Bal Gangadhar Tilak

Who is Bal Gangadhar Tilak?

Keshav Gangadhar Tilak popularly known as Bal Gangadhar Tilak was an Indian nationalist, teacher, journalist and freedom activist.

Bal Gangadhar Tilak was the first leader of Indian freedom movement. He was one of the three members of the Lal Bal Pal Trimurti.

British colonial officials referred to him as the “Father of the Indian Disturbance”.

He was also given the title of “Lokmanya” meaning “accepted as a leader by the people”.

He was called by Mahatma Gandhi as “The Maker of Modern India”.

Bal Gangadhar Tilak was an ardent radical in Indian consciousness and the first and strongest supporter of Swarajya (self-government).

In this Bal Gangadhar Tilak biography you will get the early information about Bal Gangadhar Tilak, his career as a teacher and political leader.

We will learn about his political and social ideology, his contribution to the Indian freedom movement and his death.

Early Life and Education of Bal Gangadhar Tilak

In this section we will study the early life and educational information of Bal Gangadhar Tilak.

Bal Gangadhar Tilak was born on 23 July 1856.

He was born into a Marathi Hindu Chitpavan Brahmin family in Ratnagiri District, Bombay State, British India, in present-day Maharashtra, India.

Bal Gangadhar Tilak’s father’s name was Sri Gangadhar Tilak and mother’s name was Parvatibai Gangadhar.

Chikhli was the ancestral village of Bal Gangadhar Tilak.

Tilak’s father Gangadhar Tilak was a school teacher and Sanskrit scholar who died when Tilak was sixteen.

In 1877, he graduated with honors from the Deccan College in Pune with a degree in Mathematics.

He graduated from the Government Law College in 1879 with an LLB degree and passed his M.A. mid-semester to join the LLB program. left the program.

Family of Bal Gangadhar Tilak

Bal Gangadhar Tilak was married to Satyabhama Tilak in 1871 at the age of 16.

He had three sons Rambhau Balwant Tilak, Vishwanath Balwant Tilak and Sridhar Balwant Tilak.

Teaching career of Bal Gangadhar Tilak

Bal Gangadhar Tilak started teaching mathematics in a private school in Pune after graduation.

In 1880, he co-founded the New English School for Secondary Education with some college friends including Gopal Ganesh Agarkar, Mahadev Ballal Namjoshi and Vishnu Shastri Chiplunkar.

His mission was to raise the educational standard of the youth of India.

The school’s success led him to establish the Deccan Education Society in 1884 to initiate a national education system that inculcated nationalist ideas in young Indians while emphasizing Indian culture.

In 1885, the Deccan Education Society established Fergusson College for post-secondary education. Bal Gangadhar Tilak taught mathematics at Fergusson College.

Bal Gangadhar Tilak left the Deccan Education Society in 1890 and pursued more overtly political pursuits.

Bal Gangadhar Tilak Indian Freedom Movement

Bal Gangadhar Tilak had a long political career in which he fought for Indian independence from British rule.

He was the most famous Indian politician before Gandhiji. He started a mass movement for independence with an emphasis on religious and cultural renewal.

Tilak was a staunch nationalist and also a social conservative. In this section we will learn more about the political career of Bal Gangadhar Tilak.

In 1890, Tilak became a member of the Indian National Congress. There was moderate opposition to it, especially in the struggle for independence. At this point, he was one of the most prominent revolutionaries.

Bubonic plague spread from Bombay to Pune in late 1896 and reached epidemic proportions by January 1897.

Forcible entry into private homes, inspection of residents, relocation to hospitals and segregation camps, removal and destruction of personal belongings, and prohibition of patients from entering or leaving the city were among the draconian measures used to handle the emergency.

The outbreak was brought under control by the end of May. They were generally seen as acts of injustice and authoritarianism.

Tilak published a provocative article in his newspaper Kesari, quoting the Hindu scripture Bhagavad Gita to claim that no one should be held responsible for killing an oppressor without expectation of reward.

The Chapekar brothers and their associates then shot dead Commissioner Rand and another British officer, Lt. Irst, on 22 June 1897.

Tilak was charged with abetting the murder and sentenced to 18 months. He was revered as a martyr and a national hero after his release from jail in modern-day Mumbai.

He then announced that ‘Swaraj is my birthright and I will get it’.

After the partition of Bengal, Tilak encouraged the Swadeshi and Boycott movement, which was Lord Curzon’s strategy to weaken the nationalist movement.

A boycott of foreign products, as well as a social boycott of every Indian who used foreign goods, were also part of this campaign.

Swadeshi was a movement that promoted the use of local products. When foreign products were boycotted, domestic demand had to fill the gap.

According to Tilak Swadeshi and boycott are two sides of the same coin.

Tilak opposed the moderate views of Gopal Krishna Gokhale and was supported by fellow Indian nationalists such as Bipin Chandra Pal in Bengal and Lala Lajpat Rai in Punjab.

“Lal-Bal-Pal Triumvirate” was their nickname.

In 1907, the annual meeting of the Congress Party was held at Surat in Gujarat. The election of a new Congress president has led to a battle between the liberal and hardline factions of the party.

The party was divided into two factions, extremists and moderates. The militants were led by Tilak, Pal and Lajpatrai.

Tilak had Aurobindo Ghosh and V.O. Chidambaram Pillai was supported by nationalists.

Tilak was tried for sedition three times during his lifetime by the Government of British India in 1897, 1909 and 1916.

Tilak was sentenced to 18 months in prison in 1897 for promoting anti-royal discontent.

In 1909 he was again accused of sedition and inciting communal tension between Indians and British.

Bombay lawyer Muhammad Ali Jinnah appeared in Tilak’s defence, but was sentenced to six years in Burma in a controversial decision.

In 1916, when Tilak was charged with sedition for the third time over his Swarajya lectures, Jinnah was again his lawyer and this time he was acquitted.

When World War I broke out in August 1914, Tilak signaled his support to King-Emperor George V and used his rhetoric to recruit new soldiers for the war effort.

He praised the British Parliament’s passage of the Indian Council Act, known as the Minto-Morley Amendment, in May 1909, which he described as a “significant increase in trust between the ruler and the ruled”.

At the time of the Lucknow Pact of 1916, Tilak reunited with his fellow nationalists and rejoined the Indian National Congress.

Tilak tried to persuade Mahatma Gandhi to abandon the concept of total non-violence in favor of achieving Swaraj by any means necessary.

Although Gandhi disagreed with Tilak on the methods of achieving Swaraj and was a staunch supporter of Satyagraha, he appreciated Tilak’s contribution to the nation and his strong faith.

After Tilak lost his civil case against Valentine Chirol and suffered financial losses, Gandhi appealed to Indians to donate to the Tilak Purse Fund, which was set up to cover Tilak’s expenses.

Bal Gangadhar Tilak, G.S. Along with Khaparde and Annie Besant helped form the All India Home Rule League in 1916–18.

After years of trying to unite moderate and conservative groups, he gave up and concentrated on the Home Rule League, which advocated self-government.

To join the Swarajya movement, Tilak went from village to village and sought the help of farmers and locals.

In April 1916, the League had 1400 members and by 1917 it had grown to around 32,000.

Social Thoughts of Bal Gangadhar Tilak

Bal Gangadhar Tilak was a staunch opponent of liberal movements in Pune, such as women’s rights and anti-untouchability reforms.

Bal Gangadhar Tilak used his newspapers Maharashtra and Kesari to establish the first native girls’ high school in Pune in 1885 and strongly oppose its curriculum.

Bal Gangadhar Tilak was also opposed to inter-caste marriages, especially in which a woman from an upper caste married a man from a lower caste.

Bal Gangadhar Tilak opposed the Consent Bill raising the marriageable age of girls from ten to twelve, but was able to sign a circular raising the marriageable age of girls to sixteen and that of boys to twenty. of years

Tilak was not a feminist when it came to gender relations.

They did not agree that Hindu women should be educated in the modern world. He was more religious, claiming that women were supposed to be housewives who had to provide for their husbands and children.

In 1918, Tilak refused to sign a petition for the abolition of untouchability, despite having previously spoken against it in a meeting.

Red Baby Pal

The group was named after three important leaders of the nationalist movement during the British rule in the 20th century.

Lal Bal Pal means Lala Lajpat Rai. Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Bipinchandra Pal. The main objective of the political group was to make the country “self-reliant” and “self-sufficient”.

To advocate this idea he launched the “Swadeshi Movement” which paved the way for the Indian independence movement.

During that time India lost its way and fell victim to the British rule.

While the British were partitioning India and leading movements like ‘Partition of Bengal’ they wanted to divide and weaken India as per their motto of divide and conquer.

Lal Bal Pal was the primordial force to unite the country against the partition of Bengal. They showed their rebellion by striking and boycotting fake goods. This protest spread from Bengal and protested across the country.

The British played their trick and arrested Bal Gangadhar Tilak on charges of sedition, while Bipin Chandra Pal Lala Lajpat Rai, who had retired from active politics, was incapacitated by injuries sustained in a lathicharge.

Their hands were tied which slowed down the nationalist movement.

Indian Freedom Movement

The Indian independence movement was a series of most heroic and historic events aimed at ending the British rule in India.

The movement started in Bengal in 1857 and did not rest until independence in 1947.

Bal Gangadhar Tilak was one of the few leaders who blew the whistle during the ninety-year battle to end British rule.

This movement led to the formation of the Indian National Congress and made the rebellion a national rebellion.

The Indian National Congress was made up of intellectuals who wanted to lead India to better governance.

A radical approach was seen in the early years and the main faces of the movement were Lal Bal Pal, Aurobindo Ghosh and VO Chidambaram Pillai.

In the late 1920s, the Congress adopted the Gandhian line and made the movement a non-violent movement.

Soon other movements and campaigns started and many people joined the movement.

Women leaders like Rabindranath Tagore, Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay and Sarojini Naidu, Pritilata Waddekar also gave impetus to the movement.

When did Bal Gangadhar Tilak die?

Bal Gangadhar Tilak died on 1 August 1920 in Bombay.

Literary contribution of Bal Gangadhar Tilak

Bal Gangadhar Tilak was a journalist by profession.

He used to write articles about the Indian freedom movement in a Marathi newspaper called “Kesari” and an English newspaper called “Maharatta”.

He authored two books Srimad Bhagavad Gita Rahasya and Arctic Home of the Vedas.

He claims in his book “The Arctic Home of the Vedas” that the Vedas could only have been written in the Arctic and that the Aryans took them south after the last ice age.

He suggested a new method to determine the exact period of the Vedas.

While in prison at Mandalay, Tilak wrote: “Srimad Bhagavad Gita Rahasya,” which describes the practice of “karma yoga” in the Bhagavad Gita, considered the gift of the Vedas and Upanishads.

In this Lokmanya Tilak biography we learn about Bal Gangadhar Tilak’s date of birth, his early education and career, his political career, his commentary on Indian society, the book Bal Gangadhar Tilak wrote in prison and finally who he was. Bal Gangadhar Tilak


Bal Gangadhar Tilak Biography teaches us about the life history of the first political leader of modern India.

Bal Gangadhar Tilak was a philosopher-politician, a rare breed.

His concepts of Swarajya and Swadeshi were based on making every Indian aware of the humiliation and injustice of the British.

Through his Home Rule campaign, he created a fertile ground for Swaraj.

The goal of the Home Rule movement was clear to him. Their demand was for political reconciliation.

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