Bal Gangadhar Tilak 163rd Birth Anniversary: Facts to Know About The 'Radical Nationalist' Leader Who Strove For Swaraj
Bal Gangadhar Tilak (Photo Credits: File Photo)

Bal Gangadhar Tilak popularly known as Lokmanya Tilak was considered as one of the first leaders of India’s freedom struggle. Bal Gangadhar Tilak was the first and the strongest advocates of self-rule. He was born on July 23, 1856, as Keshav Gangadhar Tilak in a Marathi Chitpavan Brahmin family in Ratnagiri. Bal Gangadhar Tilak he obtained his Bachelor of Arts in first class in Mathematics from Deccan College of Pune in 1877 and in 1879 he cleared his LLB. Bal Gangadhar Tilak 98th Death Anniversary: Tributes Pour on Twitter For The Strongest Advocate of 'Swaraj'.

After joining the Indian National Congress in 1890, Tilak opposed its moderate attitude. British author Sir Valentine Chiro also called him “The Father of Indian Unrest”. He gave the  famous slogan “Swarajya is my birthright and I shall have it!” He was the founder of Marathi newspaper Kesari which was used as a spokes piece for the Indian national freedom movement. Ganeshotsav Pandals: How Bal Gangadhar Tilak Turned Ganesh Festival as an Instrument for Freedom Struggle.

On the 163rd Birth Anniversary of Bal Gangadhar Tilak here are some interesting facts to know about his life:

  1. Tilak along with his friends set up the Deccan Education Society in 1884 to teach India's youth  nationalist ideas. The Fergusson College was established in 1885 where Tilak taught mathematics. In 1890 he left the Deccan Education Society.
  2. Following the Partition of Bengal, Tilak encouraged the Swadeshi movement and the Boycott movement.
  3. He formed a close alliance with many Indian National Congress leaders including Bipin Chandra Pal, Lala Lajpat Rai, and the trio was called Lal Bal Pal.
  4. In 1916 he concluded the Lucknow Pact with Mohammed Ali Jinnah to strengthen Hindu-Muslim unity.
  5. Tilak had been tried for Sedition Charges in three times by British India Government—in 1897,  1909 and 1916. He was sentenced to 18 months of imprisonment.
  6. Tilak was sentenced to six years of jail to Mandalay in Myanmar from 1908 to 1914 for publishing articles in support of Bengali revolutionaries Prafulla Chaki and Khudiram Bose who threw bomb on a carriage at Muzzafarpur, to kill the Chief Presidency Magistrate Douglas Kingsford of Calcutta.
  7. After his release in 1914, Tilak launched the Home Rule League with the rousing slogan “Swarajya is my birthright and I will have it.”
  8. In 1916 he rejoined the Congress Party and signed the accord with Jinnah.
  9. Inspite of being a nationalist, Tilak strongly opposed liberal trends emerging in Pune such as women's rights and social reforms against untouchability.
  10. In 1894, Tilak transformed the household worshipping of Ganesha into a grand public event. Independence Day 2018: Looking Back At The Freedom Fighters Who Fought For Free India.

In 1871, Tilak was married to Tapibai when he was 16, a few months before his father's death. Tilak also wrote various books including  The Arctic Home in the Vedas, The Orion and Shrimadh Bhagvad Gita Rahasya. He breathed his last on August 1, 1920. While paying tributes to the Indian revolutionary, Mahatma Gandhi had called him “the Maker of Modern India,” and Jawaharlal Nehru described him as “the Father of the Indian Revolution.”