New Delhi, Aug 1: Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak was a scholar, mathematician, philosopher and ardent nationalist. He founded and served as the president of the Indian Home Rule League. He was the founder-editor of Mahratta (English) and Kesari (Marathi).
Who was Bal Gangadhar Tilak?
Bal Gangadhar Tilak, an Indian nationalist, teacher, social reformer, lawyer and independence activist, passed away on 1 August 1920. Horrified by the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, Tilak's health started declining and he passed away soon after.
Born on July 22, 1856 to a Sanskrit Scholar in Ratnagiri, Keshav Gangadhar Tilak later shifted to Pune. A teacher and journalist by profession, Tilak initiated his political life as a social reformer and freedom activist. He was one of the first few leaders to advocate for 'swaraj' or self rule. He published two newspapers -Kesari (Marathi) and Mahratta (English) -that actively circulated the cause of national freedom. His slogan 'Swaraj is my birth right, and I shall have it' inspired millions of youths.
Conferred with the title of 'Lokmanya'
He was also conferred with the title of 'Lokmanya' and is often regarded as the first leader of the Indian Independence movement. In view of this over 2 lakh people had gathered at his home in Bombay to pay their respects. Dubbed the 'father of Indian unrest' by the British, he was one of the first and strongest advocates of Swaraj. After his death, Gandhi paid tribute to him by calling him ' The Maker of Modern India', while Jawaharlal Nehru described him as 'The father of the Indian Revolution'.
A look at his famous quotes
- "Swaraj is my birthright, and I shall have it!"
- "Freedom is my birthright. I must have it."
- "Progress is implied in independence. Without self-government neither industrial progress is possible, nor the educational scheme will be useful to the nation...To make efforts for India's freedom is more important than social reforms."
- "If God is put up with untouchability, I will not call him God."
- "It may be providence's will that the cause I represent may prosper more by my suffering than by my remaining free."
- "If we trace the history of any nation backwards into the past, we come at last to a period of myths and traditions which eventually fade away into impenetrable darkness."
- "Our nation is like a tree of which the original trunk is swarajya and the branches are swadeshi and boycott."