23 July : The very first leader of the Indian Independence movement, Bal Gangadhar Tilak is being remembered on his birth anniversary on the 23rd of July, 1856.
Lokmanya Tilak, known for his famous quote, “Swaraj is my birth right, and I shall have it” is remembered fondly as a great Indian nationalist, teacher and social reformer.
The Marathi leader was one of the grand freedom fighters who opposed the moderate approach towards India’s Independence.
Tilak’s opposition to the moderate approach inspired many other leaders like Bipin Chandra Pal and Lajpat Rai in Bengal and Punjab respectively.They came to be referred to as the Lal-Bal-Pal triumvirate.
Tilak was a journalist, a Sanskrit scholar and also a mathematician. His newspapers Kesari (lion) in Marathi language and Mahratta in English set forth his nationalist ideas.Tilak was arrested by the British for asserting his nationalist views and advocating resistance to the British rule.
He died on 1st August, 1920. Mahatma Gandhi, who was a true follower of Tilak’s legacy, called him “The Maker of Modern India”.