Bal Gangadhar Tilak

Bal Gangadhar TilakBal Gangadhar Tilak was an Indian nationalist, social reformer, teacher, journalist, independence activist and lawyer. He is considered as the Father of the “Indian National Movement”. He was a scholar of Indian history, Sanskrit, Hinduism, Mathematics and Astronomy. He was been given the title of ‘Lokmanya’. He is very well known for his quote ‘Swaraj is my birthright and I shall have it’.

Life of Bal Gangadhar Tilak

He was born on 23rd July, 1856 in Ratnagiri, Maharashtra. Born in Chiptavan Brahmin family his father Ramachandra Tilak was a Sanskrit scholar and a famous teacher. Tilak was very good in Mathematics and was a brilliant student in his childhood. When he was ten years old his father was transferred to Pune where Tilak joined Anglo – vernacular school in Pune. He lost his mother at a very early age and lost his father at the age of 16 yrs old.

During studying matriculation he was married to Satyabhama who was 10 years old. He joined Deccan college in 1877, and completed his B.A degree with a first class in Mathematics. He continued his studies and completed his LL.B degree.

His contributions

Tilak’s Political Career

He joined Indian National Congress in 1890. Tilak was the person who opposed the Age of Consent Bill, the act raised the age at which a girl could get married from 10 to 12 years. He was a member of the Municipal Council of Pune, Bombay Legislature and an elected ‘Fellow’ of the Bombay University. He organized people through the Ganpati Festival and the birthday of Shivaji.

Kesari and Mahratta

Tilak started two weeklies ‘Kesari’ and ‘Mahratta’. Both the newspapers became very popular. In it he use to write about the Indian’s suffering and of actual happenings. He used to motivate the Indians to fight against the British rule. Tilak was charged with writing articles instigating people to rise against the government and to break the laws and disturb the peace.

Swadeshi Movement

It was considered as the most successful movement that of the pre- Gandhian movement. In this movement the Indian people were opposing and boycotting of goods made in other countries. It was a economic strategy intended to remove British rule from India and develop the economic conditions of the nation. The people involved in this movement were Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Aurobindo Ghosh,, Lala Lajpat Rai and Bipin Chandra Pal.


When two youths tried to kill the Chief Presidency Magistrate by throwing a bomb on him, Tilak wrote about this incident in his weekly defending the revolutionaries and called for Swaraj. Tilak was arrested in the charges of sedition where he utilised his time in reading and writing. He was sentenced He even wrote the book ‘Gita Rahasya’ while he was in prison.

Death of Tilak

While fighting for people’s cause he died on 1st August, 1920. Being the most popular leader in the Independence Movement he created a sensation among the Indians. His quote was an inspiration to fight against the British rule and is also remembered today.

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