1 Malazil

Lokmanya Tilak Essay Typer

April 1917, Nashik, India

I am young in spirit though old in body. I do not wish to lose this privilege of youth. To deny the growing capacity to my thinking power is to admit that I have no right to speak on this resolution. Whatever I am going to speak today is eternally young. The body might grow old, decrepit and it might perish, but the soul is immortal. Similarly, if there might be an apparent lull in our Home Rule activities, the freedom of the spirit behind it is eternal and indestructible, and it will secure liberty for us.

The Soul means Parameshwar and the mind will not get peace till it gets identified with Him. If one body is worn out the soul will take another: so assures the Gita. This philosophy is quite old. Freedom is my birthright. So long as it is awake within me, I am not old. No weapon can cut this spirit, no fire can burn it, no water can wet it, no wind can dry it. I say further that no CID can burn it. I declare the same principle to the Superintendent of Police who is sitting before me, to the Collector who had been invited to attend this meeting and to the Government shorthand writer who is busy taking down notes of our speeches.

This principle will not disappear even if it seems to be killed. We ask for Home Rule and we must get it. The Science which ends in Home Rule is the Science of Politics and not the one which ends in slavery. The Science of Politics is the "Vedas" of the country. You have a soul and I only want to wake it up. I want to tear off the blind that has been let down by ignorant, designing and selfish people. The Science of Politics consists of two parts. The first is Divine and the second is Demonic. The slavery of a Nation comes into the latter part. There cannot be a moral justification for the Demonic part of the Science of Politics. A Nation which might justify this is guilty of sin in the sight of God. Some people have the courage to declare what is harmful to them and some have not that courage. The political and religious teaching consists in giving the knowledge of this principle. Religious and political teachings are not separate, though they appear to be so on account of foreign rule. All philosophies are included in the Science of Politics.

Who does not know the meaning of Home Rule? Who does not want it? Would you like it, if I enter your house and take possession of your cooking department? I must have the right to manage the affairs in my own house. It is only lunatics and children who do not know how to manage their own affairs.

The cardinal creed of the conferences is that a member must be above 21 years of age; do you not, therefore, think that you want your own rights? Not being lunatics or children you uuderstand your own business, your own rights and, therefore, you know Home Rule. We are told we are not fit for Home Rule. A century has passed away and the British Rule has not made us fit for Home Rule; now we will make our own efforts and fit ourselves for it.

To offer irrelevant excuses, to hold out any temptation and to make other offers will be putting a stigma on the English policy. England is trying to protect the small state of Belgium with the help of India; how can it then say that we should not have Home Rule? Those who find fault with us are avaricious people. But there are people who find fault even with the All-Merciful God. We must work hard to save the soul of our Nation without caring for anything. The good of our country consists in guarding this - our birthright. The Congress has passed this Home Rule resolution. The Provincial Conference is only a child of the Congress, which submits to mandates of its father. We will follow Shri Ramachandra in obeying the order of our father the Congress. We are determined to make efforts to get this resolution enforced even if the effort leads us to the desert, compels us to live incognito, makes us suffer any hardship and even if it finally brings us to death. Shri Ramachandra did it. Do not pass this resolution by merely clapping your hands but by taking a solemn vow that you will work for it. We will work for it by every possible constitutional and law-abiding method to get Home Rule.

Through the grace of God, England has changed its mind towards us. We feel our efforts will not be without success. England proudly thought that a tiny nation might be able to protect the Empire by itself. This pride has gone down. England has now begun to feel that it must make changes in the constitution of the Empire. Lloyd George has openly confessed that England cannot go on without the help of India. All notions about a Nation of a thousand years old have to be changed. The English people have discovered that the wisdom of all their parties is not sufficient. The Indian soldiers have saved the lives of the British soldiers on the French battlefield and have showed their bravery. Those who once considered us as slaves have begun now to call us brothers. God has brought about all these changes. We must push our demands while the notion of this brotherhood is existing in the minds of the English. We must inform them that we, thirty crores of the Indian people, are ready to lay down our lives for the Empire; and that while we are with them none shall dare cast an evil glance at the Empire.

Bal Gangadhar Tilak

(THE FATHER OF INDIAN UNREST)

“Bal Gangadhar Tilak was described by British as ‘The Father of Indian Unrest’ Tilak was born on 23.7.1856. his slogan “Swaraj (self-Rule) is my birthright”, inspired and mobilized millions of Indians. The book “Geetarahasya” a classic treatise on Geeta in Marathi was written by him, in prison at Mandalay. Great journalist-editor, an authority on Vedas, Sanskrit Scholar, mathematician and a natural leader of India.”

Tilak was born in Ratnagiri, a small coastal town on July 23, 1856 in a middle class family. Tilak had to fend himself for college education. At an early age he was convinced that the educational system the British provided for the Indians was not last all adequate. He passed B.A. in first class.  After graduation and a law degree, he helped to found a school which laid emphasis on nationalism. The studies made him realize the state in which his motherland existed under British Rule. He started a newspaper. ‘Kesari’ which tried to teach Indians of their glorious past and reminded them to be self-reliant (Swadeshi).

The British was using all the native raw materials to run their factories in England and selling the finished products to India, keeping the Indian an ever dependant, underdeveloped country. In the process all the industries of India like spinning, weaving. Glass making, sugar, dyeing, paper making were getting destroyed. People became destitute for no fault of theirs to help an empire become richer and stronger.

He tried to breathe life into the moribund nation through four mantras: (1) Boycott of foreign goods, (2) National Education, (3) Self-Government, (4) Swadeshi or self-reliance. He realized that mere protest against British Rule would not help anymore and insisted on native production and self-reliance. “We have no arms, but there is no necessity. But our strong political weapon is boycott (of foreign goods). Organize your powers and then go to work so that they cannot refuse you what you demand”, he told the masses.

British smelled treason in these words. He founded Deccan Education Society to give better education as per the country’s needs. He wrote scathing articles over inhuman punishment meted out to the nationalist youth who protested the division of Bengal (Vanga Bhanga). Indian newspapers were not to criticize the British policy in those days and two articles titled “Has the Government lost its head?” and “To Rule is not wreak vengeance” appearing in Kesari landed him in jail, after a namesake trial. The British lawmakers didn’t find it amusing and he was jailed for 18 months. In 1907, he formed a radicalist faction inside the Congress and started the Home-Rule League along with an Irish lady. Ms. Annie Besant. Though a conservatist toward social reforms he was a pioneer to foresee that mass support was needed to make his motherland free from imperialistic clutches. For the first time in British History, intellectuals in England (including the great orientalist, Max Muller) were able to convince the Government that the trial was unfair. But the second time (1908) was no different. Tilak advocated his own case and when the judgment of six years of black-waters (kalapani) imprisonment was pronounced, he gave the famous statement”

“All I wish to say is that in spite of the verdict of the jury, I maintain my innocence. There are higher powers that rule the destiny of men and nations. It may be the will of Providence that the cause I represent may prosper by suffering than by remaining free”.

In order to bring the Maratha people together on the same platform, he started the celebration of shivaji Festival. When the “Indian Reforms Act” was introduced in 1919, he rejected it describing it as inadequate, disappointing and unsatisfactory.

When he was 52, a diabetic and ailing person he wrote his famous commentary on Bhagavad-Gita, the sacred book of Hindus. He stressed that Geeta taught action (karma), nothing but action. Religion or spiritual message was secondary and the need of the hour was to arise and fight. This was Lord Krishna’s message to Arjuna. Tilak’s wife, his companion of 45 years, died at Pune and the news reached him in Mandalay prison Burma only after a week. He had sacrificed his personal life, his profession, name and fame for the sake of the country.

By the time Tilak completed his six year prison term, he became the unquestioned leader of the Indian0- the uncrowned king. He was known as the Tilak Maharaj. There was unprecedented jubilation after Tilak was free and back in India. Civil resistance, the concept of Swaraj and nationalism had taken deep roots. Tilak’s suffering did not go in vain. A band of leaders, full of zeal for nationalism and self-sacrifice was coming up. National schools were coming up in all corners of India. He paved the way for Khadi (hand woven cloth), picketing a against foreign goods and alcoholism. His death in 1920 brought Mahatma Gandhi on the scene and Gandhiji gave a concrete shape to Tilak’s ideas of Swadeshi. He also authored books such as “Geeta Rahasya” and “Arctic Home of Vedas”.

He launched the congress Democratic Party in 1920 but before he could take up the action he suddenly died on 1st August leaving behind millions of mourners. A champion the downtrodden people, Tilak was given the sobriquet “Lokmanya”.

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