Who was Bal Gangadhar Tilak?
Bal Gangadhar Tilak was born, as ray of light in darkness, in a Brahman family of Maharashtra on 23rd July, 1856. Like Abhimanyu, he had inborn skill, and there was in him an inexhaustible storehouse of Courage for struggle.
On account of his self-sacrificing patriotism, indomitable courage, free and forceful tendencies, he was not only an undividable unit of the Trimurti of Nationalism the Lion of Punjab Lala Lajpat Rai, Gangadhar Tilak and Binpin Chandra Pal), but also one of the builders of enormous India. Bal Gangadhar Tilak well known as Second Shivaji of India and the forecaster hero of Indian Freedom Struggle.
After taking his degree in Law in 1879, he began to think on the national level, instead of the local one. He very well understood the national importance of education.
Therefore, with the co-operation of his friends Agrakar and Chiploonkar, he in the direction of the golden future of Bharat, took the step of founding New English School in Poona on 1st January, 1880, its object was to make available cheap national education to the young men and women.
Besides, this, he was one of the founders of the Deccan Education Society and Fergusson College Poona. To give publicity to his ideas he published two journals- Kesari- Maratha and Maratha in English. From 1880 to the end of his life, he took to the public the principles of natural rights, political freedom and justice.
Indian National Congress
Bal Gangadhar Tilak joined INC was an epoch making incident in the first year of first century 1889 of French Revolution. As happens quiet often in the beginning. He did not succeed in changing the policy of liberals, of submitting petitions, sending reminders, and meeting as broad of legislative body. But he hark back optimist and at last became the pioneer of belligerent nationalism in the Congress and the source of life-force.
Hard Works for Freedom
Tilak made efforts to keep the fire of patriotism burning. Tilak made efforts to spread here, there and everywhere his ideas of violent nationalism like waves of sound. In this context, he founded in Maharashtra a number of Anti-Cow-Slaughter societies, centers of wrestling and lathi-cubs; so that the Hindus of Maharashtra may not go back, when sacrifice of life is necessary.
To make better courage he organised the ‘Ganpati Festival’. Every year this celebrated with doubled zeal. As a result, lacs of Maharashtra assembled on one platform. To strengthen the bond of unity, he in the year 1895, started Shivaji Festival, which gave results as expected.
Tilak never believed in the policy begging of the liberals. He said ‘Our ideal is self-dependence and not begging mercy. He had no faith in the love of justice of the Englishmen. The nation of traders Britain’ could understand only the language of pressure. The means of the violent group were boycott, and national education.
Tilak believed that all means were justified in achieving the linguist goal, i.e, complete independence. This was the reason why he justified the murder of Afzal Khan at the hands of Shivaji 1659.
In short, he believed in the policy of Tit for Tat- or to pay in the same coin. He wanted self-government and not reforms or changes in the British Rule System in India. His heart throbbed always for independence, and he was prepared to sacrifice his life and blood for it. It was because of this that he was called the father of disquiet or violent patriotism in India.
Prison and Life Struggle
For some of his articles published in Keshari, he was sent to prison for 6 years in 1908. He was sent to jail in Mandley, Burma. There in very small room he was able to bring out many for his latent qualities. It was during this period of this is imprisonment lasting upto 1914, that he was able to write memorable books like Geeta Rahasya and the Arctic Home of the Vedas; which give us a glimpse of his scholarship. Historical Research Ability and high and noble ideas. His book the ORIYAN- a Research Publication held in fear the entire Europe.
That is true in the absence of Sri Tilak; the violent national movement in Maharashtra subsided. But when in March 1916, Lokmanya Tilak founded the ‘Home Rule League of Maharashtra’; the sleeping awareness came back again.
Six months after, on 1st September 1916, Irish lady Anne Besant, founded in Madras the all India Home Rule League.
The publicity voyages undertaken by the two founders throughout the country changed into victory voyage, and something like an electric current ran throughout the country’s atmosphere.
Voice of Freedom
It was at this time Tilak’s effective slogan reverberated- “Freedom is my birth right, and I must have it it. TilakJi said, ‘Progress is implied in independence, without self-government neither industrial progress is possible, nor the educational schemes will be useful of the nation. It is said that Sri Tilak opposed the social changes. But the reality is the opposite. He said only this much which is very reasonable.
To make efforts for India’s freedom is more important than social changes. He said that the social reforms should be done on the basis of public’s development, not through legislation or by making rules. In the Depressed classes Conference in Bomaby, Tilak said on 25th March, 1918, “if God is put with untouchbility, I will not call him God.
Legacy of Bal Gangadhar Tilak
Beyond the social issues, he expressed his ideas regarding National Language, which is a burning topic of the day. He was first frontline Congress leader, to put forth the suggestion that Hindi written in Devnagari Script should be the National Language.
The greatest gift of Tilak (1856-1920) to the Indian public was his philosophy and disobedience from this view point, he is called the Father of Indian realization. The secretary of State for India Montague rightly said, In India, there was only one natural aggressive nationalist and he was Tilak. As a matter of fact, he was fore-runner of Mahatma Gandhi.
However, Tilak was addressed as god Tilak. His date of death is 1st August. In this day the greatest reverence we can pay to him, is to keep alive in our hearts his love; inspired by communal goodwill and national unity.