A two-day international webinar on ‘Lokmanya Tilak – Swaraj to Self-Reliant India’ was inaugurated by Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah. The webinar was organized on the occasion of 100th death anniversary of great freedom fighter Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak. The webinar was organised by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations in New Delhi.
Early life of Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak:
Bal Gangadhar Tilak was born on 23 July 1856 in an Indian Marathi Hindu Chitpavan Brahmin family in Ratnagiri, the headquarters of the Ratnagiri district of present-day Maharashtra (then Bombay Presidency). His real name was Keshav Gangadhar Tilak. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts in first class in Mathematics from Deccan College of Pune in 1877. He left his M.A. course of study midway to join the LL.B course instead, and in 1879 he obtained his LL.B degree from Government Law College. He died on 1st August 1920.
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Contribution to Indian Struggle for Independence:
- One of the earliest and the most vocal proponents of complete independence or swarajya (self-rule).
- Gave the slogan of “Swaraj is my birthright and I shall have it!” during Indian struggle for independence.
- Along with Lala Lajpat Rai and Bipin Chandra Pal, he was part of the Lal-Bal-Pal trio of leaders with extremist outlooks.
- A book ‘Indian Unrest’ written by Valentine Chirol, an English journalist, stated Tilak the ‘father of Indian unrest’.
- Joined the Indian National Congress (INC) in 1890.
- Propagated swadeshi movements and encouraged people to boycott foreign goods.
- Indian Home Rule Movement was started in 1916, it is believed to have set the stage for the independence movement under the leadership of Annie Besant and Bal Gangadhar Tilak for the educated English speaking upper class Indians.
- The All India Home Rule League was founded by Tilak in April 1916 at Belgaum.
- It worked in Maharashtra (except Bombay), the Central Provinces, Karnataka and Berar.
- Lucknow Pact (1916) was signed between the INC headed by Tilak and All-India Muslim League led by Muhammad Ali Jinnah for hindu-muslim unity in nationalist struggle.
- Started newspapers namely, Kesari (Marathi) and Mahratta (English) and wrote books namely, Gita Rhasya and Arctic Home of the Vedas.
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- Founder of the Deccan Education Society (1884) along with his associate Gopal Ganesh Agarkar and others.
- Popularised the Ganesh Chaturthi festival in the Maharashtra region.
Propounded the celebration of Shiv Jayanti on the birth anniversary of the monarch Chhatrapati Shivaji.
- Devout Hindu and used Hindu scriptures to rouse people to fight oppression.
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