Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak

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    • Recently, it was the 102nd death anniversary of Lokmanya’ Bal Gangadhar Tilak.

    About Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak

    • Birth: 
      • He was born on July 23, 1856, in Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri.
    • Education: 
      • He completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics from Deccan College of Pune in 1877 and obtained his LL.B degree from Government Law College in 1879
      • Tilak was well read in Hindu scriptures, and also he was influenced by Western thoughts of metaphysics and politics.
    • Vocation:
      • He was a freedom fighter, social thinker, philosopher, teacher, one of the first and strongest advocates of Swaraj (“self-rule”) who had played an important role in India’s freedom movement.
    • Title:
      • He was conferred with the title of “Lokmanya”, which means “accepted by the people (as their leader)” and  Mahatma Gandhi called him “The Maker of Modern India”.
    • Death: 
      • 1st August 1920 in Bombay (now Mumbai).
    • Significant Contributions:
      • Political Contribution:
        • In 1890, Tilak joined the Indian National Congress.
        • Lal Bal Pal and Swadeshi movement:
    • The political discourse of the Indian freedom movement significantly changed during the period between 1900 and 1908. 
    • It was under the leadership of the political triumvirate, Lala Lajpat Rai, Bipin Chandra Pal and Bal Gangadhar Tilak, popularly known as Lal-Bal- PalSwadeshi movement gained momentum across the country. 
    • The trio also mobilised Indians against the Bengal partition
    • It was during this period that the trio proposed the Swadeshi movement and boycott of foreign goods.
    • Imprisonment:
      • Tilak was arrested by the British on the charges of sedition in 1908 and sentenced to six years of imprisonment in Mandalay (Burma)
    • Home Rule Movement:
      • After returning from Burma, Tilak was involved in the Home Rule Movement and joined Anne Besant’s Home Rule League. 
      • In 1916, he concluded the Lucknow Pact with Mohammed Ali Jinnah, which provided for Hindu-Muslim unity in the nationalist struggle.
      • In 1918, he visited England to popularise the Home Rule Movement.
    • He organized two important festivals, Ganeshotsav in 1893 and Shiv Jayanti in 1895.
    • Educational institutions:
      • After his graduation, Tilak with his friends GG Agarkar, MA Chiplunkar and Mahadev B Namjoshi, started the New English School in Pune in 1880 and later founded the Deccan Education Society in 1884 and the Fergusson College in 1885.
    • Literary Work:
      • He also launched two weeklies, Kesari (in Marathi) and Mahratta (in English), which criticised British policies of the time. 
      • He published The Orion or Researches into the Antiquity of the Vedas (1893) and The Arctic Home in the Vedas (1903).
      • In the Mandalay jail, he wrote his magnum opus, the Srimad Bhagavadgita Rahasya (Secret of the Bhagavadgita), an original exposition of the most sacred book of the Hindus.

    Source: TH