These were the fiery words of Tilak which roused a sleeping nation to action, making Indian people aware of their political plight under a foreign rule…………
In my early days, I was fascinated by the way Ganesh Chaturthi was celebrated across the country with such a zeal & enthusiasm. I was captivated when Hindus & Muslims of my city came together to celebrate this festival with grandeaur year after year . It meant a lot to me specially after I witnessed communal violence in the early ninetees when Ayodhya & Mumbai were under fire. That day I thanked the person who had a vision to celebrate festivities this way which was instrumental in bringing people together culturally - irrespective of their caste and creed & and I was told it was Lokamanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak way back in 1894.
Post 1857, Tilak was the first popular leader of the Indian Independence Movement. Militant nationalism emerged in the first decade of the twentieth century and prominent among the revolutionaries was the trio Lal Bal Pal (Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Bipin Chandra Pal). Bal Gangadhar Tilak is considered as Father of Indian National Movement. He was a social reformer, freedom fighter, national leader, and a scholar of Indian history, sanskrit, hinduism, mathematics and astronomy. People loved him and accepted him as their leaders and so he was called 'Lokmanya Tilak'
Birth & Childhood
Bal Gangadhar Tilak was born on July 23, 1856 in Ratnagiri,
Tilak did not question the British Sovereignty nor his demands were rebellious or revolutionary. All he was asking was favorable conditions in
Tilak, in his early days had realised that good citizens can be molded only through good education. He believed that every Indian had to be taught about Indian culture and national ideals. Along with his classmate Agarkar and great social reformer Vishnushastry Chiplunkar, Bal Gangadhar Tilak founded “Deccan Education Society” to impart quality education to
The very next year after the Deccan Education Society was founded, Tilak started two weeklies, 'Kesari' (which is a very popular weekly till date) and 'Mahratta'. 'Kesari' means ‘Lion’ and was a Marathi weekly while 'Mahratta' was in English . Soon both the newspapers became very popular. In his newspapers, Tilak highlighted the plight of Indians. He gave a vivid picture of the people's sufferings and of actual happenings. Tilak called upon every Indian to fight for his right.
Bal Gangadhar Tilak joined the Indian National Congress in 1890. He was a member of the Municipal Council of Pune, Bombay Legislature, and an elected 'Fellow' of the
After his first conviction, Tilak was released in 1898. Following the partition of
He was convicted and imprisoned for the second time from 1908 to 1914 in the Mandalay
Later Years and Death
After his second release, Bal Gangadhar Tilak tried to bring the two factions of Congress together. But his efforts did not bear much fruit. In 1916, he decided to build a separate organization called the 'Home Rule League'. Its goal was Swaraj. Tilak went from village to village, and explained the aim of his league to the farmers and won their hearts. He traveled constantly in order to organize the people. While fighting for people’s cause Bal Gangadhar Tilak died on August 1, 1920.
When Tilak was convicted for the second time, he gave the famous statement :
" All I wish to say is that in spite of the verdict of the jury, I maintain my innocence. There are higher powers that rule the destiny of men and nations. It may be the will of