In 1918,at the age of twenty-two or three, in the beginning of advocacy in Jalandhar, Lala Jagannath Mittal came to the service area of Arya samaj, especially the Kanya Maha Vidyalaya, and till almost eighty years of age, continued service. For almost forty-five years, from 1931-1974, you were general secretary of the managing committee. Your father, Lala Bhagat Ram, was one of those few people of the city who first of all joined Swami Shradhanand and Lala Devraj in Aryasamaj. Due to the involvement of the people who were called untouchables, in a banquet at their residence, the locality of the Basti Sheikh had even excommunicated them for many years. Youth Jagannath got the idea of Arya Samaj from his father Lala Bhagat Ram and developed throughout his life.
In 1915, you passed the BA with English honours and Sanskrit subjects, got a very good position and passed LLB. In the beginning of your advocacy, Lala Devraj ji came to his partner, your father, Lala Bhagat Ram in the work of Arya Samaj, and demanded that you, along with your advocacy should partially support the college work. Both father and son both agreed to the demand of Lala ji and you regularly started giving some time to college work. In 1931, you were appointed general secretary of the college’s managing committee. Your son, Mr. Chaturbhuj Mittal tells that you used to go to Kanya Maha Vidyalay every day by Tonga, after coming from Court and for some time, even to the Devraj Vidyalaya and Doaba High School in the city, used to stay there for the work there. Chatarbujh ji also has a pleasant memoir of his childhood, of going sometimes with you in Tonga.
Your family work was business. There were business branches of your dynasty in Lahore, Pathankot and Hoshiarpur, of which Jalandhar’s shop came in the part of your father. You did not do the work of Mandi Fantanganj shop yourself, but under your direction that work continued.
In 1939, you presented the idea of establishing Doaba College in Jalandhar. You left your advocacy for this work and Lala Bindraben, as has been said earlier, left coming home till one lakh rupees are deposited. With the passage of the time Doaba College was established in 1941.
From the beginning, your nature was calm. Your father used to appoint you to settle a family-related dispute, and you used to deal with the issue very well. The shop of Pathankot in the family came in the part of your Taya Ji. He was a hardcore conservative, but his son Lala Kuldeep Chand came in the service sector of Arya Samaj and Congress with your company. Through him, a lot of service was done in that city and area. From the beginning you have been very interested in Swadhyayana, Sanskrit texts, and its effect is seen in your home in next generation too.
Your son, Mr. Chattarbujh, was in the business work and took your guidance. Once he took your advice on starting a new job and told you that with complete honesty in that work there was a great hope for the benefit and you said:
“The benefits should be as much as the salt is in the flour. By having more profits, if not ours, the next generation’s life is not good. If there is a greater profit, then it should be put in work or donation, not in your enjoyment and luxury. Life should be kept simple and sober.”
In these words, you interpreted Vaishya Dharma and Gandhiji’s ‘Trustee Ship’ theory.
Your own life has been based on this principle. You have always been seen in simple khadi dress. In the house you are satisfied with a small room. There are no servants in your house.
*Source: “Uttar-Paschim Bharat main Stri-Shakti-Jagran ka Moort Roop Kanya Mahavidyalaya” written by Sh. Shadhi Ram Joshi, Former Principal, Kanya Mahavidyalaya, Jalandhar
*Translated By: Ms. Ambika, Assistant Prof., Dept. of English, Doaba College, Jalandhar