Name the nationalist who said ,'Swaraj is my birthright and I shall have it '.

‘Swaraj is my birthright and I shall have it ‘ slogan was coined by Bal Gangadhar Tilak. Bal Gangadhar Tilak, was also referred to as Lokamanya Tilak was a leader of the Indian independence movement and belonged to the extremist faction. He was also termed as the ‘Father of Indian Unrest’.

About Bal Gangadhar Tilak

  • Tilak’s birth took place in the year 1856 and his name was Keshav Gangadhar Tilak in Ratnagiri, Maharashtra.
  • He was born in a middle-class Hindu family
  • He obtained a bachelor’s degree from Pune
  • At the early stages of life, he worked as a Maths teacher, then he started working as a journalist and joined the freedom movement.

Political career of Bal Gangadhar Tilak

  • He started his political career by joining the Congress in 1890.
  • He was opposed to moderate methods and views and had a more radical and aggressive stance against British rule.
  • He was one among the first advocates of Swaraj or self-rule.
  • He believed in the philosophy that no progress was possible without self-rule.
  • He took part in the extremist faction of the INC and was a supporter of boycott and Swadeshi movements.
  • He published two prominent papers – Kesari in Marathi and Mahratta in English.
  • He was fearless in his criticism of the government in these papers.
  • He was also sentenced to 18 months imprisonment on charges of “incitement to murder”.
  • He was also jailed for 6 years in Mandalay prison from 1908 to 1914 for writing articles defending Prafulla Chaki and Khudiram Bose. These were the revolutionaries who had killed
  • two English women, throwing the bomb into the carriage carrying the women.
  • Tilak re-joined the Indian National Congress in 1916, after the split earlier.
  • He was one among the co-founders of the All India Home Rule League, along with Annie Besant and G S Khaparde.
  • Tilak drew his political ideas heavily from the ancient Hindu scriptures.
  • He addressed the people to be proud of their heritage. He was against the westernisation of Indian society.
  • He brought the change of simple Ganesh Puja performed at home into a social and public Ganesh festival.
  • He utilised the Ganesh Chaturthi and Shiv Jayanti (birth anniversary of Shivaji) festivals to create unity and a national spirit among the people. Unfortunately, this move alienated
  • non-Hindus from him.
  • The Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav is now popularised due to his efforts since 1894 is still one of the biggest festivals of Maharashtra.
  • In spite of being a nationalist radical leader, Bal Gangadhar Tilak’s social views were conservative.
  • According to him Hindu women getting modern education was not the rule um=nder under Indian society.
  • He opposed the bill which mentioned the age of marrying a girl is in between 10 & 12.
  • With all these new reforms, trends and changes in the country, he developed nation to a greater extent. He died in the year1920 aged 64.

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