Bal Gangadhar Tilak (or Lokmanya Tilak), (23 July 1856 – 1 August 1920), born as Keshav Gangadhar Tilak, was an Indian Nationalist, teacher, social reformer, lawyer and an independence activist. He was the first leader of the Indian Inependent 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, “स्वराज्य हा माझा जन्मसिद्ध हक्क आहे आणि तो मी मिळवणारच” (“Swarajya is my birthright and I shall have it!”) in India. The British people called him ‘The Father of the Indian unrest’. He was also given the honourary title of ‘Lokmanya’, which means admired (or accepted) by the people. Tilak is known as the ‘Father of Swarajya’ as he was one of the first independence activists to advocate ‘Swaraj’ and make it a part of the independence movement. Bal Gangadhar Tilak joined the Indian National Congress (INC) in the year 1890 and started the fight of self-rule. He was one of the first activists who came up with the concept of ‘Swaraj’. In 1880, Bal Gangadhar Tilak started his own newspaper, Kesari which is still published to this day. Bal Gangadhar Tilak started the Swadeshi movement in India. Jamshed Tata and Tilak found Bombay Swadeshi Co-op Stores to promote the movement. Tilak had a political regime with Bipin Chandra Pal and Lala Lajpat Rai and they were referred as the ‘Lal-Bal-Pal triumvirate’. Bal Gangadhar Tilak was against the Age of Consent Act, 1891. He opposed and protested at every level so that the government would regulate the Act. On his auspicious birthday, let’s remember, commemorate and feel the superior beings inspiration of a life.
Our nation is like a tree of which the original trunk is Swarajya and branches are Swadeshi and Boycott.
Swaraj is my birthright and I shall have it.
Religion and practical life are not different. To take Sanyas (renunciation) is not to abandon life. The real spirit is to make the country, your family, work together instead of working only for your own. The step beyond is to serve humanity and the next step is to serve God.
It may be providence’s will that the cause I represent may prosper more by my suffering than by my remaining free
If we trace the history of any nation backwards into the past, we come at last to a period of myths and traditions which eventually fade away into impenetrable darkness.
The geologist takes up the history of the earth at the point where the archaeologist leaves it, and carries it further back into remote antiquity.