Bal Gangadhar Tilak: Freedom Fighter Who Said, "Swaraj Is My Birth Right"

Bal Gangadhar Tilak: Freedom Fighter Who Said, "Swaraj Is My Birth Right"

Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak Death Anniversary: One of the firebrand freedom fighters and the strongest proponent of 'purna swaraj' or 'total self-rule', Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak's 100th death anniversary is being observed today. Lokmanya Tilak's slogan 'Swaraj is my birth right and I shall have it' caught the imagination of a country fighting to free itself from the colonial rule. Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak died on August 1, 1920 in Mumbai.

Bal Gangadhar Tilak tirelessly contributed to help the country break free from the British rule. Part of the Lal-Bal-Pal (Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Bipin Chandra Pal) troika, Bal Gangadhar Tilak was called 'father of the Indian unrest" by British colonial rulers. 

Bal Gangadhar Tilak was a scholar, a writer, mathematician and a philosopher. He was given the title, 'Lokmanya', which means 'beloved leader' by his followers.

Lokmanya Tilak received his education at the Deccan College in Pune and he earned his Bachelor's degree in 1876, in mathematics and Sanskrit. Later he also studied law at the University of Bombay. He founded the Deccan Education Society in 1884 with an aim to educate common people in English.

Lokmanya Tilak founded and edited two newspapers - Kesari in Marathi and The Mahratta in English. He used his pen as a weapon to criticise the colonial rulers.

He was imprisoned a number of times including a long stint at Mandalay in Myanmar. During his years in prison, he spent his time reading and writing. He wrote the famous 'Gita Rahasya' - an analysis of the Karma Yoga which finds its source in The Bhagavad Gita.

While Jawaharlal Nehru called him the 'father of Indian revolution', Mahatma Gandhi described Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak as 'the maker of modern India'.

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