lokmanya tilak – Tribute to Bal Gangadhar Tilak
Tribute to lokmanya tilak – Bal Gangadhar Tilak on his Punyatithi. The British termed him ‘Father of Indian Unrest’.
He was called ‘Lokmanya’, meaning ‘accepted by the people as their leader’ by the masses.
He was one of the foremost leaders of the Indian freedom struggle. He advocated Swarajya, meaning ‘self rule’;
in this regard, he had said, “Swarajya is my birthright and I shall have it!” He was the founder of ‘Kesari’ and ‘Mahratta’,
both weekly papers where he voiced his opinion on nationalism. He was one of the founders of the All India Home Rule League.
He was one of the ‘Lal Bal Pal’ triumvirate comprising of Lala Lajpat Rai, Bipin Chandra Pal, and himself lokmanya tilak ,
who together led the Swadeshi movement, mobilizing Indians across the country.
For freedom struggle activities, lokmanya tilak – Bal Gangadhar Tilak was tried in 1897, 1909, and 1916 by the British.
He was sentenced to 18 months in prison in 1897.
Before 1894, Ganesh Puja was limited to household worship in Maharashtra.
It was lokmanya tilak – Bal Gangadhar Tilak who started the worshipping of Ganesha as a grand public event involving several days.
Tilak used this celebration as a medium to motivate the youth to join in huge numbers and instilled in them the spirit of nationalism,
opposition to colonial rule, protection of cows, etc. Tilak also made Shiv Jayanti a splendid public event.
Do you know Tilak met Swami Vivekananda accidentally in a train in 1892? After this meet, Tilak invited Vivekananda to his house.
During a discussion at Tilak’s house, it was mutually decided that while Vivekanada would focus on religion, Tilak on nationalism.
Tilak was at a shock at the sudden Sadgati of Swami Vivekananda at such a young age.
He wrote thus in ‘Kesari’, as quoted from ‘Lokmanya Tilak – A Biography’ by A.K. Bhagwat and G.P. Pradhan,
“No Hindu, who, has the interests of Hinduism at his heart, could help feeling grieved over Vivekananda’s samadhi….
To make the people in America, which is at the peak of scientific progress realize the greatness of the Vedantic Advaita doctrine,
even in the presence of their religious preachers, was no mean task…
Hinduism is the only binding principle to all the people of India and the principles of this religion were to glorious
that it was possible even in the 19th century to spread it in countries inhabited by people of different religions…
Vivekananda, in short, had taken the work of keeping the banner of Advaita philosophy forever flying
among all the nations of the world and make them realize the true greatness of Hindu religion and of the Hindu people.”
During World War I, both lokmanya tilak – Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi were mass leaders. On 27th of April in 1918,
Chelmsford, the then British Viceroy of India, invited Gandhi to attend a War Conference in Delhi. Gandhi agreed.
Chelmsford was pretty sure that only Gandhi could urge Indians to participate on behalf of British in World War I.
The British did not invite lokmanya tilak – Bal Gangadhar Tilak, as they believed on his patriotism and his refusal.
girish kumar ramaiah