Born  : – 23 July 1856, Ratnagiri, Maharashtra

Death  : – 1 August 1920

Achievements  : –

 Bal Gangadhar Tilak is considered the father of Indian freedom struggle.  He was rich in versatility.  He was a social reformer, freedom fighter, national leader as well as a scholar in subjects like Indian history, Sanskrit, Hinduism, mathematics and astronomy.  Bal Gangadhar Tilak was also known as ‘Lokmanya’.  During the freedom movement, his slogan ‘Swaraj is my birthright and I will take it’ inspired millions of Indians.

 Early Life  : –

 Bal Gangadhar Tilak was born on 23 July 1857 in a Chitpavan Brahmin clan in Ratnagiri, Maharashtra.  His father Gangadhar Ramchandra Tilak was a Sanskrit scholar and an eminent teacher.  Tilak was a talented student and had a special love for mathematics.  Since childhood, he was a strong opponent of injustice and used to say his words clearly without hesitation.  Tilak was one of the first generation Indian youths to receive modern education.

 When the boy Tilak was just 10 years old, his father shifted from Ratnagiri to Pune.  This transfer brought a lot of change in his life as well.  He was admitted to the Anglo-Vernacular School in Pune and received education from some of the well-known teachers of the time.  His mother died soon after coming to Pune and his father also passed away when Tilak was 14 years old.  When Tilak was studying in matriculation, he was married to a 10-year-old girl, Satyabhama.  After passing the matriculation examination, he enrolled in Deccan College.  Bal Gangadhar Tilak b.  a.  Passed the examination with first class in Mathematics subject.  Going forward, he continued his studies.  L.  B.  Degree also obtained

 Carrier  : –

 After graduation, Tilak taught mathematics in a private school in Pune and became a journalist after some time.  He was strongly opposed to Western education system.  According to him, this disrespects not only the students but also the entire Indian culture and heritage.  He believed that only good education system can give birth to good citizens and every Indian should also be made aware of his culture and ideals.  Together with his colleague Agarkar and the great social reformer Vishnu Shashtri Chipulankar, he founded the Deccan Education Society which was aimed at imparting a high standard of education to the youth of the country.  After the founding of the Deccan Education Society, Tilak started publishing 2 weekly magazines, ‘Kesari’ and ‘Maratha’.  ‘Kesari’ used to be published in Marathi language while ‘Maratha’ was English weekly.  Soon both became very popular.  Through them, Tilak highlighted the struggles and troubles of Indians.  He called upon every Indian to fight for his / her rights.

 Tilak used sharp and influential language in his writings so that the reader would be enthralled by the spirit of passion and patriotism.

Political Life  : –

 Bal Gangadhar Tilak joined the Indian National Congress in the year 1890.  During his lifetime, he was a member of the Pune Municipal Council and Bombay Legislature and also elected ‘Fellow’ of Bombay University.

 Along with being an agitator and teacher, Tilak was also a great social reformer.  He opposed the evils like child marriage and demanded that it be banned.  He was also a strong supporter of widow remarriage.  Tilak was also a skilled coordinator.  He also worked to connect people together by revealing social festivals like Ganesh Utsav and Birth Celebration of Shivaji.

Revolutionary Life  : –

 In 1897, the British government accused Tilak of provoking the public through provocative articles, breaking the law and breaking the peace system.  He was sentenced to one and a half year rigorous imprisonment.  After the punishment, Tilak was released in the year 1797 and started the Swadeshi movement.  Through newspapers and speeches, he sent the message of Swadeshi movement to every village of Maharashtra.  An ‘Swadeshi Market’ was also organized in front of his house.

 Meanwhile, the Congress split into two factions – Liberal and Extremist.  The extremist group led by Tilak was strongly opposed to the liberal group of Gopal Krishna Gokhale.  Extremists were in favor of Swaraj, while liberals believed that a favorable time had not yet come for Swaraj.  This ideological difference eventually broke the Congress into two.

 In 1904, the British government arrested Tilak on charges of rebellion.  After the hearing, he was sentenced to 6 years and taken to Mandalay (Burma) jail.  In prison, he spent much of his time in reading and writing.  He wrote his famous book ‘Geeta Rahshya’ during this period.  After serving his sentence, Tilak was released from jail on 9 June 1914.  Subsequently, he started trying to bring the two factions of Congress together but he did not succeed.  In 1914, Tilak established the ‘Home Rule League’, whose aim was Swaraj.  He went from village to village and explained to the people the purpose of ‘Home Rule League’.

Death  : –

 This great son of India went to heaven on 1 August 1920.

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