Bal Gangadhar Tilak's birth anniversary: Eight facts about the Indian nationalist and reformer

Khevna Pandit
Thursday, 23 July 2020

Bal Gangadhar Tilak, born on July 23, 1856, is best remembered for his contribution towards the Indian freedom struggle. We look back at his achievements and facts on his birth anniversary. 


Remembered for being an Indian nationalist, freedom fighter as well as a social reformer, Bal Gangadhar Tilak spoke ardently of achieving Swaraj. However, Lokmanya Tilak, as he was fondly referred to, was also a teacher, advocate, journalist, scholar, mathematician, philosopher, and a reformer who contributed in laying the foundation for India's independence. His emphasis on building his' own rule' against the colonialism that India faced back in its pre-independence days was then converted into a nationwide movement.


On his 164th birth anniversary, the nation pays tribute to his efforts towards the freedom struggle. Here are some interesting facts about Bal Gangadhar Tilak, amongst his achievements, that we look back at today: 


  • Bal Gangadhar Tilak was known as 'The Father of the Indian Unrest' by the British, who ruled in India until 1947. 
  • Popularly known as the 'Father of Swaraj', Tilak dedicated his entire life to attaining 'Purna Swaraj'. 
  • Bal Gangadhar Tilak found the Deccan Education Society in 1884 so that the youth of the country can have access to quality education. 
  • Before independence, he began weeklies such as Kesari (The Lion) and Mahratta. Kesari was a Marathi language weekly, whereas Mahratta was an English weekly. Tilak gained popularity for his criticism against the British rule, which he advocated through his newspapers.
  • Tilak began two important festivals, namely Ganesh Chaturthi in 1893 as well as Shivaji Jayanti in 1895.
  • He started the Swadesi movement, and along with Jamshedji Tata, he established Bombay Swadesi Stores to promote his ideologies. 
  • After Bal Gangadhar Tilak was imprisoned during the freedom struggle, he ended up writing a book titled 'Gita-Rahasya' from behind bars. 
  • Tilak founded the Indian Home Rule League and also served as its president. In 1916, he concluded the Lucknow Pact with Mohammad Ali Jinnah. This provided Hindu-Muslim unity during the nationalist struggle. 

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid his tributes to Lokmanya Tilak through his tweet.


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