, Principal Gyan Chand, Lala Sain Das and Pandit Meher Chand, who selflessly dedicated their lives to the reengineering of the Indian society through modern education and Vedic values. A glorious DAV alumni is a testimony to these facts.

Thus started the movement, which right from the beginning was led by missionaries, visionaries, nationalistic and other like-minded people. As the times rolled on, there emerged new needs, new challenges and new decisions in tandem with the changing scenario. The DAV Movement continued to surge ahead under the dynamic and motivating leadership of Sh. Mehr Chand, Lala Balraj, Justice Mehar Chand Mahajan, Dr.G.L.Dutta, Lala Suraj Bhan, Prof Ved Vyas, Sh. Darbari Lal , Sh. T.R. Tuli, Sh G P Chopra and Shri Punam Suri. It was their missionary consciousness that fostered the growth of many more institutions across the country and lead DAV to newer heights.

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 Hans Raj, 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 Hans Raj (Later Mahatma Hansraj) himself as the dedicated Headmaster. Today, the movement is led by DAV veterans like Shri Punam Suri and his team of dedicated Office Bearers, who have a progressive vision. It is due to their dedication and farsightedners that every year DAV CMC is opening new schools in various parts of India.

The Mission

The DAV vision of education telescopes well with the National Policy on Education (1986) which lays great emphasis on developing a national system of education, with Education For All, keeping in mind the elimination of disparities in the educational system and provision of more facilities through qualitative interventions, empowerment of women, access to education to disadvantaged sections of the society, educationally backward minorities and the disabled. It also calls for greater rigour and discipline in academic pursuits, autonomy and accountability, experimentation and innovation and nurture excellence and modernization of processes at different levels of education. In order to accomplish the mission, the objectives laid down are as under:

  • To provide a wide range of holistic education by homogenizing the western knowledge while remaining anchored to the Indian cultural moorings;
  • To act as a catalyst of change by spreading education, and by dismantling the cobwebs of ignorance and illiteracy;
  • To develop individuals who are morally upright, intellectually well-informed, socially concerned, emotionally balanced, physically well-developed and culturally accomplished;
  • To stimulate a scientific temper by crusading against superstitions and out-dated customs like child marriage, caste system, female foeticide, dowry, gender bias, regionalism etc;
  • To sensitize individuals towards social welfare and
  • To nurture creative and resourceful minds who think big, think fast and think ahead, who care for the nation and the weaker sections of society, and are imbued with humanistic passions and values.

The Vision

The DAV has a clear-cut vision:

  • To continue expanding and exploring, locally and globally and be a knowledge leader and content provider.
  • To muster strategies to become a global epicenter of knowledge, culture, skills, technology, research and service.
  • To empower women through education.

Swami Dayanand

Saraswati Ji

In the middle of the 19th century, Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati felt a strong need to revitalise India intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. 'Back to Vedas' was his redeeming call. Maharishi Dayanand thus started a spiritual and social renaissance in society. After 3 years of the death of the Maharishi, i.e. 1886, Dayanand Anglo Vedic (DAV) Trust and Management Society came into existence, to realise the prophetic vision of this great thinker philosopher . It was registered under the Societies Act of 1860, and the same year the first DAV School was established at Lahore with Lala Hansraj { later on known as Mahatma Hansraj } as the Honorary Headmaster.





Mahatma Hansraj (1864 - 1938)

Mahtama Hansraj, born on the 19th April 1864, was a mahatma (a great soul), indeed. The two great mahatmas, Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) and Mahatma Hansraj (1864-1938) traced identical paths, one in the political field and the other in the socio-cultural, almost contemporaneously. Frail of body but possesing heroic spirit, both of them voluntarily opted for a life of self denial and renuncation though both of them could command the most alluring luxuries for the mere asking. They were both Karamyogis and following the gospel of Gita they sought fulfillment of action, not in fruit.

Mahatma Hansraj was the founder Head Master of DAV School.

 

DAVCMC