Daily News Analysis

Lokmanya Tilak

23rd July, 2021 Modern history

Context

  • Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has paid tributes to the great Lokmanya Tilak on his Jayanti.


About

  • Bal Gangadhar Tilak was an Indian nationalist, teacher, and an independence activist.
  • He was one third of the Lal Bal Pal triumvirate.
  • Tilak was the first leader of the Indian independence movement.
  • The British colonial authorities called him "The father of the Indian unrest."
  • He was also conferred with the title of "Lokmanya", which means "accepted by the people (as their leader).
  • Mahatma Gandhi called him "The Maker of Modern India".

 

Political Ideology

  • He advocated Rashtriyatva (Nationalism). He joined the Indian National Congress in 1890.
  • He belonged to the extremist faction of the Indian National Congress led Independence Movement.
  • Tilak was one of the first and strongest advocates of Swaraj ("self-rule") and a strong radical in Indian consciousness.
  • He is known for his quote in Marathi: "Swarajya is my birthright and I shall have it!".

 

Educationist

  • Inspired by Vishnushastri Chiplunkar, he co-founded the New English school for secondary education in 1880 with a few of his college friends, including Gopal Ganesh Agarkar, Mahadev Ballal Namjoshi and Vishnushastri Chiplunkar.
  • Their goal was to improve the quality of education for India's youth.
  • The team would then set up the Deccan Education Society in 1884 to create a new system of education that taught young Indians nationalist ideas through an emphasis on Indian culture.
  • The Society established the Fergusson College in 1885 for post-secondary studies. Tilak taught mathematics at Fergusson College.

 

Freedom Movement

  • Following the Partition of Bengal, set out by Lord Curzon, Bal Gangadhar Tilak propagated Swadeshi Movement in 1905 and encouraged people to boycott foreign goods.
  • Tilak reunited with his fellow nationalists and rejoined the Indian National Congress during the Lucknow pact 1916.
  • Tilak helped found the All India Home Rule League in 1916–18, with G. S. Khaparde and Annie Besant.
  • Tilak was impressed by the Russian Revolution, and expressed his admiration for Vladimir Lenin.
  • He started his Home Rule League in Maharashtra, Central Provinces, and Karnataka and Berar region. Besant's League was active in the rest part of India.

 

Religio-Political Views

  • Tilak sought to unite the Indian population for mass political action through anti-British and pro-Hindu activism.
  • He sought justification in the original principles of the Ramayana and the Bhagavad Gita.
  • He named this call to activism karma-yoga or the yoga of action.
  • The events like the Ganapati festival and Shiv Jayanti were used by Tilak to build a national spirit.

 

Books

  • "The Arctic Home in the Vedas",
  • "The Orion",
  • "Shrimadh Bhagvad Gita Rahasya" in prison at Mandalay.
  • ‘Indian Unrest’ written by Valentine Chirol.

 

Newspapers

  • Weeklies Kesari (Marathi)
  • Mahratta (English)

 

https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1737984