"Swaraj is my birthright and I shall have it." It is a famous slogan said by Bal Gangadhar Tilak. Tilak is the beacon of light that guided and encouraged a huge people to fight for India's independence. He was conferred with the title of "Lokmanya" also that means accepted by the people. Tilak was one of the first and strongest advocates of Swaraj meaning self-result. 1st August is the birth anniversary of this great social reformer who devoted his entire life in the freedom struggle. And, this year we are paying tribute the Lokmanya Tilak on his 99th death anniversary.
Bal Gangadhar was born on July 22, 1856, in a middle-class Brahmin family in Maharashtra. His father was Gangadhar Shastri; he was a noted Sanskrit scholar and school teacher at Ratnagiri. In his school days, Tilak was a brilliant student and trustworthy and simple by nature. But he had an intolerant attitude for injustice and had options for independent since childhood. In 1877, he did graduation from Deccan College, Pun. After graduation, he did L.L.B. at the Government Law College.
Tilak started his career in the political field as a social reformer. In 1890, he joined the Indian National Congress. He soon started raising his voice against the moderate views of the party on self-rule. That is why he was always a dispute with many leaders from the party and soon he came to recognize as part of the extremist wing of INC party along with his set of campaigners.
Tilak was the first leader of the Indian Independence Movement and was known as The father of the Indian unrest by the British colonial authorities. He established nationalist newspapers that published hard-hitting and sometimes provocative articles, urging the people of Indian to shake hands in the fight against the British Rule and raise their voice against the British rule. During his entire life, he had been tried thrice- 1897, 1909, and 1916- of tired of sedition charges by the British Indian government. He was sentenced to 18 months of prison in 1897. In the year 1909, he was charged with sedition and racial animosity between Indians and British. He was sentenced to six years in prison.
After leading the struggle for independence for several years, Tilak passed away on August 1, 1920, at the age of 64 in Mumbai. After his death, Gandhi said him to ' The Maker of Modern India', while Jawaharlal Nehru described him as 'The father of the Indian Revolution'.
"Life is all about a card game. Choosing the right cards is not in our hand. But playing well with the cards in hand determines our success."-Bal Gangadhar