Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak raised the slogan ‘Swaraj is my birthright and I shall have it”. and became the beacon of light that guided and inspired a great number of freedom fighters during the Indian Independence movement. Today i.e. 1st August marks the 97th death anniversary of one of the greatest social reformers and freedom activists the country has ever seen. Tributes have poured in, on all social media platforms, remembering ‘Lokmanya’ Tilak. This title was bestowed upon him by the people of the country as a symbol of their acceptance of him as the country’s leader in the run up to its independence.
This staunch believer of ‘Swaraj’ i.e. self-rule, was born on July 22, 1856 into a Brahmin family in a small town in south-western Maharashtra. His intolerance towards injustice and strong opinions on the freedom of India were present even at a really young age. He graduated with a law degree from a government college in Bombay and undertook a job as a teacher in a private school. Following conflicts in ideologies and a feeling of unjust behavior towards local students, he quit his job and founded his own school that underlined the importance of nationalism in students and taught the same. He openly condemned the educational methodology brought to India by the British.
Even though he joined the Indian National Congress in 1890, he was forever at dispute with many a leaders from his party and soon came to be recognized as part of the extremist wing of INC party along with his set of campaigners.He vigorously protested against the British oppression and was jailed a number of times. He founded nationalist newspapers that published hard hitting and sometimes provocative articles, urging the people of India to join hands in the fight against the British Rule.
The apparent clash in ideologies between Mahatma Gandhi and Bal Gangadhar Tilak has been widely reported. The latter was not opposed to the idea of picking up arms against the British, if the need arises. Where as Mahatma Gandhi was strictly an advocate for non- violence and peaceful protests. Infact Lokmanya ji was the activist who laid the foundational stones for the movements that Gandhiji later led, that ultimately brought about India’s Independence in 1947.
Let us see, how our political leaders of today paid their tribute to Lokmanya Tilak.
— Praful Patel (@praful_patel) August 1, 2017
— Harsimrat Kaur Badal (@HarsimratBadal_) August 1, 2017
Remembering thinker, reformer and a true nationalist Lokmanya #BalGangadharTilak. His contribution to India's history is unparalleled.
— Mansukh Mandaviya (@mansukhmandviya) August 1, 2017
— Shehzad Jai Hind (@Shehzad_Ind) August 1, 2017
— Ashok Gehlot (@ashokgehlot51) August 1, 2017
Bal Gangadhar Tilak died on the same day the non-cooperation movement against the British started in 1920 on August 1. We extend our respectful homage to him on his death anniversary.