TILAK A BRAVE SON OF
Bal GangadharTilak was born on 23/07/1856 at Ratna giri –mountain of jewels- in west coast of
. His father was a school master turned inspector and Tilak learnt Sanskrit and mathematics from his father. Tilak lost his mother when he was 10. He got married Tapi when he was16. As a aboy Tilak had good affection for controversy and his dialectical skills won him many laurels. He was nicknamed mr.Blunt. India
Tilak was BA in Maths and did LLB. He was always first class student in academics. Agarkar was his friend and both of them were influenced by Vishva shastri chiplunkar who taught them good English.
. Chiplunkar,Tilak, and Agarkar who were called trio then ,started one English school by name New English school on 01/01/1880. Mahratta a English magazine,and Kesari a marathi magazine were brought out by them.
Tilak and Agarkar were sent to prison for four months in a defamation suit filed by Burve- Dhivan.
Selfish interest of his friend paved way for Tilak leaving DES.
Tilak told, ‘ ..but in the hope that by severing myself from you I may perhaps help you in pereserving harmony’.
It is an irony and also a record that Gokale himself refused admission for M.K.Gandhi in Servants of India society. On his coming into the society .personality clash may sprout Gokale inclined.
‘ mountain peaks may appear inviting and impressive but it is no easy to live in close proximity’ was the explanation given. But they two became very close in history there after.
Tilak found much time to work more in magazines they started. Agarkar started a new magazine ‘sutharak’and Tilak wrote many English essays in it. Relief from Deccan English society made him search for more national service. West had only little interest in learning our religion or our people with their tradition. How our day to day life is linked with the spirituality of our own was not understood by them.
Tilak aspired for regeneration of Hindu society. He thought that that could be achieved
only through political process. He believed that freedom of our country would bring those reforms.
In 1886 Tilak wrote that in
kings were set aside by 17 th century but only the 19th century brought the expected progress in the English society. He raised the question that why England Ireland
was still a vassal if the British were really freedom loving..
The following were the social reforms Tilak expected.
- Girl should not get married before the age of 16.
- .Boy should not get married before the age of 20.
- No man should marry after 40
- second marriage only with a widow
- liquor should be prohibited
- dowry should be abolished
- widow should not be tonsured
- 1/10 th of income should be allotted to the social reform.
No one came forward to accept the above suggestion from the reformers group. It is an irony that you cannot imagine abolition of liquor even today. In the year 1961 only law to Dowry ban was introduced.
Tilak opined that those who want to live according to their whims and fancies should do it no doubt but only on desert. Path of compromise was the only way for harmonious living he asserted.
Here we may recall the words of Ranade,’ moderation implies the condition of never vainly aspiring after the impossible or after too remote ideals but simply to take next step in order of natural growth.’
On the ‘renaissance of Hinduism’ D.S. Sharma is also putting forth near similar idea. The reformer has to spread knowledge, the politician has to generate power.
Tilak inaugurated Ganapati puja and Shivaji festivals. He became a councilor of
municipality. He adorned the positions of Poona Bombay university senate, and legislative council. Sarva jana sabha was begun in the year before the birth of Indian national Bombay
Congress and Tilak became its leader in 1895.
Lala lajapat rai, Bal gangadhar tilak,Bipin Chandra pal were the trio Lal,Bal,Pal who dominated proceedings of
congress of INC in 1889. Bombay
‘ we must approach the trader, the artisan, and the working man as well as the educated class and make all of them subscribe to congress fund’ Tilak represented the proposal.
God Ganapati was a mythological character, and Shivaji was the founder of Maratha empire both occupied the heart of Tilak. Shivaji festival was began in the year 1896. Knowing electric magic in the mere name, British too used Shivaji s’ name to inspire the common people for recruitment of soldiers in Indian Army during world wars.
When critics placed before him the argument that shivaji s’ festival would end up with anger Muslims Tilak said it wass to kindle Indian national spirit.He honoured the national figure Shivaji and we can proudly say by that he too became another national figure in Indian history.
A bold peasantry the countries pride
When once destroyed cannot be supplied, was always his inner content in every argument He gave reverence for strictest regularity and utmost sincerity in his day to day activities.
He discussed about out burst of plague and its devastation. Excesses committed by British got exposed by his brave pen Rand and Lt Ayerst were murdered on 22/06/1897. He wrote an article about the incident.
Queen s’ diamond jubilee celebrations were severely commented by Tilak.He was considered fighting fire during the period. Daily Mail wrote the Poona Brahmin is notorious through out the whole of
and the educated among them particularly so. India
In Keasri he wrote a poem on greatness of Shivaji He was arrested subsequently. Tilak emphasized that patriotism no longer lay in oratorical flourishes but in the spirit of ‘ dare and do’.
Tilak in jail worked in the Production of coir by supplying coconut fibres to the hand run machine.His weight was reduced from 135 lb to 105 lb thanks to the physical labour that was imposed..
Maxmuller who mastered Indian Vedic literature rendered their essence in English and sent a copy of his book to Tilak
When he was questioned, how could there be any happiness in prison? His reply was ‘you wo’nt understand it unless you go there.’
As man of immense courage , he said
‘you will be betraying and disappointing them if you show a lamentable want of courage at a critical time.
Baba maharaj was in death bed due to cholera. On 07/08/1897 Tilak called on him. At the request of dying person a trust was formed. . Khaparde, kumbhajkar,and Nagpurkar and Tilak
were the members of the trust. Baba maha raj s’ wife was expecting a baby. Baba Maharaj instructed that the baby would also die after few months and so some arrangement might be
made for adaptation in his family only there after. As Baba said born son also died after five months.
Problem arose in adaptation Nagpurker turned hostile for he wanted that his might be adopted instead of one Jagannath as per wishes of other members and wife of Baba Maharaj.
Bala Maharaj of
was also nominated for adaptation. kolhapur Poona district court decision was set aside high court and Baba Maharaj s’ will regarding adoption was aborted. The widow also died. These two court cases had eaten away all the energy and enthusiasm of great leader Tilak. Bombay
On 25/03/1915 privy council gave a judgement in Jagannath favour But Tilak was in prison in Mandale.
government turned deaf ear to privy council s’ decision. Objection were raised by Bombay Kolhapur state against the privy council decision by ill will and instigation of the government. Later the case was set aside .In February 1917 Jagannaath maharaj got his right as a successor to Baba maharaj. Tilak said, ‘ two cases consumed all my mental and physical powers for years.’ Bombay
In 1904 Tilak visited Chennai. He went to
Ceylon and Burma.He said ‘ although Ceylon and Burma were socially far more advanced than ,they were politically in the same boat.’ India
We infer from Tilak s’ understanding that there is no inherent connection between social reform and national regeneration.
For the criminal offence of murder of
Rand, Chapekar was hanged and in continuation of that Dravid brothers were shot dead. Quoting the source as Globe of London
wrote, the campaign of murder which Tilak directed if he was not its’ organiser’ India
Tilak in Kesari fittingly replied,’ congress and coferences are not meant for flatterers and such persons as to raise memorials for each and every governor, but for those who will not hesitate to voice public opinion in a fearless but temperate manner’.
Kesari was published for 21 years. 700 to 1300 copies were sold. Tilak put forth that we write for the rulers but in order that the readers might imbibe our spirit and understand our thoughts our agonies and our indignation. Tilaks’ first son Viswanath died of plague in 1903.and another son Bapu was running high fever the next day but Tilak was revising manuscripts for his magazine calmly.
In 1932 Lady Linto told Gandhi, ‘ the separate electorate your leader Gokale is proposing but you are not’. Gandhi answered ,
‘ Ah’ Gokale was a good man but even good man may make mistake’.
The extremists of today would be the moderates of tomorrow just as moderates of today were extremists of yester year Tilak explained. Freedom will not descend from above,the people must rise to it and wrest it from unwilling hands, he opined.
Bengal came in the year 1905. People of Bengal rose against partition. People of every religion tied raki in their hands to show their solidarity.Raki stood for the symbol of unity.
In west technical and industrial education is an important part of education but the educational instituitions in
were intended to produce only petty officials. Tilak held the opinion that to draw a nation together there was no force more powerful than a common language. India
on 27/12/1907 Tilak observed that congress was dissolving in chaos. He found that moderates and extremists were in different positions opposing each other. surat
Tilak sentenced to transportation in july 1908.
‘ what govt will do is to remove me from the large prison to a small one’ Living in
British India then was prison life to every individual.
Kudiram bose and Prafulla chaki threw bombs at District Judge, Kings ord but two European women were killed in the incident. Tilak put forth, ‘ if you do not make beginning to give it we wont stop bombs.
Tilak hears the transportation judgment but puts forth the following,
‘ there are powers that rule the destiny of things and it may be the will of providence that the cause which I represent may prosper more by suffering than by my remaining free.’
In protest against judgment six days of hartal observed and 14 people killed and 30 men wounded. From 23/09/1908 he was in the solitary cell in Mandaley prison.
In the prison Tilak wrote Gita rahasyam a treatise on Bagavat geeta. Kulkarni prepared the food
In the jail and Tilak attended him when he was under bad health. Tilak s’ wife died on 07/06/1912
. From November 1910 to march 1911 he was in the task of writing the great book Gita rahsyam. He took meditation for one hour and was reading books till 1.30 pm night. He was diabetic too. On 08/06/1914 He was released from Mandaley jail.
Following three were given importance by Tilak after his release.
Unity in the congress
Reorganizing the national party
Formation of home rule league
Gokalee and Tilak met in the presence of Annie bezant. But within short period of time Gokalee expired.
A very simple definition for home rule Tilak gave was this.
‘ I should be in my own country what an English is in
In the meet at Surat in the old dilapidated Fench garden the differences between the moderates and the extremist in Congress party was at its’ peak but in Lucknow Cogress when they assembled for in lovely garden of Kaisar bagh of king Waji d Ali shah, a new energy was reborn amid party members. Moderates, extremists and muslims joined together and discussed. There was cnfluence a Triveni In Indian national congress. People began to think ‘ if
is independent and can do its, governance of its’ own why not we Indians do’ .Self confidence among Indians attained its’ peak. Japan
Mantford reformations were introduced later,Tilak questioned , ‘it is dawn but where is the sun’
On 24/09/1918 Tilak sailed for
. Chirol a journalist described him , ‘father of Indian unrest’. In London Tilak lived at 10, Howly place, Maida vale,and later shifted to Britain 60 Talbot Road
Paddington at the request of Indian owner. The 10 Talbot road
still stands as a hostel for Indian students and assembly hall of Indian students and rendering justice to the memory of great man. London
on13/04/1919 at Jalian wala bagh in
Punjab a massacre was enacted by British and 379 men died and 1200 injured. Much worried Rabindra nath tagore renounced his knight hood.
Tilak always reminded, to accept whatever is given but to continue to fight for more’.Acceptance of what is given primarily reveals the admittance of our right. But
whenever he was asked for cooperation he quietly replied,’ cooperation is not a one way traffic it should be mutual and responsive.’
In 22/05/1920 he was given a purse containing rupees 3.25 lacs for failure in Chirol case by Public
. He replied, ‘ by your generosity you have literally bought me body and soul’. Poona
Tilak breathed his last at 1240 a,m on a Sunday august 1st 1920.His statue stands in Mumbai sea shore reminding succeeding generations the duty they owe to Mother land He is Lokamanya to every Indian. Gandhi admired him Tilak knew no religion but love for his country.
Tilak told editorial staff, ‘imagine that you are speaking to a villager and not writing for university people’.Political oratory is action not words.The Hindu,the Times of India,and the Globe were compelled to apologize adverse writing on Tilak. .
Gokale and Tilak were two different streams of Indian freedom movement. Both were of konkan, satyed in
, member of Deccan English society, and appeared in same political arena. Poona
Tilak was a turbulent ocean. He made decisions of his own. He neither longed for appreciation nor
reward.He can be compared with a banyan tree standing proudly amid a serene forest. It was his view that virtue is not attainable by learning and scholarship.
We can also recall what he held in high esteem as an academician,
‘there is no greater folly than the assumption of the educated class that they are separate from the mass of the people.’
He wrote, The Oriyan –( 1893), The Arctic home of Vedas-(1903), Gita Rahasya-(1915).
We are right when we call him‘ the Father of Indian nationalism.’