Bal Gangadhar Tilak's 100th death anniversary: Modi, Shah, other political leaders hail 'prime architect' of freedom struggle

Tilak's ideas of swaraj and swadeshi helped raise consciousness among Indians about the insults and injustice meted out by the British.

FP Trending August 01, 2020 16:41:19 IST
Bal Gangadhar Tilak's 100th death anniversary: Modi, Shah, other political leaders hail 'prime architect' of freedom struggle

Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak's 100th death anniversary is being observed on 1 August. An iconic leader and one of the strongest proponents of purna swaraj or total self-rule, Bal Gangadhar Tilak died on this day in 1920, in Mumbai.

A part of the Lal-Bal-Pal (Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Bipin Chandra Pal) group, he was often called the "father of the Indian unrest" by the British Raj.

Tilak's ideas of Swaraj were not confined to the political realm only. Acutely aware of the need for cultural and economic independence, his two initiatives gained a lot of momentum. One was the public celebration of Ganesh festival and the other was the Shivaji Jayanti, both aimed at a cultural coming-together of all caste and community groups.

The firebrand leader's funeral was held at Chowpatty Beach in a rented room in a guest house called Sardar Griha and was attended by over a million people. Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Maulana Shaukat Ali, a prominent leader of the Khilafat Movement, were a few who were in attendance.

On Tilak’s death anniversary, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu tweeted a picture of the social reformer and wrote, "He was one of the prime architects of India's freedom movement with his slogan- "SWARAJ IS MY BIRTHRIGHT".

The Vice President said that Tilak's contributions to the nation will always be remembered.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi shared a video recorded in his voice with images of Tilak, sharing some facets of the freedom fighter's life. "India bows to Lokmanya Tilak on his 100th Punya Tithi. His intellect, courage, sense of justice and idea of Swaraj continue to inspire," said Modi.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah too remembered the freedom fighter on his 100th death anniversary. "Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak ji has an incomparable contribution to the freedom movement, dedicating every moment of his life to the nation and creating an ideological generation of revolutionaries," Shah tweeted in Hindi.

Amit Shah also addressed a webinar organised by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) as a tribute to Tilak.

"Swaraj is my birthright and I shall have it, saying this in the 19th century and spending whole life to achieve it cannot be done by many. This sentence will always be associated with Lokmanya Tilak as golden letters in the history of our freedom struggle," Shah said in his address.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in his message said that Lokmanya Tilak continues to inspire people of the country even today.

Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb wrote, "His life stands an inspiration for all of us even today. Bal Gangadhar Tilak ji's thoughts and vision will continue to guide the generations to come."

Indian National Congress (INC) tweeted tributes to the freedom fighter on his death anniversary.

Author of the books Conundrum: Subhas Bose's Life after Death and Your Prime Minister is Dead, Anuj Dhar remembered Tilak in a series of tweets highlighting that the leader was, in the words of Subhas Chandra Bose, "The only possible rival of Mr Gandhi."

Indian Forest Service officer Parveen Kaswan, popular on social media for his sharing interesting photos and videos, shared the last words of Tilak at his historical trial of 1908.

Filmmaker Ashoke Pandit wrote that Tilak will "always be remembered as a true nationalist and for his immense contribution to the freedom movement."

The Tilak Archives Twitter page shared number of black and white images of the leader’s funeral processions which took place over the course of 10 days.

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