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1 August 2019 marks the 99th death anniversary of the revolutionary freedom fighter and Indian nationalist Bal Gangadhar Tilak. The first leader of the insurgent movement - the Indian Independence movement, Tilak was known as the 'Father of Indian Unrest'. A scholar, a teacher and a philosopher, he founded the Indian Home Rule League, and served as its president.
Early Years Of Bal Gangadhar Tilak
Born on 22 July 1856 to a Sanskrit Scholar in Ratnagiri, Tilak grew up a brilliant student, intolerant to injustice and vocal about his independent opinions. After graduating from the Deccan College, Pune, in 1877 in Sanskrit and Mathematics, Tilak studied LLB at the Government Law College, Bombay. He used his education as a weapon against social evils.
In 1884, Tilak along with his friends started the Deccan Education Society to teach India's youth nationalist ideas. And in 1890 he left the Deccan Education Society to extend and widen his political work in the British-India.
He joined the Indian National Congress in 1890 and voiced against moderate views of the party on self-rule, making him and his supporters to be tagged as the extremist wing of Indian National Congress Party.
In 1906, he formed a close alliance with Indian National Congress leaders Bipin Chandra Pal and Lala Lajpat Rai - and the trio was known as Lal Bal Pal.
He concluded the Lucknow Pact with Mohammed Ali Jinnah in 1916 to strengthen the Hindu-Muslim unity in India.
Bal Gangadhar Tilak's Legacy
In 1903, he wrote the book The Arctic Home in the Vedas, which criticised the existing understanding of Vedas.
Bal Gangadhar Tilak wrote "Shrimadh Bhagavad Gita Rahasya" during his imprisonment at Mandalay, which gained him more followers - inciting the British to stop the publication of his newspapers from the prison.
After his release in 1914, Tilak launched the Home Rule League with the slogan "Swarajya is my birthright and I will have it", which inspired millions of youths and still rings of the courage of the revolutionary leader.
Lokmanya - Leader Of The People
Bal Gangadhar Tilak's followers regarded him with the title of 'Lokmanya' - a Marathi term that loosely translates into 'one who is held in high regard by the people'.
Completely shattered by the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, Tilak's health declined profusely, resulting in the revolutionary leader's death. On 1 August 1920, the great leader breathed his last but not to forgotten - only to be remembered eternally!